JANUARY 29

Can You Dish It Out?

And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."
LUKE 9:23

Did you know there are four ways for a man to load a dishwasher?

1. The way he's been trained by his mother.
2. The way his wife likes it done.
3. The way he does it at his mother-in-law's house.
4. The way he does it when no one's looking.

Now, is one of these methods right and all the others wrong? Can't a man just cram in as many pots and pans and bowls and plates as possible, in whatever arrangement it takes to get the door closed? Can any woman prove me wrong on this with absolute certainty? Sure, the proper dishwasher loading method is not a big marriage deal. But it's an example of those little tastes and preferences we have, those minor points of difference that can often fester into major arguments and problems.

If you are going to keep the little things your spouse does from becoming real irritants and obstacles in your relationship, you need to deny yourself, like Jesus said in today's verse. Rather than insisting that your way is right in matters of minor importance, let some stuff go. Rather than nagging and nitpicking—which is like being nibbled to death by a duck—express your dislikes in ways that don't rankle and threaten and lead to even bigger blowups.

Throughout your marriage, you'll have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of opportunities like these to either die to yourself or rise up in your own defense. Remember that there are a lot worse things in life than rewashing the cereal bowls. And yes, I do know how to load a dishwasher now—since 1972, Barbara has been training me!

DISCUSS
What is something your spouse does that drives you crazy? Can you cover it with grace?

PRAY
Thank the Lord Jesus for setting us an everyday example of patience in His dealings with us. 

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