Courting

Steve Arterburn

If you seriously want to learn how to meet your wife’s needs, you can. All you need to do is recall the initial process of getting to know your wife when you were courting. It wasn’t rocket science, and still isn’t: You spent hours and hours together talking and exploring one another’s personalities. And the most important thing you did was act on what you learned.

When you discovered your girl liked this music or that food or those flowers, you responded. There was nothing you wouldn’t do to show your love, and that you were serious about the relationship.

Once men leave the wedding reception, the get-to-know-you graph too often takes a dive like a dot-com stock in early 2000. Okay, maybe not quite that fast. But it begins falling nonetheless. Despite a guy’s best intentions to think otherwise, there’s something in him that says, ‘I know my wife. I wouldn’t have married her if I didn’t.’ The truth is, you only think you know her. You only know as much as the number of months of your courtship revealed. And more importantly, you only know what she’s disclosed.

My encouragement to every man who wants to know how to meet his wife’s needs is to begin, courting her afresh. If you’ll devote the same intensity and interest to your wife after marriage that you did before’and maintain that interest level throughout your marriage’you will learn your wife’s needs and how to better meet them.

Denial

Steve Arterburn

Men, you all know someone close to you’someone you’d trust with your life’but someone who struggles to tell you the truth. That ‘someone’ is you! And this self-directed deception is called denial. The Complete Life Encyclopedia defines denial as ‘an inability to see the truth about oneself’. Here’s what denial is: it’s a lie you tell yourself, and after you tell it, you cling to it and believe it.

We all struggle with denial. And it blurs your vision of many things’troubled or destructive relationships, sins you’re unwilling to acknowledge, overly optimistic goals, financial irresponsibility, physical illness, unresolved character issues, self-righteousness, and any number of situations you’d rather not see clearly.

But guys, if you seriously desire spiritual renewal, you must bring the all of your life under the umbrella of God’s grace. Even those areas you’ve closed off, and especially the lies you’ve tried to convince yourself are true.

One of the reasons denial is so dangerous is not only does it blind you to the problems you’re trying to avoid, but it also blinds you to the consequences that avoidance creates. The moment you open your eyes and see things clearly, accurately, and truthfully, you’ll also see the troubling results of your denial.

Yeah, you’re likely to fight with discouragement, and the urge to seek diversions and other ways to feel good. But these are cop-outs: denial in disguise. My challenge to you is that you allow your recognition of the truth to spur you to repentance, and then, to a joyful, grateful response to Him of service.

Temptation To Doubt

Steve Arterburn

 

 

The serpent’s words in the Garden of Eden were intended to plant a seed of doubt in the human heart. They subtly called God’s goodness into question, and as a result, challenged the basis upon which God’s trustworthiness rested. ‘Did God really say you mustn’t eat the fruit? Oh, you won’t surely die! God just knows that if you eat the fruit, you’ll become like Him.’

 

Notice how similar these words are to those spoken by the devil to Jesus in the desert. ‘If you’re the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.’ In other words, ‘Come on! Your Father isn’t providing for your needs. Just look at you. But, all isn’t lost. You simply have to trust in yourself. Take matters into your own hands. You are the Son of God, aren’t you?’

 

Both instances suggest that God is withholding something good. They also imply that it’s always bad to be without something we believe would be good to have.

 

In Eve’s case, the serpent implied that being without one particular fruit proved God’s selfishness. In Jesus’ case, the devil implied that being without food was an unacceptable condition for one claiming to be the Son of God.

 

These instances are consistent with what temptation looks life in your own life. Satan wants you to doubt God’s goodness, stray from His promises, and become, in effect, your own lord. Men, think about Satan’s methods and strategies, and set yourselves wholeheartedly against them.