Respect At the Family Barbecue

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How will you respond the next time you become aware that you have said or done something to convey disrespect to your spouse?

Let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

This past summer we were going to have a barbecue as a family get-together. Several members of the family had arrived at our house, and we were pre­paring things for the meal. To my (Teresa's) surprise, David suddenly vol­unteered to grill the steaks. He normally lets me do the cooking, so when he volunteered to help, I doubted his abilities. He hasn't had much practice in the kitchen, so I thought he needed some extra guidance.

Our daughters were in the kitchen with us as David prepared the steaks for the grill. I began to tell David just how to cut the steaks, how they should be seasoned, and even what plate he should put them on. I gave explicit instructions as to how to place them on the grill and then warned against cooking them too fast. David stood quietly at the kitchen counter. As I looked up and saw the look on his face, I knew he was angry. I had blown it. I had wounded him and disrespected him.

I would never consciously tear David down with my words, but that was exactly what I had done that day. I'd shown disrespect for his character and abilities. Worse still, I had done it in front of others.

When I realized what I had done, it saddened me. I'd shown disre­spect to David because of my own fears. I had hurt David because I feared what the family would think of the meat. That was too high a price to pay for well-cooked steaks. I took David aside and asked him to forgive me for causing his hurt. I'm so grateful that I became aware of how I wounded David, so that the hurt could be healed and our unity restored.

How will you respond the next time you become aware that you have done or said something to convey disrespect to your spouse?

Lord, thank You for Your Spirit, who shows me the ways in which I communicate disrespect to my spouse.

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