Beginning Rebuilding

I don’t know about you, but once in a while, I wonder why something is named a certain name.  This is a little about my motivation behind Nehemiah Project.

In a few previous posts, I have shared experiences with a previous church.  After leaving that church, my wife and I began to re-examine what we have been taught for years.  It was  time to rebuild.

About a year ago, maybe a little longer, the name of Nehemiah started swirling around in my head.  Plenty of swirling room in there, trust me.  So, I re-read about our dear old wall-repair guy.  I saw some stuff that I must have overlooked, before.

So, the wall has been heavily damaged…destroyed.  Nehemiah had a deep desire to restore the wall.  The first step…he prayed about it.  Then, it was the Lord who gave him the go-ahead.  Then, as we know, he got permission from the king as well as building supplies.

brokewallThe rebuilding project was underway.  Having taken part in some household remodeling, I can imagine that there was clearing of the rubble, removing damaged parts on the wall, (carefully, so as to not further damage the wall) assessing what can be reused versus what will need to be replaced.  This was not a small garden wall. For that matter, this was about rebuilding the city, not just the outer wall.  The rebuilding of the wall would give way to people returning and the city being rebuilt.

Overall, I see Nehemiah as someone who wanted to protect people and restore the home of himself and his people.  I suspect that he might have tried to do it alone, if no one else signed up to take part in the rebuilding project.

There are other aspects and details to Nehemiah.  But, this is not a study on Nehemiah. This is about rebuilding.

Many of us have been raised on doctrines that are contrary to the Gospel message. These doctrines have been added to and morphed beyond what was already scripturally unrecognizable.  This has not only affected the Gospel message, but has had an impact on society, as well.

Note…I do not believe that the US is a Christian nation, but I do believe the Church has some influence.  Not the lobbying and protesting sort (although, there can be a time and place for such things), but many people do react to what they see and experience with Christians.

We need to assess the doctrines that we have been fed.  We need to sort them out and get rid of the ones that have no integrity.  We need to rebuild what has been torn down by doctrines of legalism, hatred, greed and hierarchy.  We need to build one another up, with the love and grace of Jesus.  It is time to return to His original intent.

I don’t mind challenging these old doctrines.  Sure, some may call me a heretic.  But, by the true definition of a heretic, I’m fine with that.  I have no problem challenging orthodoxy.  I do my best to avoid heated argument, but I am not opposed to reasonable discourse.  No, not to change anyone’s thinking (well, it would be nice if that happened)…but, perhaps to challenge them to think and consider that the old way might not be correct.

Like Nehemiah, we need to begin by praying.  Just one on one with the Lord.  Gain His perspective and see what it is He wants us to change personally, then seek what He wants us to do with that.

As for Nehemiah Project, I have it in my heart that it go beyond a blog.  For now, I wait.  I feel like a horse in the gate.

But, I wait.

Not easy.

I don’t like waiting.  But, I also don’t like the consequences of charging ahead of what the Lord wants.

Been there, done that.  Not so much good.

My desire is that people move forward.  We need to get beyond the fairy-tales and made up doctrines.  We need to return to the Gospel…how Jesus did things while He was here.  We ought to get back to grace, mercy and love – love being at the nucleus.

Love is Who He is.

That is a solid foundation from which to build.

 

 

 

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He Said…What?!

I am one who believes that I can confront someone when the issue is more serious than who the person is I need to confront.  This includes pastors.

Going back more than 8 years ago, there was an interesting set of circumstances between our pastor, one of the youth leaders and our son.  It all started when our, then, pastor was passing by an area grocery store and “sensed in his spirit” my son working there.

He mentioned it to our son and got this other young man, Chuck, in on it and decided that our son should apply for a job at this store.  Our son was about 15, at the time, so he was a minor and not a licensed driver.

When our son told us about this, we told him it was not possible, as the distance and traffic would cause us over an hour worth of driving him back and forth.  The following youth meeting, the pastor and Chuck decided that Chuck could take our son out there to apply.

I called the pastor the following night – a Saturday – and firmly let him know my disgust over this whole thing.  I was angry.

“Who do you guys think you are making decisions for my son?”, I started, with a small amount of volume and obvious anger.  As we talked, I calmed down and explained that it was impractical for our son to work two towns over through dense traffic.

Then, Sunday came.  The pastor met me as we were walking in. “Can I see you guys after service?”

I had no idea what it was about.  I didn’t even consider it was about the discussion the night before.  Not only did I calm down during that discussion, but I apologized for being so animated.

This was the first of two definite “ambush” meetings.  My wife and I met the pastor and his wife and one of the other pastors and his wife in a classroom after service.  The senior pastor started with me, right off.

