The expressions please, thank you and I am sorry are such powerful words that they are often described as magical!
Many parents teach their children when they are very small to use these expressions, often to show good upbringing, politeness and concern for others. We hear toddlers say pees for please, tantiu for thank you, sooie for I am sorry and we immediately understand what they are trying to say! And if these children do not receive what they expect after speaking these powerful words, they become extremely upset and many cry or even scream!
But some married people fail to use these expressions in their relationships. They wrongly believe such words are not necessary among those who are very close to, and familiar with each other. What a tragic error! Continuing to use please and thank you after growing up especially within the marital relationship can open doors and soften hearts to your requests and needs.
Simply telling a husband, “ Take my suitcase to the car”; or asking a wife, “Fetch my necktie from the wardrobe”, may appear to be an order and not a request especially if the tone does not sound right! And most people feel inward resentment toward perceived frequent orders, even from loved ones. After a while, they may voice out their resentment and even ignore requests. In the worst scenario, they may declare bluntly they cannot fulfil the order/request!
Using the word please politely and in the sweetest tone possible to make requests, and following up with thank you can make the most difficult spouse feel great and important. This is especially the case where you add terms of endearment like Darling, Sweetheart, Dee amongst others.
To keep your marriage fresh and the spark in it bright, married folks must never ever get tired of maintaining this attitude of politeness and gratitude at all times. They may even add physical touch to requests – holding the hand or a quick kiss. Of course modesty in public is very important in many cultures and among Christians. As I pointed out in the last blog, Jesus Christ teaches his followers to love other people as they love themselves. And this is even more expected within marriage and the family.
When in my presence a married friend started making a request to her husband, I could almost believe she wanted him to fetch her a piece of rock from the moon! She was so sweet in her approach this husband of many years breezed off in his car to buy the meal she wanted from a particular restaurant!
You find husbands and wives doing simple or big things for their spouses, that others in their situations may feel demeaning or even unnecessary. The tone, the regular deployment of please and thank you together with a usually pleasant attitude have generally been the atmosphere within these marriages.
And apologising- saying I am sorry when you are wrong is the height good upbringing and concern for your spouse. For Christians, this attitude again shows they love their neighbours as they love themselves. This is one of the most important teachings of Jesus Christ.
If you want the atmosphere in your marriage to be peaceful and joyful; if you do not want to feel inferior or used; if you want to maintain the closeness and warmth of the early years of courtship throughout your marriage, please starting using these expressions now!
As Jesus advised, Go and do likewise -Matthew 10:37b (NIV).