Sunday, September 30, 2012

For the Next 31 Days

Oh Fall. You are the bringer of all things orange, pumpkin, and cozy. 
Sweaters, leggings, boots and scarves star littering our closet, bed posts and, if you're me, your dining room table. 

Fall comes with all sorts of new things, new colors, new leaves, and new friends! I went to coffee (and waffles) with Lauren earlier this month and Maggie this morning. Uh-may-zing women here folks. 

With that, I'll be joining Maggie on the 31 Day Challenge through the month of October. I love October so much, for so many different reasons. Mostly because it seems to be a reoccurring "pivotal" month in my life.

Here's how to join the LEGIT challenge:
  • Pick a topic, broad enough to write about for 31 days but narrow enough to hone in on your passions. For example: 31 Days of Life, is too general. 31 Days of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, well, it's too narrow and that's just not good for you. (Not that i've tried it...)
  • Make a blog button (or use one of my pre-made ones at the bottom) to use as your link up image on.
  • Post something, anything, everyday about your topic. It doesn't have to be the ONLY thing you post and it can be small. Starting small is always good. 
  • Leave your website link in the comments so I can read yours! 

Here's how to join the LAZY challenge:
  • Use my prompt, write your blogpost and post your link in the comments or Facebook page.
  • Not a blogger? Leave your response in the comments or Facebook page

Why should you join us?
Because if you're a human being, you love learning new or perfecting old things. This is a good excuse to get some accountability and motivation! Even if you're not a blogger, post some pics or status updates on your Facebook. Oooh that's a good one

Get ready October, here we come!

Friday, September 28, 2012

For Your Weekend Reading Pleasure

Are you a woman? Do you like friends encouraging you? Have you heard of Beautifully Rooted? You should. You'll Love them. I do. (Beautifully Rooted)

Dear Tyson Morlet, please buy me this dress. I'll pretend I didn't know. (Ruche)

I love when people visit, and now I'm inspired to make them love it more. Darn you Pinterest. (Pinterest) 

"Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them." (The Daybook)

2012 is National Sex Trafficking Awareness Year. I love that my friends started their non-profit, Milk & Honey, this year for girls rescued in India. (Milk & Honey) 

Christine Cain speaks straight into my heart. Again. (Oasis Church)

This story has gone viral folks. It's amazing what a bagel can do. (Proverbs 31 Ministries)

Have you ever been to Israel? I want to go so bad! Going to try and save my pennies for this trip with DJ Tanner. Yup. You read that right. (Israel Theme Tours)

Did you vote, did you vote, did you vote?? (Facebook)

This weekend I am in a mansion with my 15 amazing Becoming Girls Conference Leaders. We are "retreating"; which really means we're eating way too much junk food and staying up way too late. #girlproblems (Becoming Girls Conference)
    - Picture proof can be found on Instagram by searching #becomingleadersretreat or #becominggirlsconference

And lastly, I leave you with this motivation:

Do what you already do, just more passionately(Darling Magazine) 


*New here? Find me on Facebook or Twitter and say 'ello! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The In-between of Rest and Unrest

Rest is a place where people long to be, but once there, realize the satisfaction is short lived. 

I dream of rest. I am a busy person by nature and so rest does not come easily, nor voluntarily. I have to make myself rest at times. (Anyone else?) Like when the dishes are begging you to wash them or your husband gently hints that he is nearly out of clean underwear. It's in those moments when rest seems impossible. 

There's always something. 

I recently moved to a new city and since being removed from everything that use to keep me busy, I've found an immense amount of resting time. And by immense, I frankly mean way too much. I don't know what to do with this much time. The hours move slower than ever before and the sun seems to never set. 

In the beginning it was such a relief. There was room to breathe in the air and, well, rest. 

But now I've found myself in a place between rest and unrest. 

I'm content, not anxious, but I feel myself getting there. Its a weird feeling because I feel in our culture, we're always looking forward to the next vacation or day off. There's always something we are anticipating and most of the time it has to do with, well, doing nothing. 

