Order In The Court

Stephen Arterburn

St. Augustine defined peace as ‘the tranquility of order.’ That’s true on many levels, isn’t it? At the grandest of levels, Jesus Christ’s return will bring peace through the restoration of order lost in Eden. And on a far more mundane level, a disorganized life is synonymous with a hectic life. Whatever the context, the axiom holds: peace cannot coexist with chaos.

 

Men, how much order do you have in your lives? However much, my hunch is that it’s directly proportionate to the levels of tranquility and peace in your life as well. Is your desk and garage kept in such a way that you’re able to find what you need when you need it? How about those drawers and closets?

 

Guys, if you never can find what you thought you filed or can’t find the file, you’re much less efficient. If you can’t find a tool when you need it and have to buy another, you’re much less profitable. If you have to spend time hunting for your keys, your wallet, or your mail you’re much more frustrated. And if you can’t find the things you need when you need them, you’re much less prepared and confident.

 

In Ezekiel 38:7 we find the Lord telling His people just this: ‘Get ready; be prepared!’ These words are also on the lips of military leaders, coaches, athletes, musicians, and others whose lives demand excellence. Order puts us at peace, brings tranquility, and readies us for service.

 

 

 

 

Where Your Commitment Shows

Stephen Arterburn

If Christians were on fire for God, it would show in our marriages. Don’t you think the fact that rates of adultery and marital dissatisfaction in the Christian church are no different than the rates outside the church reveals something about our hearts that needs to be addressed?

 

Very few of us are consumed by our marriages, and fewer still are consumed by purity. Yet both are God’s desire for us. God’s purpose for your marriage is that it parallels Christ’s relationship to His church’that is, to be consumed with self-sacrificing love for our wives, and lay down our lives to make marital oneness a reality.

 

But when this doesn’t happen as we’d like, we get frustrated. ‘Well, if this is how she’s going to be,’ we think to ourselves, ‘why should I go through all the effort of serving her, and of being pure? She doesn’t deserve it.’ We’re tempted to retaliate and withdraw from our responsibilities.

 

Men, we all need reminding that our marriages are unconditional covenants, not conditional contracts. That means that amidst ever changing conditions and emotions, our commitment must never waiver.

 

Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to cherish your wife’to treat her with tenderness and hold her dear. Warm, romantic feelings are great, but fleeting. What if you don’t have them at the moment you need them? Lean upon your commitment to God. Be faithful to your commitment made before God and witnesses and don’t let your marriage covenant be dictated by feelings alone.

Five Thoughts About Families

Men, I want to share just five simple thoughts about families with you. Please listen to them closely. Let them be food for your thought, reflection, and prayer as you go about your business today.

1)      Families form people.

 

2)      The most crucially formative relationship for a man is his relationship with his father.

3)      A man will spend decades of his life trying to compensate for gaps in his relationship with his dad. And until genuine healing occurs, these attempts to compensate will only draw him into destructive lifestyles, habits, addictions, and relationships.

4)      Every man must face and deal directly with the wounds that prevent his progress.

5)      Every man courageous enough to let God touch these so-called ‘father wounds’ can find healing and renewal.

Men, our heavenly Father will get to the root causes of our thoughts and actions if we’ll only stop running, stop compensating, and open ourselves in trust to Him to do so. His penetrating gaze can search even the most painful areas of our lives; His gracious touch is what we need in order to heal’there are simply no substitutes; and that touch will leave us as men who intimately know what redemption means’men who are prepared to be ‘wounded healers’ in the lives of others.

Think about these. Pray about them. Taste of the Lord and see that He is good.