Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Friday: Harry Potter

Today's topic comes from a question one of my facebook followers asked. She said, "I'm wondering how many parents I guess christian parents would or do let there kids watch Harry Potter movies."

Let me start this by saying that this is one of the most difficult posts I have written so far. Harry Potter is a very beloved character to millions of people around the world and I have many friends and even family members that read the books and love the movies. I fully understand that I may not change anyone's mind and most will likely not agree with what I have to say on this subject. But regardless, I am going to be completely honest and give my opinion on the subject of Harry Potter and I apologize right now for the length of this post.

For anyone who is not familiar with these books or the story behind them, here is the brief explanation found on Wikipedia's website. "Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's quest to overcome the evil dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aim is to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people, and who seeks to destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry himself."

When this question was first asked of me I was very nervous about it, I had a very basic idea of the story line but had never fully looked into it. And while I am far from an expert on this subject, I have done quite a lot of research and study over the last 2 weeks so that I can intelligently talk about this subject. I watched the first movie, looked up tons of information on the internet, read articles from Christian's perspective as well as articles written by members of Wicca.

Let me say right from the beginning that I do not support, promote or agree with Harry Potter at all. I firmly believe that as Christians, these are books and movies that should be kept out of our homes and away from our children. Now for all the fans of Harry Potter that may be reading this, I ask that you please bare with me and read what i'm going to say with an open heart and mind before just tuning me out altogether!

I believe that the dangers in this book and in the character of Harry Potter are actually very simple. Harry is a witch, he goes to a school that teaches him how to perform witchcraft and the entire story is about witches. The bible is very clear about the fact that Christians are to have NOTHING to do with witchcraft. Period. It doesn't matter how cute the witch in question is. It doesn't matter if it's portrayed as "fantasy". It doesn't matter if you are unpopular for doing so. It doesn't matter!

As I said, the bible is clear that we are to stay away from all forms of witchcraft and honestly, most Christians wouldn't really argue that point. We know the bible is clear about that. But for some reason when it comes to Harry Potter so many Christians excuse it because these books are labeled "fantasy" and therefore it's ok to allow their children to read the books and watch the movies. But the problem with the whole "It's just fantasy" argument is, it's not just fantasy. Witchcraft is very, very real. Demons and sorcery are all very real, there is absolutely nothing fake about it.

These books have taken witchcraft and demonic forces and made these things completely normal and very glamorized for children for the first time in history. Witchcraft is now being given to kids in a children's format, and now kids are seeing witchcraft performed by other kids and everyone around them is saying it's more than ok, it's actually a wonderful thing. This satanic religion is being promoted on a children's level and is teaching them how to perform real witchcraft, all with their parents approval because it's "fantasy". Does anyone else see the problem with this?

In my study for this post, I discovered that you can actually get online and attend real schools of witchcraft and get certified as a practicing witch or wizard. So kids see Harry Potter having a difficult home life with a family that just doesn't like him, but he escapes it all by going to this school and learning how to be a wizard. Maybe if they become a wizard too that will help solve some of their problems with their family! Again, does anyone else see the problem with this? The powers that Harry taps into in the books and movies are the powers that kids want to be able to tap into themselves. But these powers are not just pretend, they are very real and very demonic powers.

There are so many examples of real witchcraft being brought into the story of Harry Potter. For example, the lightening bolt on his forehead is actually the satanic "S" which according to satanists "symbolizes Satan as our True Creator God".
In the game Quidditeh, Harry is made the "Seeker". In witchcraft, a seeker is known as anyone who is interested in learning witchcraft. But now because of the movie, a seeker in witchcraft is something wonderful and a high honor.
Owls are very good friends to the children and are one of the animals they are asked to bring with them to school. In Wicca, owls are very symbolic. This is a quote from a Wiccan website. "Owls, with their vaunted wisdom, have long been seen as a Wicca symbol, since Witches also seek to understand the Mysteries. Owls share the gift of vision with Witches who honour them. Witches also can see what is imperceptible to others."
The Jack-O-Lanters floating over the kids on Halloween in the movie is also very symbolic. Jack-O-Lanters were originally believed to hold demon spirits in them. People would place them on their porches and if it was hideous enough it would keep all the other demons from entering their house. And in this movie, they were freely floating over the children...

I actually found a witches website that goes through and lists several spells that are cast in these movies that are real spells. I was going to post the link to it but to be honest, i'm not comfortable posting a link to a witches website on my blog. But the fact is, if you really look into it you can not buy the lie that these books are just "fantasy" anymore. Yes, Harry Potter himself is not a real person, I will give you that one. But everything surrounding him is very real and by allowing your children to participate in these movies, you are allowing them to open themselves up to the demonic forces behind it.

I really wish this was a grey area. I wish this was something that could be ok. I know so many people that love this story and I wish I could just smile and say it's wonderful that your children are reading such a big book. But I can't. The fact is, it's demonic. It is something the bible says very clearly to stay away from. In Galatians 5 it says that anyone living a life of witchcraft or sorcery will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This isn't something to play with. This isn't something you should allow your children to play with. It's not a game. It's very real! It was created by the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy, and who wants very much to destroy your life and the lives of your children.

Never forget that this life is a constant battle. Satan will use anything he can to get a hold of your children and rip them to shreds, even an eleven year old, spectacle wearing boy named Harry Potter.

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." ~ Ephesians 6:10-18

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my facebook page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7 Things To Minimize

In my last post I talked about trying to change your spouse and how that's just not something you can do. I ended it by reminding you that you are the only person you can change. Anytime I hear someone talk about all the things they wish their spouse would change I always want to ask "And what do you need to change?"

I remember several years ago getting a copy of Stormie Omartian's book "The Power of a Praying Wife". I bought it because I thought it would show me how to change my husband through prayer, which is of course the more spiritual way to go about it. However the very first chapter focused on me. She spent 23 pages talking about all the things I needed to do, the things I needed to work on and change about myself and my interactions with him. I was so angry that I closed the book and didn't open it again for about another year! See I wanted him to change so much about himself but wasn't willing to focus on all the many things I needed to change about myself. So i'm not even going to attempt to tell you how to change your spouse or things that they should be doing differently. Instead, let's talk about you! First off, here are things you need to minimize and try to get out of your relationship...

