Priorities

Steve Arterburn

‘I really don’t know what’s wrong with me,’ said forty-two-year-old Tyrone to his counselor.  ‘I’ve attained many of my personal and business goals.  But I’m still breeding ulcers, trying to climb up the ladder.  With all my success, I’m still bummed when someone else beats me to a big sale or a new account.  I have a wonderful wife and two great kids, but I kind of feel like an outsider when I’m with them.  I’m often around people and have lots of friends.  But I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t think they’re really enjoying me.  I’m afraid my dark moods are distancing me from the ones I love.  But I don’t know what to do about it.’

Tyrone looks and acts like the American Dream personified.  By all outward appearances he’s succeeded in the areas of life that really matter in our society: family, friends, career, and finance.  But like so many men, Tyrone’s warm smile and confident exterior mask a deep sadness and uncertainty.  He often wonders what’s really worthwhile in life.  Despite all the trophies he’s accumulated indicating he’s a winner, he always feels defeated.

Can you relate to Tyrone?   The pursuit of the American Dream has left many feeling alone and angry, because prosperity can’t be measured by money or even family.  Who does the Bible teach is prosperous or blessed?  Only when you seek to find joy in your Creator and not in His creation, will your soul begin to find significance and true happiness. Stop and assess where you seek your joy.

Where Is Your Heart?

Steve Arterburn

Is your marriage a delight to you? How does it compare with, say, your career or your favorite hobby when it comes to charging your engines? These aren’t things many men think about often, are they? And even when we do, it’s tough to get past our own defense mechanisms in order to get accurate answers.

This being the case, I’ve got a more practical and concrete way for you to answer these questions. Over the next several days, keep your eye out for these particular things as they show up in your daily life:

        Does your wife’s face brighten when you enter the room?

        Do you greet and part with a kiss, or some other form of affection?

        Does she respond positively to your embrace?

        Does talking happen often and proceed easily between the two of you?

        When she’s sad, or when she’s been hurt, is it you that she seeks?

        Do you think about her when she’s not around? If so, what kind of thoughts?

Guys, the observations you make with regard to these questions will go a long way in helping you discern where your heart is at with your wife. If you find a passion for oneness and a passion for serving her, that’s fantastic! Keep up the good work.

However, if you find that the passion isn’t there, don’t blow it off. It’s not okay. You need to seek it, find it, and fan it into flame.

The Intimidation Factor

Steve Arterburn

 

 

Do you ever feel intimidated when you’re in the presence of a woman? It’s important to examine the situation when you’re feeling anxious or unsettled. If your desire or need to lead and provide isn’t being met, it’s probably best to keep those feelings in check.

 

If you’ve been negative, critical, withdrawn, judgmental, self-pitying, angry, or anything less that supportive and appreciative when in the presence of a successful woman, you need to completely change your attitude. It’s clear that God has gifted women with incredible talents and abilities. If we men are not mature enough to recognize and celebrate those gifts, then we’re the ones at fault.

At the same time, you must recognize and celebrate your own instincts to lead and protect and look for appropriate opportunities to do so, and look for opportunity to discuss this with your successful wife. The apostle Paul exhorts husbands and wives to ‘submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’

I encourage you to examine your relationships with the women in your life. Many men confess to feeling intimidated by women. So ask yourself, What do I do when I see competence or confidence in a woman?  And remember, we are diverse, yet unified; different in gender, yet the same in humanity; we should be more confident and competent together than apart!