Study Your Flower

Steve Arterburn

 

 

 

Women are like flowers. And your wife is like a delicate flower that spends years unfolding, revealing the beauty and grace’and perhaps scars and developmental wounds’within.

 

There are two parts to this flower-opening revelation: the opening itself and the observing of what is revealed. Flowers have to open up; wives don’t. Even when they do open up, husbands aren’t always sensitive enough to see what’s revealed and take it to heart. I have a feeling that a secret men harbor’namely that they don’t know how to meet their wives’ needs’is precisely because our sensors are picking up the signals we’re getting. Our wives are revealing who they are all the time’even in the so-called negative moments. We simply aren’t studious enough to conclude, ‘This word of mine met a need, but that comment or action didn’t. Guys, we need to be smarter. Make a mental note of these things for future reference.’

 

What you don’t know about your wife is being revealed as the flower unfolds and the pressures of life change: merging your money, balancing time, respecting preferences, having and raising children, adjusting to personal styles of living. And then there are families. A wife’s sensitivity to her immediate and extended family throws a huge set of variables into the mix.

 

I encourage you to be a student of your flower. Take notes of this precious gift, and love her accordingly.

Temptation To Doubt

Steve Arterburn

 

 

The serpent’s words in the Garden of Eden were intended to plant a seed of doubt in the human heart. They subtly called God’s goodness into question, and as a result, challenged the basis upon which God’s trustworthiness rested. ‘Did God really say you mustn’t eat the fruit? Oh, you won’t surely die! God just knows that if you eat the fruit, you’ll become like Him.’

 

Notice how similar these words are to those spoken by the devil to Jesus in the desert. ‘If you’re the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.’ In other words, ‘Come on! Your Father isn’t providing for your needs. Just look at you. But, all isn’t lost. You simply have to trust in yourself. Take matters into your own hands. You are the Son of God, aren’t you?’

 

Both instances suggest that God is withholding something good. They also imply that it’s always bad to be without something we believe would be good to have.

 

In Eve’s case, the serpent implied that being without one particular fruit proved God’s selfishness. In Jesus’ case, the devil implied that being without food was an unacceptable condition for one claiming to be the Son of God.

 

These instances are consistent with what temptation looks life in your own life. Satan wants you to doubt God’s goodness, stray from His promises, and become, in effect, your own lord. Men, think about Satan’s methods and strategies, and set yourselves wholeheartedly against them.

Courting

Steve Arterburn

If you seriously want to learn how to meet your wife’s needs, you can. All you need to do is recall the initial process of getting to know your wife when you were courting. It wasn’t rocket science, and still isn’t: You spent hours and hours together talking and exploring one another’s personalities. And the most important thing you did was act on what you learned.

When you discovered your girl liked this music or that food or those flowers, you responded. There was nothing you wouldn’t do to show your love, and that you were serious about the relationship.

Once men leave the wedding reception, the get-to-know-you graph too often takes a dive like a dot-com stock in early 2000. Okay, maybe not quite that fast. But it begins falling nonetheless. Despite a guy’s best intentions to think otherwise, there’s something in him that says, ‘I know my wife. I wouldn’t have married her if I didn’t.’ The truth is, you only think you know her. You only know as much as the number of months of your courtship revealed. And more importantly, you only know what she’s disclosed.

My encouragement to every man who wants to know how to meet his wife’s needs is to begin, courting her afresh. If you’ll devote the same intensity and interest to your wife after marriage that you did before’and maintain that interest level throughout your marriage’you will learn your wife’s needs and how to better meet them.