1. Minimize Complaints
It is so easy to just sit around and complain about your spouse. I think way too often when talking to your friends or family members, people do nothing but complain about their spouse instead of building them up. But it is so important to not do that! If you are having any trouble with your spouse and your family not getting along, check yourself in this area. Do you complain about your spouse to your family? If so, this could be playing a HUGE part in their opinion of your spouse without you even realizing it.

2. Minimize Correction
For us girls this can be a big one! We get so busy correcting our kids all day long and when our husbands get home we stay in correction mode. This isn't a good thing! Remember, your spouse is a grown person, fully capable of making decisions and functioning without your correction. Each time you correct them you are simply telling them you don't think they are capable of behaving like a responsible adult. Do your best to just cut out correcting them.

3. Minimize Judgement
It's so easy to be critical and judgmental of those around you, but especially of your spouse. You know all the best and the worst about them and quite often can be the most judgmental of those qualities. But something to remember is, if you create a judgmental atmosphere in your home, everyone will always be pointing fingers and judging. It doesn't just stay between you and your spouse, it transfers to your kids!

4. Minimize Self-focus
To have a successful relationship you have to take your eyes and your focus off of yourself! Forget about getting attention and instead, focus on giving it to your spouse. I think this is one of the most important things you can do! Stop worrying about what you want and need and worry about what your spouse wants and needs. When you both do this, you are both constantly being taken care of.

5. Minimize Vain and Empty Imaginations
I did an entire post on Your Pretend Spouse and really dealt with this issue in-depth so i'll only talk about it briefly here. Whenever you spend all of your time focusing on what your spouse isn't doing and who they aren't, you keep yourself and your marriage in a state of unhappiness. Not only that, but when you do those things you don't even allow your spouse the opportunity to change because you're so focused on what they're not doing you never see what they are doing. If you deal with this, please read the link above! I give several things you can do to get out of this habit.

6. Minimize Accusations
I know that it's human nature to point the blame at someone else when something goes wrong but remember, as a Christian you are no longer controlled by your human nature! Anytime you are tempted to point your finger at your spouse and blame them turn that finger on yourself. Anytime you find yourself in the middle of a fight with your spouse understand that you are at least partly to blame, it really does take two people to fight. Even if your spouse did do something wrong, the minute you enter into a fight and start accusing them you are just as much at fault. Nothing gets accomplished in a fight!

7. Minimize Drama
This is a big one for me! I am a very dramatic person so I tend to bring drama into our relationship as well as any arguments we have. I have found that when I keep drama out of the equation things get resolved so much quicker! Life is hard enough without making things more dramatic than they really are so do everything you can to keep the drama out.

Since I do my "Fun Friday" posts each Friday I will continue this topic next Monday when I talk about 8 things you need to maximize in your relationship.

Monday, July 25, 2011

You Can't Change Them!!!

There are a couple of things to talk about when talking about change in a marriage, so I’m just going to take them one at a time.

I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make in the married world is marrying someone with the intent to change them. This seems to be a huge struggle for us girls! We were created with a tendency to "mother" those around us, and as a mother to our children it is our job to train and guide them. But I think very often we can start to transfer those tendencies onto our husbands and start mothering him. That is never a good thing!

This can be a very tricky area sometimes. I believe there is nothing wrong with expecting things from your spouse. There is a certain give and take that comes with marriage and when either one of you are not keeping up with your end of things it can throw your whole marriage off. However, it's very important to remember that you can not force your spouse to do these things or to change their personality in any way!

When my husband and I first got married I made the very common mistake of thinking I could change him into my idea of who he should be. He loved to play video games, he liked to hang out with a friend of his, he liked to play around on the computer messing with this goofy thing called Photoshop and it drove me completely crazy! I didn't feel that he was being a good husband and then father when our son was born. So I made it my job to change him into the person I thought he should be. Let me admit right now that I was a complete and utter failure at it! My husband is a completely different person now than he was when we first married but it had nothing at all to do with me.

I would love to be able to tell you to just do A, B and C and you can change your spouse, but I just can't do that. You see, you have absolutely no ability to change your spouse. It's not possible. There is nothing you can to do change their personality or their very nature. Nothing. The sooner you understand that and accept it the better off your marriage will be.

Now, does that mean there is nothing in your spouse that needs to change? Not at all! As I said before, there were plenty of things about Colby that he needed to change. It simply was, and is, impossible for me to change him. That is only something God and Colby can do. If there is something that needs changed in your spouse, He is the only one that can be effective at all. You getting in there and trying to fix the problem will do nothing but make it worse.

The only person you can change is you. Period. Now I know we all have a tendency to see to see what our spouse and others around us need to change but believe it or not, there's a pretty good chance that you have plenty to work on in yourself. See, if you focus on what you need to change, and your spouse focuses on what they need to change, that will cause your marriage to grow and improve so quickly.

So for the next few days, every time you see something in your spouse that you want them to change take that time to pray for them. If it's something you really feel they need to change, then ask God to work on them. But, for everything you want them to change, I want you to look at yourself and find something you need to change. Believe me, you will find things! As soon as you take the magnifying glass off of your spouse and put it on yourself, you'll be shocked at what you find!

Next we're going to talk about some things we need to maximize and minimize in our marriages. It's going to be great! :o)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun Friday: Words, Words, Words

The topic for this Friday's post is on words. One of my facebook followers posted this on my wall... "I would love to hear your thoughts on "Words" in a marriage. Like how they can build or destroy your marriage relationship. How a person's past experiences or how they were raised can affect the words they speak and how to change the way we speak to each other."

Words. Everything in our life is surrounded by words. But how much thought do you put into the words you speak? We talk about everything in life but often times I think we speak without thinking first. Not only can doing so hurt people but I believe that words are power holders and every word you speak you releases power.

Think about this for a minuet, at the very beginning of the bible God goes through and explains how the universe and everything in it was created. Have you ever noticed that it was all done through the words God spoke? That's it, just words. His words created everything. Then if you look over in Mark 11 you'll see Jesus curse a fig tree and it withers up from the roots and dies. Again, He used only his words but this time instead of His words bringing life they brought death.

Now how does this relate to marriage? The bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" and I believe that is in any area of your life. But lets talk specifically about the words you speak in your marriage. I believe that the person you are most careless in your words with is your spouse. They hear it all! If you're anything like me, you just spew the good the bad and the ugly over them all the time. Colby is the person I talk about everything to, both good and bad. He's also the person I can get the angriest with, and when i'm angry I speak angry words.

