Codependent? Maybe not …

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Whenever we lose a relationship, romantic or otherwise, most of us can look back and see the moment when we knew it was over. There may have been a lot of little things that led up to that moment, but they all boiled down to one incident, one point where we knew.

In my marriage, that incident took place 5 years in. Twenty years later, I can still recount it in detail. It was the moment in which I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my ex didn’t love me. I stayed married for another 15 years, partially because I thought I had to, but mostly because I didn’t want to give up.

In a friendship that recently fell apart, the incident is still relatively fresh and raw. I can also recount it in detail, and I imagine I always will. It was the moment when I knew that, even if we remained friends, it would never be the same. We didn’t, but it was her choice, not mine. I didn’t want to give up.

The term codependent has been thrown around a lot since it was coined back in the 80’s. When we stay in a relationship too long … when we can look back and see all of the reasons we should have left way before we did … we often decide we’re codependent. There must be something wrong with us if we stayed with someone who didn’t meet our needs, giving them chance after chance, hoping that maybe this time, they’d change.

But when we are patient and kind with the people close to us, when we keep no record of wrongs, when we forgive all things and bear all things, it often has a simpler name … love.

Christ forgives me much on a daily basis, puts up with my stubbornness and my impatience, and lovingly draws me as close as I am willing to come. It makes no earthly sense for Him to do so. I have failed Him a million times, and yet if I am willing to change, He doesn’t give up on me. And then He commands me to show the same love to others.

Granted, there are times when loving does cross the line into codependency. There are times when a relationship has become so toxic that the only healthy thing you can do is get out. I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone stay in an abusive situation, and I’m not saying that healthy boundaries should not be enforced. If you’re having trouble with that, contact us.

But if we’re hanging on longer than others think we should, it doesn’t always mean that there is something wrong with us. It might just mean that we are loving others as Christ loved us.

Blessings … Cindy

Unholy Trinity …

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I recently came across this excellent blog post on communication. In it, the author outlines what he calls the Unholy Trinity … perceptiveness, lack of self awareness, and defensiveness. When these things are present, it makes effective communication nearly impossible.

 The author’s advice is to minimize contact if possible, and keep things light and low key when you can’t, and that’s excellent advice if someone in your life exhibits these traits. But then I got to thinking … what if YOU are the person who follows this pattern? Do you have a string of lost relationships behind you? Has someone … maybe multiple someones … said that it’s hard to talk to you? Have you cut people out of your life because they’ve said things you didn’t want to hear? Maybe it’s something to think about.

Although any temperament can struggle with self awareness, it’s usually the sanguines and the cholerics who have the most trouble with it. But if we want to become Christlike, it’s up to us to be aware of our sin, dump it at the foot of the cross, and make the behavioral changes that reflect our relationship with Him. When we’re not seeing our sin, God will often use the people close to us to point it out.

So what can you work on if you think the problem might lie with you? Try starting with these.

Perceptiveness … those subtle nuances you are so gifted at detecting are generally not about you. Stop taking everything so personally. Clarify the situation if necessary, and if the other person tells you that he meant X, don’t argue that you’re sure he meant Y. If you insist that you know what they really meant even if they say otherwise, that person is not going to feel safe talking to you again.

Lack of self awareness … if someone close to you says that you’re impossible to talk to, your response has probably been, Well if you can’t talk to me, that’s your problem!  That is guaranteed to keep you stuck in the same place. Instead, take a deep breath and ask them why they feel that way. Accept the fact that they are seeing something you’re not.

Defensiveness … this is where you’ll need that deep breath. What they tell you will probably make you angry. It will probably hurt. You will want to argue and defend and tell them that if they didn’t do A, you wouldn’t do B. This is the point where you have probably ended relationships if the person didn’t apologize and drop it. But if  you want to grow, you need to ask God to show you if what they said is true. If you need confirmation, ask 2 or 3 other close, trusted people … just remember that they are well aware of your tendency to cut people out of your life, so they may hesitate to be honest.

Once you begin to see the problem, you can take steps to change it. If you need help, contact us.

 The Unholy Trinity is, at best, childish, and at worst, incredibly destructive. The good news is that you can choose to change, and you can accomplish it through the power we all have in Christ. It won’t happen overnight … it will happen one conversation at a time, as you decide to stop taking things personally, become aware of how you are affecting others, and really listen instead of defending your behavior.

Getting rid of the Unholy Trinity will leave more room for the fruit of the Spirit … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness … and get us close to the ultimate goal of being like Christ.


Blessings … Cindy

Some thoughts to a husband

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Ski – lets chat about this a little more, because its a conceptual thing that is very important in YOUR Christian walk. Notice I said you and not your wife, etc.

We men make this all about getting our wives back, getting the kids back, and so on and so on. But what we fail to realize, this is all a symptom of a deeper problem. Just like the human body, if you fix the core issue the symptoms repair themselves. (even cancer btw). For the men that realize this and walk this out, we actually do receive God’s promise of peace, love and joy. Ask Tony, David, Matt, myself and the list, is very small because only a few understand this. Ken Nair says one in ten will actually get this. And that doesn’t even mean our marriages are restored all the time, but something happens inside of you that is a true miracle of God’s blessings.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 NIV


That’s a really interesting passage. Notice how it doesn’t say for “our good”. In other words, God knows the good you need and how you can serve the Kingdom of God. – Lets look at another passage.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” – Jer 29:11-14


Everyone loves to quote this passage, or at least the 29;11 part. I rarely here anyone add verse 12 and 13, but isn’t that the action that our Lord uses to bring forth verse 11 ands 14. If we do not seek the Lord, can we expect Him to fulfill His side of the promise?

So now lets tie this back into your life and marriage. I am not too concerned with whether or not you believe what you hear in the ministry. What defines your Christian walk is how you choose to live according to the Word of God. Myself, Joel, any moderator or helper is not your Judge. You are Judged by God alone and whether or not Jesus steps on the scale to balance your sin, is totally defined by your walk.

First, you must completely let go of everything your wife is doing. It is totally irrelevant. The Word of God tells you what you need to do.   If you focus on that, you draw closer to God, and it is HIs responsibility to work on your wife. (see above Jer 29:11-14).

As a husband, your role is defined in Ephesians 5:25-32. There is nothing conditional in that passage.

