"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Marriage Intimacy Stuff

I know I said that I wasn't going to post any more info about marriage blogs, but I received comments from a few people who convinced me to keep going.   So, from time to time I will comment on a few such blogs that I find helpful.   I hope my readers find the information useful as well.

I must warn you, some bloggers cover controversial and delicate subjects, often in embarrassing detail.  It won't be G-rated reading.   If you are uncomfortable with the contents, then maybe you should read these blogs after you examine your heart before God, ask him to free you from your chains, and deal with the source of your discomfort. 

I am aptly convinced and convicted by the Holy Spirit to keep reading, studying, and posting because
God wants us to continue to grow closer in our relationships to Him and closer in our marriage relationships.  Such growth should never stop, but rather should continue throughout our lives here on Earth.  We must always learn more and put that knowledge into practice often so that we may achieve the "one flesh" bond that God wants for every married couple.

To experience oneness in marriage (to know and be known ... completely)  is the ultimate goal.  It is God's design for marriage.  We were made for each other, to complete each other.  We are not actually "one" until we have abandoned ourselves to the other ... completely.  That means we must open ourselves up to our spouses and to the plan God has for marriage; to be one flesh spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and of course, physically. 

That said, I will not post anything here that is not founded on solid biblical principles.  In other words, I want to study marriage from God's perspective and His Word.  After I have sorted through all the gobbledygook, then I will pass it on to you.

OK, so here is a partial list of what I've been reading lately

Focus on the Family Spiritual Intimacy
An excellent 11-part series on spiritual intimacy in marriage.  Biblically based and easy to understand.

Crosswalk Spiritual Intimacy in Marriage
This article outlines some good tips on opening up to your spouse and beginning the spiritual intimacy journey as a couple.

Sounds of Encouragement Intellectual Intimacy in Marriage
Article by Barrington H. Brennan (actually written in 2004) explaining that the boundaries of an intimate marriage extend far beyond the four walls of the bedroom. 

GrowthTrac Emotional Intimacy
Jill Savage writes about trust and communication as important aspects of emotional intimacy in marriage.  

Focus on the Family What It Means To Be Intimate
Even though this is a singles series, it's an outstanding series of articles about developing emotional intimacy.

One Flesh Marriage To Be Known ... Completely
A great definition of "intimacy."

The Intimate Couple Christian Marriage Advice on Sex and Marriage
Advice about biblical intimacy for married couples.  Sex was God's idea.

The Generous Husband Permission Granted to Have a Great Sex Life
There are a lot of sexual messages that get pushed on people.

The Generous Husband It's Not Going To Fall Off!
For Husbands: How to deal with sexual rejection.  Also some tips for wives who want to help hubby out.

Christian Nymphos Giving Up on the Good Girl
For wives:  An article about breaking the cycle of wrong thinking about sex.

As these articles deal with marriage, it is always best when both spouses read them carefully and prayerfully, either together or separately.  It's always fun to follow up with a little couple-time discussion. I hope the material presented here blesses you in your marriages.

I will share more as I learn.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Plain Lazy

I desire.  Doesn't everyone?  Of course.  But does everyone have a strong enough will to realize those desires?  I've recently begun to understand the difference between desire and willingness.  Though I may have strong desires, I often fall short of the willingness (drive, energy, whatever) to make
them happen.  Sometimes I lack the skills or the time. Sometimes I'm just lazy. Sometimes people work against me and I don't have the strength to continue fighting for what I want.  Desire alone is not enough.  Willingness has to be an equal partner in the journey.   

I desire to be closer to my Lord, but I don't always make the time to talk with Him, read His word, and live by His example.  It isn't as though my desire is weak.  I am too focused on worldly things and ideas to take time for Him each day.

I desire oneness, but I'm worn down and I won't put myself on the line.  If you read my posts then you know that I have been searching this path for a while.  You also know that I am traveling an isolated road, alongside others whom I long to know.  The desire for oneness and the willingness to do what is necessary to achieve it (i.e. communication) aren't easily reconciled.

I desire a loving family, but I fail to teach them gentleness.  I don't always give them enough of my time to learn how to be polite, kind, and patient.  I don't always feel like playing Old Maid or Checkers or Hide & Seek.

I desire close relationships but I'm not willing to step forward and make a new friend.  I am an introvert who, because of my job and life, is forced to portray himself as outgoing.  It's hard for me to trust people and make friends.  Sure, there are many people who "like" me, but not many whom I would call "friend.

