#2 of 09: What is the 30 Day Sex Challenge?

30day-bulletin

Tonight, one of our next steps was to challenge our church to participate in the 30 day sex challenge. I wanted to take a minute to explain what it is, what we are challenging you to do and how to participate in it.

The 30 day sex challenge was originally developed by Relevant Church in Tampa, FL. The idea is to create a challenge that would move married couples to higher levels of intimacy while at the same time challenging those that are not married (single, dating, engaged) to higher levels of purity and integrity.

So here is the challenge.

If you are married, to do the 30 day devotional guide with your spouse everyday and have sex everyday for the next 30 days.

If you are not married, to abstain from all things sexual for the next 30 days. Self love, porn, oral sex, sex, fill in the blank for the next 30 days and while you are doing that, go throught he devotional guide.

What do you do if you are engaged or dating? Do the singles guide because until you are actually married, you aren’t married. For more on the ways we make it okay to have sex outside of marriage, you can listen to tonight’s talk.

Now, how do you do this?

You can subscribe here to get it by email or you can put this blog into your google reader and every morning the singles and married guide for the day will be sent to your email inbox or reader (starting Monday, October 5th).

You can go to our website, download and print out the married guide and the singles guide.

You can also become a fan on our facebook page and it will appear in your newsfeed on your facebook page everyday.

The reality is that one of the main reasons many marriages end or are unhappy is because of their sexual relationship. Many of the problems that couples experience begin before they get married and often, before they even meet the person they are married to.

If you are a couple that has lost some ground in your sexual relationship, are on the edge of adultery, dealing with sexual addiction, need to spice up your relationship or want to raise the level of your sexual relationship, then this is definitely for you.

If you are not married and are struggling with not having sex, you are struggling to keep good boundaries, struggling with sexual addiction, then this is something you should definitely do. This will help to create good boundaries, while at the same time working through the issues that sex outside of marriage brings about.

Here is a great way to know you should do it, if you don’t want to. That is the clearest sign that you need to do this as a couple or individual.

Any questions about this, let us know.

#7 of 09: How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction

On October 3rd at Revolution we opened up a topic that is not talked about in enough churches: porn, sexual addiction and adultery. It was hard to preach through, but it has been a message that has caused a lot of conversations among couples.

It definitely struck a chord in our church (you can listen to the talk here).

I was very honest and open in my talk about our journey. When I was 10, I was at a birthday party and the guys dad thought it was time for all of us 10 year olds to learn about sex and women, so he brought down a box of porn. That began for me an addiction that lasted until I was 22.

My talk came out of the journey that Katie and I experienced as we tried to heal, move forward, understand the reasons why (ironically, this is the last thing people talk about, the why, but I believe until you understand that you will have a difficult time finding freedom), and how to heal our marriage and find trust, integrity and purity.

I can honestly say, this was the hardest thing we have ever done, but worth doing. What came out of this journey is a stronger relationship, honesty, trust, purity. We put many different boundaries and protections in place in our lives to keep us pure. We have accountability we didn’t have 7 years ago because our marriage is worthwhile.

The most common questions we got after the talk were, “Is it possible to be free?” and “What does a wife do, how does she handle it?”

Yes, it is possible to be free. It will take a lot of work, prayer, some drastic changes in your life, but you can find freedom and have eyes only for your wife. Our life is a walking example. Like any addict, we celebrate 7 years of freedom!

To answer the second question, Katie did something that I am very proud of her for doing. She walked through our journey, her journals, her heart and shared them on her blog. These are must reads for any guy who is addicted to porn and any wife who suspects or knows her husband is and she is trying to find answers or healing.

Here are the posts:

If you need some more resources to help you through this journey, here are some that have been incredibly helpful to us.

One thing I learned through preaching on this is that enough churches do not talk about this. Statistically, over 80% of the men in your church are dealing with this. The stats are crazy and the church needs to step up to the plate, call men to integrity, help couples find freedom and answers and healing.

I’m going to step off my soap box now.

#8 of 09: When Male Headship Doesn’t Work

The idea of roles, headship and submission in marriage is obviously filled with land mines. Many people have misused and misinterpreted these beautiful verses to make them say what they want to. We have visions of quiet wives who say nothing, men who dominate and abuse their families all based on Ephesians 5, completely missing the point of this passage.