So to be in a place in-between is a little silly to me. But I think it's natural. 

We weren't created to rest. We were created to be at rest. 

The human soul was created after that of God. We were created in His image, in accordance with who He is, has been, and always will be. We may not be perfect, but we have the Perfected One dwelling within our being. 

And though He rested, He was never complacent in resting. And neither am I. Or you. 

We get antsy. We get inspired. We get restless. We get empowered to do something, be someone, go somewhere and I believe, it is because that's how God is as well.

I'm still trying to figure out the doctrine and full biblical perspective of this thing we call "rest," but I feel a little more enlightened about my current state of in-between.

Verses I'm studying through:
  • Genesis 2:2-3 "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation."
  • Exodus 23:12 "Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed."
  • Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates…"
  • Matthew 11:28-29 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Have you or are you in-between rest and unrest? What are you discovering about it?

**If you're new here, say hi! I'm (what feels like) always on Twitter, Facebook or Email.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Story I Should Have Never Heard the End Of

I am honored to have the story of the boy I met at Starbucks featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotional for September 24, 2012. There I tell the story of how I met Kyle. I didn't know his name was Kyle then. He was just a hungry boy and I happened to be carrying my breakfast in a paper bag with cream cheese.

That was the last I'd see or hear of him. Or so I thought. 

And then, I met his mother. It was one of the craziest experiences I've ever been a part of. See our conversation below.

*Some of you have already seen this story, as it is a repost for the Proverbs site, so I apologize. I owe you one.
**Also, sorry about the wind. Think of it as creativity gone bad. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

@ReWrite2012 for the Weekend

An amazing conference of and for writers has come to San Diego and I feel like a little fish out of water. In a good way. I have been able to interact with an amazing group of people and authors that I would have never in a million years been able to encounter. You can follow my star-struckness on Twitter throughout the weekend. More on it all later. I'll be back soon. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Your Marriage Questions Answered

*Due to the nature of this topic, the following video contains some frank language that may not be suitable for younger readers. 

You asked, and we answered. Well, we tried. 

Start | Q1: "I would love to hear more about submission…in a day to day setting."
5:21 | Q2: "My sex drive is higher than my husbands, isn't that backwards?"
6:30 | Q3: "What do married wish they'd done while they were single?"
7:48 | Q4: "What do singles fear most about marriage? Why? What can we do?
9:49 | Q5: "How have you sorted out together, things from your pasts?"
12:36 | Q6: "Which areas do you rely on God when you can't rely on your husband?
13:42 | Q7: "How do you execute headship w/o handing over all leadership?"
16:16 | Q8: "Do you think couples should stay together when there's cases of abuse?"
17:33 | Q9: "How do you say no, to commitments outside your marriage? "
19:51 | Q10: "Is masturbation sinful inside or outside of marriage?"

Resources Mentioned
List of Questions for Your Significant Other
Real Marriage Series by Mark Driscoll
The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye
This Momentary Marriage by John Piper (Free Download)

So glad you've enjoyed this series. For a full recap, click here ~

Monday, September 17, 2012

Your Questions About Marriage Answered

"Marriage is beautiful because of the battles fought to create that beauty." 

What we've learned this week --

NAKED Truth About Marriage Intro
Why You Can't Submit
Why You Can Lead Everyone BUT Your Wife
Why Communication Makes the Best Foreplay
Why Don't We Make Out as Much as They Do?
Why We Didn't Let Porn Destroy Our Marriage
Why (Men) Think Marriage = Sex 

I know we've only scratched the surface about these NAKED truths about marriage. There are so many (like fighting well, when kids get involved, abuse and marriage, money, and the list could go on) that we didn't touch on but please know, we see the chord we've struck and are working to make this a more regular topic of conversation.

