Most of us have a primal craving to be truly known by someone before we die, to build a deeply committed relationship based on honesty, trust, self-disclosure, respect, appreciation, interdependence, and togetherness. But the sexes often define intimacy differently. When women want to draw closer, we face each other, lock eyes in what has been called the “anchoring gaze,” and proceed to reveal our hopes, our worries, our lives. To women, intimacy is talking face-to-face—a behavior that probably evolved millions of years ago when ancestral females spent their days holding their infants up in front of them, soothing them with words. Men, however, often regard intimacy as working or playing side-by-side. Sure, they might discuss a bad week at work, even troubles in their love lives. But rarely do they share their secret dreams and darkest fears. (When they do, they often use “joke speak,” camouflaging their feelings with humor.) And men almost never look deeply into each other’s eyes. Their approach to intimacy probably also harks back to prehistory: Picture ancestral males gathering behind a bush, quietly staring across the grass in hopes of felling a passing buffalo. They faced their enemies but sat next to their friends. This is why, to build intimacy with a man, I do things with him—side-by-side. That way, when I talk, he isn’t threatened by my gaze. Curious to find out more about such gender differences, I asked 4,876 members of the Internet dating site , “What would you do as an intimate activity with a partner?” and offered various choices. I found that men were far more likely to regard “debating” as intimate. I wasn’t surprised: Intimacy requires being in your comfort zone, and men’s testosterone is associated with competitiveness. On the other hand, women were more likely to consider “organizing a neighborhood or community party together” and “taking a vacation together with a crowd of your closest friends” as ways to be close. Because estrogen is associated with social skills and nurturing, I wasn’t surprised by this either. What I didn’t expect was that 95 percent of all respondents rated “talking heart-to-heart with your partner about your relationship” as something they’d do to be intimate, while 94 percent felt that “doing something adventurous together” spelled togetherness—with hardly any difference between the sexes. If these results are any indication that men are learning to appreciate women’s need to talk, while women are understanding the male way of showing love (“actions speak louder than words”), then bravo! There are, of course, many other things you can do to cultivate togetherness . Help your partner achieve his goals. Face your problems as a team. Develop a private spiritual or religious world. Choose a new interest to pursue jointly. Do chores together. Play. And get the oxytocin flowing. Oxytocin is a brain chemical that produces feelings of trust and attachment. Men get a blast of it when they kiss, women feel a rush when they hold a lover’s hand, and during orgasm, both partners are flooded with the powerful substance. So last but not least, enjoy each other physically. Good sex really does build intimacy. By Helen Fisher, PhD

“Once you love someone, you love them forever. People fall out of trust, intimacy, and respect, not love.” - Rashida Rowe

Obsessiveness is common in many ways – not being able to sleep at night because of hurting someone you love, for example, or developing a childhood fascination with dinosaurs that never leaves and you eventually become a paleontologist. Then there is an addiction to obsessiveness which stifles creativity. Obsessiveness is not only boring, it also lacks any faith in process. Process is always out of your control. You must be open to finding out what will happen instead of seeking a false sense of control. An example of this false sense of control would be to think: If I always know where you are, you can’t have an affair. Part of the control of obsessiveness is to nurse hurt feelings, exaggerate disappointment, and constantly blame the other for not coming to the rescue. Obsessiveness is very interesting because there are two sides to it: the positive side is creative passion that helps you know what really matters; the negative side is an addiction which makes you unable to prioritize anything. As a result, things have the same weight. Is s/he having an affair? Just how clean can my house be to prove I know what’s what? Are all those towels really folded correctly? Obsessiveness is a focus on what is NOT. Truly focus on the here and now in the moment and the obsession will change itself. Obsession is a substitute for action. Both polarities of obsessiveness are available. What is more mentally healthy, especially as we age, is sorting out what is important and what to let go of. Ultimately letting go is the final lesson of death. One of the many wonderful aspects about raising children is that elegant dance of knowing what’s important combined with the letting go work of adolescence and not knowing. The not knowing leaves room for respecting their choices as different from your own ideas of who they should be. Too many parents stifle and interrupt children’s abilities to make their own mistakes and their own choices. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W.

“Love without sacrifice is like theft.” - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

November 2, 2013 by

I once heard a preacher say this:

The depths to which you indulged in your sin will be the depths to which you’ll need to live in holiness.

That has stuck with me.  What this means to me is simple:  The degree to which I chased after my sin and wallowed in it will be the same degree to which I need to chase after holiness and rest in God.  

A friend recently wrote, “powerful passions have to be met with a powerful response.”   Amen.

Paul opens his letter to the Romans introducing himself as a “slave to Christ” (Rom. 1:1).   He was delivered from much, and his life seemed to reflect such a single-minded focus on Christ which is rarely found in churches today.

I desire to be a slave for Christ, and know I have much deeper waters to yet tread in my pursuit of holiness.   By God’s grace He is drawing me there, and I’m thankful for the freedom such slavery brings.

How powerful is your response against the powerful passions that have plagued you?

