I was watching a rerun of “Everybody Loves Raymond” the other day that raised a good question; Why are we nicer to strangers than we are to the people we love, our family? I can tell you from personal experience that I am pretty forgiving and mellow with everyone but my wife. I’m okay with strangers screwing me over or taking advantage of me; I shrug and say, “That’s just people being people.” But, if Nancy buys herself a Twix at the store and doesn’t bring me anything, I’m ready to start WWIII. What’s wrong with that picture?
I think that we all have a tendency to idealize our spouses, our parents, our children and our siblings. We forget that they’re human and have weaknesses and frailties just like everyone else. They are sinners saved by grace, or just sinners, exactly like we are. I am working on mastering this simple prayer, and I think it might be helpful to you the next time you want to go off on someone you love: Never expect, from another human being, the perfection that only Christ can give.