Forgiving Ourselves

Steve Arterburn

For most of the wrongs you’ve done, you’re probably grateful and eager to accept God’s forgiveness. But sometimes we’re so shocked or ashamed or heartbroken over what we’ve done that we find it hard to believe that God could really forgive us. Yet God does forgive and he desires to restore you. He wants to redirect the course of your life for his service. But this can’t begin until you receive God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself.

Peter had once sworn his love for Jesus. He pledged even to die with Jesus if necessary. Yet that same night after Jesus was arrested, Peter sheepishly denied that he even knew Jesus. Jesus wasn’t surprised; he had already told Peter that Peter would deny knowing him three times. Jesus was ready to forgive Peter before he even betrayed Jesus. But Peter had a hard time forgiving himself.

After Jesus rose from the dead he asked Peter three times if Peter loved him. Peter had denied him three times and so Jesus gave him the chance to reaffirm his love three times. Jesus reached out to Peter.

When you’re disheartened by the things you’ve done, it can be difficult to receive God’s forgiveness. But God reaches out to us. Once you confess your sins, you need to let go of them. Find encouragement through the story of Peter. Once he accepted forgiveness, God was able to build him up and use him for His great purposes.

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