Clarifying Male Sacrifice

Steve Arterburn

Guys, let’s get practical about sacrificial thinking. If we’re to love and serve our wives in the manner God desires, we must understand at least the following three things going on:

 

First, sacrificial thinking isn’t giving your wife everything she wants. It’s making sure her essence is expressed and honored equally alongside yours, in the same way the white stripe is expressed equally with the red on a candy cane.

Second, sacrificial thinking is more than taking her thoughts into consideration. It’s taking those thoughts and putting them into play with as much emphasis and care as you give your own thoughts’even if some of her thought processes may not make sense to you as a guy. If you don’t act upon them, there’ll be no oneness. She’ll feel trampled and disregarded, no matter how often you say, ‘But darling, I listened to you. I just felt my way was better.’

Third, you must develop your own style of carrying out this sacrificial thinking’a style that’s customized to the character and needs of your particular marital situation. You may not always agree with my answers. That’s fine. Answers aren’t nearly as important as the way of coming to them. Your wife is different from you wife’s best friend, and you’re different from me. Therefore, the answers may be different. But, men, the use of the servant mind-set must always be consistent among all of us if we wish to love our wives as ourselves.

Thinking Things Through

Steve Arterburn

Is your marriage a delight to you’or is your career or your hobby what really charges your engines? Do you exist in marriage for your wife, or does she exist to serve and further your interests and desires? Where do your greatest passions lie?

 

Guys, these are important questions you must ask yourself from time to time. But truth be told, you’re not always as skilled as you could be about examining your life. Furthermore, you’re not always as honest as you should be about the difference between what you formally profess to be true and the values you affirm by our day-to-day decisions and actions.

Therefore, I want to pose several questions for you to ponder over the next several days to help you discern the health of your marriage. My hope is that they’ll help you identify any areas and issues that need your attention. 

  • Does your wife’s face brighten when you enter the room? Does she rise to kiss you?
  • Does your wife long for your embrace? Does she love to chat with you, even about the so-called little things of life?
  • When her feelings have been hurt, or her dreams have been shattered, is it you that she seeks or does she turn elsewhere?
  • Do you guard her honor and preserve the integrity of your marriage, even when she’s out of sight?

Men, your wife’s a gift from God’a true treasure. Love and honor her accordingly!

Consistency In Spiritual Leadership

Steve Arterburn

Men, not only should you be comfortable in leading your family in worship, you should be the most consistent among them when it comes to cultivating your own personal life of worship. Remember, the character and quality of our public leadership is a direct by-product of the character and quality of our private discipleship. You simply can’t give your family what you don’t possess yourself.

Men, consistency in private discipleship brings intimacy with the Lord; and intimacy with the Lord puts you in the position to bring life and truth to your family. Without it, you’ll have little fresh understanding with which to guide them.

How consistent are you when it comes to praying? How consistently do you lead your family in Bible study and prayer? Sure, no one’s busier than you. I know that, and I share your predicament. But the simple reality remains: each of us must make it a top priority to carve out time in our day-to-day lives to lead our families in this area.

Remember guys, many of the most important issues in our children’s lives will be caught rather than taught. They’re watching your example. If you’re not praying together as a family, then all your talk about God’s being the center of your marriage and family is just that’talk.

Make family worship or devotional time a priority. Be disciplined about following through. Model your faith with action. It’ll give your family someone to respect and someone to emulate.