Ephesians 5:25-33 – New International Version (NIV)

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.   “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


There is no statement saying you do not go to the Cross if your wife sins, or if she treats you poo poo, or she has an affair, etc. etc…. you get my point. You and I are both sinners, and Christ went to the Cross for us. Jesus didn’t say “well, I’ll cleanse TimothyPaul, if he repents, or if he changes his sinful ways. In the same way, verse 25 and 26 tells you that you must die for your wife. The dying is not a physical thing as most men suspect. It is dying to the five sins that kept the Israelites out of Canaan.

Lust (money, sex, earthly gratification, etc)
Idolatry (including ego – narcissism, self)
Fornification (includes porn, masturbation, double looks of women)

God is watching you. How you follow His Word. How in the midst of all your pain, hurt, toils and strifes, you honor Him, not your wife and Kids. How no matter what storms life throws at you, you refuse to succumb to your own flesh; and you stand by His Word, by His promises and Glorify Him. That is the test for us Christians.

So far up to this point, God is not asking you to die for Him as many are in the Mid East. He is asking you to love, honor and cherish your wife as your promised Him on the day you married His precious daughter. No matter what.

In His service….TimothyPaul

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

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For many years Bonnie Ware worked in palliative care. Over the years, when Bonnie questioned her patients about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, these common themes surfaced again and again.

Here, in her own words, are the five most common regrets Bonnie heard from those in her care in their dying days.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Wow! What strong and sobering insights for all of us to ponder and apply. Are we building a life that counts and will we leave a legacy that matters?

Note: this post was originally published in Inspiration and Chai. Bonnie has recently released a full-length book titled ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing



If you think it is possible that if Bonnie were to interview you today and any of the regrets above would apply to your life, contact us, so we can help your life be a Legacy.

In His service….TimothyPaul



Beholding the Glory of God

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“And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

 All counseling can only be effective with the serious relational contemplation of God.  This three part exercise provides an opportunity and structure in which you may be “still and know God”.

Exercise One: God the Father

 – Read Romans 8:28-33

  1. What is the Father aiming to accomplish in you “in all things”?  (see verse 29).  His goal is your utter transformation.  Do you trust His plan and faithfulness?
  1. If He is helping you become like Jesus “in all things”, how will this impact your thoughts and longings?  What if you were able to face your current trial with the mind of Jesus?  How would your response be different?
  1. Consider the faithfulness of God in that your healing (i.e., in all spheres) is as good as complete from His point of view (see verse 30).  The word “glorified” is past tense, meaning that as a believer your freedom from all suffering and sin are certain.
  1. Read Paul’s response to this reality in verse 31.  Do you resonate with his response?
  1. God gave his own Son for you.  How much does this illustrate His love for and commitment to your good (see verse 32)?   Respond with a grateful prayer.

Exercise Two:  God the Son

 – Read Romans 8:33-39

  1.  What is Jesus doing on behalf of the saint (see verse 34)? Are you comforted that Jesus is interceding for you at this time?
  1. As a result of His completed work upon the Cross, what are you now promised (see verse 35-39)?
  1. Write a genuine prayer thanking Jesus for His daily intercession for you and the assurance you have in that nothing can separate you from Him.

Exercise Three: God the Spirit

 – Read Romans 8:26-27

  1. What is the Spirit doing for you in your weakness (see verse 26)?
  1. What do you think about the Spirit praying perfect prayers for you on your behalf (see verse 27)?  Speak to Him from your Heart, He is listening.


Romans 8:26-39 exhibits that the entire Trinity is working on your behalf right now.  The entire Godhead is committed to loving you, changing you, and sustaining you.  Think on these things.  Spend the next 20-30 minutes praying and considering God’s love, favor, kindness, patience, and faithfulness towards you.  How has He strengthened you in your suffering?  How has He been faithful to forgive when you sin?  What blessings has He provided for you today?  Have you enjoyed a good meal recently?  How does this express God’s kindness towards you?  Write out your thoughts below as you are reminded of His goodness.  Converse with Him offering up thanksgiving and love as you behold the glory of the living God.

Five Indicators of An Evil and Wicked Heart

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Five Indicators of An Evil and Wicked Heart

Posted on 1/12/2015 by Leslie Vernick on

As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.

I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes.

The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14; Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21; James 1:4). We all miss God’ mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19-21). These things are not true of the evil heart.

Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart. If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.

1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information. (Exodus 2:1; Psalms 5:8; 10:7; 58:3; 109:2-5; 140:2; Proverbs 6:13,14; 6:18,19; 12:13; 16:20; 16:27, 28; 30:14; Job 15:35; Jeremiah 18:18; Nehemiah 6:8; Micah 2:1; Matthew 12:34,35; Acts 6:11-13; 2 Peter 3:16)

2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors. (Psalm 50:19; 52:2,3; 57:4, 59:7; 101:7; Proverbs 12:5; 26:23-26; 26:28; Job 20:12; Jeremiah 9:34; 12:6; Matthew 26:59; Acts 6:11-13; Romans 16:13,18; 2 Corinthians 11:13,14; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; 3:13; Titus 1:10,16).

3. Evil hearts crave and demand control and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance. (Romans 2:8; Psalms 10; 36:1-4; 50:16-22; 54:5,6; 73:6-9; Proverbs 21:24; Jude 1:8-16).

4. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from casino online those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust. (Proverbs 21:10; 1 Peter 2:16; Jude 1:4).

5. Evil hearts have no conscious, no remorse. They do not struggle against sin or evil, they delight in it, all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14-15; 10:23; 12:10; 21:27,29 Isaiah 32:6; Romans 1:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.

They want you to believe that:

1. Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences. When they say “I’m sorry”, they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person he or she has harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.

The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10).

The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisee’s with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, he or she is eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin (See Zacchaeus’ response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19).

Tim Keller writes, “If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, “Sorry, can’t we just let it go? You would say, “No, that would be an injustice.” Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required¾some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.” [1]

As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.

The evil person will also try to get you to believe

2. That if I talk like a gospel believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk. Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.

The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18; Jeremiah 7:8,10; James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God (Luke 3:8).

If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk, you have every reason to question someone’s relationship with God.

Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we have been trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good and without discernment we can be easily fooled. (Hebrews 5:14).

When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry,” or “that he’s changing” when in fact, he is not.

