Doing Good To Your Wife

Steve Arterburn

What’s it mean to do good by your wife? And how might you, as a husband, go about doing it? You might come up with things like laying a new bathroom floor, shoveling the car out after a snow storm, or taking out the garbage on time. These are fine and good, and we like them because they keep us in our comfort zone.

 

But what about providing your wife with spiritual leadership and stability? Now that’s doing her good’in fact, it’s the best you could do for her. Yet it’s also a scary proposition for many husbands. You might not even know where to start.

 

Here are five suggestions to set the spiritual thermostat in your house:

 

1)      Develop a knowledge of God’s word. This is a must. 

2)      As you learn about God, begin to submit yourself to Him more and more.

3)      Be consistent in your prayer and devotional life. Your consistency will instill your wife’s confidence in you.

4)      Go to church and worship with your wife. Your wife will benefit greatly from watching you worship and worshipping with you.

5)      Be quick to forgive and to seek her forgiveness when you need it. Your honesty and humility will speak volumes to her.

 

Men, you will bless your wife by leading her. If you do it tenderly and wisely, and by example, she’ll follow.

Cost Of Discipleship, Part One

Steve Arterburn

Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been widely recognized as one of the great moral heroes of the twentieth century, and rightly so. He was a highly regarded Lutheran minister at a time when other highly regarded Christian leaders’were compromising and making sure they didn’t make any waves against Hitler’s aggressive, tyrammical power. Bonhoeffer was among the few who resisted. And you know, resistance usually has its costs’Bonhoeffer’s cost everything. He was arrested, imprisoned, and eventually hung on April 9, 1945’less than a month before the war’s end.

 

Yet Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s resistance was more than moral, it was Christian. It was grounded, shaped, and energized by the gospel, and by Bonhoeffer’s loving loyalty to the Lord of that gospel: Jesus Christ.

 

Amidst the tumultuous times of his day, Bonhoeffer wrote a book that has since become a Christian classic. It’s called The Cost of Discipleship. In it he contrasts what he calls ‘cheap and costly grace.’ Cheap grace, for Bonhoeffer, means grace without the cross. Costly grace, by way of contrast, is a grace that comes to us freely because it cost Christ his life’and that which is costly to God must never be seen as something that comes to us without a price.

 

Bonhoeffer’s point, men, is that the gospel makes a claim upon every aspect of our lives. It’s received freely, yet demands sacrificial discipleship as our response.

 

Is your understanding of the gospel comparable to Bonhoeffer’s? If it isn’t, give it some thought.

The ‘Sweeper’

Steve Arterburn

Guys, have you ever noticed that when a woman is feeling stressed or angry, she’ll often call a friend? Have you also noticed when guys feel those same things, we usually do just the opposite?

When it comes to dealing with emotions, most men run for the hills’alone. We tend not to be as good as our female counterparts at facing our feelings, let alone talking about them. Most of us have been trained to treat our emotions like dirty laundry ‘ we don’t want anything to do with them.

When our emotions surface, our internal ‘Sweeper’ moves to action. The sweeper is that part of our subconscious who methodically and logically eliminates the threat that rogue emotions present. The ‘Sweeper’s’ job is to prohibit any situation from heating up too much and to sweep stray emotions back under the surface, where we think they belong. The Sweeper’s job description looks something like this:

  • Hide and mask anger
  • Internalize pressure
  • Bury losses
  • Deny wounds
  • Withdraw in the face of hard truth
  • Deflect mistakes
  • Blame others
  • Hide struggles
  • Push others away
  • Excuse me from feeling the hurts of others

Men, does this sound familiar? If so, I think it’s time you put your Sweeper up for review, and seriously consider cleaning out his office. The ‘Sweeper’s’ so-called services are, in fact, doing you a great disservice.