In thinking about male headship, here are 5 reasons it does not work and how to work against these problems to create the picture described in Ephesians 5:

  1. Spiritually apathetic headship. This husband completely abdicates his role as the spiritual leader of his family. He often will not go to church with his wife and kids and if he does, he is very passive. Not getting involved, not praying with his wife or kids, not praying at dinner, not guiding his kids spiritually, not asking questions, not reading the Scripture to them. He lets that up to the church or his wife.
  2. Workaholic headship. This husband sees headship simply as providing for the needs of his family. While that is part of headship, there is more to it than making money so there is a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food on the table. This type of headship is disconnected from the family in some very important ways.
  3. Dictorial headship. This husband uses headship as a way to control and get his way, all the time. It doesn’t matter how he gets his way and it doesn’t matter what happens because he has gotten his way. He just wants his way. Often, he will use Bible verses to get it. This husband will treat his wife and kids as slaves and orders them around. Often, this will lead to physical abuse, which is nowhere near what Paul had in mind when he called men to be the head of their house.
  4. Emotionally detached headship. This is the husband who is the head of the family in name only. He has nothing to do with his wife, kids. He does not lead them in any form. He simply sits by, dictating when he doesn’t like something, letting his wife take on his role and responsibility and basically do everything he is supposed to do. Emotionally, he does not know how to relate to his and kids. He does not know how to connect to his family, he is distant.
  5. Irresponsible headship. This is the husband who buys things without consulting his wife, makes decisions on his own and generally puts his family in financial, relational, physical and emotional danger because “He is the head of the house.” This husband sees headship as a club to get to do what he wants.

(Note, in case you didn’t figure out from my talk on Saturday, Revolution believes that God has called men to lovingly lead. Not in a dictatorial way, but in a way that sees the man laying his life down for his wife and kids (if married). The way I put it was, “he is the first one up, the last one to bed. In an emergency or crisis, he dies first.” That is what being a man is, which is obviously very different from what our culture says a man is. This post was a response to why it often does not work in homes. Mainly because men are not men.)

Posts on Marriage & Relationships

Over the last month during our I Want a New Marriage series I have been doing a lot of writing on marriage, dating, sex and relationships. Below are all of the posts in the order that they appeared on the blog.

  1. 15 Ways to Destroy Your Marriage
  2. 15 Ways to Improve Your Marriage
  3. Book Recommendations for Dealing with Baggage, Hurt and Relational Pain
  4. How You Know You are Slacking Off
  5. Book Recommendations for Dealing with Porn, Sexual Addiction, and Adultery
  6. What is the 30 Day Sex Challenge?
  7. Boundaries in Dating & Marriage
  8. Adultery Ladder
  9. “When we Get Married, He/She Will _______”
  10. Spiritual Warfare, 30 Day Sex Challenge, & You
  11. 16 Ways Not to Fight
  12. Book Recommendations for Dealing with Questions about Divorce and Remarriage
  13. Is Love a Choice or a Feeling (And Why it Matters)
  14. Looking for Love
  15. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  16. Book Recommendations for Dealing with Emotional & Physical Needs
  17. Her Needs: Affection
  18. Her Needs: Conversation
  19. Her Needs: Honesty & Openness
  20. Her Needs: Financial Support
  21. Her Needs: Family Commitment
  22. Book Recomendations for Roles, Male Headship & Submission
  23. Why Male Headship Does Not Work in Homes (The Misreadings of Ephesians 5)
  24. 25 Ways to be a Servant-Leader
  25. Recommended Resources from I Want a New Marriage Series
  26. His Needs, Her Needs

His Needs, Her Needs

As a follow-up to a talk Katie and I gave at Revolution 2 weeks ago, we did a series of posts based on the book His Needs, Her Needs. If you missed the posts, here they are:

Recommended Resources from I Want a New Marriage Series

Throughout this series, we have been passing on recommended resources and books to help you with the different topics we have covered. Here is the list from the whole series. Enjoy.