Daniel says, “the wicked will continue to be wicked”, (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?

[1] Tim Keller, Jesus the King, page 172


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December 27

Read 2 Timothy 4

Adapted from Live|Dead Joy by Dick Brogden

Ending well has nothing to do with dying rich, being respected by people, or slipping peacefully from sleep to eternity. A person may die with all of the external trappings of peace, but peaceful passages into eternity have historically happened at the stake and in physical agony on a sick bed.

We know Paul’s summary of his life:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Let us not forget that his head was chopped off. Ending well has nothing to do with dying apart from persecution. It also has nothing to do with going to heaven healthy. A clear mockery of this idea is found in 2 Kings 13:14: “Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he would die.”

Elisha was a great man of God. He made the Jordan part, predicted victories through music, performed miracles with oil, raised a boy from the dead, healed a Syrian of leprosy, floated a metal ax head, struck an army blind, and called down fire from heaven. God used him to perform other miracles too, but Elisha got sick and died a slow painful death.

If Elisha had to cross over to eternal health on the bridge of terminal illness, how can some people presume that they will be spared the burdens of sickness, suffering, or trial?

Does God want everyone healthy and provided for? Ultimately, yes—in heaven. On earth, the prophets died sick, apostles had their heads chopped off, and the Messiah writhed on a cross. Yet they ended superbly well. All remained faithful, and all passed victorious into eternal life.

Faith is not about money and wealth. Faith is about trust in Jesus—trust that He is real, worth suffering for, worth being sick for, worth being in prison for, worth dying for, worth arriving at the end of life’s race poured out, spent, and exhausted from sharing the gospel.

We end well when we carry the supremacy of Jesus’ worth all the way to heaven—no matter how our time on earth ends.

From the
seven:fourteen Daily Devotional.

Christian Character

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One of the best tests of a person’s Christian character is when you correct them. I compare it to liquid in a glass. When you bump someone holding a glass, whatever is in it will spill out. If the glass is filled with water, water will come out. When you “bump” a genuinely spirit filled person, you will get love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness and self control. But when you bump a person who professes to be Spirit filled but doesn’t have the evidence, out will come meanness, nastiness, bitterness and hostility.

There is no room in the Spirit-filled life for impoliteness, curtness, nastiness, self pity, or self promotion. The fruit is designed to get all of those things out of our life.

The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Husband Faces

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September 21, 2014

The 3 Biggest Mental Battles Every Husband Faces

Today’s post is directly inspired by another post that has nothing – and everything – to do with being a good husband.

As a matter of fact, I shamelessly ripped off the title and substituted “husband” for “blogger”.

It was just too perfect.

The post in question is written by Michael Hyatt, a top blogger in the field of leadership. His latest post hit my inbox just one day after a conversation with a counselee who was having a tough time.

As I was reading his article, I kept substituting the mental battles we face as men for Michael’s blogging experience. In my head, I was agreeing, “Yes, yes…and YES again!”

And this article was born.

The Right Mindset

My counselee is in the midst of a war that all husbands wage. It’s the battle with the three-headed monster of negativity.

Negativity will do nothing but sabotage your efforts. Do we all get frustrated? Sure. We all want to learn faster and we all want the learning curve to go ever upward. But it doesn’t work that way.

Instead we ride a plateau for a while and then get a little bump up. Then we do it again. It’s called being human.

But because we’re human, we have those little voices in our heads telling us all the things we can’t do or shouldn’t do and why it’ll never work. In his brilliant book, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield calls this negative chatter “resistance”.

So with the help of Pressfield and Michael Hyatt, I’m going to detail the three-headed monster of negativity and give some tips on how to do “Christ like man”. An awesome Christ like man.

“I Don’t Have Time for This”

Time is at a serious premium for all of us. But to be Christ like, you obviously have to carve out some time to work on your craft.  It is imperative you spend time in your Bible.  It is called the Sword of the Spirit for a reason.

So when a counselee tells me that he just can’t seem to find time to read and study their Bible, I help him determine the minimum commitment that they can make on a regular basis.

Nobody will claim that they can’t find at least 10-15 minutes per day for Bible study.. But most counselees are unaware that that can often be enough, at least to get started. It doesn’t have to require loads of time. It just takes a small concentrated effort consistently applied.

Now that you’ve carved out the time, it’s important that you know how to use it wisely. Ask yourself, “How efficient is my study time?”

Efficiency is all about getting the most done with the least time or effort. This requires that you understand your priorities and make sure to hit those things first. Michael Hyatt calls this “clarity about the essentials”. The essential element of your becoming a Christ like man, is to understand the heart of Christ.  We know that to be a Christ like man, we have to emulate Christ.  That may involve examining the purpose Christ would do something. He is living out the will of our Father.   There is a reason. Normally, these reasons will go against your flesh, but as we continue to study His life, they become more and more clear.  Sometimes, the reason will be intellectually pretty easy to discern however it may just go against your flesh.  That is why after salvation, we go through sanctification.  The cleansing process. This is an ongoing work in progress.

The bottom line: If you’re like most people, you are not going to do this perfect all of the time, especially at the beginning. Therefore you should that while sometimes you might blunder, you need to just get “back on the horse”. There is no need to give up and bail out just because you hit a bump.

“I Don’t Know How To Do This”

Never lose sight of the fact that none of us know what to do in the beginning stages of our journey. But the discovery is the most powerful part of the learning process.

It amazes me that counselees will still say “I don’t know how” when:

  • We have been over the material more than      once.
  • They have a folder of paperwork from      previous sessions.
  • They have the Internet at their      fingertips.

With all of this at their disposal, they will still say, “I don’t know how.”

I realize that many of you will say this screams “laziness”, and to a large extent, it does. If you really want something – and you have resources to aid you – then just get after it already.

But it also screams “I don’t pay attention.”

And if you know anything about being awesome , you know that the greatest thing you can bring to the party is your ability to pay strict attention. It is critical for solving problems.

Finally, “I don’t know how” may be symptomatic of paralysis by analysis. When the options seem overwhelming or when the counselee is afraid to make the wrong choice, he will make no choice at all.

It’s true that there is to contend with if we want to be a good husband. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming; just tackle your  obstacles one at a time.

