Perseverance Under Pressure

Steve Arterburn

It’s easy to be God’s man when life is on a roll, isn’t it? But it’s another thing to be faithful in thought, word, and deed when you’re caught in the vortex of life’s storms. Yet that’s exactly when God’s man steps up to meet the challenge with integrity. The message is clear: perseverance under pressure pleases God. Some examples for you might be:

  • Staying the course in the absence of immediate results.
  • Seeking God in circumstances that are beyond your control.
  • Continuing to pray for God’s will to be done in every situation.
  • Doing God’s will whether you feel like it or not.
  • Being satisfied with a reward that may come in the next life rather than this one.
  • Staying sexually pure.
  • Striving for excellence and earning your paycheck, even if you’re not always particularly wild about your job.

Guys, this is what we’re faced with in living life day to day, and persevering is evidence that you’re living a life of faith. And your response both tests and reveals the true depth of your spiritual character.

Martin Luther said that the gospel is intended for your ears rather than your eyes. Why? Because the promises and purposes of God are not readily discernable to your sight. That’s why you’re called to walk by faith. And that’s why you must persevere, trusting in Jesus Christ.

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.

Rebooting Your Marriage

Steve Arterburn

I host a weekday call-in radio show with five other counselors called New Life Live! Since we handle many calls each day, it’s easy to spot common themes that arise.

One common theme is the one about blaming and judging a wife who ‘just isn’t enough’ for a man. It’s amazing the mental gyrations some men will go through not to take responsibility. One day we commented that the worst-selling T-shirt we could market would say, ‘It was my fault.’ No guys would buy it!

Here’s an idea for another T-shirt message: ‘You’re not to blame for my problems.’ But let’s not wait for that T-shirt to land in stores to own that truth. Because when we own this, we’re humbled and ready to do what needs doing: asking for forgiveness.

Every computer has a reboot key that allows for fresh starts. Everything cranks up as if it were doing it for the first time. For individuals, the reboot key is called confession. Confession realigns the person with God and removes the stain of denial. The reboot key for a relationship is asking for forgiveness. It places the relationship back at ground zero. It doesn’t ensure that forgiveness will be granted, but at least from the point of forgiveness the relationship has an opportunity to flourish. Men, if you and your marriage are stuck, consider the most humbling thing you can do: Ask your wife to forgive you.