We've read the stories emailed to us and your comments in the blogs and on Twitter. So tomorrow we are going to answer your questions.

You can submit your questions at the bottom of this post, anonymously, and we'll be answering them via video. 

Why Anonymous?
I'm not a huge fan of anonymous comments or questions, however, this subject can contain such sensitivity and maybe some fear. I didn't want anyone to withhold asking a burning question for fear of judgement on their marriage. 

So ask away and we will do our best to give you biblically based, honest answers. 

-Ty + Jules 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why (Men) Think Marriage = Sex

I used to fantasize about being married. Not about having a house, a white picket fence, a steady job, and a beautiful wife and adoring kids to come home to. No, I fantasized about my marriage being one camera shy of an amateur porn film Hugh himself would have envied. And as a single man, I was an expert on marriage. Lots of sex makes a healthy marriage.
On my honeymoon, I was going to lock us away in a hotel for a week and live on nothing but sex and cigarettes. The beat generation would have been envious of my whiskey and oxytocin enduced spaceman prose, high and poetic off the aura of my Helen of Troy.
Because sex is as close to perfection as any of us will ever get. In theory, one could say this is why we seek so frequently seek copulation outside of marriage. Because everything: anxiety, stress, depression, all of it, whether you love that person or not, dissolves into the stratosphere for a few near-perfect seconds when you’re tangled beneath the sheets and around each other. No drug nor drink does anything quite like it. Of course, in the case of, say, a one night stand, the crash back to planet earth from the heavenly stars above is painful enough that the only cure is to become an astronaut again.

I knew the high. I was determined, destined, desperate, to safely orbit the the earth for the rest of my life.
Then I actually got married. A whirlwind romance I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who gets queasy on ferris wheels and other carnival rides that go round and round. We read our vows and committed the whole hoopla of our love in front of 14 other people and God Himself six months after we met in person, on a cliff. And our honeymoon – - 3 days in a Denver hotel where we instagrammed pictures, watched a movie starring Matthew McConaughey, had dinner with my family, and enjoyed a couple of root beer floats amongst other acceptable activities upon our undefiled marriage bed – - was not exactly something Ginsberg would have been compelled to write about.
3 days wasn’t a week, nor did we do anything no one had ever seen or experienced before, but I was in love and found it a success nonetheless. Next, we were going to have our own apartment in a new city. We were going to work from home, which meant sex in the morning, sex in the afternoon, and sex before bed. We could spend entire days naked and marveling at each other’s bodies.
Except we went from our hotel in Denver to living in the backwoods of Oregon for 3 months in a half-finished basement where the nearest neighbor was seven miles away and reports of Bigfoot ran rampant through town. It’s hard to be naked and having sex every night when someone is constantly walking around upstairs where the vents conveniently carry your cries of passion, and a big hairy apeman with a possible penchant for the voyeuristic is lurking right outside your window.
The sex will get better when we move to LA.
So we moved to LA. And got a place of our own. But that didn’t change the fact that my wife married a man who lives in constant speculation that a Zombie Apocalypse is around the corner, and her new home sits right on a fault line. I find it far more difficult to be protective of my wife when I’m not wearing pants, no matter how often I go to the gym. I’m convinced Adam didn’t cover up because he was ashamed, but because if he had to slay a lion for his beloved, defeating such a beast seems immensely more probable when your reproductive organs can’t be mistaken for a midmorning snack.
I’m not expert on being married. In fact, I know less about marriage now than when I was single, but I can tell you this: the sole value of a woman in a man’s life is not sex. Unfortunately, ask any single man, particularly Christian, and he’ll tell you how he can’t wait to have a wife so he can have sex.
Here’s the thing ladies and gentlemen, it turns out the value I find in my wife, my lady, my queen, is not how quick she is to jump in the sack and perform a marathon with me. (I’m sure I sound like a scumbag for believing that the most important part of being married having sex. It’s not that I didn’t think women were valuable, but I was so far gone from my pornography addiction, it makes it more difficult to see women are capable of anything else.)
The first thing God deemed “not good” was being alone. So he gave Adam someone to do life with, not someone to just, well, do. 