Have you ever said words like "You're a horrible husband/wife!" "I hate being married!" "I want a divorce" or any other number of statements like this? Did you realize that with every word you spoke, you released death into your marriage? I've said before that one of my favorite sayings is "Inside every man there is a king and a fool. Which one are you talking to?" I believe that whichever one you talk to, that's the one you will see. The reason for that is, with your words you are speaking life into either the king or the fool in him. It's so important to only speak life into the king inside your husband! The king is the one you want to rise up in him, not the fool!

I believe simply speaking the word "divorce" in your marriage causes so much damage! The very definition of this word is "To cut off; separate or disunite" and every single time you speak it you are releasing that into your marriage. Remember, death and life are in the power of your tongue. Are yours speaking death over your marriage or life? Instead of saying things like "I want a divorce" say things like "No matter what, I refuse to get a divorce!" You can take control of a situation simply with your words! God created the entire universe simply with His words and He has given you that same power. Take that power and use it with complete authority!

Now I know that things in your past and your background can effect who you are and how you view things but Romans 12:2 says "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God". It doesn't matter what is in your past, as a Christian, you are to be completely transformed in your mind, spirit and body. I'm not saying it's easy! My parents divorced when I was 15 and i'll be honest, sometimes it seems impossible for my husband and I to make our marriage last. After all, everyone around us is getting divorced so why are we any different right? Wrong! When thoughts like that creep into your heart and mind remember that 2 Corinthians 10:5 says "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ".

I believe that you absolutely can change how you speak to and about your spouse and marriage. It isn't something that happens over night by any means, but it can be done. It is something that takes a constant and conscious effort though. You don't just wake up speaking different i'm sorry to say! You have to make the choice each day, and sometimes each hour, to speak life instead of death. I think a great way to change how you speak is to make certain words off limits. Obviously the first word is divorce. You should never make a habit of allowing that to be a part of your vocabulary. But other than that word, get very picky about what you cut out. It's ok to get serious and really cut out negative words in your marriage. Remember, your words release power. Negative words release negative power into and over your marriage.

Find good words to replace the negative words. Begin to find ways to speak life into your marriage and over your spouse. I remember when things were the worst between Colby and I , I had so many people around me speaking bad about my husband and my marriage. As a defensive measure I would counter everything they said. I would say things like "He is going to be a great husband and father" "We are going to make it through this" "We aren't going to get a divorce" and many other things like this. I said them over and over and over and you know what? They came to pass! I was constantly (and honestly without even realizing) speaking life into my marriage and my husband. So find every area you can to replace "death words" with "life words" and I truly believe that you will be shocked with how things can change!

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below, leave a comment on my facebook page or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

This post is linked up with Homemaker By Choice and Time-Warp Wife.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Your Heart: Part 2

When talking about what's in your heart there's no better place to go than the bible. Because the state of your heart is so important, it is addressed many times. In fact, as with many other issues we face in life, all the answers to this problem can be found there.

My two favorite verses that talk about the importance of this issue are...

Proverbs 4:23 which says, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Matthew 12:34 which says, "Whatever is in your heart determines what you say." Or I love how the Message version puts it. "It's your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words."

Have you ever said something and later tried to take it back by simply saying "Oh I didn't really mean that." or "Well that's not really what I meant. What I meant was..."? This is what that verse is talking about. It's only a matter of time before what is in your heart to come out in your words and actions. We have a tendency to think thoughts and dwell on things and feelings which isn't always a bad thing, but the problem comes when you think bad thoughts and dwell on bad things. Now lets bring this into the area of your marriage.

When you're married there will come a point when your spouse does or says something to hurt you. You are two human beings living together all the time, it's going to happen. But what you do with those hurts is so important. You have two choices when your spouse does something to hurt you. You can work through that hurt and forgive them or you can store it in your heart and let it fester and grow.

You know the old saying "Let's get to the heart of the issue"? Well that's what we need to do in our marriage sometimes. But a lot of times I don't think the heart of the issue is what your spouse did to hurt you. I think the heart of the issue is simply our hearts. At some point, and often times completely unconsciously, our heart gets turned away from our spouse. They can do something to hurt us and instead of choosing to forgive them we hang onto it, we hold it and store it up in our hearts. And when you do that you bring nothing but harm to your marriage.

Luke 6:45 says "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

What treasure do you have held in your heart towards your marriage? Is it evil or is it good? Whichever one it is, that's what it will produce in your marriage.

So what do you do if your heart has turned from your spouse and you've let things fester and grow? Again, let's go to the bible for the answers.

Proverbs 23:26 says "My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways."

The very first thing you have to do is give it to God. You have to give all that hurt, anger, and resentment to God. He already knows it's there, there's no use pretending that it's not. And He's the only one that can help you get rid of it.

The second thing you need to do is get in the Word. He says in that verse "Observe My ways". The bible is full of God's thoughts and His ways to make this life work. He created marriage so of course He has given us the tools we need to make it work. But in order to find those tools you have to get in His word, find them and then put them to use.

Colossians 3:5 says "So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires."

That's the next thing you have to do. You have to quickly and completely put all those thoughts to death. There is no room to entertain them even a little bit. Thoughts of division and anger towards your spouse do nothing but grow. They will never stay small and hidden. Don't believe the lie that they aren't hurting your marriage! You have to quickly and completely get them out of your heart and your thoughts.

Pslam 51:10 says "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me."

I think this is probably the most important part of it all. Anytime you start to feel your heart turn from your spouse and your marriage, this verse has to become your prayer! You have to keep a clean heart and loyal spirit towards your spouse all the time. The minute your heart becomes disloyal towards him/her you open up a foothold for Satan to destroy your marriage. We have to understand that Satan absolutely hates marriage and wants nothing more than to destroy every single one! But I do believe we can do things to divorce-proof our marriages and each of those things starts in your heart. It may seem like an overreaction but remember, "Guard your heart about all else, for it determines the course of your life" and I believe the course of your marriage.