Why do I defer my desires?  Why do I hesitate to say things, to ask for what I want, to extend a hand, to play a game?  Perhaps it's because I fear rejection or feel inadequate in some way, or maybe I am just plain lazy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This week's top blog posts

Here are a few of my favorite blogs and posts from this week. Most of them deal with manhood (i.e. being a better man).  Happy reading!

Dumb Little Man:
The Simplest Ways To Improve Your Creativity, Health, And Relationships

Man Blog:
Men in the kitchen: Why competence is more important than Cordon Bleu

Men’s Blog: Christ Church:
Reid Brown Week 5 Proverbs Journal Post

Steve Pavlina:
How To Be A Man

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Few More Marriage Blogs

Over the past six months or so I have read a plethora of blogs and articles about christian marriage. As a result of reading these blogs, I have had several eye-opening moments about the differences between men and women, and the fact that God purposely planned those differences.  It has been an interesting
quest for knowledge.  I don't want to delete these bookmarks without sharing what I've learned, so I am providing a short list of the best blogs on the subject, in my humble opinion.  

There are many interesting tidbits to be found on these pages, each from a christian perspective, dealing with growing closer in marriage, and growing closer to the Lord as a couple.  May God richly bless you if you decide to delve into this material.

The Generous Husband  Written by Paul, this blog gives short marriage tips for husbands. There are also links to other blogs and sites about marriage. 

The Generous Wife Written by Lori (wife of "The Generous Husband"), this blog gives short tips on marriage for wives.  There are also links to other blogs and sites about marriage. 

One Flesh Marriage Written by husband and wife team Kate and Brad Aldrich.  One spouse posts a marriage article, then a few days later the other replies with the flip-side discussion.  Occasionally they bring in guest bloggers, which gives an extra perspective.  It's a good he says / she says blog.

Journey To Surrender Scott Means writes about the "biblical path of god's design for marriage."

Couple Things  Rowan and Mara write a blog based on the principle that love relationships are designed to improve in every area.

Marriage Gems  Lori Lowe writes research-based marriage tipe and insights

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On Obedience ....

Along my particular journey, the Holy Spirit has become an important part of my life. He tugs on my shirt and my heartstrings, making me do and say unusual things, seemingly for no reason. I have learned to listen and (mostly) heed His gentle (and not-so gentle) nudges. I still have a long way to go.

But what happens when He leads you in a difficult direction?  You know, somewhere you've never been before?  What if you have to open yourself up and (*gasp*) show your true self?  What happens when you are told to do something that makes everyone around you uncomfortable?

What if you say “yes,” to Him, and open your heart to others and are faced with mistrust, criticism, shame, and failure? What if others seem to go along with you, then suddenly throw your spiritual walk back in your face, humiliating you and accusing you of evil thoughts, or foolishness, or worse? What if you are so convicted by the Spirit, so sure of your path, and yet so rejected by others that you have trouble sleeping?

What if you are so exhausted from trying that you turn your back, completely abandoning the idea, praying, crying out to God, that He might take away your desire in this area?

What if, after pleading with Him to take away your desires, He says “no.?” What if He wants you to press forward anyway?   

What if you disobey His “no?”  What if you abandon His instructions to press on? 

Why does God do stuff like that? I don’t know. I do know that He has His reasons.  He must.  Meanwhile, I must stop what I’m doing, take a giant step back to where I was in the first place, deal with reality, and continue to pray … and pray … and pray.


As husbands, we must always search for guidance as the leaders in our homes.  When we feel led by the Spirit to lead our marriages in a certain direction, we mus strive to listen to (and heed) the Holy Spirit.

But first, we should ask ourselves some very important questions to determine whether our motives are pure:
  1. Do I have a selfish rationale ( is it solely for my pleasure or convenience), or am I truly seeking god's will for our marriage?
  2. Will my bride grow closer to God as a result of my decision?
  3. Will it improve my marriage?  
  4. Will my wife and I ultimately grow closer (more intimate) as a result?

After much prayer and study, if I still feel led in a certain direction, I must then take steps to lead my wife in that direction, and in so doing, remain obedient to God.  Will it be uncomfortable?  Maybe, but obedience is often uncomfortable.

So, listen to the Spirit, husbands, and be led in the direction God has laid out for your marriage.

Rom 8:14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.