Pursuing Intimacy with Your Husband

More than Agreeing to Sex

This is a message especially for wives. Next week we’ll look at the other side – a message especially for husbands.

Feet Intimacy with your HusbandShould you always say Yes when your husband wants sex? How long do you pursue your husband if he does not pursue you? Is it OK to “just say NO” because you’re “not in the mood”? What’s the big deal about pursuing intimacy with your husband anyway?

There’s been controversy – and sometimes violence, guilt, and shame – arising from Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians:

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)

First, some perspective please. This Scripture does not condone marital rape or God-talk domination and condemnation. Its purpose is not to load you with more oppression. We’re talking woman-to-woman here, and let’s be honest that the enemy has twisted this Scripture and incited some to use it to bring enormous destruction and pain.

Let’s also be honest that some of us women have twisted it too. Some have used the “devote yourselves to prayer” as an excuse to refuse sex with their husband. Ok ladies; are you praying for nine months? Or five years? If you’re working a job or cleaning your house or joining girlfriends for coffee, you’re not so “devoted to prayer” that you can’t connect with your husband.

But this Scripture IS in the Bible. What does it mean? Everything God says has a reason, and is for our good. So what is it here?

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Your Prescription for Fear and Anxiety

5 Steps to Propel Your Mental/Emotional Wellbeing

What are you so worried about? What are you so afraid of?

The Bible says we should not be anxious or afraid. There are approximately 100 times where God says in some way “Fear not.” Followers of Jesus are not to be carrying worry. Here are just a few such Scriptures:

  • “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 MEV
  •  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God.”   Philippians 4:6 MEV
  • “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Mattthew 6:34, NIV

Can you imagine Peter, John, or Paul stressing over where their next meal would come from? Or worrying about what other people thought of the life they were living for Jesus? Or wringing their hands over what the devil might be up to? Or lying awake at night, fearful they would mess up the mission Jesus had entrusted to them?

Of course not!

Fear and anxiety can be expensive, debilitating, and keep you from the Fully Alive life that Jesus came to give each one of us. If fear and anxiety has been your way of life, you know how hard it can be to break free. Your thoughts and feelings can seem out of your control. Doesn’t God know that?

Thank God there is a way out! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7)

But how do you get there?

The Path to Fearlessness

The men and women who knew Jesus best didn’t start out confident and unafraid. The disciples nearly lost it in fear when the storm engulfed their small fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. “Don’t you care that we’re all going to die?!” they shouted at Jesus.

In the midst of storm Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and the waves. And then He rebuked His disciples. “Why were you afraid? Why were you afraid when I was with you?” (See Mark 4:36-41)

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HOPE for the In-Between Times

God’s Perspective on 2017

SunriseThe in-between times can often be one of the most challenging. The Christmas celebrations are over. The New Year is not quite here. For many of us long weeks or months of winter weather lie ahead.

The emotional letdown after a holiday can be difficult. Perhaps your expectations were met but you’re still wondering, “Is that all there is?” Or you’re trying to take a breath after a whirlwind of activity. Or you may be relieved that the holiday season is just about over.

Holidays and celebrations are good. We need them. God directed His people to set aside times for gathering together, celebrating the past, and looking forward to the future.

But we don’t live there all the time. We can’t. Our human psyche was not built to sustain that level of intensity.

So we’re left with “What now?” It’s a very long time until Christmas next year. How do we go about living today, tomorrow, and the next day? How do we keep going in the in-between times?

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7 Steps to Freedom from Pornography and Compulsive Masturbation

Spiritual Warfare as the Path to Sexual Freedom

FREEDOM!How do you find freedom from compulsive sexual behavior? What does it look like? What does it take to get there?

I’ve been overwhelmed by your response to my post last week about Dealing with Masturbation and Pornography as a Christian. I’ve heard from men and women all over the world who are crying out for freedom. And I’m here to tell you that God has a way out! There is a pathway to freedom! And that’s what this post is about.

This is not for you if you wonder whether what you’re doing is wrong. It’s not for you if pornography and/or masturbation is not your struggle. It’s not for you if you think maybe you should “cut down” on your consumption of compulsive sexuality.

But if the Holy Spirit has put His finger on this part of your life and said, “This right here; it needs to stop. Let Me have this!”, then this post is for you.

This is for you if you’re sick and tired of the bondage, the hiding, the shame and the guilt. It is for you if you’re ready to do whatever it takes to find freedom. It is for you if you’re ready to fight with everything in your being to experience Christ’s victory in this area of your life.

You cannot be successful in this journey by going half-way. If you’re not all in, you’ll fail. Jesus has freedom available for you, but you cannot do your own thing in one area and expect to win a battle with compulsive sexual behavior.

This means war!

So pick up your sword, get furiously angry at your bondage and the one holding you there, and get ready to do the work ahead of you. As Mel Gibson when he played William Wallace, find the scream in the bottom of your soul and cry out with all your might,

FREEDOM!

7 Steps to Freedom

Here’s what it takes to get there.

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Being WITH is Not Enough: What Comes After “God With Us”

The necessity of leadership and growth

Mother and DaughterJesus came to be “God With Us.” He responded to our hopeless situation not by shouting truth at us, but by coming to be With Us. And when we connect with someone who is hurting we too must be with them instead of preaching at them.

Several of you responded to my article about “God With Us” last week.

But being With Us was just the beginning for Jesus. And it should be just the beginning for us.

The people who encountered Jesus could not help but be impacted by Him. His very presence called them to a different kind of life. And when they stopped long enough to hear His words their hearts burned within them. (See Luke 24:32)

Yes, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, those nobody else wanted were drawn to Jesus. He healed them, touched them, loved them, gave them hope. But being with them didn’t mean Jesus became like them and stayed with them in their misery. He called them to something more.

And He had something for those who were not so sick or broken. They too felt the call to something more, something perhaps harder and more dangerous than they ever imagined they could be a part of, something exhilarating and profound and alive.

Once Jesus is with us, He leads us out. He doesn’t simply soothe us in our brokenness, assuring us everything will be OK. Far from it! Instead, He goes before us leading the way to the greater thing He has called us to. (See John 10:4)

First He is With Us. Then He leads us out.

The order is important. We will not, cannot, follow Him until He is With Us.

But once He is With Us, we are called to follow Him. We cannot, dare not, stay the same. He calls us to a life of transformation, character growth, maturity, meaning, purpose, and service.

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