If this is something you struggle with, make a habit of praying Psalm 51:10 over yourself towards your marriage everyday. God already knows the state of your heart and marriage so why not turn to Him for all the help and answers you need?!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Your heart

I have talked about many marriage issues (and have many more to talk about) but before I go on to anything else I feel the need to discuss the issue of your heart. Now i'm not going to pretend to know every persons marital situation, you could be in a great marriage, you could be struggling in a very difficult marriage or you may just be somewhere in between. But I believe the issue of your heart is something every person needs to deal with regardless of where you're at in your marriage.

As i've shared before, there was a time in my marriage when I wanted out. I was done trying, I was done with Colby, I was just done. I didn't care that I had promised forever to him, I was through. I felt that our bad marriage was his fault and anything I had done wrong was a result of the things he had done wrong. I had reasons, excuses and justifications for every bad choice I made. Want to know what the real problem was? My heart.

Did you catch the blame game going on there? It wasn't me, it was him. I wasn't wrong, he was. Let me tell you something, you will never get anywhere by blaming someone else for the situation you are in! Yes there were things my husband had done wrong, there were actions and behaviors that were wrong but I had control over myself, my heart and how I responded to him.

I once heard the actor Kirk Cameron say "The heart of the problem in my marriage is the problem of my heart". That may be a little hard to take for some people, after all, there's nothing easier than pointing the blame on other people! But forget about your spouse for a moment and focus on yourself. Where are you at? What is in your heart? What is your heart towards your spouse? your children? your family? I believe that you can get all the tips, tricks and techniques to make a marriage work but if you don't get to the core heart issues, it's all worthless.

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 4:23. It says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life". See, your heart determines your actions. Before I ever started making wrong choices in my marriage it started in my heart. In my heart I focused on all the things wrong with my husband and it didn't take long at all for those thoughts in my heart to come out in my actions.

You have to be real about where your heart is at if you ever hope to change it. We all know that God sees our hearts but sometimes it's easy to push that thought aside and forget about it. But look at Jeremiah 17:9-10...
"The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be."

God sees it. You can hide it from everyone else but God still sees it. Your spouse may have no clue but God sees it.

I'm going to talk more about this in my next post and give some suggestions on how to work on any heart issues you may have. But until then, spend some time in prayer. Ask God to show you what you need to change in your heart. We've already established that He sees it all and knows exactly where you are. Who better to go to with the struggles you may be having?!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Friday: Gossip

For this weeks Fun Friday, I get to talk about gossip. I think this is something that almost every single person has dealt with. I would be willing to bet that everyone at some point in their life has been a victim of gossip as well as spread it themselves. Most people think of gossip as telling something about another person that's not true. It's like, as long as you know what you're talking about is true, it's not gossip and it's ok to share it right? Not exactly.

The definition of the word gossip is, "Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature. Trivial, chatty talk or writing. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts."

I will admit that gossip is something I struggle with. For some reason it can almost feel good to know that you have the latest and juiciest gossip about whatever situation is going on around you. When gossip begins, whatever is being shared can very quickly change. It may start out true but it doesn't take long at all to get twisted, added to and embellished. After all, each person sharing the gossip wants to be able to tell the newest and juiciest part of the story. But what about the other end of it? What about when you are the one being gossiped about? That can be one of the worst feelings and it tears people down so quickly.

Let's look at what the bible says about this subject. Ephesians 4:29-32 in the amplified version says,
29Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him],
by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).
31Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).
32And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

The bible says to let no foul language or evil words come out of your mouth, but it goes on to say also let no worthless talk come out of your mouth! This kind of talk grieves God's heart.

Have you ever just said worthless things about someone? Say you see someone in clothes that you thought were ugly, and you shared those thoughts with a friend. Or a parent walks by with their kids and you comment on how horrible those kids are after they've walked by. Or you see another couple and comment on how bad their marriage seems to be and how it wouldn't surprise you at all if they end up divorced. Everyone of these falls under "worthless talk" and it grieves the very heart of God.

I think church's are often breading grounds for gossip. See, we can talk about and tell people pretty much anything as long as it's followed by a promise to pray for whomever you're talking about. But the bible is very blunt about this type of person. James 1:26 says,
26If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren).

As Christians, we have a huge responsibility to hold, or bridle as the bible says, our tongues. By not doing that you make all your other service, and everything else you do for Christ completely worthless. The words we speak to and about others can completely destroy our testimony and credibility. Also, when you speak like this you are completely fooling yourself about your christian walk. You can not follow Christ and lead people to Him if you are a gossip and have no control over your own tongue.

Take some time and examine your heart. Ask God to show you if you've been guilty of gossip and worthless talk, and if so, work on becoming useful, kind and tenderhearted with your words towards those around you. And in the future, try to not even put yourself in a position to hear or share gossip. Anytime you feel the desire to gossip or spread any kind of worthless talk, just ask God to hold your tongue.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mother-In-Law...I Need To Tell You Something

"A daughter is a daughter for life. A son is a son until he takes a wife."

I remember the first time I held my son just moments after he was born. I stared at his perfect little face, counted his tiny fingers, kissed his head and thought of this saying. I realized at that moment the count down clock had started. I only have a few years as the primary woman in his life, and those years are flying by.

When your son gets married your role in his life drastically changes. While you are still a very important person in your son's life, your role does change and you do have to take a step back. There is just no getting around that fact. This right here is I believe one of the main things that can cause friction between mothers-in law and daughters-in-law. You now have two women competing for the primary role in one mans life, and since there can of course only be one, problems arise.

I have spent some time looking around online at different books and writings that address mothers-in-law and how they should handle the relationship with their daughters-in-law. Most of them sound a lot alike! There seems to be a lot of "Just butt out" conversations going on, but that just doesn't seem very helpful to me. So I decided to try coming at this from a bit of a different angle. It's always helpful to know where someone is coming from when you are in conflict with them but chances are, your daughter-in-law would have a very hard time telling you some of these things. So for all you mothers-in-law out there, here are a few things it seems that many daughters-in-law would like for you to know...

1. By marrying me, your son has taken on a new family focus.
While I fully understand that you and your family are still very important to your son, I am now his primary family and therefore his focus does need to be on us and our family. I need you to respect my role as his wife and honor his focus on our family.

2. I do things different than you. Not wrong, just different.
We are two different women with two different backgrounds so of course we handle things differently. There is nothing wrong with the fact that I do things different and I would rather you not point it out every time. I appreciate how you clean your home and cook your food, but please understand that I may do a lot of it different. It is ok! While I do appreciate your concern, I feel that the best way for us to be close is for you to let me do things my way in my own home.

