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.

Loving Through Impasses

Steve Arterburn

Men, just like with you, your wife’s weaknesses will create impasses and threaten marital oneness. What will you do to bring oneness from such impasses? Demand that she straighten up and fly right? Surely there’s a more effective way to help her when she needs guidance. Why not lay down your ‘rights’ as the leader and graciously love her through these impasses?

 

Men, I want to present you with a challenge today: Stop evaluating your wife and resenting her because she doesn’t perfectly measure up to your standards. Instead, start accepting and appreciating her’and show her that in practical ways. When you demand that she change, or manipulate her into changing, you actually cause her to dig in her heels in order to defend her ground and the person she is. But when you accept her and love her no matter what, she drops her guard. She stops digging in her heels because she feels free to be the best she can be. Free to change. Free to be the wife you need.

So if your approach has been to crow like a rooster over every one of your wife’s imperfections, I suggest you eat some crow. Confess your unloving attitude to God and to her, and watch what happens. If she’s like 98 percent of all women, she will draw closer to you. And your relationship will continue to grow for as long as you appreciate and accept her’imperfections and all.

Your Wife’s Weaknesses

Stephen Arterburn

Men, your wife’s weaknesses can create impasses that threaten oneness in your marriage, can’t they? Okay. So the next question should be: what can you do to address these impasses and facilitate unity? Surely, as her leader, you could demand that she straighten up and fly right? But it won’t help. In fact, it will probably make matters much worse. Surely you can find a more effective way to help her when she needs your support. Why not lay down your rights as the leader and graciously love her through these impasses?

 

Your wife’s weaknesses are as much a part of her as her gifts are, so you must not trample upon either of them. You love yourself and handle your own weaknesses with mercy and grace, don’t you? You hope others will make allowances and work patiently with them as you do, right? So allow your wife’s weaknesses to be expressed as freely as yours are. Then, in grace, work together in kindness and diligence at the impasse.

 

Guys, if your approach has been to crow like a rooster over every one of your wife’s imperfections, the time has come for you to eat some crow. Confess your unloving attitude to God and to her, and watch what happens. If she’s like 98 percent of all women, she’ll draw closer to you, and your relationship will continue to grow for as long as you appreciate and accept her’imperfections, weaknesses, and all.