Max Dubinsky is a writer. He lives on the road and sometimes in Los Angeles. He once drove across America in search of faith and God in the streets. Along the way he slept in 50 different beds, visited over 40 cities, and drank some 4,000 cups of coffee. He also met a girl on the road, fell in love, and married her on a cliff in Denver.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Why We Didn't Let Porn Destroy Our Marriage

*FYI: The following series is on marriage and may contain candid speech and "mature" subjects such as sex and pornography. 

It was the month after our 2- year anniversary when the crap hit the fan.  

I was on the elliptical when I saw that my husband's bi-weekly XXXchurch accountability email had arrived. Jason and I had what I thought were light bouts with porn, but under the words, “the following questionable links have been looked at,” I saw a much more heartbreaking list than ever before. After clicking through a few of them, it was confirmed: My husband had a problem with porn.

I stumbled off the elliptical and called Jason.  He barely got a “hello” out before I started sob-screaming at him. I told him I was loading up my stuff and heading to my parent’s house, four hours away. He begged me not to go and left work to come to me as soon as he could. He found me curled up in the bathroom.

I am not sure why I chose the bathroom, maybe because I needed the entire roll of toilet paper, but I found the floor most welcoming to my uncontrollable crying. 

Jason knew things had to change if our marriage was going to survive. 
When I got myself together, I whimpered out, “tell me everything.” When he did, I realized Jason’s battle wasn’t just a battle, it was an addiction. He was looking at it on a daily basis. 

I felt sick. Hurt. Betrayed. I told him I was done. I didn’t deserve to feel that way. It was the push Jason needed to finally come to terms with his addiction and do something serious about it.

Jason started a very intentional accountability relationship with someone he knew who’d been through something like this already. We all read through “Every Man’s Battle” together, fasting and praying throughout the first 40 days. He and his mentor identified the areas in his life that were wide open for temptation and set up healthy boundaries. For example, he  started going to bed when I went to bed and there were passwords on all of our computers. 

I committed to journeying with him in these things. That was the beginning Jason’s road of recovery.  I’ve found that although this was Jason’s problem, the solution takes both of us owning it. 

This is a fine line because I feel as though women take on this idea that its their fault when their husbands struggle with porn. Personally this was a great struggle for me and still can be on bad days.  There is this inner voice that can say, "If you just had sex all of the time!" or "If you would lose some weight, then he would be more attracted to you and not have the need to look elsewhere." I had to get to a place where my identity and confidence was NOT found in Jason, but in the Lord. As I have learned to do this the blaming myself for his struggle fades. What really began to open my eyes to this truth was when I read Every Man's Battle with him. The book does a good job of identifying why this is such a struggle for men and also has a section that was written by the authors' wives. I learned the nuances of this struggle and how to balance his responsibility and my partnership. Lastly, I learned the importance of pursuing a healthy sexual relationship with Jason, even though I was still healing from the hurt that I had experienced. Believe me, there were times when all I wanted to do was go out and find the adult zip up footy pajamas and live in them, but I knew in the core of my heart that was not the answer. I had to CONSTANTLY put my insecurities, anger, hurt, and feelings of betrayal in the hands of my BIG and loving Jesus. There are still days that I struggle, but God is so faithful and patient with me!

We just celebrated our 6-year anniversary and it has been awesome to see how God has used our story to help other couples struggling in the same area. It's a taboo topic but we've seen the amazing results of talking about porn and marriage.

I won’t sit here and say that it’s been easy and all of my trust in Jason's word is in tact, or that my identity doesn’t still suffer. There are still days I get lost in my thoughts of the different women that he has seen and struggle with feeling like a visual disappointment to him.  