3. I have different traditions.
I do have different traditions when it comes to holidays and birthdays, and your son and I will take on some of those traditions. Please give us the freedom to do that. Understand that we do want to be with you and your family on those important days but we do also want to have our own traditions and they may clash with some of your traditions. Again, it is ok. We are forming a new family and with that comes new traditions. Please allow us that freedom.

4. Your son does make his own decisions and opinions.
I know that it may seem like I make all of his decisions for him but trust me, I don't! He is a grown man and does a great job of leading our family and making decisions that he feels are best for us. Please don't be so quick to brush it off simply because it is a different decision than you expected him to make.

5. How you raised your children is not necessarily how I want to raise my children.
We do come from different backgrounds and because of that I am going to raise our children different than you raised yours. You had the freedom to raise your children how you felt best, so please, please give me that same freedom. Please respect the fact that I am their mother and am doing the very best that I can. As much as you may think you are helping by offering advice regularly, please try to hold back on the advice unless it is asked for. That may sound harsh but the truth is, the constant advice only makes it seem like you think i'm not doing a good enough job.

6. Honor my rules and instructions with my children.
I will at some point make rules for my children that you may not agree with but it is so important for you to honor them anyways! I am not asking you to agree with me, but when you are around them I have to be able to trust you to honor me as their mother and respect my instructions for them. If I can't trust you it will be difficult to have them around you.

7. Remember how it felt when you were a new daughter-in-law.
I'm sure that at some point you had conflict with your mother-in-law. Please try to see where I am coming from in these situations! Instead of pointing out what I need to change, please take that time to simply pray for me and your son. We are both doing the very best we can at building our family. While I may not always do a perfect job, I do love your son more than I love any other person in this world and am always doing the very best I can in this role of his wife.

I have just a couple of things to say to both mother-in-law and daughter-in-law and then i'll be done with this subject. At times it may feel like the two of you are in a war over this one man, but you need to remember something. You are fighting over the very thing that brought you together! You both love this man in a very unique way and you both want the very best for him. Both of you need to learn to respect the role you each have in his life and in your family.

Also, I don't care how bad the problem is, it was not caused by one person and can therefore not be fixed by one person. It is not possible for one person in a relationship involving at least three people to fix things all by themselves. It will take all of you working and sacrificing your way and opinions to make it work.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let's Talk About the In-Laws

The relationship between you and your in-laws will be one of the trickiest relationships of your life...until you become the in-law. My in-laws and I have had a very difficult relationship, a lot of hurt on both sides and a lot of things to work through. I've learned a lot from our relationship and I hope to carry what i've learned into my relationships with my sons and daughter-in-law. So because there are two sides to this relationship i'm going come at this from both of those sides. Let's start by talking to the sons and daughters-in-law...

To begin, lets look at the very first thing said about this relationship found in Genesis 2:24 "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." I've always thought it interesting that Adam even said this, after all, they are the only people to have never had to deal with in-laws of any kind. So the fact that it is said at the very creation of marriage must make it pretty important. But did you know that is not the only time it is mentioned in the bible? It's also found in Ephesians 5:31-32, Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7-9. I think the fact that it's mentioned so many times tells us that it's something to take very seriously. The fact is, when you get married the two of you start a new family. It can be very difficult for a time but it is absolutely what needs to happen.

Guys, as hard as it may seem, you have to do exactly what those verses say and leave your parents and cleave to your wife. The Hebrew definition for leave is "to depart from, let go, forsake, to let loose and to leave behind." That's a pretty challenging definition isn't it? The Hebrew definition for cleave is "to cling, stay close, to be joined together, to pursue closely and to stay with". That puts a lot of work on you men! I know that the relationship between your wife and your mother can put a lot of strain on you guys but take a step back and look at your relationship with these two ladies. Are you doing what the bible tells you to do? Have you left your parents and do you now cleave to your wife? This is not something that happens automatically, it can be a long and difficult process but it has to happen for the health of your marriage.

My husband had quite a challenge when it came to dealing with his mother and I, as I said, we have not had the best relationship so he had his work cut out for him! With the complications that come with the relationship between you and your in-laws you have to figure out how to handle things before they happen. Colby and I spent a lot of time talking about this situation when we were dating because I had watched my mom and grandmother have a very difficult and controlling relationship for most of my life up to that point. I had seen how hard things can be when the son is easily controlled by his mother and therefore the daughter-in-law is controlled as well. I knew that was not something I wanted to live out, and thankfully, I married a man who fully understood Genesis 2:24. But we still had a difficult time and all had to learn exactly where our places were in this new relationship.

Guys you have to face the fact that at some point in your marriage you will have to deal with a conflict between your mother and your wife. You are a very important person to both of them and at times, you are the rope in their tug of war. It's not fun and i'm sure it doesn't feel fair but it is something you will most likely have to deal with. So before you get in that position, figure out where you stand! Colby and I both know that regardless of the situation, we will always present a united front. I can completely trust that he will never talk me down or make fun of my opinions with anyone in his family wither i'm there or not and that is a huge comfort for me!! If there is a conflict between his family and I, we remain united at all times. Now, when it is just the two of us he is free to (and has done so plenty of times before) tell me where I am in the wrong and how I could have handled it better, but he has always been very good to never side against me in a disagreement. And again, this was decided before his family and I ever had our first disagreement. That is probably the best thing you can do for this whole relationship, take the time to figure out exactly where you stand before you have to make that stand!

Now girls, here's where your part comes in. I firmly believe that you come first and I support that position. But, and this is a really big but here, never belittle the importance his mother has as well! Your role and importance in your husbands life does not in any way negate the importance of his mom. Has her role changed? Absolutely. But she is still, and always will be, a very important person in your lives and your family. I did not understand this when we first married and I did a lot of damage fighting battles that should have been left alone, it is damage that we are still working on repairing years latter. I had this idea that any time we disagreed on something I had to come out on top to prove that I came first. And let me tell you, it's not worth it! Since then I have had to learn when exactly to just let things go. There have been, and i'm sure will still be, plenty of things we will disagree about that I do have to take a stand on. That stand would have been so much more effective and well received if I hadn't chosen to fight about the many other little things. Instead of looking for opportunities to prove you do come first, look for opportunities to stay quiet. You'll find a lot more of those and your whole relationship will be better off for it!