On dealing with baggage, hurt and relational pain (September 26)

On dealing with porn, sexual addiction and adultery  (October 3)

Computer software:

On questions about divorce & remarriage (October 10)

On the difference between men and women, meeting each other’s physical and emotional needs (October 17)

On roles, male headship and submission in marriage (October 24)

25 Ways to be a Servant-Leader

This past Saturday, I preached on roles, male headship and submission at Revolution Church. While I focused on both men and women, primarily I focused on men. There seems to be a huge hole in marriages in the area of what men do and the role they are called to. It is time for men to be men and take initiative, pastor their families and lovingly lead their families.

In his book Rocking the Roles Robert Lewis lays out 25 ways to be a servant leader:

  1. Includes his wife in envisioning the future. Being the leader in your home does not mean you are the only one with input or the only one who cares about the family. Involving your wife about where your family is going is huge. What do you both want? What do you both need? What excites you? How will you spend your time and money as a family?
  2. Accepts spiritual responsibility for his family. He takes the lead on getting his family to church, praying with his wife, praying with his kids, praying at meals, reading the scriptures as a family. He is the type of man that if his wife has a question about the Bible, she comes to him.
  3. Says, “I’m sorry” and “Forgive me” to his family. A husband is able to admit when he is wrong and take responsibility instead of passing blame or finding excuses.
  4. Discusses household responsibilities with his wife and makes sure these are fairly distributed.
  5. Seeks the consultation of his wife on all major financial decisions. A husband values his wife’s input. He does not rule by decree. He makes decisions that are the best for his marriage and his family. He does not make decisions that are best for him personally.
  6. Follows through with commitments he has made to his wife. When you say you will be home, be home. A man is only as good as his word.
  7. Anticipates the different stages his marriage will pass through. He reads books, talks to mentors and other couples who are farther down the path to find out what to be prepared for and is prepared for them as best he can.
  8. Anticipates the stages his children will pass through. Read books on parenting, talk to other parents, learn about your kids.
  9. Tells his wife what he likes about her. Most of the time you talk to your wife about her, you are telling her what she does wrong or what you don’t like. What if you started telling her about what you like about her.
  10. Provides financially for his family’s basic living expenses. Men have jobs. They don’t stay up all night surfing for porn and playing video games. They work and become the best employee they can to take care of their families. They create a budget and make sure their family lives within their means.
  11. Deals with distractions so that he can talk with his wife and family. He turns off the TV and computer and pay attention to his family.
  12. Prays with his wife.
  13. Initiates meaningful family traditions. What will your kids remember about growing up in your home? What will they talk about when they think of Christmas? You are creating their answers as a father.
  14. Initiates fun outings for the family.
  15. Takes the time to give his children practical instruction about life, which in turn gives them confidence with their peers. Do not let your children learn how to play sports and learn about sex or money from others. Do not let them learn about God from others. They should learn it from their dad, through conversations and his living example.
  16. Goes through the upcoming week with his wife to clarify their schedules. Every Sunday, Katie and I sync up for the wek and make sure we are on the same page for the week. We talk about the pace of the week to prepare for it as well as to look for ways to slow down.
  17. Keeps his family out of debt. Do you live on a budget? Within your means? Are you leading your family to give back to God?
  18. Makes sure he and his wife have drawn up a will and arranged a well-conceived plan for their children in case of death.
  19. Lets his children into the interior of his life. His kids know him, they know his dreams, feeling and memories with them. He is not cut off from his family.
  20. Praises his wife in public. OFTEN.
  21. Explains sex to each child in a way that gives him or her a wholesome experience.
  22. Encourages his wife to grow as an individual. He helps her develop dreams, her gifts, abilities. He encourages her to develop those gifts and talents for right now and for the future.
  23. Takes the lead in establishing with his wife clear and well-reasoned convictions on issues such as debt, child discipline, movies, TV, the internet, smoking, drugs. These are defined in their home.
  24. Joins a small group of men who are dedicated to becoming better men, husbands, and fathers. He invites accountability.
  25. Provides time for his to pursue personal interests.

