This statement has been used in all areas of life including marriages and relationships. It simply means that one should always be grateful to their benefactors. Ingratitude is a sin before God and man and should be condemned in its entirety. However, how you treat those you help matters. It is much better sometimes not to help instead of obliterating a persons self esteem in the process of helping, you only succeed in making a friendly enemy. In helping someone, you have to always bear in mind that they may get to the point where they can survive without you, when they look back what will they remember?
In relationships and marriages, spouses make the statement “after everything I have done for you” indicating that at some point or the order they have either stood by or helped their spouse or partner through a difficult period and therefore are entitled to gratitude . While this holds some value most times, it does not entitle you to a life long servitude as a show of gratitude. In helping people, remember tomorrow, you must not seek to create servants who will be beneath you forever. No matter how small or insignificant the help rendered, it can propel a favoured person to great heights. Bear in mind that one day those you have helped may rise above you in status, wealth and power, what will they see when they look back?
What really matters in helping a spouse or anyone for that matter is your attitude while rendering that help. Some people in the process of helping will subject their spouses to all sorts of dehumanising treatments thereby decimating their sense of self worth. The helpless spouse for lack of other choices will accept the help regardless of the treatment they receive. In all honesty, how do you expect your spouse to react to you when they have found their footing?
Do not bite the finger that fed/feeds you only when there is a genuine intention to help without holding it over the person’s head or expecting servitude in return. Some spouses will never receive help from their partners if they have the luxury of choice. They know that they will be reminded everyday of the benevolence without which they would have amounted to nothing. They also know that while the help is ongoing, they will have to endure very condescending attitudes, verbal abuse and high expectation for servitude and subjugation. This almost makes it certain that the person will focus more on the ill treatment than the help received. Will you really blame them?
One should not bite the finger that fed/feed them, however, it becomes necessary to bite that finger if it tries to gorge your eyes out in the process of feeding you or after feeding you. Acts of kindness are heavenly, but in rendering help, it is advised that you try to preserve the dignity of your beneficiary. If appreciation matters to you, respecting those you help is your only guarantee that those who have a conscience will continue to appreciate the help they have received from you – Sir Stanley Ekezie