Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
It was one of the precious moments of the day - family bike ride. Often after we join as a family around the table for dinner, we clean the kitchen quickly so we can enjoy another thirty minutes together. The four kids ride their bikes. Scott and I hold hands and walk. With every turn of the wheel, our family draws closer.
Two nights ago one child stopped peddling. After a little prodding, my daughter tearfully unloaded, "She called me a slowpoke." I hugged her and told her I was proud that was trying her hardest.
As we approached the house, I called the offender back to my side. "What did you call your sister," I inquired.
"How do you think that made her feel?"
"What should you do about it?"
"Tell her and God I'm sorry."
We made it back to house. As we climbed the garage stairs, she took her sister's hand and whispered, "I need to talk to you."
I followed at a distance and stood in the shadows to hear their exchange. "I'm sorry I called you a slowpoke. You're not a slowpoke. You try really hard when we bike."
"That's okay. I love you. You're the best sister and my best friend."
This morning I read Psalm 17. This chapter is a prayer of David. He first establishes his right standing before God. Then David asks for relief from those who wrong him. His description of his offenders catches my eye: "They close up their callous hearts and their mouths speak arrogance."
From my vantage point, I saw my daughters reconcile in a Christ-honoring way. The injured party did not hesitate. Instead she offered free and abundant grace.
I contemplated the moments in my marriage when I have the opportunity to exercise this level of love and grace. Sometimes I have a callous heart and give the silent treatment. Other times I defend myself and my mouth speaks arrogance. Into my heart I speak the words, "You're the best husband and my best friend." I want to cement them there so I can offer the same level of love and grace as my precious child.
Jesus, I offer You my heart. Massage away the callouses. Fill it with Your grace and humility. Thank you for blessing of my husband. He is the best husband and my best friend.