The desire to be part of a loving family; to have parents who are loving, supporting, and caring; to have siblings who love you and care for your well-being; to have family members who listen to you, who share themselves, who make your life happier by being in it (and who are happy in your being in their lives)…. All those are very human desires. Everyone wants those. Who doesn’t want to be loved well and loved for who they are? … not everyone gets that family. Yet abused children will do anything to convince themselves that, yes, they do have that family. Myriad children, for the sake of being able to survive to adulthood, have to convince themselves that their family is loving…. even if the children are being routinely cut into shreds emotionally. Abusive parents, knowing this on some level, often tell their abused children that they deserve such verbal takedowns, that the parents are only being honest or caring, that the parents need to correct their children, etc. The abusive parents often cling to an idea that they are fantastic parents and, as emotionally abused children often experience a type of brainwashing, children repeat what they hear. “We are a loving family,” a child will repeat, even if bearing emotional scars from distant, selfish parents. “My parents are great parents,” a boy will repeat even if he has been treated harshly and been abused routinely. The child’s mind needs to believe that the loving family is true… because the truth of the matter is very difficult for a child to accept. But it’s also difficult for an adult survivor to accept the fact. However, an adult has the ability to break away from the abuse. And one way to make sure they stop engaging in relationships that are abusive is to remember the truth of the relationship. Remember the facts of what really have happened. Unfortunately, many adult survivors of emotional child abuse—-longing for family, longing for parents, hating how judgmental society is regarding estranged family members—hurry back to the fold almost as quickly as they told their abusers to stop it. The adult survivor’s deeply rooted desire for what could be makes them return to the fold in the very foolish, heart-breaking hope that everything will be different now… By Veronica Maria Jarski

“There are many who don’t wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who don’t wish to wake for the same fear.” - Richelle E. Goodrich

There is true freedom from Masturbation and Pornography and it is in Jesus Christ alone! He came to Set the Captives free!

If your usage of a substance like alcohol or drugs, or habit like excessive shopping or sports-watching (or pornography/sex), ever prompted someone you love to say to you, “Too much,” listen up. The biggest mistake people make with addictions, alcohol and otherwise, is that they deny that they are over-doing it. They get defensive. They insist “I’m only drinking so much because …” They claim, “You do it too..” or “Everyone drinks like that..” They minimize, “I just drink….” Denial is tempting, and extremely self-defeating. Resist this temptation, and you have a chance at averting the potentially marriage-threatening consequences of an addiction that you persist in sustaining. The remedy: Take your loved one’s concern seriously. Seriously reassess your habit. Ask yourself, “If I look at my [pornography use/sexual acting out] in the best possible light, what is it meant to accomplish?” If the answer is that [pornography/sex] enables you to escape from stresses in your life, it’s time to face those stresses head on. Addictions usually are an alternative to addressing and resolving problems, marital and otherwise. Replace running away with talking about your problems with someone you trust. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D.

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m racing with my own shadow… But that’s one thing I’ll never be able to outrun. Nobody can shake off their own shadow.” - Haruki Murakami

Posted: 31 Jan 2014 03:00 AM PST

Our sexual sin affects many things we cannot see, yet. Erosion brings a hidden, slow devastation.  Erosion to soil can cause a house to sink into the ground.  Erosion of the nuts and bolts in your car cause parts to go bad.  Beach erosion causes houses and lighthouses to have to be moved. When we are struggling sexually and don’t talk about it, a deadly erosion takes place on many levels. Erosion of our spiritual life – Our relationship with God.  Our prayer life.  Our spiritual fervency.  Our intimacy with God.  Our focus on Kingdom things.  We cannot be holy vessels when we are holding onto sexual sin.  We cannot be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when we are in sin. Erosion of our authenticity – We can’t be our true self.  A second person exists.  We lack integrity.  We pretend.  We lie. Erosion of our sense of truth – We are slowly being deceived into thinking that keeping a secret is OK.  We begin to convince ourselves that it would be better not to share; that there will be less carnage and consequence.  We start believing lies.  Even lies that our behavior is not that bad, or that somehow, it’s OK with God.  We don’t realize how far we are straying from a sense of truth. Erosion of our relationships – We give less energy and passion to others.  We are becoming self-absorbed,  protective and private.  There’s a part of us that we can’t offer to others.  We cannot fully minister to others.  When we do connect with others, it is devoid of the power of God from a clean vessel. Erosion of our passions – Our passion is not God, but ourselves.  Our passion becomes our sexual habits.  This is idolatry.  We are giving ourselves to something God did not ordain for us.  The energy that we could be using to serve Him, our spouse, and others is being given to porn, fantasy, masturbation or adultery. Erosion of other people’s lives – Some of us are involved in illicit relationships with other people.  We may be having an affair, encounters with prostitutes, anonymous sex, or an emotional affair.  In some cases a parishioner is involved; someone you counseled, a secretary, a teenager, a child.  Other people become victims of our behaviors. When we are in the middle of our sexual sin, we do not see these types of erosion.  God may have blow our life apart before we see the erosion.  There is always degradation with sin, and sin always puts us on its destructive path. THE SOLUTION The key to stopping the erosion is to share the secret.  The only way for the power to be taken out of the secret is to talk about out with safe people.  Darkeness must come into light.  The affects of erosion will contnue as long as the secret remains.  Erosion will never magically disappear.  It has to be arrested and counteracted with something bigger than ourselves. GET HELP FOR YOUR PURITY JOURNEY Jeff Fisher helps guys with their purity journeys through:

  • Online / Phone Support Groups
  • Accountability Coaching
  • Personal Coaching
  • Speaking at Conferences