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!

A Matter Of Style

Steve Arterburn

Men, when I talk about becoming a servant to your wife, I’m not advocating a surrender of your God-ordained calling to provide leadership in your marriage. That would merely be trading one expression of unfaithfulness and one set of problems for another. Instead, I’m talking about giving up misguided and flawed styles of leadership for a more biblical pattern; a pattern that won’t trample your wife’s spirit, but will provide the context for your marriage to blossom.

Guys, the posture of your servant-leadership in marriage is two-fold. You’re both servant and leader. The balance is delicate. Overemphasis or misunderstanding of either aspect creates imbalance and distortion. For instance, if you lead by being a king of the realm, and lording that role over your wife, resentment is sure to be a result. At the same time, if in serving you abdicate your role of male leadership you may force your wife to assume that role and that creates problems in the marriage dynamics.

Both extremes are damaging because they distort God’s design for marriage’that is, marriage no longer parallels Christ’s relationship to His bride, the Church.

Men, true, biblical, servant-leadership doesn’t promote either of these extremes. True servant-leaders lead, but do so in a manner that creates oneness and radiance in their wives. 

Physical Intimacy

For woman, physical intimacy flows naturally from relational intimacy within marriage. So, guys, if you’ve been remiss on learning the style of servant-leadership that creates and fosters relational intimacy with your wife, you’re probably experiencing an unsatisfying sex life with your wife. That’s perfectly natural. In fact, it’d be strange if it were otherwise, since relational and physical intimacy are bound together.

A pastor once said, ‘See that chair over there? That’s my counseling chair. Do you know what complaint I hear most often from married men? I’m just not having enough physical intimacy with my wife.’

My own experience in ministry confirms this. Readers of my book Every Man’s Battle send e-mails asking a variation of one basic question: ‘How can I get my wife to desire physical intimacy with me?’

Well, men, let me turn that question toward you: why don’t more wives desire more physical intimacy with their husbands? The answer isn’t mysterious. In the vast majority of cases, wives feel they have no real relational intimacy with their husbands. These women don’t feel loved and honored in a way that creates a desire within them for physical intimacy.

But here’s some news that should inspire you: every man I know who practices servant-leadership in his marriage also experiences a corresponding spike in physical intimacy with his wife. Men, you can’t put the cart before the horse. Cultivate relational intimacy with your wife, and physical intimacy will naturally follow.

– Steve Arterburn