One recurring threat to an otherwise happy relationship is carelessness. Other threats might come from malice, selfishness or other intentional motivations, but not being careful to nurture falls into a different category. Sometimes we excuse ourselves of such neglect by saying that we “didn’t mean to do this or that.” Being careful requires much more. To be full of care demands that we pay attention to the needs of others and not neglect the nurture our family and friends. It’s easy to take one another for granted and to forget to show gratitude. When someone is being a stinker–when they’re annoying us–they get our attention and usually receive some form of complaint. When someone is being faithful and diligent in routine things they can easily fade into the background. We want to fix the broken things but sometimes forget to praise the things that aren’t broken. Our lives are filled with background blessings.

In a good family or in a good church (which is a big family), here are some of the things that happen on a regular basis that we should thank God for and thank people for: faithfulness, kindness, sacrifice, food, shelter, paychecks, clean clothes, chores, laughs, comforts, fellowship, worship, prayer, instruction, hugs and kisses, etc. Thank your wife for all she does, day-in and day-out to manage your household. Thank your husband for going to work and coming home every day. Thank your children for jobs well done. Thank your parents for giving you everything you have. As a pastor, I want to thank my congregation for their routine faithfulness and for the joy they bring to me every time I see them, and I see them often. You are amazing. You are remarkable. You are the best!