“I Don’t Have What It Takes”

This is a tough one, because it speaks to our perceptions of our own ability, intelligence, and ability to learn. Understanding that you are not uniquely challenged in this – that every husband, no matter how wonderful he may appear to be, has questioned their ability – should help a bit. Unfortunately, it’s quite normal.

Practicing being a real man is such a solitary endeavor that it can often feel like we’re the only ones who fail. But quitting before the whistle blows, as Michael Hyatt puts it, is a sure-fire way to cheat yourself.

You’ll never know how well you could have done if you bail out when the going gets tough. And we all know what happens when the going gets tough, right?***

Allow me to share one of my favorite quotes, by Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

You heard the man – dig in and dare to be awesome.

Final Thoughts

Even though Michael Hyatt’s blog is about leadership, the theory applies to the same challenges you face  becoming a good husband. So be sure to check out his blog. It’s unfailingly positive and offers some great insights on leadership and life.


In His service….   TimothyPaul

QUESTION: Are you battling one of these negative thoughts? How have you learned to manage it? Leave me a comment below!

Happily ever after isn’t the point of marriage.

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Happily ever after isn’t the point of marriage.

08/19/14 by

An excerpt from my book, Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions & the Unnatural Art of Loving Another Person. (Read time: 5 mins)



The Michelangelo Effect.

As legend tells it, the story of Michelangelo and his sculpture of David has something to say to us about marriage.

As Michelangelo walked the art market, he passed a stone that had sat for some time, unwanted by anyone. Apparently several artists had tried to use the stone previously but found it had too many veins to produce anything of value. As Michelangelo walked by this rejected rock, he claims the stone spoke to him saying that David was inside of it. As he inquired about its price, the shop owner gave him the stone for free—simply wanting to free up space for a more sellable piece.

Michelangelo used the friction between his chisel and the rock to chip away—piece by piece—at this “useless” stone. Michelangelo didn’t sculpt like other sculptors. No, he didn’t believe he was creating something from nothing. Instead, he believed his slow, deliberate chiseling actually liberated what was already inside of the stone. He saw beautiful figures beneath the surface and considered it his responsibility as an artist to simply set them free.

Michelangelo described his unorthodox sculpting philosophy saying,

“Carving is easy. You just have to go down to the skin and stop.”

Two years of chiseling later, Michelangelo had set David free—and in the process, he sculpted this unlovely piece of rock into one of history’s most renowned pieces of art.

I think there’s more truth about marriage in this story than in most of our modern ideas about relationships. Marriage isn’t, in fact, our gateway to happily ever after. It’s more like a chisel in Divine hands. And though there’s plenty of friction involved, it’s designed to chip away at all the dysfunction in our lives and free the beautiful statues inside.

Interestingly, the Bible seems to agree with this picture that Michelangelo’s carving philosophy offers us. In fact, if you’re ever wondering who you can blame for this chiseling sensation in your marriage, Adam—the first human in the Bible—is your guy.

A healing fire.

It all started when the first human on earth decided to name his wife after a hazardous chemical reaction.

After having just been introduced to the only other human being on earth, he says, “She shall be called ishshah—woman, because she was taken out of ish—man.”

Ish and ishshah. I assume that though they have a certain ring to them, these won’t be topping your list of names for future kids. Even so, they paint a picture about marriage that answers many of our modern questions.

To start, both words are derived from the root word and Hebrew character esh, which means fire.

This means that the original word picture we have for the relationship between a man and a woman is an all-consuming, tireless-in-nature, potentially hazard-creating fire. And though this picture lends itself to the modern concept of heated romance or passionate love, the Bible consistently points to a different purpose of fire.

Fire happens to be one of the Bible’s primary metaphors for purification and personal development.

Jesus promised us, for example, that “everyone will be salted with fire.”

God points to the purpose of fire when He says, “I will put [them] into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver.”

King David, too, alludes to the intention of fire when he reflects in the Psalms, “We went through fire and through water, yet you brought us out into a place of abundance.”

It would seem that the relationship between two spouses—fire—as depicted by biblical accounts, is a source of personal refinement, designed to play a significant role in one’s process of growth and maturity. But hang with me—the biblical picture gets better.

In the New Testament, Paul the apostle goes on to compare love in marriage to the love Jesus showed humanity. He says (emphasis mine):

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her [literally, purify her internally by the reformation of her soul], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, . . . having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

This idea was beautifully expressed in a recent Orthodox Christian wedding we attended. During the ceremony, they acknowledged that Jesus did everything He did—including death on a tree—for our salvation. Then the priest looked at the couple and, borrowing Paul’s comparison of marriage to Jesus’ love, said,

You’ve been given to one another for the other’s salvation.” Not salvation in the sense that only-Jesus-can-save, the priest clarified, but the kind of salvation that’s alluded to by the original Greek word Soteria— meaning one’s holistic healing, deliverance, and prosperity.

What a beautiful picture of marriage.

Marriage is actually about you and your spouse’s holistic healing, deliverance, prospering, and growth. And similar to our former picture from Michelangelo, the Bible alludes to this unnatural relationship as a sort of tool in Divine hands to help us become increasingly beautiful—increasingly our best and brightest selves.

Happiness < Beauty.

So what about this modern idea of happily ever after? Does it have a place or do we abandon the idea altogether to embrace the refining fire of marriage?

Not at all. Happiness is a very real result of a healthy marriage. Even modern social research shows that marriage historically offers more happiness than singleness or divorce.

However, as we’ve seen from Michelangelo, Adam, and Paul, happiness is not the primary goal of your marriage. Becoming more beautiful by becoming your best self—more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, faithful, gentle, self-controlled—is the goal.

Marriage—like fire—can be an all-consuming and potentially painful substance. But also like a fire, it can refine us. And like a chisel liberating the figures inside of a rock, as it would seem, marriage is a tool that the Divine uses to make us beautiful.

Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, the authors of Intimate Allies, explain this paradox well:

“Marriage is where depravity is best exposed . . . and because it, more than any other relationship, bears more potential to draw our hearts to heaven, it can more readily give us a taste of hell.”

I know that marriage can be one of the more challenging things we experience in life. And I know that at times, it demands far more than we feel we can give. I know there are moments when walking away seems like the only sane and rational thing to do. Yet I also know that marriage multiplies what we can become—both as individuals and as couples.

