Rebuke in Times of Emotion

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What steps can you and your spouse take to make sure you lovingly and properly rebuke one another, even when emotions are high?

Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool. Proverbs 17:10

Have you ever been misunderstood? I remember well one incident where David misunderstood me.

We were going to be teaching a Bible study in Dallas, and we were late getting to the airport. I was only trying to help David find the quickest route and the best spot to park the car. But David felt I was trying to take over. After we'd arrived at the airport, we were going to get something to eat, and I started to tell David where to set my luggage. He blew his top and said, "I don't need you to tell me how to go get something to eat!"

My feelings were hurt. When we got to our motel room in Dallas, I announced, "David, I don't want to go to this Bible study. Send me home." After David apologized for his part in our conflict, we discussed what had happened that day. I was able to talk to David about my fears relating to all that happened that day: I was afraid we would miss our plane, afraid we wouldn't get there in time to get a good seat or have enough room for our luggage. But instead of sharing those tender feelings, I had tried to control the situation.

Even as David comforted me and told me how he wanted me to com­municate my fears with him, I still resisted his care. "I just can't help it," I said. "It's too hard for me to control my emotions?' It was at that moment that David talked to me about the truth found in Romans 8:11: "If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, Teresa, can't that Spirit be in control of your emotions?"

I had to make a choice between my emotions and the truth of that verse. I chose to go to the Bible study. God was true to His Word: He brought the appropriate feelings as I was obedient to His Spirit.

What steps can you and your spouse take to make sure you lovingly and properly rebuke one another, even when emotions are high?

Father, when Your truths rebuke us, we may not like it, but Your motive is always for our good.

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