Shouldering Her Weaknesses

Steve Arterburn

What baggage does your wife carry? She’s surely no more immune than you. Therefore, she may be burdened from any number of traumatic events in her past.

 

Are you allowing for your wife’s weakness, loving her for who she is today, and not for who she might be at some point down the line? Sure, you may be shocked and dismayed at the weaknesses in your wife that were hidden until marriage exposed them. Maybe she comes from an abusive and dysfunctional background. Maybe she isn’t a very strong Christian. Maybe she was even promiscuous before she met you.

Any of these things may be true. But some other important things are true as well. Your wife did forsake her individual freedom in taking you as her husband, believing you would provide love and strength for her. Your wife is still God’s little lamb, regardless of the pain she’s been through and the wounds she carries. Don’t forget: God has entrusted her to you. Will you resent her? Or does your heart warm at the task of restoration? Is there any nobler act than pouring out your mercy on your precious bride?

Men, relate with your spouse based upon who she is today. Not upon what you want her to be. So what if she isn’t who she should be today? Are you? Besides, it’s not important that she becomes everything you expect. It’s important that she becomes like Christ. Impart to her the same grace, mercy and strength that Christ imparts to you.

Physical Intimacy

For woman, physical intimacy flows naturally from relational intimacy within marriage. So, guys, if you’ve been remiss on learning the style of servant-leadership that creates and fosters relational intimacy with your wife, you’re probably experiencing an unsatisfying sex life with your wife. That’s perfectly natural. In fact, it’d be strange if it were otherwise, since relational and physical intimacy are bound together.

A pastor once said, ‘See that chair over there? That’s my counseling chair. Do you know what complaint I hear most often from married men? I’m just not having enough physical intimacy with my wife.’

My own experience in ministry confirms this. Readers of my book Every Man’s Battle send e-mails asking a variation of one basic question: ‘How can I get my wife to desire physical intimacy with me?’

Well, men, let me turn that question toward you: why don’t more wives desire more physical intimacy with their husbands? The answer isn’t mysterious. In the vast majority of cases, wives feel they have no real relational intimacy with their husbands. These women don’t feel loved and honored in a way that creates a desire within them for physical intimacy.

But here’s some news that should inspire you: every man I know who practices servant-leadership in his marriage also experiences a corresponding spike in physical intimacy with his wife. Men, you can’t put the cart before the horse. Cultivate relational intimacy with your wife, and physical intimacy will naturally follow.

– Steve Arterburn

Male Visual Stimulation

Steve Arterburn

Men tend to be highly visual. Consequently, they also tend to be very susceptible to sexual temptation when it’s presented visually. Put bluntly: most men have eyes that follow every short skirt that walks by. This presents a huge obstacle to marital intimacy. One disgruntled wife put it simply: ‘Men are pigs.’ And to the extent we choose our own way rather than purifying our eyes and submitting out behaviors to God, it’s an apt indictment.

Consider this letter I received from a reader of my book, Every Man’s Battle:

‘My husband has bought into the lie that ‘all men look’ because they’re so visual. He read your book Every Man’s Battle, but he still says it’s impossible for any real man to avoid looking at a babe in a string bikini. This bothers me, but he’s threatened me with divorce if I don’t stop ‘nagging’ him about this, I’m sick to my stomach to think that for the rest of my life, I’ll be robbed of fullness in my marriage. Because this bothers me so much, and because my husband is so sick of being reminded of it, he does it even more now! Can you imagine? Everywhere I go with my husband I know I can’t keep his attention. NOWHERE!’

Note her pain, men. The lust of your eyes hardens your heart and blinds you to your own wife. This dishonors both your wife and the God who so graciously gave her to you. Consider attending the Every Man’s Battle workshop. Read testimonies from other men who have attended.