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Too Much at Steak

Actress Marlene Dietrich is quoted as saying, "Once you have forgiven your man, do not reheat his sins for breakfast."   

Don't throw them on the barbecue either!   

At issue was the steak, and I was making too much about  there not being enough of it. My youngest brother was newly engaged and coming for dinner. He rarely visited, and I wanted this celebration to be extra special. My husband had gone to the local butcher, a rare treat in itself, to purchase steak for the barbecue. I opened the rather small package and asked, "Where's the rest of it?" Richard assured me,  the butcher said this would be ample for four adults. My brother was well acquainted with a great steak, and this looked like an appetizer.   

My heart started to race as performance anxiety rose. I looked at the kitchen clock - almost six! Too late to return to the butcher! Richard calmly explained the number of ounces per person.   I yanked open the freezer door and pulled out a package of frozen sausage to supplement the meager offering, sending an arrow right to the heart of that vulnerable place in every man - his fear of failure. There was nothing more my dear man could do but leave me to fuss and fume. The following  Proverbs from Scripture did not come to my mind at that moment:   

"It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home" (Proverbs 21:9).   

"It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby, complaining wife" (Proverbs 21:19).   

King Solomon had 700 wives, all of them princesses, and 300 concubines; no wonder he camped on this theme.   

Perhaps Richard headed for the loft. What I can tell you is that as he left, the Holy Spirit brought Heaven's gentle rebuke. What kind of atmosphere would welcome my relatives after such a selfish tirade? What really mattered - the meal, or the model of a loving home and marriage? Was our fresh commitment to one another, our mutual love and respect going to be sacrificed for a piece of meat?   

A 100 Huntley Street viewer had sent this hand-crafted hot pad as a wedding gift.   It's no accident that my eyes fell on it to see the image of a woman in her kitchen and a Scripture verse:   

"I will walk within my house with a perfect heart" (Psalm 101:2 HCSB).   

The Living Bible echoes the cry of my heart:  

"I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need Your help, especially in my home where I long to act as I should" (Psalm 101:2).   

A simple, sincere apology was the best preparation for what was a lovely evening.   The steak was delicious, and we were all stuffed. The sausage… wasn't touched. My husband doesn't remember this incident, but God's loving HUG OF CORRECTION set me on a new course. I learned:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do" (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). 

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