Also girls, everything I said to the guys about them leaving their families and cleaving to you applies to you as well. You can not expect your husband to respect you as the leading lady in his life if your dad is the leading man in your life. If you want your husband to side with you in a disagreement between you and his mom, you have to side with him in a disagreement between him and your mom. It goes both ways! Most of the time there is more conflict between the daughter-in-law and his parents but I do not want anyone to think that the man is the only one that has to leave and cleave. It does go both ways. If you can all get this relationship figured out early on you will save yourself from causing a lot of hurt and doing a lot of damage!

This post is linked up to Time Warp Wife and Women Living Well.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Anything Else?

After looking over my last few posts, I think i'm done with the topic of sex. But before I move on to other marriage issues I wanted to check with all of you. Is there anything that I haven't discussed that you would like to read about? If so, leave a comment below or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com. You can leave a comment anonymously if you would like and I will not publish your name if you send a question in an email. This can be a bit of an embarrassing subject so I understand if someone would like to keep themselves anonymous. And by the way, thank you all so much for your interest in this blog! You are all such wonderful readers.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun Friday: I Want It More!

On my Fun Friday post last week, I received a comment asking me to address this question. "What do you do when the wife wants sex more than their husband"? This is actually a topic that is close to my heart because it is something I lived for most of my marriage!

I, like most other women, heard that men always want sex. Once you get married your life would be about nothing but that right? Well that is not always the case, and it was not the case in my marriage. I will be very honest with you, I was hurt, confused and felt very unwanted by my husband. I looked everywhere for advice on how to deal with this subject but never found any. Nobody ever talks about what to do if you sex drive is higher than your husband! So then I started feeling dirty. I felt like there was something wrong with me because girls aren't supposed to want it more. We are supposed to be the ones turning down our husbands and having the "headaches" that often appear with marriage right?

One of the hardest moments for me came after we had been married for, I think, 4 years. I was at a girls only q&a night with our church. We were able to ask anonymous questions, so of course I asked this questions. It ended up being the first question read by the woman in charge and as soon as she read "What do you do if you have a higher sex drive than your husband?" another girl there said "Rejoice!" and everyone in the room started laughing. I felt so embarrassed and at that moment really felt like I had been right, there was something wrong with me. The question never really got answered above the "It is true that some women have a higher sex drive" basic answer and I still left with no answer.

After that I figured I had looked everywhere and talked to everyone except the One I really needed to talk to, the very One who had created me this way. I spent a lot of time praying about it and begging God to take my sex drive away, but He didn't. Instead, He gave me the courage to really talk to my husband about this issue and He gave me the right words to say. See, I think every other time I had talked to him, I ended up just making him feel like there was something wrong with him for not having the high sex drive that he was "supposed" to have. He was left feeling that he was a disappointment and had let me down in our marriage. Well anyone knows that you can not force someones drive to increase. Every single person is created different and unique and I believe that every person has a very unique sex drive as well.

So let me give a few tips to any woman that might be dealing with this issue in her marriage.

1. Pray
Never ever forget that God created you to be uniquely you! I know that at times it can be so discouraging to be in this situation and you feel very alone, but you are not alone. God is always there to cry out to about every area and trust me when I say, your sex life is not off limits with Him. He created sex. He designed sex to give you and your spouse pleasure. Why would it not be ok to talk to Him about problems you are having? I remember one of my most common prayers when dealing with this was "God, please decrease my drive and increase my husbands drive". Always take it to God, He is the only one that can truly fix the problem.

2. Talk to your husband
For quite some time I honestly thought that my husband was simply not attracted to me and that was causing his lack of interest in sex. It took a long time, and almost reaching a point of desperation, to actually take what was in my heart and all of my hurt to him. I explained exactly how it felt to be brushed off regularly and I told him that I really thought he was not attracted to me at all. I know that my husband loves me, so when he was faced with my hurt, a hurt that he had unintentionally caused, he was very upset. Because I hadn't been truly honest with him he didn't have a clue how deep the hurt went and therefore could do nothing to change that. Now I don't want anyone to think that things changed overnight, because that's simply not the case. But he did begin to make an honest effort and worked hard to say yes more often than no. One thing you could try is creating a special code for the two of you, anytime that code is used he knows to not turn you down unless it's a life or death situation. Marriage is about sacrifice and that also goes for your marriage bed. As I said in another post, your bed is not the place to be selfish and that goes for both the husband and the wife!

3. Do your part
I had a really bad habit of letting my husband know that I was in the mood and then leaving it up to him to pursue me. Well when he was tired or had a long day at work, he wasn't in the mood and wanted to go to sleep. Then I would get very hurt that he wasn't pursuing me! What I should have done was let him know I was interested shortly after he got home, that way he knew not to fall asleep as soon as he got into bed, and then pursue him. Now as someone who has been turned down many times before, I do understand being very gun-shy and not wanting to initiate things. But after you have an honest heart to heart with you husband you have to do your best to put that behind you and start fresh. This means you can't hold the 30 times he's turned you down in the last six months against him. You have to let go and start over. Easier said than done I know, but it is the only way to move on.

Those are the top three things I would suggest to someone in this situation. Now, obviously, every person and every situation is different so there may be many more things to suggest in some cases. If you have tried each of these steps and nothing has changed, I would advise you to seek the counsel of a Christian adviser. It is a very hard place to be in but I can say with certainty that you are not alone in this! Never give up hope that your marriage can improve and that goes for your sex life. It does not matter if you have been married five years of thirty-five years, it can always improve!

I love how Paul addressed this issue in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (this is from The Message version)...
Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it's for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I'm not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.

This verse is often said to women but it is very clearly meant for men too. There is no biblical reason for a man to constantly turn his wife down! He is to make a habit of sacrificing himself to meet the needs of his wife. You both gave up the rights to your own body and to calling the shots when you got married. Men who are in this situation need to choose now to lay down themselves and meet the needs of their wives.

Each Friday I tackle the thoughts and questions of my readers. If there is something you would like me to discuss feel free to either leave a comment below or email me at joinmeforcoffeeblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another "Keep Out"?

After my last post on things that should stay out of your sex life, the topic of anal sex was brought up to me as something to keep out so I wanted to address it specifically. This one is a bit tricky I think. I believe that Christians especially struggle over this issue because of the connection between this type of sex and homosexuality (also there can be a bit of a "yuck" factor to it for some people).