Marriage, even though it will introduce us to some of life’s most arduous moments, has brilliant intentions in mind. It’s unapologetically interested in chipping away at our dysfunctional thoughts, patterns, and postures in life and inviting us—and our spouses—to become the best version of ourselves.

When we remember this brilliant intention to liberate us—the beautiful statues trapped within our own mess—we begin to see a hopeful view of the relationship, even in its darkest times.

This vision of marriage takes the expectation off of our spouses to make us happy and recreates the expectation that our marriage exists to help us grow.


It exchanges our goal of happiness for the far more valuable goal of wholeness. It turns our focus from personal fulfillment to mutual personal development.

*This is an excerpt of Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions & the Unnatural Art of Loving Another Person. Buy your copy of the book here.

“My God, how did I get here?”

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“My God, how did I get here?”

I often see Jeremiah 29:11 quoted as one of people’s favorite verses. It always makes me wonder if they continued reading on. It’s a conditional verse, as are many in the Word of God.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11‬ NLT)

Yes, The Lord does give us hope and a future. But it is based on the verse following verse 11. It is a call to action. When you pray, the Lord will listen; if you look “wholeheartedly”, you will find me.

One of the reasons I enjoy working with clients on their temperaments is because it is an action that brings them closer to God. It is a choice to find out who God designed them to be at their core.

That’s a pretty cool concept isn’t it. If you want to be living God’s will for your life, you have to know who you are supposed to be. We have all suffered many set backs and traumas in our life that define who we are today, not who God designed us to be.

Many of us today are struggling; losing families, jobs, health and a myriad of difficulties and then sit there saying “My God, how did I get here?”

Think of the implication of verse 14. When God tells us He will bring us to “your own land” isn’t He promising us the peace and contentment we feel when we are comfortable in who we are? God designed you for a purpose. When you live for that purpose you don’t wonder “How did I get here”, you wonder what took so long.

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11-14‬ NLT)

In His service…

A Tale of Two Temperaments – Happily Ever After

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Now that we’ve talked about Mike’s and Lisa’s temperaments and the challenges they face, both individually and as a couple, let’s catch up with them a few months down the road. Based on what they learned from their APS tests and counseling sessions, they’ve made some significant changes.

Mike left his job in sales and applied for a position in the copywriting department of the same company. This job allows him to use his intellectual and creative abilities while working alone most of the time. Since he isn’t forced to interact with people all day long, he is able to give his family the attention they need. Now that his energy isn’t being depleted on the job, he has initiated a regular date night with Lisa.

Lisa has learned to meet some of her need for social interaction during the day, even with 2 busy preschoolers. She listens to Christian radio at home, and either calls a friend or chats online while her children are napping. She has joined a local MOPS group and regularly gets together with other moms at the park or church. With Mike’s encouragement, she occasionally leaves the kids with him and goes out for dinner and shopping with a girlfriend.

The couple has instituted a weekly business meeting, where they make decisions about finances, parenting, etc. Lisa has discovered that Mike is very willing to participate in the decision making process, and she is less critical and frustrated.

Mike has learned to initiate affection and sex more often. He remembers to say I love you – probably not as often as Lisa would like to hear it, but she now understands that he is saying I love you by the things he does for her. She can get some of her need for touch from her children and close friends, and she has learned that God is ultimately the only one who can fulfill her need for affection.

Now that they understand their temperament needs, Mike and Lisa are much happier. The fighting has stopped, and they can’t believe they ever thought of splitting up. Mike is enjoying his job, and Lisa loves being a stay-at-home mom.

If you’re like Mike or Lisa, unsatisfied in your life, marriage, or career, contact us. It might be as simple as bringing your life into balance with the way God created you.

When Opportunity Knocks


August 9

Read Esther 4:1-17, James 1:5–8

Adapted from In the Gap by Wilfredo De Jesús


A crisis can confuse us or it can clear the cobwebs and help us think more clearly. Esther had a background of faith, but she lived in a pagan world. As queen of Persia, she had much to lose: beauty, wealth, and power. The plight of her people, though, shattered her illusions. She realized she could no longer live simply for herself.

She realized the risks. She told Mordecai, “If I perish, I perish.” She was willing to lay everything on the line for the Jewish people, no matter the cost. This was her time, her moment, her God-given purpose. She may previously have had selfish desires, but now her only desire was to rescue her people.

We might say, “Well that was then; this is now. We don’t live in ancient Persia or first-century Palestine. We don’t have a king. Things are different.”

Yes, on the surface things are different, but human nature has not changed. People are just as selfish, just as divided in their loyalties, just as evil, and just as victimized as they were twenty or twenty-five centuries ago.

People in trouble need others who, like Mordecai and Esther, have the courage to stand in the gap and take action.

All of us have defining moments. Sometimes they come and go in an instant, so we must be ready. More often, we have more time—either to respond with wisdom and courage or to make excuses and walk away.

If you’re not sure how to respond to a situation, James, Jesus’ half-brother, has this advice:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:5–8).

Look around. Do you see people in trouble? You stand at a crossroad—between someone in desperate need and God’s desire to use you. The situation, the timing, and the opportunity didn’t happen by chance. You’re there by the providence of God. You have an incredible opportunity. So take advantage of it. This is your time. You can make a difference.

From “My Healthy Church”

TimothyPaul, LPC


A Tale of Two Temperaments – Couples Counseling

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Now let’s look at how Mike and Lisa function as a married couple.

This is a classic case of opposites attracting. Mike is melancholy in inclusion. Lisa is sanguine. Mike is supine in control. Lisa is choleric. Mike is phlegmatic in affection. Lisa is sanguine. Their needs are like oil and water – they don’t mix.

Secular counselors might say that they are too different, and they would probably be happier if they went their separate ways. Biblically, though, we know there’s another answer. Although there are cases where divorce is advisable, this isn’t one of them.

Ephesians 5:25 commands husbands to love their wife like Christ loved the church. Since Christ gave Himself up without expecting the church to do anything first, this is where we start with Mike. He is called to understand his wife and to meet her needs to the best of his ability. This will mean stepping out of his temperament, putting his wife first, and making a sincere effort to give her what she needs.

That means that Melancholy Mike will need to put aside his preferences and take his wife out after a long day with the kids, no matter how much he would like to crawl in a hole. It means that he will need to make the effort to participate in decision making, and that he will need to push himself to initiate love and affection. If he wants to stay married, he can’t continue to ignore Lisa’s needs.

