Weighing Your Options

Steve Arterburn

Okay, men, imagine that God offered you these two following options:

Option 1: Working twelve hours a day for two years in the business of your dreams, a commitment that would quadruple your income.

Or’

Option 2: Working twelve hours a day for two years to passionately live out the heart of a servant-leader when you’re at home, an effort that would quadruple your wife’s joy.

Be honest’or at least willing to consider each option. If you’re chasing after the next rung up the corporate ladder, then you’ve misappropriated your passion. If you’re willing to become a bondservant to your wife, then you’re worthy of your Lord’s daughter.

Let’s face it. If the passion’s not there in your marriage, you won’t find much oneness. Sure, you may be comfortable with your wife. As a mother, you may think she’s matchless. She may still knock your socks off when she slips into a sundress. Perhaps you can’t even imagine living without her.

But what do these feelings show? Many men feel them, but be very careful in your assessment of them: such sentiments don’t necessarily reveal that you’ve actually done anything more than love yourself in the marriage.

Men, it’s your passion for oneness and your passion for service that demonstrate that you love her. That’s what brings her joy on your journey together. If that passion’s not there, you must find it. But if it is, your motives for serving your wife will be true.

Portrait Of A Son

Steve Arterburn

There once lived a wealthy widower who shared a passion for collecting art with his beloved son. Priceless works adorned the family estate.

Then war interrupted. The son enlisted, and after only a few weeks, the father’s worst fears were realized: his son was killed in action.

Months later the bereaved old man was awakened by a visitor. “I was a friend of your son,’ said the stranger at the door, ‘He was rescuing me when he died. I have something to show you.”

The package contained a portrait of the man’s son! It wasn’t a masterpiece, but precious nonetheless. The old man was overcome with emotion and gratitude.

When the old man died, his paintings were slated for auction. The event began with a painting that wasn’t on the docket, the painting of the man’s son.

Bidding opened at $100. Silence. ‘Who cares about that painting?’ someone cried, ‘Let’s get to the good stuff.” Voices clamored in agreement.

Finally, an elderly gentleman asked, “Will you take $10? That’s all I have but I know the lad and would love to have the portrait.” After more silence, the auctioneer said, “Going once, going twice. Gone.”

Then to everyone’s surprise, the auctioneer closed the auction! Stunned disbelief filled the room. “What do you mean?’ voices demanded, ‘There’s still millions of dollars of art here!”

The auctioneer replied, “Simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes his son gets it all.’

Men, behold the glory of the gospel: whosoever takes the Son in faith receives all the Father’s benefits!

It’s Big Business

Steve Arterburn

Guys, when you think of big business in America, what comes to mind? Computers, oil, professional sports, the automotive industry? How about pornography? If it doesn’t, it should.

That’s because pornography is now considered to be more than a $10 billion-a-year business in America. Yes, you heard me correctly; I said billion! This isn’t exactly a new development either. As far back as 1985, the Ladies Home Journal gave an excellent expos’ regarding the extent of that industry’s sprawling empire. Listen to these findings:

         Americans spent far more on pornographic material than the $6.2 billion grossed by all three major television networks’ABC, NBC, and CBS’combined.

         More than 20 million Americans buy sexually oriented magazines every month.

         Fifteen percent of all videos sold in the United States are sexually explicit in nature.

The problem’s not getting better either. In fact, between 1985 and now, pornography’s become more accepted by mainstream culture, and more easily accessible to a wider audience’largely through growing mediums like cable and satellite television, and the internet. In other words, pornography possesses a large and ever-growing claim upon the inner lives, the leisure time, and the discretionary income of multiplied millions of Americans.

If you’re one of these people, you need to find a way to stop. This isn’t a harmless pastime. You’re destroying yourself, your loved ones, and contributing to our society’s undoing. Seek and secure whatever help you need, like our Every Man’s Battle workshop, but please stop!