Positive Pain

Steve Arterburn

Sometimes forgiveness involves pain. When we confront people regarding betrayal, abandonment, abuse, deception, or other offenses, we’ll likely experience sorrow. We need to accept this as part of the consequences of sin and learn to freely express it to God. He can transform the pain associated with wrongdoing and bring about good for everyone involved.

Remember men: not all sorrow is bad for you. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Corinth that made them sad because he confronted them about wrongdoing. He initially regretted hurting them. But after reflection he wrote these words, which you can find in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10: ‘Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed’in any way. For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow.’

The grief Paul described was good. It was caused by his love for others in action, and accessed in light of honest self-evaluation. Like Paul, we too must learn that sometimes sorrow is a positive part of our spiritual growth. So when you’re confronted with it, don’t run from it and don’t reject it. Enter into it asking God to use it to direct the course of your life along redemptive paths.

Doing Good To Your Wife

Steve Arterburn

What’s it mean to do good by your wife? And how might you, as a husband, go about doing it? You might come up with things like laying a new bathroom floor, shoveling the car out after a snow storm, or taking out the garbage on time. These are fine and good, and we like them because they keep us in our comfort zone.

 

But what about providing your wife with spiritual leadership and stability? Now that’s doing her good’in fact, it’s the best you could do for her. Yet it’s also a scary proposition for many husbands. You might not even know where to start.

 

Here are five suggestions to set the spiritual thermostat in your house:

 

1)      Develop a knowledge of God’s word. This is a must. 

2)      As you learn about God, begin to submit yourself to Him more and more.

3)      Be consistent in your prayer and devotional life. Your consistency will instill your wife’s confidence in you.

4)      Go to church and worship with your wife. Your wife will benefit greatly from watching you worship and worshipping with you.

5)      Be quick to forgive and to seek her forgiveness when you need it. Your honesty and humility will speak volumes to her.

 

Men, you will bless your wife by leading her. If you do it tenderly and wisely, and by example, she’ll follow.

The ‘Sweeper’

Steve Arterburn

Guys, have you ever noticed that when a woman is feeling stressed or angry, she’ll often call a friend? Have you also noticed when guys feel those same things, we usually do just the opposite?

When it comes to dealing with emotions, most men run for the hills’alone. We tend not to be as good as our female counterparts at facing our feelings, let alone talking about them. Most of us have been trained to treat our emotions like dirty laundry ‘ we don’t want anything to do with them.

When our emotions surface, our internal ‘Sweeper’ moves to action. The sweeper is that part of our subconscious who methodically and logically eliminates the threat that rogue emotions present. The ‘Sweeper’s’ job is to prohibit any situation from heating up too much and to sweep stray emotions back under the surface, where we think they belong. The Sweeper’s job description looks something like this:

  • Hide and mask anger
  • Internalize pressure
  • Bury losses
  • Deny wounds
  • Withdraw in the face of hard truth
  • Deflect mistakes
  • Blame others
  • Hide struggles
  • Push others away
  • Excuse me from feeling the hurts of others

Men, does this sound familiar? If so, I think it’s time you put your Sweeper up for review, and seriously consider cleaning out his office. The ‘Sweeper’s’ so-called services are, in fact, doing you a great disservice.