Give It to Me Straight

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What can you do today to set a precedent of willingness to lovingly rebuke your spouse when he or she needs it?

Those whom I love I rebuke. Revelation 3:19, NIV

I (Teresa) remember the outcome of one of our first marital tiffs. After our argument, David stomped out of the room, slammed the door, and sank into bed in an angry slump. I sat on the couch fuming with anger myself. I don't know how long I sat there, but I finally packed up my purse, made a lunch for the next day, and trotted off in a huff to stay with David's grandmother.

David's grandmother lived only a few hundred yards away, so I didn't have to travel long, but I just knew this would show him I meant business. I sat down in the house and waited for David to discover that I was gone then frantically call his grandmother to see if she knew where I was.

An hour passed with no call, so I called him. He couldn't believe I was on the phone. Wasn't I in the next room? Wasn't I still out in the living room sitting on the couch?

Even though David and I were only sixteen at the time, he showed some great wisdom that night. He told me that going to his grandmother's home was no solution to our argument. We were family now, and our prob­lems needed to be kept between us.

What he said was true. I know now that his rebuke was said because he loved me and wanted us to make our marriage work. Ties with parents need to be replaced with ties between husband and wife. We need to turn to each other to work things out.

I needed to hear David's rebuke that night, and he was willing to speak it to me in love. Through the decades, we have tried to continue to live by that precedent in our marriage.

What can you do today to set a precedent of willingness to lovingly rebuke your spouse when he or she needs it?

God, please help me to accept rebuke from my spouse when I need it.

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