When Male Headship Does Not Work (The Men Who Are Still Spoiled Boys)

The idea of roles, headship and submission in marriage is obviously filled with land mines. Many people have misused and misinterpreted these beautiful verses to make them say what they want to. We have visions of quiet wives who say nothing, men who dominate and abuse their families all based on Ephesians 5, completely missing the point of this passage.

In thinking about male headship, here are 5 reasons it does not work and how to work against these problems to create the picture described in Ephesians 5:

  1. Spiritually apathetic headship. This husband completely abdicates his role as the spiritual leader of his family. He often will not go to church with his wife and kids and if he does, he is very passive. Not getting involved, not praying with his wife or kids, not praying at dinner, not guiding his kids spiritually, not asking questions, not reading the Scripture to them. He lets that up to the church or his wife.
  2. Workaholic headship. This husband sees headship simply as providing for the needs of his family. While that is part of headship, there is more to it than making money so there is a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food on the table. This type of headship is disconnected from the family in some very important ways. 
  3. Dictorial headship. This husband uses headship as a way to control and get his way, all the time. It doesn’t matter how he gets his way and it doesn’t matter what happens because he has gotten his way. He just wants his way. Often, he will use Bible verses to get it. This husband will treat his wife and kids as slaves and orders them around. Often, this will lead to physical abuse, which is nowhere near what Paul had in mind when he called men to be the head of their house.
  4. Emotionally detached headship. This is the husband who is the head of the family in name only. He has nothing to do with his wife, kids. He does not lead them in any form. He simply sits by, dictating when he doesn’t like something, letting his wife take on his role and responsibility and basically do everything he is supposed to do. Emotionally, he does not know how to relate to his and kids. He does not know how to connect to his family, he is distant.
  5. Irresponsible headship. This is the husband who buys things without consulting his wife, makes decisions on his own and generally puts his family in financial, relational, physical and emotional danger because “He is the head of the house.” This husband sees headship as a club to get to do what he wants.

(Note, in case you didn’t figure out from my talk on Saturday, Revolution believes that God has called men to lead. This post was a response to why it often does not work in homes. Mainly because men are not men.)

Her Needs: Family Commitment

This past Saturday, Katie and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at her needs and how a husband fulfills those needs. To see his needs and how a wife fulfills those, check out Katie’s blog.

Need #5: Family Commitment

Admittedly, for many couples the woman tends to be more about family. While many men love being dads, many of them don’t put a high priority on family. A woman, does. This need basically means, if you have kids, she wants you to be a good father.

Women want their husbands to take a leadership role in the family, they want them to take initiative and make the family a priority over other things.

Women want their husbands to be involved in raising the kids, having conversations, discipline, helping with homework, helping to develop them spiritually, athletically and relationally. Statistically, kids will grow up and the relationship or lack thereof with their dad will have the greatest affect on how they are as adults (especially girls).

Here are some ways to do this:

  • Meals together with the family (with the TV off)
  • Going for walks and bike rides
  • Attending church together
  • Conducting family meetings
  • Playing games together
  • Attenting sports events
  • Reading to kids before bedtime
  • Helping kids with financial planning
  • Family projects (that the kids like, not just your chores that need to be done)

How do you do this:

This Weekend: From This Moment

This Saturday we finish up our series I Want a New Marriage. This series has been exciting, challenging and hard to preach through. We have covered everything from forgiveness, relational baggage and hurt, pornography and sexual addiction, divorce and adultery, sex and emotional needs.

Saturday we will wrap it up by looking at the area that causes the most problems, arguments and confusion within dating relationships and marriage:  What is a man supposed to be? What is a woman supposed to be? What is a husband do? What does a wife do?

Too many people have no idea, they have no idea the type of person they are looking for when they are dating and they have no idea who they want to end up with and consequently, they have no idea who they are trying to become as they date and get married.

This causes so much confusion within marriages that leads to fights, arguments, frustrations and ultimately unhappiness and divorce many times.

We’ll look at whether or not the Bible teaches headship and submission and whether or not the Bible does put specific roles out there for men and women.

What if you could figure out roles and expectations before getting married? What if right now, if you are married, you could figure out what each of you are supposed to be doing (not just what you want to do)? What if you knew what God called you to be as a man and a woman?

This is going to be a great way to end this series.

To send an e-invite, go here.