On the other hand, we would ask Lisa to understand and respect the way God created her husband. Although she would love to go out every night, that would totally exhaust him. His capacity for making decisions will probably never be as strong as hers. He has less emotional energy than she does and needs to work to initiate affection. There is nothing wrong with him – he is simply wired differently.

One thing that can’t happen is for either of them to use their temperament as an excuse. No one gets to say Well, that’s just how I am, take it or leave it. Our goal should always be to become more like Christ, and sometimes that happens by stretching ourselves to meet the needs of the people we love.

Mike and Lisa are about to make some changes …

A Tale of Two Temperaments – Lisa

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Now it”s Lisa”s turn.

Lisa is sanguine in inclusion. Sanguines thrive on social interaction and become depressed when they cannot be around people. They are talkative and outgoing – the life of any party.

Lisa is choleric in control. Cholerics want things done. They will jump into any situation and start issuing orders, and they will thank you to just do as you are told. They can be insensitive to other people as they focus on getting the job done.

Lisa is sanguine in affection. Sanguines shower their loved ones with physical affection and want them to do the same. They need deep emotional contact and frequent reassurance that they are loved.

As with Mike, we can see several areas where Lisa”s life does not fit with the way God created her. Lisa is a stay at home mom of 2 preschoolers. However, her inclusion temperament needs to socialize. By the time her husband gets home, Lisa is climbing the walls. She wants to go somewhere – anywhere, as long as there are people around. Unfortunately, her melancholy husband is exhausted. The last thing he wants to do is go out.

To a certain extent, Lisa”s need for control is satisfied by having 2 children. At their ages, it is easy for her to direct them and to squash any rebellion. Mike also gives her unquestioned control over the operation of the household – she can do whatever she mobile casino likes as long as she doesn”t bother him. Her biggest source of frustration in the control area is that she is married to a supine. She probably sees him as a “wimp” and looks down on him for not standing up to his boss or taking charge of anything in their family. Unfortunately, cholerics tend to marry people they can control and then end up despising them for their weakness.

Lisa needs to both give and receive a lot of physical touch and I love you“s. Again, to a certain extent, Lisa can get this need met through her children, who also enjoy a lot of touching and hugging. However, her phlegmatic husband often complains that she is “hanging all over him.”  He rarely wants sex and doesn”t initiate expressions of affection. She doesn”t feel as if he is invested in their relationship and wonders if he even loves her.

What changes can Lisa make to bring her life more into balance with the way God created her?

A Tale of Two Temperaments – Mike

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So let’s start talking about Mike, after a few more definitions.

Inclusion is the area of social interaction and surface relationships – coworkers, acquaintances, and the people who come in and out of our life every day. It also includes emotional and intellectual energy.

Control defines how much power you want to have in a relationship, and how much you are willing to allow others to have over you.

Affection is about your deep, personal relationships – spouse, family, and very close friends.

Mike is melancholy in inclusion. Melancholies tend to be loners. Being with people drains their energy, and they need time alone to recharge their batteries. They also tend to be deep thinkers and are usually very creative.

Mike is supine in control. Supines live to serve. They find their worth in helping others. Supines tend to be dependent people who are uncomfortable making decisions on their own. They have gentle, sensitive spirits and cannot say no.

Mike is phlegmatic in affection. Phlegmatics are the peacekeepers of the temperament world. They tend to have low energy and are selective about how they use that energy. They often use their dry sense of humor to keep people from getting too close.

Keep in mind that we’re only hitting the highlights – all temperaments have strengths and challenges that we can’t cover in a short story.

Now that we know something about Mike’s temperament, we can look for areas in which his life isn’t lining up with it. Mike is a salesman. Jobs that require a lot of interaction with other people are a poor fit for a melancholy in inclusion. He is capable of doing the job, but it is emotionally draining. By the time his work day is over, he is exhausted. He wants nothing more than to crawl into a hole and hide … but he is going home to a wife and 2 small children.

Mike’s boss is very aggressive and frequently demands extra tasks from his team. Since Mike is unable to say no, he often ends up staying long past the time his coworkers have walked out the door. He feels used but cannot stand up to his boss, which frustrates his wife.

When Mike finally makes it home, Lisa and the children are all over him. They want conversation and attention. Unfortunately, his low energy supply is already depleted, and he finds himself tuning out. At some point, he nods off in his chair, leaving his wife lonely and angry.

What suggestions could we make to help Mike get his life and marriage back on track?

A Tale of Two Temperaments

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(Please note – this story is fictional. It’s just an example of the many ways temperament therapy can help you in your life and relationships.)

Mike and Lisa came in for marriage counseling. They reported frequent fighting and found it almost impossible to communicate with each other. Lisa felt lonely in the marriage. Mike felt drained. They were both wondering if it would be better to end it and go their separate ways.

A few basic questions revealed that Mike was 35 and had a job in sales. Lisa was 34 and a stay at home mom to their 2 preschoolers. The first thing we did was administer APS (temperament) tests to both of them.

Before we start talking about the results of their APS tests, we need to go over a few basics. When we’re talking about temperament, we’re talking about the qualities that God created in you – things like how much social contact you want, how much control you need to have, and how many deep, personal relationships you require. We are NOT talking about personality or behavior. Environment and life experiences affect your behavior, so you may or may not be acting in a way that reflects the temperament God gave you. It is impossible to accurately assess temperament without an APS test. Most temperament therapists agree that if you guess, you will probably guess wrong.

There are 5 temperament types – melancholy, sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and supine – and 3 areas – inclusion, control, and affection. Many people are blends of the 5 types and are different types in each area. That adds up to a multitude of possible combinations.

When we look at Mike’s and Lisa’s APS tests, we find that Mike is melancholy in inclusion, supine in control, and phlegmatic in affection. Lisa is sanguine in inclusion, choleric in control, and sanguine in affection.

So what does all that mean? How can knowing this help Mike and Lisa with their marriage?

We’ll start talking about that next time …

Mankinds Need for Intimacy

Mankinds Need for Intimacy

Jack and Trisha Frost


One of our greatest weaknesses is our inability to admit need. If we do not realize we have need of something, then we will not pursue it. We will not make it a priority and a driving force in our life. Think what it is like trying to find or give a gift to someone who has no need of anything. Yet because the Father loves so much He continues to try.