As for my beliefs on this subject? I did a lot of study today and really tried to find anything in the bible that addressed this issue, as well as look at the health side of it. After looking into it, I still don't have a solid opinion one way or the other.

As far as I could find, anywhere it was addressed in the bible was in reference to homosexuality and that is very clearly wrong. But within the confines of a marriage between a man and a woman? I couldn't find a definite "No" on that matter.

And on the health side of it, I found one SITE that said "Anal sex may also cause physical damage to the rectum and anus, especially if intercourse is forcible or aggressive. So it should be done only when your partner is completely aware and willing to have anal sex." So from the physical side of it, it is possible to cause harm if not careful. However if both of you are comfortable with it and show extreme care, there could be no harm at all.

So I think i'm still where I was when I started my study. I believe that this issue falls under the "comfortable" or "not comfortable" categories. I think that both of you should be completely comfortable with it or it should not even be considered. And if your spouse is not comfortable with this type of sex, they should not be made to feel guilty in any way!

So, there's my thoughts on the matter. :) Anyone else care to share their thoughts one way or the other? I'd love to hear other's views on this issue!

By the way I have to say, I can not believe I just wrote a post on this subject. Please don't tell my mother! :o)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Keep It OUT!

When it comes to your sex life as a married couple I think almost anything goes, I believe it was made to be fun and enjoyed by both you and your spouse. But there are some things that simply do not belong in your relationship!

1. Pornography
I firmly believe that any and every kind of pornography is 100% wrong! It is never ok under any circumstances. Period. Pornography is adultery no matter how you look at it. Sex is to be between you and your spouse and by viewing any kind of pornography, you are bringing other's into your bed with you. This is an issue that is very close to my heart because it's something that we have dealt with personally in our marriage. *Before I go any further, you all need to know that I have my husbands complete permission to share this.*

At the age of 14 my husband was introduced to and became addicted to pornography. For the three years before we met his addiction was not stopped and unknown to me, this addiction was brought into our marriage. I knew he had dealt with this the years before we met but I did not fully understand how this addiction works and naively thought that it was not a problem anymore. But I was wrong. I vividly remember the first time I discovered it in our home. I remember the hurt, betrayal and complete unbelief that this was something he was still dealing with.

We were able to work through it and move on. However we ended up dealing with it a few more times over the next few years. Each time it hurt worse and the betrayal was harder to deal with. Finally we did what we should have done all along, we took it to one of our pastors and sought outside help. I had felt all along that his viewing it was somehow because of something I wasn't doing right, or because I didn't look like the girls he had seen. But finally after talking to our pastor I realized that it was simply an addiction. It was wrong and it was a form of adultery, but it was a result of years of an addiction and not a result of something I had done wrong.

However regardless of the reason, it was not allowed to stay in our home. The intimacy and trust between my husband and I was greatly damaged and it took time to repair it. Without trust between you and your spouse it can be difficult, if not impossible, to have sex. And when pornography is in the picture, trust is out of the picture.

Now I know there are some couples that engage in pornography together and try to justify it that way, but it is still wrong. Sex was made to be between a husband and wife only! Any form of pornography is perverted, wrong and a sin. On the opposite end, sex between a husband and wife is pure, right and even holy. There is no way the two can mix and coexist together. The perversion of the pornography will tarnish the purity of your sexual relationship every time!

If pornography is something you are dealing with I strongly encourage you to seek counsel from a christian counselor or pastor. Do not sit back and feel like you have to accept it! It is wrong and you have every right to call it wrong. There is also a website, , that I HIGHLY recommend looking into. It is a great way to create accountability and work on getting rid of this addiction.

I also want to add something to those dealing with pornography here. Struggling with this addiction does not make a person evil. Yes, I believe that all forms of pornography are perverted and bring perversion into your marriage and your life, this addiction does not make you, the individual person, perverted! It is a sin and an addiction, but it is something you can overcome through Jesus. As long as see this addiction for what it truly is, and look to Christ as the only One who can free you from it, you can be set free!

2. Control
Control has absolutely no place in your bed. Sex was created to be a consensual and enjoyable experience for you and your spouse, and control removes both of those things from the experience. You should never force your spouse to have sex with you or do anything during sex that makes them uncomfortable. Now I understand that trying new things can be a bit uncomfortable but that is not what i'm talking about here. I'm referring to things your spouse does not want to do, things that feel wrong to them or even things that they really just don't like. Again, you have to remember that this is supposed to be a fun, enjoyable experience for both of you. Never do anything to make your spouse feel unsafe with you in your bed! This is a time that you have to be at your most comfortable, and when you strip your spouse of their trust of you by controlling them you can ruin a beautiful experience.

3. Other people
This one should be a given but I don't want to leave it unsaid. Your sex life was created for you and your spouse. ONLY. It is never ok to bring another person into it. There is never a situation that makes it ok. It does not matter if both of you say that it is ok with you, it is a sin, it is wrong and it falls under the category of adultery. Period!

As far as i'm concerned, anything that falls under any of these three categories is off limits and should be kept out of your sex life. However pretty much everything else, I believe, is allowed. It's so important to remember that when Gods says something is off limits it is for our benefit and not because He wants to take something fun away. Instead of looking at the things we can't allow in our bedroom, look at all the things we can allow in our bedroom. Thank God for the wonderful gift of sexual intimacy with your spouse. After all, He is the one who created it!

What do you think? Is there anything that I didn't mention that you feel is not allowed?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sex part 2

Last Friday I started tackling the fun subject of sex, but there is so much to say on this topic and so many things to discuss that I had to stop right in the middle. So we'll just start right where we left off...

Let's talk about orgasms. I am going to be very open and honest in this post so if this is a subject that makes you uncomfortable please feel free to not read any further. Orgasm was one of the hardest words for me to learn to say, I don't really know why but it always just sounded bad or dirty to me. But very quickly in my marriage I found out that it was very important. It was important to my husband that I reach orgasm each time we had sex and if I didn't he felt like he had failed in some way. The more I talked to people and looked into it myself I discovered that it can really take a lot of work for women to reach orgasm! I had never heard that before and was very surprised. In fact did you know that statistically 2 out of 3 women can not reach an orgasm without direct stimulation with a toy or by hand? That's a big majority! Yet often men and women alike can feel like something is wrong, or they are doing something wrong, if the woman can not reach it through just intercourse.

