Why We Deny

Steve Arterburn

Men, we all struggle with denial’but why? Well, one reason is that truth is scary. It can frighten you into a ‘see no evil’ lifestyle. For some of you life’s been very difficult. You’ve weathered many storms, and aren’t interested in further suffering. Denial may be the only coping mechanism you know. And you’d rather face the status quo than the discomfort of change. If I’m talking to you, I’ll grant that’in a sense’you’re right. Ending denial brings with it the threat of loss as well as pain. Reality is often costly. And accepting the consequences of truth may cause the loss of income, possessions, friends, or prestige. But know this: in the long run, denial has far worse consequences. It’ll inevitably sap your life’emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even physically.

Another reason you sometimes avoid self-scrutiny is because you don’t want to stop what you know is wrong. You’ve confused avoidance with innocence. You tend to use busyness as a means of denial’keeping a hectic pace, and, at least for the time being, keeping reality at bay. With life whizzing by, you see very little and feel even less’especially the numbing effect denial is having on you.

Men, this is simply too high a price to pay. If these descriptions have described you at all, I invite you, in the name of Christ, to come into the cleansing, life-giving light of the gospel. Yes, the truth can hurt. But only the truth can set you free.

The Intimidation Factor

Steve Arterburn

 

 

Do you ever feel intimidated when you’re in the presence of a woman? It’s important to examine the situation when you’re feeling anxious or unsettled. If your desire or need to lead and provide isn’t being met, it’s probably best to keep those feelings in check.

 

If you’ve been negative, critical, withdrawn, judgmental, self-pitying, angry, or anything less that supportive and appreciative when in the presence of a successful woman, you need to completely change your attitude. It’s clear that God has gifted women with incredible talents and abilities. If we men are not mature enough to recognize and celebrate those gifts, then we’re the ones at fault.

At the same time, you must recognize and celebrate your own instincts to lead and protect and look for appropriate opportunities to do so, and look for opportunity to discuss this with your successful wife. The apostle Paul exhorts husbands and wives to ‘submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’

I encourage you to examine your relationships with the women in your life. Many men confess to feeling intimidated by women. So ask yourself, What do I do when I see competence or confidence in a woman?  And remember, we are diverse, yet unified; different in gender, yet the same in humanity; we should be more confident and competent together than apart!

The Importance of Asking

Steve Arterburn

Every married man is joined to a person more complex than a NASA space shuttle. Besides the fact that the human brain is infinitely more complex than anything else known to man, it’s also had several decades of outside influences by the time a woman marries.

Think of all the things that could’ve influenced your wife in her developmental years: praise and criticism, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, a large or a small family, school experiences, sexual experiences, intelligence, abuse, self-image, male and female role models, models of marriage. The list goes on and on.

Every woman’s life map is different. As a result, no two women are alike. Wouldn’t it be nice if husbands and wives, on their wedding day, in addition to exchanging rings and vows, could hand each other a book titled My Life So Far? And in it would be a closing chapter entitled ‘How to Meet My Needs.’

But this doesn’t happen. So what can you do? How can you begin by better learning your wife’s needs? The best place to start is simply by asking.

If you have a track record of insensitivity, you’ll need to start this process with an apology and a sincere request for connection. Tell your wife you want to know her and begin asking questions’about herself, her hopes, desires, dreams, and fears. Her world may just open up to you, if you’d only ask for entrance.