Many people today (even Christians) do not acknowledge their deep, God-given need for intimacy. Intimacy is a willingness to know and be known by others. We are living in a season when God is trying to intimately express His love to us but many do not realize their need for it. “Just let me get saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, flow in the power of God, be anointed, be healed, be provided for, have a ministry, be successful. I really dont see what all the fuss is about with this intimacy stuff!” That is what the prodigal son thought. Initially, he only valued the Father for what He could do for him (give me, give me, give me), not for a relationship of love and intimacy.

For many of us, love means pain. Those who have spoken the words to us, “I love you”, seem to be the ones who have hurt and betrayed us the most. Others, who raised us and should have daily used healing words, never or rarely did. Then there were those who used words of love but only when we performed correctly or lived up to their rigid standards. Some people said they loved us in order to get all of their needs met, they used us up and threw us away like dirty rags.

No wonder so many people do not recognize or pursue their need for intimacy! We have hardened our hearts and conditioned our minds to believe that intimacy is something only a few weak people need. It is so easy to justify our lack of intimacy by thinking, “I wasnt raised that way. I had to be independent and self-reliant. Thats what it takes to succeed. If anything is going to be done right, Id better do it myself. You cant trust people. People will only hurt you. Ill not risk being hurt again. Im no fool.”

This type of thinking actually is rooted in fear and fear is rooted in pride. It often hinders us from experiencing intimacy in the Fathers love and with others. Pride is more concerned with what people think than with what God thinks. Pride is actually a fear of man. It is a fear of someone being able to hurt or have power over us. It cuts off the flow of intimacy. We start building walls of self-protection and become a “news, sports, weatherman” (a superficial person who lets no one in). In Christian circles, pride often leads us to surrounding ourselves with religious language, duty, and activity. Intimacy then becomes something of which we feel we have no need. Then we never seem to find rest, security, or a place of comfort. We are left feeling like spiritual orphans and have to harden our hearts further and perform more so we can cover up the feelings of emptiness or pain.

True intimacy involves great faith, risk, and discomfort because of the word that I have found most people do not like: SUBMIT!!! Love and intimacy are something we have to submit to before we can receive them. We are willing to receive salvation. We are willing to receive the Holy Spirit. But few are willing to submit to love because love means pain to most folks. There seems to be a hidden trigger mechanism inside of us that activates each time someone gets too close, too real, too loving. This causes us to either shy away from intimacy and love or to try to work hard enough to earn them.

Wives know just what Im talking about. Most have been disappointed or wounded many times by their husbands when they draw too close to their husbands deepest feelings, only to have them harden their hearts or withdraw in anger. To submit to love and intimacy is a humiliating thing. It always involves humility. Humility is a willingness to be known for who we really are and then be willing to change whatever is not Christlike. Humility is rooted in love and is the opposite of pride. It involves faith, which is the opposite of fear. We can risk walking in intimacy only when we have faith that is rooted and grounded in the Fathers unconditional love for us.

?What Is Necessary For Me To Begin To Move Towards Deeper Intimacy?

First, you must become aware of your need for intimacy. Genesis 1:26 says that you were created in the image of God. 1 John 4:16 says that God is love. Gods image is love! Do you see your yourself as being created by love, and for love, in order to spend your days receiving the Fathers love so that you can give it away to your family and then His? “Love was not put into your heart to stay. Love is not love until it is given away!”

What is your image of yourself? Do you see yourself as a lover, one who is open, transparent, and shares intimately his emotions and feelings with family and friends? Do you see yourself as one in need of others in order to give away all of this love and intimacy you are experiencing in God? Or do you see yourself as independent, strongwilled, in need of no one. “Ill not let someone else in or they will hurt me again.”

Do you let people touch the deepest part of you, the tender and needy areas? Are you sensitive to others needs and seek to meet them? Or are you more concerned with your own needs, successes, and ministry? Do you only allow family and people to touch the surface, while the real you remains hidden behind masks and pretenses? “Light reveals. Darkness hides. Whenever you do anything or say anything to hide what you are or what you have done, that is darkness.” (The Calvary Road by Roy Hession) If I do not clearly see myself as a vessel of love and intimacy and choose to walk in it, then I am walking in darkness and will be insecure. I can only feel real security doing what I was created to do. Before I realized the need I had for intimacy I was very insecure. I covered it well with an appearance of self-confidence. I found my security in ministry. This is called counterfeit affection. Because my love need was not being met through intimacy with God and my wife, I had to compete with others for attention. I had a deep need for approval and felt devastated if I was not receiving it. I had to make a good impression on people. I had to appear successful in life and ministry. Fear of rejection, failure, and man became a constant companion. Outwardly, I appeared calm and all together but inwardly I was full of unrest, striving for acceptance and trying to find value through people. This left me feeling like a spiritual orphan, one who has no sense of comfort or security or rest.

For change to come, I had to first become like the prodigal. In the pigpen, he became aware of his need for intimate relationship with the Father. He only came to that point after he spent much of his life seeking love in all the wrong places. Pursuing security and identity in ministry and success had left me empty even though success had come my way. Three years ago I began to realize my deep need for intimacy with my wife but I felt too inadequate to give it. I had to pursue it in the Father first. Even though I online casino had spent years praying and in the Word two and three hours a day, I realized I really never knew Him because I was afraid to submit to love. Thus my passion had been for the recognition that ministry brought, not for deep, life-transforming intimacy and love.

Secondly, we must realize that our sense of value and self-worth is based upon our ability to love. The way we think about ourselves is how we think God thinks about us. If we are uncomfortable with ourselves we are uncomfortable with others. Therefore, we must find our self-worth in that for which God has created us – intimacy and love!

We see in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for Adam to have intimacy with God alone.

So God gave Adam the ability to commune with nature and animals (vs. 19 & 20), yet Adam still was not secure and complete. God is helping Adam to become aware of his need for more than communion with God and nature. Man is becoming aware of his need for oneness with a woman. Until Adam saw this, he could not be trusted with a woman. Today, until men see their need for intimacy with God and family more than sports, nature, business, and ministry ? it is difficult for them to be trusted with a woman. They may use them, bruise them, and blame them for all the frustration and insecurity that comes when men do not find their value and self-worth in intimacy with their wives, God, and others.

