The ‘Sweeper’

Steve Arterburn

Guys, have you ever noticed that when a woman is feeling stressed or angry, she’ll often call a friend? Have you also noticed when guys feel those same things, we usually do just the opposite?

When it comes to dealing with emotions, most men run for the hills’alone. We tend not to be as good as our female counterparts at facing our feelings, let alone talking about them. Most of us have been trained to treat our emotions like dirty laundry ‘ we don’t want anything to do with them.

When our emotions surface, our internal ‘Sweeper’ moves to action. The sweeper is that part of our subconscious who methodically and logically eliminates the threat that rogue emotions present. The ‘Sweeper’s’ job is to prohibit any situation from heating up too much and to sweep stray emotions back under the surface, where we think they belong. The Sweeper’s job description looks something like this:

  • Hide and mask anger
  • Internalize pressure
  • Bury losses
  • Deny wounds
  • Withdraw in the face of hard truth
  • Deflect mistakes
  • Blame others
  • Hide struggles
  • Push others away
  • Excuse me from feeling the hurts of others

Men, does this sound familiar? If so, I think it’s time you put your Sweeper up for review, and seriously consider cleaning out his office. The ‘Sweeper’s’ so-called services are, in fact, doing you a great disservice.

Clarifying Male Sacrifice

Steve Arterburn

Guys, let’s get practical about sacrificial thinking. If we’re to love and serve our wives in the manner God desires, we must understand at least the following three things going on:

 

First, sacrificial thinking isn’t giving your wife everything she wants. It’s making sure her essence is expressed and honored equally alongside yours, in the same way the white stripe is expressed equally with the red on a candy cane.

Second, sacrificial thinking is more than taking her thoughts into consideration. It’s taking those thoughts and putting them into play with as much emphasis and care as you give your own thoughts’even if some of her thought processes may not make sense to you as a guy. If you don’t act upon them, there’ll be no oneness. She’ll feel trampled and disregarded, no matter how often you say, ‘But darling, I listened to you. I just felt my way was better.’

Third, you must develop your own style of carrying out this sacrificial thinking’a style that’s customized to the character and needs of your particular marital situation. You may not always agree with my answers. That’s fine. Answers aren’t nearly as important as the way of coming to them. Your wife is different from you wife’s best friend, and you’re different from me. Therefore, the answers may be different. But, men, the use of the servant mind-set must always be consistent among all of us if we wish to love our wives as ourselves.

It’s Big Business

Steve Arterburn

Guys, when you think of big business in America, what comes to mind? Computers, oil, professional sports, the automotive industry? How about pornography? If it doesn’t, it should.

That’s because pornography is now considered to be more than a $10 billion-a-year business in America. Yes, you heard me correctly; I said billion! This isn’t exactly a new development either. As far back as 1985, the Ladies Home Journal gave an excellent expos’ regarding the extent of that industry’s sprawling empire. Listen to these findings:

         Americans spent far more on pornographic material than the $6.2 billion grossed by all three major television networks’ABC, NBC, and CBS’combined.

         More than 20 million Americans buy sexually oriented magazines every month.

         Fifteen percent of all videos sold in the United States are sexually explicit in nature.

The problem’s not getting better either. In fact, between 1985 and now, pornography’s become more accepted by mainstream culture, and more easily accessible to a wider audience’largely through growing mediums like cable and satellite television, and the internet. In other words, pornography possesses a large and ever-growing claim upon the inner lives, the leisure time, and the discretionary income of multiplied millions of Americans.

If you’re one of these people, you need to find a way to stop. This isn’t a harmless pastime. You’re destroying yourself, your loved ones, and contributing to our society’s undoing. Seek and secure whatever help you need, like our Every Man’s Battle workshop, but please stop!