Do You See Your Own Family as VIPs?


I was reminded that everyone I meet is special. I need to treat them that way. Most significantly, those who are closest to me – my wife and my sons.

Are you the same person around everyone you meet? Does being around certain people cause you act differently? When your boss or wife enters the room, do you snap-to and put on your best behavior?

While sitting at one of my favorite breakfast spots recently (they didn’t invent the chicken, only the chicken sandwich), I overheard a comment by the manager. As he handed a receipt to another customer, he said, “We’re expecting some VIPs today. I’m kinda glad things are a bit slow right now. It allows us to get the place looking even better that it normally does.”

First, I had to overcome the blow to my ego. VIPs? Coming later?! I was right there, within earshot. Didn’t he know I’d already snagged my third free sweet tea refill? If that didn’t make me a VIP, what would?! I wanted to shout, “HAY, EYE AM AY VEE EYE PEE TWO!” (I speak bovine.)

With this egregious insult behind me, I began thinking. VIPs, eh? My hunch: Someone from “corporate” is popping in to check things over. Maybe it’s even one of the Cathys and I should hang around for an autograph.

Regardless, what possessed this man to want to impress these people? And, was that a good thing or a bad thing? I can see both sides.

On the bright side, it’s great to honor those to whom honor is due. There’s nothing wrong with rolling out the red carpet from time to time. Even so, shouldn’t the place always be at its best? Why straighten the straws and refold the napkins just when “important” people are en route?

It caused me to reflect on how (or, whether) I do this for the important people in my life? Do I give my wife daily honor and extra care just because she’s a terrific, godly, faithful and loving spouse? Do I engage my sons as if they are truly special people? Do I always speak to my boss in ways that are edifying?

Isn’t there a fine line here? Putting out a welcome sign is one thing. Hiding obvious health infractions is another (CFA attorneys: I’m not implying anything). What’s the difference between adding a special touch and cleverly hiding our “real” selves?

I was reminded that everyone I meet is special. I need to treat them that way. Most significantly, those who are closest to me – my wife and my sons.

What would happen in our marriages and homes if we adjusted our thinking here? Would I be more intentional as a father if each time my kids got home from school, I thought, “Now here come some special individuals!” Or, when my wife pulled in, I yelled, “Hey everyone, check it out! We have a VIP in the driveway!”

Clearly, the best way for me to ponder these thoughts was over a fourth refill. And, they gave it to me. It was their pleasure.

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