Rebooting Your Marriage

Steve Arterburn

I host a weekday call-in radio show with five other counselors called New Life Live! Since we handle many calls each day, it’s easy to spot common themes that arise.

One common theme is the one about blaming and judging a wife who ‘just isn’t enough’ for a man. It’s amazing the mental gyrations some men will go through not to take responsibility. One day we commented that the worst-selling T-shirt we could market would say, ‘It was my fault.’ No guys would buy it!

Here’s an idea for another T-shirt message: ‘You’re not to blame for my problems.’ But let’s not wait for that T-shirt to land in stores to own that truth. Because when we own this, we’re humbled and ready to do what needs doing: asking for forgiveness.

Every computer has a reboot key that allows for fresh starts. Everything cranks up as if it were doing it for the first time. For individuals, the reboot key is called confession. Confession realigns the person with God and removes the stain of denial. The reboot key for a relationship is asking for forgiveness. It places the relationship back at ground zero. It doesn’t ensure that forgiveness will be granted, but at least from the point of forgiveness the relationship has an opportunity to flourish. Men, if you and your marriage are stuck, consider the most humbling thing you can do: Ask your wife to forgive you.

Portrait Of A Son

Steve Arterburn

There once lived a wealthy widower who shared a passion for collecting art with his beloved son. Priceless works adorned the family estate.

Then war interrupted. The son enlisted, and after only a few weeks, the father’s worst fears were realized: his son was killed in action.

Months later the bereaved old man was awakened by a visitor. “I was a friend of your son,’ said the stranger at the door, ‘He was rescuing me when he died. I have something to show you.”

The package contained a portrait of the man’s son! It wasn’t a masterpiece, but precious nonetheless. The old man was overcome with emotion and gratitude.

When the old man died, his paintings were slated for auction. The event began with a painting that wasn’t on the docket, the painting of the man’s son.

Bidding opened at $100. Silence. ‘Who cares about that painting?’ someone cried, ‘Let’s get to the good stuff.” Voices clamored in agreement.

Finally, an elderly gentleman asked, “Will you take $10? That’s all I have but I know the lad and would love to have the portrait.” After more silence, the auctioneer said, “Going once, going twice. Gone.”

Then to everyone’s surprise, the auctioneer closed the auction! Stunned disbelief filled the room. “What do you mean?’ voices demanded, ‘There’s still millions of dollars of art here!”

The auctioneer replied, “Simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes his son gets it all.’

Men, behold the glory of the gospel: whosoever takes the Son in faith receives all the Father’s benefits!

Parental Teamwork

Steve Arterburn

Men, as the father in the home, you shoulder a great responsibility in raising your children. How will you and your wife go about it? What standards will you choose? How will you discipline? What values will you teach and demonstrate?

 

These questions are crucial; and whether it’s intentional or merely by default, they’re all communicated to your children. Intentionality is the key; and it’s a huge help when you and your wife are on the same page.

You and your wife can provide two basic elements in your home that are invaluable to helping your children become the individuals God wants them to be. One is consistency. There are few things worse than one parent operating off one set of values while the other confuses, and ultimately, sabotages those principles with a competing set of values. Parents must strive to agree on core values’living them and passing them on in a unified front to their kids.

The second important concept in raising kids is teamwork. Guys, surrender your individual rights and the blatant exertion of authority and be your wife’s teammate. Help her. Share duties. Pitch in. And never undermine your wife’s position by making yourself appear more important in the eyes of your children.

Instead, help your children learn to honor their mother and to appreciate the value of a woman. This bedrock principle will have a tremendous impact on your kids’ future.