But we know this is a constant battle and we have to actively remain in God’s truth. Why? Because our marriage is worth it. We know depth and grace in our relationship with each other depends on the activity in our relationship with God. We've seen the negative effects when that relationship is not a priority. 

For example, when I am not having regular time with the Lord or taking care of my body physically, I struggle more with comparing myself. Jason also got involved with triathlons, and did his first Ironman this year, raising $8000 for XXXchurch to not only help himself, but to help others fight the addiction. 

So on the flip side, when our relationship with God and with each other is founded in His Word and truth, our marriage thrives. To us, it is worth the work.

There are also some practical things we've done, to safe guard one another, (me from fear and him from addiction):

Boundaries We've Put in Place 
Adding a password on the racier ratings on TV
Internet filter/screening program
No hotels alone
Out of town accountability partner 
Going to bed together
Asking tough questions with love
Praying for one another

To some, these may seem tedious and ridiculous, but they work for us and provide a stability and growth in our marriage. 

Our story, as we've experienced God healing our marriage inwardly, has begun to take an outwardly effect on our lives and the world around us. 


If you are struggling, as a single, engaged, or married guy/girl, you need community. The most effective way to overcome any struggle or stronghold in your life is through the conversation, grace, and inspiration of people around you.

Here are some communities we recommend: 
For Guys: XXXChurch, Antioch Church, Celebrate Recovery
For Girls: Good Women Project, Antioch Church 


How have you seen porn effect your life or the life of those around you? Was it negative or positive?

How have you worked through/overcome your dealings with porn in marriage/dating?

Jason and Elizabeth live in the southern California desert and have been married for 6 years. They are adopting their first son, Weiland, through Riverside County Foster/Adopt program. Jason is a Music Pastor for Southwest Community Church, and Elizabeth is the founder of Vantage, a local organization designed as the next generation in sex education for teens. Follow them at @jasonshafer and @thisisvantage 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why Don't We Make Out as Much as They Do?

It shortly after my wedding day that I had a conversation with a woman from my church that went a little something like this:  

Her:  So what'd you do this weekend?  

Me:  Not much.  Had a quite weekend.  Watched a movie at home Friday night with Dave.

Her: Gotta love it.  Nothing like a little movie and make-out session on the couch!!

Me:  (awkward grin and giggle)  ya.

Her:  Oh come on.. you're not over that stage yet are you??? 
Me:  (awkward grin  again)

Not much of a conversation on my end. Which is unusual for me as I was chatting my mother's ear off while being born. But here, in this conversation with this particular lady I was not only at a loss for words but was freaking out inside.  

Truth was, my man and I most certainly snuggled up on the couch but there wasn't any making out.  We didn't want to miss the movie!  Now, reality is: some people are movie watchers and some people are maker-outers. That just is what it is (which are you??) but the issue was that all of a sudden I felt like there was an expectation of what Dave and I SHOULD be doing at this stage in our relationship.  And those types of "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" raced through my head constantly in the early stages of our marriage- adding quite a bit of stress.  

If you're anything like me, a gentle warning may suit you well right here: Don't freak out at what I'm about to say. Wait and process until you've read it all.  

Most often, when asked about the early stages of our marriage or the "honeymoon stage" if you will,  Dave and I respond with something like this:  

"By the grace of God, our honeymoon stage was short lived."

Let me give you some context.  

When my husband and I met each other, I would dare say we both were both were, well,  confused in life.  But especially when it came to relationships.  

I had just recently broken off an engagement and had told myself I was to never look at another man again.  I had lost all sense of trust in myself as to how to make good decisions with men. Dave was also on a journey of his own, looking for relationships that were "perfect".  So neither of us were really looking for each other.  

However, when I got hired as a youth pastor at a church he was interning for, we were unable to avoid one another. I could not deny that he was absolutely gorgeous but I was terrified inside to let myself think it.  The more time we spent together, the more we realized how terrified we BOTH were, because we actually enjoyed being around one another.  

