top of page
  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho

What's the Temperature?

A few weeks ago, my two younger kids, my husband, and I were eating lunch and having an involved conversation.  My husband was preparing more food while my kids and I were munching away at the bar table.  The discussion was light and lively until my son said something unkind.  I knew he didn't mean any harm, but my spirit felt uncomfortable because his comment was inconsiderate, especially since it was directed toward his dad; it was unacceptable.  I intercepted the remark and addressed his disrespect.  My son quickly explained it was a joke and apologized.  For me, sarcasm can hurt deeper because there is an ulterior motive to the comment.  As my children's parent, I owe it to them to use moments like these as teaching points.   It's my responsibility to raise and guide them to be respectful and honor those around them.  It all starts in the home.  What I teach them here is what they will do out there.  

My daughter, who was still sitting with us, added to the conversation, told her brother that he needed to read the room better, and gave us an example of what she meant.  How she pokes fun with her close circle of friends differs from how she speaks to those in other relationships.  She further commented how some people are familiar and comfortable with the vibe of conversations and don't take any offense to it because it's friendly banter.  However, others are unfamiliar, and processing can take longer.  So, to avoid the sting, "read the room" to make sure.

My husband and I have been married for 23 years last month, and we still have to keep clarifying what we mean so we don't inflict unnecessary pain.  We were at a lunch celebrating my mom's birthday, and he said something that affected my emotions.  I tried to process it and wondered why it triggered me.  I gave it a few days and evaluated whether there was a root to my emotion.  I later discussed it with my husband, and he understood my point of view.  I also knew his heart, and that he had no ill intent, but as I processed it, I asked if he, too, could refrain from making those kinds of comments until further notice.  It may not have bothered me years ago, but it hit a different cord that day.  Maybe depending on my life experiences, my level of sensitivity changed.  Who knows.  To my daughter's comment, "read the room."  

For relationships to go deeper, we need to be a better thermometer of communication.  For me, comprehension is the gauge of the conversation's direction.  It's the red liquid line in an actual thermometer.  It can heat up and shoot up very fast if people speak over one another, do not listen, and only share their point of view, like in a debate.  The temperature can stay in a healthy range when both sides are intentional about listening and understanding.  Sometimes, this might mean one side is the only one to speak, and the other listens.  At work, some people have shared more with me than usual.  When I prayed about it, I realized they needed a sounding board more than my feedback.  When I would try to respond, the Holy Spirit alerted me to keep my ears open and my mouth shut.  Not everyone wants to hear what I have to say; they may need and want to listen to what they're saying.  

That day, my family was reminded of a valuable life lesson: Always read the room before you decide to change the temperature.  

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page