“The way you spoke to me last night was rude and disrespectful.”

Well, I was upset, but I believed I had reason to be.  I did remind him that, if he recalled, I did calm down through the conversation and made a quick apology for my emoted verbage.  He went on with, “I hope no one in your family was in hearing shot.”  I assured him I was alone in a room when I called.  Then, he said something that floors me to this day…

“You offended the office of the Pastor.”

Really?  Is that really a thing?

When you are cornered with such a barrage of accusations, unless you are quick on your feet, you simply apologize and wait for the smoke to clear.  Even though I apologized, it was more for pacification.  I knew I was not wrong.  After all, his actions concerning my son were technically a usurpation of the parents.

He made the decision and told our son he should apply to that store and Chuck would take him.  The parents were told afterward.

That don’t fly with me.

Parent “outranks” pastor.  Our children were given to us…we were responsible for them. No one can override that.  Pastor or not…you get between us and our kids, I just might let you hear about it.

As for that disrespecting the office thing…this is a load of crap.  It does not hold up scripturally nor by any definition of what a pastor is.

Do I have a point?  Let’s see if I can make sense of this.

First, the hierarchy that has been established in church leadership is mostly  counterfeit. What has been dubbed the 5-Fold Ministry is not what some teachings declare.  It has become a list of levels of hierarchy and this is not suggested, at all.  Pastors have become bosses, presidents, be-all and end-all, first and last word and overly revered for what should be a serving position (and no…”pulpit ministry” is not serving).

Second, parents are the parents.  No one should usurp parental authority.  No one.  As parents, we need to live up to the responsibility and not let others dictate what our kids do or where they go.  This does not mean we should not listen to good parenting advice or suggestions concerning our kids.  It means no one else makes ultimate decisions for our kids.

I have a few stories from those days, which I might share as I go.  This is not to expose what went on (church name deliberately not mentioned), but to share what I learned in the process.

sunsteepleAs the Church, we need to start emptying our heads of the doctrines that have been taught for centuries and spend time with the Lord and in scripture.  We need to challenge the age-old doctrines which either do no good or even do more harm than good.  So many of these doctrines hold people back from their full potential, by placing them in a servile status. The very idea of clergy and laity has nothing to do with any possible scriptural instructions or even suggestions.

I believe the Church can move forward into greater things if we ditch the levels of hierarchy and realize that, regardless of the authority given, we are all the same level of servant.  We need more people doing what needs to be done and less “leaders” teaching us how to be good Christians.

Maybe church gatherings should be more about planning and organizing how to practically love one another and our neighbors.

Maybe pastors should not tell people where to go or how to serve, but serve first and perhaps others will join in.

Maybe we should stop being so lazy, relying on leaders to tell us what to do and seek the Lord ourselves and go forward in what He has for us.

Well, it seems like I stretched this one out, a tad.  But, that incident was one of the ones that started me on a journey to seek out some reality.

Some might call me a heretic.  Fine.  I can handle being accused of challenging orthodoxy – especially when so much of it has little or nothing to do with scripture.

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Ministry Vs. Invitations

Every church, it seems, has some sort of an “outreach” program.  From what I have observed, there are two main ideas of what “outreach” is.

joinusThe lesser version is where the target of outreach is a getting people into a church. Whatever the specific program, the idea is to add numbers to their gathering.  Most think this is good ministry and what they are doing is spreading the Gospel.  While most involved are genuine, they are missing the fact that what they are doing is attracting people to their church.

When Jesus said, “Go, therefore…”, there was no indication of any instruction that included inviting people to be among their number.  There was a commission to preach the Gospel.

Jesus demonstrated what it is to minister to people.  Of course, minister = serve. He taught, healed and He had the disciples distribute food (that He multiplied) to thousands. Very few of these people became part of the crowd that followed Him.  Yet, He never selected, segregated, cast away, shunned or denied anyone healing or a meal.

For some reason, we feel that if someone does not want anything to do with us or the message we are shoving down their throats, we may feel justified in having nothing to do with them anymore.

‘Tis ignominious thinking, there.

Stop inviting them to church!

Before you go to your corner and ponder whether you have sinned by reading my post, let me clear this up.  What I mean, here, is that we should not make outreach into a recruiting expedition.

We were never called to bring people to church.  We were never called to threaten people with Hell if they don’t yield to the message we are planting in their faces.  I fail to see how this is spreading “good news”.

What is “outreach”, anyway?  To be clear, you won’t find that word in the Bible.  We just added that one to our lingo, some time ago.  Basically, outreach is reaching beyond – so, it is not a mistaken word to add.  We should “reach beyond”.  This is what love would do.

It also means to – now, don’t be offset by the massive difficulty of this definition – to reach out.