Things progressed beautifully and we began to date and spend time together outside of our work.  I had never laughed so much with a man in my whole life.  We finally made our relationship official. I couldn't believe that, after all I had been through, that God had brought such an incredible man into my life. 

But then, something weird started happening.

We'd be having a beautiful time together and then suddenly find ourselves in these moments where we were unsure if the relationship was right. Or we were unsure of how we felt about the other person. Yes, it was over petty things most of the time, but this sent us into a downward cycle of breaking up and getting back together a million times over.  Our friends even started making jokes about our relationship.  

Until one weekend, after having decided what I thought was a final end to our relationship,  some friends that loved us both sat us down and said:
"You are afraid.  If you do not learn to commit, you will never know true love."  
We were scared of encountering a time when maybe we wouldn't FEEL something for one another.  
We were scared of pain and disappointment.  
We were scared of the moments where love must choose the other person day in and day out, regardless of circumstances.
We were scared of truly giving ourselves to the other person.
We were scared of truly being known by another person.
We were scared of the moments when we "should" be making out on the couch and weren't.

David made me want to be a better, more holy person.  I WANTED him to know me and see me and I WANTED to know and see him. Everything in me wanted to be with this man, despite how scared I was.   

So we did. We chose one another for true love's sake.
Not for our feelings which came and went (as is normal in all healthy relationships) but because we both wanted a marriage that would serve Christ and make us and the world around us see the love of God more clearly.  

Here's where it all ties together:  Making this commitment to one another, getting engaged, and setting forth on the marriage journey was absolutely amazing.. but it took our old habits and ways of looking at relatinships a long time to die.  (Might I add... they are still dying..)  

By God's grace, we were faced with the hard core truths and realities of what true love and marriage is really about before we were even married.  If we were going to do this marriage thing right, we needed to MAKE right some of our WRONG ideas and ways of living and relating to each other.  This is why I say our honey moon stage was short lived.  

But despite the short life of newlywed passion, we were given a greater gift. We stood face to face, before God and our community on our wedding day and made a covenant to one another to love each other with the kind of love that moves far past emotions and feelings, that fights for peace, that gives of oneself for another, and that always seeks the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for unconditional love, direction, comfort and provision.

The times that I sit on the couch next to my man watching a movie-- maybe holding hands, maybe not, but KNOWING that he is my best friend, my faithful partner, and committed to this journey with me-- is equally as amazing and needed as the times when we are caught up in loves most heated times together.  

I know now, our relationship is not based on any hot married moment on the couch or romantic dance under the moonlight in our pajamas. (Although those moments are sweet.) 

"Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot sweep it away."  Song of Solomon 8:7

As with the river and water's tide, so feelings for your husband and wife may rise and fall, but true love cannot be swept away.  


Singles: There is much truth in what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7, "And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband..." This however, is NOT to say that you shouldn't desire or pursue marriage. It is, I believe, saying that while you are in a season of non-marriage, your heart should be freely and relentlessly pursuing the heart of God. So what you start comparing your life to the married couples, take a mental list of how you can serve the Lord, maybe in ways they can't in this season. 

Marrieds: When you start feeling the temptation, longing and pull to create fantasies or control feelings of romance in your marriage, ask yourself what you can do to serve your spouse instead.  (Especially us ladies)

May that be the focus, and then may you swim in loves' true romance with the blessing that comes out of that, which far outweighs anything we might try to control.  


Are you a movie watcher or movie makeouter?
Has your "Hot Marriage Moments" shifted over time?
Did you have a honeymoon phase? 

Dave and Cara Maat have been married 4 years. They live in currently humid Michigan, with their newest baby bump on the way. Connect with Cara on Twitter or her Blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Communication Makes the Best Foreplay

*FYI: The following series is on marriage and may contain candid speech and "mature" subjects such as sex and pornography; both topics I think are too important not to discuss, but might be inappropriate for younger readers.

