Some years ago I headed out of the house after supper to attend a homeschooling mothers' meeting, leaving my husband and ten children to carry on the evening activities without me. As is typical here after a busy homeschooling/laundry-washing-drying-folding/cooking/cleaning/taxi-ing/fixing/mothering sort of a day, the kitchen counters were full of dishes waiting to be cleaned.
When I returned to the house at 10:00 PM I walked through the kitchen to round up the children who were enjoying an unusually late bed time without Mom in charge. After getting them settled one of my teenagers asked me, "What did you think of the kitchen?" Having not even looked at any details of the kitchen I knew I was in trouble. I had to admit it, "I didn't even notice the kitchen", and I headed for that room to check it out. Sure enough, it was clean. The counters were clear, everything was clean and wiped down and the dishes had been put away. At this point, of course, I raved about the job well done and gave my thanks.
But, it was too late. My teen was upset and said that if I didn't even notice then it wasn't very important to me and why did he/she bother to even help out if I didn't care and he/she certainly wasn't going to go through the trouble of helping again if I didn't really need or want it, which I obviously did not as evidenced by my lack of instant appreciation.
I really didn't respond at the time. I was tired, too tired to think about it, too tired to even know what to think, and too stunned to react.
If it happened now I'd be prepared. I'd remind the teen that every day they have meals prepared, clothes washed, a bed to sleep in, a roof over their head, a ride to wherever, and if immediate thanks and appreciation are the requirements for service then I would expect them to be gushing forth day by day and hour by hour to keep me stroked and serving.
As the receiver of good things it is good to give thanks, we ought to be quick to thank others. But, as the servant, our service is to God and not for the praise of men.