Guys, on the other hand can very naturally and easily reach orgasm through just intercourse and most often, that is the only method used. With that being the case, a lot of men just can't understand why their wives aren't the same. Well guys, the answer is very simple...your wife is a woman and was therefore made differently. You should never get frustrated with her over this! That is one of the easiest ways to turn her off from sex and make her never want it.

Let me also say, sex is not the time to be selfish. If you get into bed thinking how much YOU need it and how long it's been since YOU have had it YOU can ruin it. Sex was designed to be something you and your spouse share and that goes for the whole experience. I think very often men have a habit of a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" sex life. When that's all it is, you and your wife are greatly missing out on a wonderful experience. Men, you need to take the time to learn you wife's body, discover exactly what it takes to get her to the point of orgasm. It is something that takes time, practice and patience but it is absolutely reachable.

Now girls, you have a role in this as well! You have to be open and honest with your spouse. Talk to him and even show him exactly what you like and don't like. Your husband is not a mind reader in any other area of life so do not expect in it this area. Now I understand how difficult this can be, it doesn't matter how long you have been having sex, talking about it can be very awkward! But I promise you, if your husband can learn your body and what you like, sex can become an incredible experience and something you really look forward to.

If you are struggling in your sex life I encourage you to talk openly to each other about those struggles. The most important thing is honesty in your marriage and that goes for your sex life as well. Also, I strongly suggest getting a couple of books to help you in this area. They are "Sheet Music" and "Turn Up The Heat", both by Dr. Kevin Leman. These are excellent books and can be a huge help to you, as well as answer many common questions people have.

I'm not quite done with this subject but will stop for now. Next i'm planning on talking about some things that should stay out of your sex life!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fun Friday!

This is my first Fun Friday post and i'm super excited! About a week ago I asked my readers if there was anything specific they would like to read about on here. The purpose of this blog is to have a place you can come and find something real and relevant to your life, so what better way to do that than ask for your thoughts?!

The first comment I received was from an anonymous reader who said "Sex is always a great topic. I love Christian blogs that are open and straight forward about sex, instead of treating it like some taboo subject Christians shouldn't even think about." Wouldn't you know this would be the first thing I get to talk about! :o)

First of all I need to say that everything I say on this subject will only be directed to those already married. Sex outside of marriage is wrong and I want no part in encouraging or teaching anyone who is not married to have a good sex life. Having said that, I may blush while writing this and you may blush while reading this but let's dive right in...

In most Christian circles sex is viewed as an "off limits" subject. It is done in private so it should not be talked about in public right? Wrong! Like almost every other part of marriage, sex is not something that you are great at the day you get married and you can very quickly develop problems. If you need to learn how to communicate effectively, wouldn't it make sense that you would also need to learn how to have a great and effective sex life?

When you get married, you walk in with all kinds of expectations, and regardless of your background you have some kind of expectation of what your sex life will be like. Most men assume that they will be having sex several times a week and most women assume it will happen every once in a while and you'll spend much more time just cuddling. Then when expectations are not met there are problems and hurt feelings, as there are in any area of marriage when expectations are not met. So lets break this down and talk about his needs and her needs.

First off, guys need sex. Period. God created them this way and no woman should ever make her husband feel bad or perverted for wanting it. I think in most marriages, women say no to their husbands far more often than yes. Your marriage may not start out that way but after a few years "no" becomes you most used word. You can do so much harm to your husband and your marriage when you constantly turn him down and push him away. Instead of saying "Not tonight" learn to say "Why not tonight?". Men think about sex often, they just do, it's their comfort food. Girls, how often do you think about chocolate or potato chips? The more stressed your day is, the more you think about that comfort food right? Well guys think about their comfort food, it's just different from yours. Thinking about sex with you is no more wrong, weird or gross than you thinking about chocolate!

Guys also need you to be an active participant, just being there is not enough. No man wants to feel like his wife is with him out of obligation. Girls, when you want to talk to your husband but it feels like pulling teeth to get him to communicate, it takes so much joy out of it and it's not worth it right? That's how it is for guys. If you make sex something he has to jump through hoops to get, it takes so much out of it. Sex should not be something you dangle in front of him to get him to do what you want, and unless he performs tasks A, B and C he won't get it. That is manipulation which is a form of witchcraft and it has no place in your marriage!

Now guys, look at some things that girls need when it comes to sex. While it it true that most women do not have the sex drive most men have, they do still have needs when it comes to that. For your wife, sex is about much more than intercourse, it is about intimacy. Without intimacy it can be very difficult for a woman to have and enjoy a healthy sex life. Now, look at the definition of the word intimacy, "a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person". Did you see the word "sex" anywhere in that definition? Nope, neither did I. Fact is, intimacy does not mean sex. Sounds complicated doesn't it? Well remember, you are still dealing with a woman. :o) Let me try to explain it the best I can...

Intimacy for a woman is very plainly, a closeness. Your wife wants to feel close to you, closer in fact than any other person in the world. She wants to know everything about you and have you know everything about her. She wants you to be able to sense what she is feeling and desiring at all times. Now while it is not realistic for you to know those things at all times, with true study of her you can get to be pretty good at it. And i'll be very honest with you, without that true intimacy outside of the bedroom it can be very difficult for a woman to be intimate with you in the bedroom.

Guys, you have to get involved in her life. You can not just show up at the end of your work day, plop yourself down on the couch and watch tv, hardly talk to her or your kids, be of no help to her in the house and expect her to go skipping into bed once you're ready. If you want a wife that is interested and active in bed, you have to be interested and active out of bed!

Also don't forget that sex is about meeting both of your physical needs. If it is always all about you, your wife will begin to lose interest in it and can even dread sex. When she dreads it, you will begin to hear "no" much more often. You have to learn what pleases your wife, explore a little (nothing that makes either of you uncomfortable). If you can figure out what it takes to please your wife I promise you, she will become a much more willing participant!

Ok I have to stop for now, but I have plenty more to say on this subject (including discussing the big O) so i'm going to continue this next week. Please feel free to leave comments about this post as well as any thoughts or questions you have for future Fun Friday post.

This post is linked up with Time Warp Wife. Far Above Rubies and Women Living Well.