Do you know that you have a husband that longs for you? A man who’s committed to you, and thinks you’re beautiful? I don’t know about you but occasionally, I need to be reminded of this. He likely thinks of you while he’s at work, while he’s driving, and basically everywhere else he goes. According to many studies, you’re naked in his thoughts. How cool is that?

My husband’s favorite phrase when it comes to sex is, “just say yes”.

I can tell you, in all honesty, that sex (or the lack thereof) can make or break a marriage. When we choose to love on our husbands, we make them want to come home to us. 
Sex changes marriages. It changes the way we feel about ourselves, and our spouses. Being intimate with your soul mate in an incomparable experience

I asked my husband how many times a week he would prefer to have sex, and he very calmly, without hesitation said, “48”. Obviously, this is a gross exaggeration (at least I hope so!), but the point is that he would like that type of physical intimacy as often as I’m willing to give it. 

Thankfully, my love language is touch so this works out nicely for us. However, not every man, or woman, has the same needs. I think it’s important for both husband and wife to understand that their spouse is built differently, and their physical needs are sometimes different than ours. 

There are times when you’re exhausted, when you’re at the end of your rope and getting naked just might put you over the edge. That’s a movie-view of sex. In marriage, not every night has to be a 3 hour love fest, and you’re allowed to give yourselves a break. As a business woman, volunteer and mom of 2 energetic children, I’ve found that quickies are God’s gift to the weary. Your man will not complain if you just want let him do all of the work from time to time. 

The key, is communication.
Sex in marriage, as God’s design, creates in you a bond with your spouse that grows and deepens through time. Your cravings for one another begin to shift from animalistic instinct to a deep longing for intimacy. But there is a danger of quenching the thirst. 

Ask your spouse questions. Ask them to ask you questions. 
Making the effort to know one another will be the greatest foreplay you might ever know. 

Do you remember at the beginning of your marriage, you had your unique way of loving your husband or wife? You soaked in their bodies and the way they move. You both traced each other’s curves with your fingers, and your kisses linger on their lips. 

Unfortunately, there are times when we take on too much (husbands AND wives), and forget just how necessary the basic need for physical intimacy is. Guilty as charged! 

Rest assured that seasons change, and making love will not always be a priority. Pregnancies and nursing newborns have been the cause of a dry spell or two in our home, however, we always make our way back to one another.

Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”.

One flesh.

Beautifully implying God’s design for marriage is unlike anything else. 

Marriage is to be cherished, protected, and celebrated. And as a direct result, your sex life is also to be cherish, protected, and celebrated. 
- - - - -


Marrieds: Date your spouse, make love often, and put the other person first; though it may take time, your whole world will change. 

An idea to get you started
-Learn each others love languages and speak them often. Knowing the way in which your spouse needs to be loved can have a huge impact on your relationship. Does he/she need to be touched often? Does he/she need to hear words of affirmation? Does he/she know the way you need to be loved as well?  (Recommended reading: The 5 Love Languages-Gary D. Chapman)

Singles/Engaged: What are your overall thoughts on sex. What do you think it looks like in marriage? What are your expectations for sex in marriage? Talk through these with a (mature) couple you trust, who will lead you to realistic and biblical truths about sexuality. 


Who/what do you think formed your view and opinions of sex? (Movies, music, friends, family, books, etc) 

How have you seen sex divide and/or unify in marriage?

Katie McGihon is a wedding photographer, blogger and worship leader in Palm Springs, California. She holds herself to God’s standards, and is grateful to wake up every day and do what she loves. She is a wife to Scott, and Momma to Aden and Ava.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why You Can Lead Everyone BUT Your Wife

I've heard it said that there is no question as to whether a man is the leader of his home or not, but that the question is: Is he a good or bad leader?

I don't think this is true.

A mentor once told me, if you think you're a leader, but you turn to realize no one is following you, then you're just taking a walk. 

Leadership isn't promised, given, mandated or inherited. It is earned. 

