Study Your Flower

Steve Arterburn

 

 

 

Women are like flowers. And your wife is like a delicate flower that spends years unfolding, revealing the beauty and grace’and perhaps scars and developmental wounds’within.

 

There are two parts to this flower-opening revelation: the opening itself and the observing of what is revealed. Flowers have to open up; wives don’t. Even when they do open up, husbands aren’t always sensitive enough to see what’s revealed and take it to heart. I have a feeling that a secret men harbor’namely that they don’t know how to meet their wives’ needs’is precisely because our sensors are picking up the signals we’re getting. Our wives are revealing who they are all the time’even in the so-called negative moments. We simply aren’t studious enough to conclude, ‘This word of mine met a need, but that comment or action didn’t. Guys, we need to be smarter. Make a mental note of these things for future reference.’

 

What you don’t know about your wife is being revealed as the flower unfolds and the pressures of life change: merging your money, balancing time, respecting preferences, having and raising children, adjusting to personal styles of living. And then there are families. A wife’s sensitivity to her immediate and extended family throws a huge set of variables into the mix.

 

I encourage you to be a student of your flower. Take notes of this precious gift, and love her accordingly.

Help Him Be That Man

Steve Arterburn

 

 

A man once said to D. L. Moody, ‘The world hasn’t yet seen what God can do with a man fully devoted to Him.’ Moody responded, ‘I’m that man!’ One of the differences between Moody’s generation and young men today is that sexual temptations are much more intense now than they were then.

Dads, what if your son were kept free from this draining struggle in the first place? What if his spiritual energy could be spent on God’s call and His Kingdom?

It can be done. Our generation hasn’t seen what God can do with an army of young men free from the burden of sexual temptation and sin. Have you worked hard enough to keep your son pure so that he might qualify for such an army in such a time as this? Can you yourself answer as D. L. Moody did when he said, ‘I’m that man!’

When your son questions what he should watch, how he should respond to the pornography surrounding him, and why he shouldn’t accept the opportunities he’ll have to experiment sexually during his teenage years, will you be there to give him the guidance he desperately needs? It won’t come from his classmates!

Dad, make your voice loud and crystal clear because it’ll likely be the only one which says, ‘Flee immorality, my son.’ And make sure your example matches your message. Stand in the gap, and help your son be God’s man.

Know Your Weaknesses

Steve Arterburn

 

 

We all have inherent weaknesses that make us vulnerable to particular kinds of sin, don’t we? That means something that’s a snare for one man may be completely harmless for another. But one thing we all have in common is that we each must accept responsibility for ourselves. That means you need to guard against anything that exploits our weaknesses and provides a situation where it will be easy for you to stumble into sin. 

 

It’s a mistake to think that temptation only exists outside of us. Problems happen when things outside of us stir up and stimulate dispositions already resident within us. James 1:14-16 says, ‘Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled.’

 

Men, part of taking responsibility for your own sinful desires means you need to identify and avoid locations, situations, or people that trigger temptation. It’s not always easy. Often such things seem innocent enough, and sometimes they’re things in which we find comfort’or escape.

 

But as difficult as this may be, it’s essential that you know yourself and your weaknesses well enough to know what is dangerous, what is harmful, and what is simply a waste of your time and energy. You’ll avoid a lot of grief and pain simply by avoiding those things that provide the opportunity and occasion to stumble.