“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

The Pennsylvania State Police recently responded to an emergency call from a motorist. A woman in the vehicle was in labor near the Green Tree exit of Parkway West in Pittsburgh. By the time police arrived a baby girl already had been delivered. Beth Gardner, the mother, was no doubt thankful for the police who responded and for her two neighbors who were driving her to the hospital and stopped the car to deliver the baby.

Is it just me or is something missing in this story? Let’s see, we have the mother, the neighbors, the police and the baby. . . .

What’s missing?

Who’s missing?

Where’s the father?

Was he deployed in Iraq? No. Was he working deep in a coal mine? No. Maybe he was putting in overtime at a steel factory so the family would have food on the table? No.

He was watching the Pittsburgh Steelers football game — the all important preseason match-up.

I don’t know about you, but the first word that pops into my mind is an inappropriate, demeaning name questioning the father’s intelligence. How in the world could this guy miss the birth of his daughter to watch a football game? How inconsiderate can you get?

But before I heap judgment on the absentee father I need to remember two things. First, there may be more to the story than has been reported thus far (I can hear the cynics sarcastically saying, “Yeah, maybe the game was in overtime!”). Maybe there is more to it than what we are hearing.

And second, while I would never have missed the birth of a child for a ballgame, I have done some pretty inconsiderate things to my wife.

The language of this text – consideration, respect, and co-heirs – grabs attention and demands action. How serious is this matter of consideration? Peter says my prayers depend on it. That serious.

*based on a report from KDKA, September 1, 2006

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