Ready for Rebuke?


Ask God to help you and your spouse discern when and how to give and receive rebuke.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2

Love definitely has its soft side, but let me (Teresa) suggest it also has a sharp side. Deep love means caring enough to set somebody straight when that person has driven off the correct path.

We don't like this side of love, and we often refuse to acknowledge it as love when we are on the receiving end of it. But it is love. Christ told Peter, "Get behind Me . . ." because Peter couldn't accept Christ's assertion that He had to die (Mat­thew 16:23). Pretty tough rebuke, but an act of love designed to set Peter back on the right path.

Loving our spouses can mean a tough "set­ting straight" response to moral error. Doing it right often means making sure you have "taken the log out of your own eye first" (see Matthew 7:1-5).

I've been tempted at times to rebuke David for being too harsh in his discipline with the kids or not patient and longsuffering enough with them, only to have the Holy Spirit prompt me to inspect myself in this area. It was then that I realized that it wasn't time to talk to David about his responses to the kids until I had humbled my own heart concerning my own impatience.

I've been tempted to rebuke David about his tendency to bend the rules and find all the loopholes. And then the Spirit reminded me of my own rebellious attitude toward some of the church leadership and my unwillingness to comply with new church structure. The Lord let me know that it wasn't okay to talk with David until my heart was completely sur­rendered to Him and His established authorities.

How specifically will you prepare yourself today to lovingly rebuke and receive rebuke?

God, help me to discern when and how to rebuke my spouse. Help me to be open to loving rebuke as well.

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