Paul made it clear in Ephesians 5:25-28 that men will not love and value themselves until they begin to love, cherish, cleanse, heal, and restore their wives through intimacy. Until a man moves towards intimacy in relationships, he will be insecure and he will try to find his identity in the world or a religious system. If a man does not feel like he is the greatest husband on earth, his marriage is in trouble. He is not doing what God created him to do ? to be a lover who is full of passion and intimacy.

Show me in the Bible where it says that a woman is more equipped to love, to be sensitive, to feel, to express affection, to be tender, to walk in compassion, and to be caring. There are those who say that men live out of their mind and are task oriented while women are feelers and more relational. Weve embraced the lie as truth and we are in bondage to it. It has held men back from intimacy. Jesus was the greatest lover, feeler, and compassionate man that ever was on earth. He was sensitive to His brides every need. Men are to love their wives and others as Christ did. Christ lives in us and we have been empowered to walk in the love and intimacy and care that He did, if we so choose!

I chose three years ago to renounce the lie that Im not capable of love and intimacy. I had used the excuse for 43 years that I was not raised with that depth of expressed unconditional love and intimacy. I gave the responsibility over to my wife and it left her like an empty shell waiting to crack. Then I (unwillingly at first) received a revelation of love and I knew I must submit to Fathers love. I have been shocked at the changes that have taken place since I yielded to love and intimacy. I have never before felt more comfortable with myself. Ive been consumed with the Fathers love for me. I have accepted the commission to love my wife as Christ loved the church and sought to heal and restore her to His intimacy! I have become more comfortable with emotions, feelings, and affection! I now know it is my destiny! It is that for which I have been created! It is the image of God in which I have been created!

What if on the day of the great white throne judgment you are asked only one question? Jesus looks you in the eye and then speaks to your wife, “Did your husband love you as

I loved the church and gave My life for it?” What would her answer be? It is one thing for her to hear the words, “I love you!” It is another thing for her to believe it. If she does not believe it, maybe it is because you have looked for value, security, identity, and passion outside of the home. Then she never has been able to receive your love.? Therefore, she has been left uncovered, unprotected, and unhealed.

You can never stand before God and say, “I was never loved in my youth so I could not express love to others!” You cannot use this as an excuse because the Father has said to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) You have been loved but have you been willing to submit to it? His love is more powerful than all of your pain. All you have to do is to lower your walls, fears, and excuses and yield to love and intimacy. When you begin to do so, you will be surprised how easily love transforms you.

It is against the laws of nature and creation for you not to walk in love and intimacy. It is the most natural thing in life you can do when you submit to love. You are created in Gods image of love. You are made for love and intimacy! It is your destiny! You have been created as a gift of love to this world! As you yield more deeply to the Fathers love, it will flow through your spirit, and you will begin to supply your family and the world with love and intimacy! The world will never be the same again!

In the Fathers love,

Jack & Trisha Frost


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Girly Girls

Category : Uncategorized

I’m not a girly girl.

I never really have been. Even when I was a teenager, I didn’t play with makeup or my hair to the extent my friends did. While they drooled over dresses and shoes, I was looking at saddles and boots. I had a perpetual pony tail, and my favorite perfume was Eau de Quarter Horse.

And I almost never wore nail polish.

In college, I morphed into looking a little more put together. I was as girly as I was ever going to get – makeup, a little jewelry, and clothes that were one step above jeans and sweats. I think I owned 3 colors of nail polish then, but I still only wore it on special occasions.

Enter bad marriage. Suddenly, even that little bit of girliness became a dangerous thing. It meant that my sexually abusive husband might force me to have even more sex. It meant that another man might be interested in me – something that terrified me, because I knew that I could have an affair in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself. So I went back to jeans and sweats that were too big. Work clothes were easy – shapeless scrubs that hid everything. I almost never wore makeup. The nail polish went in the trash.

Now that I’m divorced, some of my friends are determined to help me find my girly side again. They are working hard at convincing me that – shudder – PINK isn’t toxic. They take me to stores and point out shiny things that they think I should buy. On a recent trip to Florida, 3 of them badgered me into allowing them to put red sparkly polish on my toes. It seemed to be really important to them, so I reluctantly went along with it. I was assured by my best friend that once I had it on, it would feel amazing.

I hate it.

But my red sparkly toes have made me think again about how easy it is to lose ourselves in what other people want for us.

Nail polish isn’t important. It can be removed. I was willing to give up my preferences to make my friends happy, and sometimes it’s OK to do that. Relationships are about give and take. We have to give enough to let the people in our life know that they are loved. We just can’t give up who God has created us to be.

And there’s the struggle. Because even though I decided to allow my friends to paint my nails, there was a part of me that wondered why it wasn’t OK to not like nail polish. I felt that subtle pressure to be something I’m not, to live up to some standard set by someone else, and to do something that other people think I “should” do. I felt like on some level, it wasn’t OK to just be who I am.

I know that my friends love me and have my best interest at heart. I know that they feel amazing in a great pair of heels, wearing something pink and ruffly and sparkly, and they want me to feel that too. But those things don’t make me feel amazing. They make me feel artificial and uncomfortable. And although it’s good to stretch – to try new things and see if they fit – it’s also a good thing to recognize it when they don’t.

Reality is that I will never be as girly as my friends are. Although I’m becoming more conscious of my wardrobe, I will never be attracted to sparkles and ruffles. I wear earrings sometimes, but not always. I will probably never spend more than 10 minutes on my hair and makeup. I will NEVER like pink. And I doubt that I will ever purchase a bottle of nail polish.

Granted, if I meet some guy who thinks red sparkly toes are hot, I might rethink the polish thing. If he buys me a shiny something and wants me to wear it, I will probably compromise. That’s part of that give-and-take thing. But if I can’t get his attention without pink ruffles and high heels, then he’s not the one. If he can’t love me in jeans and boots, with dirt under my nails and hay in my hair, then he doesn’t love ME. If that guy never comes along and it’s just me and God for the rest of my life, I’m good with that.

God made me laid back and down to earth, with a love of all things outdoors and four legged. He didn’t give me a love of clothes and makeup and nail polish. My square peg is just not going into that round hole, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Because I’m just not a girly girl.

Blessings . . . Cindy