Somehow society has adopted the idea that leadership principles play differently in marriage. As if, in all other avenues of life leadership is merited but in marriage its entitled because I am a man and she is a woman.

My (Tyson) wife is a leader. She has more ambition and drive in her than most fortune 500 CEOs I've encountered. So how then can I have the audacity to say I'm her leader merely because of some "biblical" religious mandate? 

We will examine the passage most men quote on biblical headship in a minute, but first let me say this kind of woman is lead by a certain kind of man. 

A faithful and strong, well read, well respected man. 
A man who is able to control his tongue, make wise financial decisions, be responsible with his work and his time. 
A man who is compassionate while still ambitious.
A man who is kind and gentle but could protect and defend.

This man, as you might guess, would have to be like Jesus.

So to the question, "Why can't I lead my wife?" I would have to answer–because I'm not Jesus.

Lets look at the text in Ephesians 5, the foremost place we get this principle of male headship in marriage:

22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.   

Note here a very important phrase: "the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church."  The style of leadership, the prototype, is borrowed directly from Jesus Christ. 

As he leads, I lead. As he speaks, I speak. 

This passage is not talking about hierarchy or preeminence. It’s not that your vote is the vote that counts or that she is lesser than you. It speaks to the kind of leadership that is exercised. If you don't believe me, look what the next verse and following says:

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.   

The style of leadership that has been displayed for us to imitate is that of sacrifice. It is laying your own self down at the service of the other. This is leadership that Christ earned by submitting to the Father's will and laying down his life upon the cross. 

Really, in the full context, Paul is saying that husbands are the first submitters after Christ. Read verse 21, "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." See it's not "Wife Submit!" but rather, "We submit to each other, and you know what honey, like Christ, I’ll go first."

I love that Paul recognizes that we are unknowing experts in this field of leadership when he says "husbands should love their wives as their own bodies!"  We have been practicing a love for ourselves through years of singleness and many of us have continued this well into marriage! We don't lord over our body and rule over it, but we nourish it, take care of it, flex it, tan it, shave it, clothe it. 

When we put our flesh into submission, we do it by fasting and praying and reading and focusing and worshiping. We know how to lead! We are fully equipped to live into this role of headship in marriage; but now it’s time we practice it.

I'll let John Piper have the last word here. This is from the best book I've read on this subject, This Momentary Marriage.

“So, husbands, your headship means: Go ahead. Take the lead. It 
does not matter if it is her fault. That didn’t stop Christ. Who will 
break the icy silence first? Who will choke out the words, “I’m sorry, 
I want it to be better”? Or “Can we talk? I’d like things to be better.” 

She might beat you to it. Sometimes that’s okay. But woe to you if you 
think that since it’s her fault, she’s obliged to say the first reconciling 
word. Headship is not easy. It is the hardest, most humbling work in 
the world. Protect your family. Strive, as much as it lies within you, to 
make peace before the sun goes down.”


SINGLES: Your perspective of headship will be projected in your future marriage. Write out what you think biblical headship looks like (as a husband or for your husband) and sit down with an older married couple and ask them to give you feedback on that view. 

MARRIEDS: If you've been married for any amount of time, you know headship is easier to idealize than to actualize. The greatest tool in marriage is talking. Ask your wife (or husband, if you're a wife reading this) what his/her view of biblical headship is. Talk through the various opinions (there are many) and do some studying of the Bible to see what God's plan was for headship in marriage. 


What would our relationships look like if we put these things into practice in the Church and in our marriages?

What aspects or opinions of "headship" are you uncomfortable with as a man or woman? How are you wrestling through those? 

Tyson and Julianna have been living a soap opera turned real-life fairytale for the last 5 years. Their biggest lesson learned in marriage is that the other person come first. So that means Jules buys ketchup despite her hatred of it and Tyson deals with all the bath products in the shower despite his confusion. That's gold people. 
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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