But, as much as we use the word, outreach, we have allowed it to morph into something lesser.  It becomes less about ministering to people and more about marketing the local church.  We seem to want to reach out as long as we can pull them in.

Love does not pull.  Love draws.  Drawing is not manipulating or convincing…it happens more organically.  We cannot force it or manufacture it.  It is not our love that draws.  It is not us who draw.  Jesus draws.  It is His love, through us.handreach

We do have some effort on our part. If we are going to reach out, our efforts should be the same ones Jesus put forth.  Take care of people.

Feed, clothe and house the poor.

Welcome and love the disenfranchised.

Protect the weak from predators.

Serve the “less-than’s”.  Don’t let pride get in the way.

Make donations to or serve local food pantries or soup kitchens.

Raise money to help someone who has fallen behind, financially (unless you are loaded, then unlock that purse).

Have a shoulder available.  Sometimes people just need to vent to a non-judgmental ear.

If able, open home to someone who needs a home (teen having a tough time at home, pregnant teen, someone needing financial relief).  This has to be a well considered commitment – it can be a disturbance and upset to the household (we did this for a young woman and there were adjustments, but it was worth it.  Might tell that story, eventually).

Don’t forget, home first.

We also read to love others, especially those of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10).  While outreach is how we show our love to others, we must never forget loving one another. How we interact and take care of each other keeps us all going so we can feel free to reach out to the rest of the world.  Plus, people see how we treat each other and that speaks volumes. So, if a brother needs a “leg up”, another brother, who is able, should give him that boost.

Let’s be reminded…Jesus gave a new commandment…love one another.

Wear their shoes.

When Jesus saw the crowds, even when He was exhausted, He had “compassion on them” (Matt. 9, Mark 6).  To have compassion is to suffer with.  Let’s also consider, sympathy and empathy.  Jesus put Himself in their place…He felt their anguish, pain, anxiety and stress. He knew their loneliness, their shortfalls and their illnesses.  Rather than being all about our own agenda, we should listen to Him and allow Him to show us what He sees.

I, like many others, have been on the  receiving end of compassion as well as ignorance. There were times when I and my family needed some help and someone was there, without any of us asking.  Other times, I stood in “prayer circles”, explaining my trials during unemployment and was basically ignored, other than being prayed for.

The latter issue is huge.  There is too much “God bless you, be warmed and filled.”, which shows no love or compassion.  Too often, people of financial means essentially ignore the plight of a person in their lives who needs a boost.  No…just because someone has money should they dole it out to every struggling soul.  But, if someone has the means…well, John stated it well in 1 John 3…

16 By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers. 17 But whoever has the [a]world’s goods (adequate resources), and sees his brother in need, but has no compassion for him, how does the love of God live in him? 18 Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]. (Amplified)

Less inviting.  More ministering.

Less preaching.  More serving.

Less apathy.  More compassion.

Less judgment.  More love.

I am no better at this.  I speak to myself, as well.  This year, I am praying to see what my hands can do.  I am tired of the same old – same old.  I feel it is time to rise up and be Jesus to people (especially in the current. political and “evangelical” climate).  For me, I am seeking just how that will go.  For now, I do what I can as opportunity is presented.

Let’s all seek ways to be Jesus to people.

 

 

 

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Surviving a Weird Life

Too many people grow up in adverse circumstances – poverty, abuse, broken homes, drug and alcohol abuse, and neglect to name a few.  Growing up in these circumstances can produce a variety of issues in the victims, that without proper intervention may have the possibility of turning into life-long problems.  The very least that occurs are memories that leaves one guarded and wary in certain situations.

homesweethomeMy upbringing started out fairly normal.  Mom, Dad, brother, sister, decent house in a wooded setting in a nice Essex County, New Jersey suburb.  But, things began to change.

By the time I was just short of turning eleven, my father had a massive stroke that rendered him unable to care for himself at all, keeping him in nursing homes for the rest of his life (25 years). This left our mother with the task of taking on the entire household herself, besides minding us kids.  There was one serious problem, though.

She was an alcoholic.

Looking back, our mother always had a drinking problem.  But, after our father was taken out of the picture, she became reliant on the bottle to get her through life.  This led to some pretty weird times, some even a bit terrifying.

Public embarrassment could pop up any time.  We often ate out and Mom would have her share of alcohol with dinner.  One time, my brother and I had to walk her out of a restaurant, as she could not steadily walk on her own.  We were not old enough to drive, so that made the ride home rather interesting, too.

One night, she decided we should all go to see a movie at the drive-in.  Being an alcoholic, she perpetually had alcohol running in her system, so even an evening at a movie was not without its events.

The one thing with some people who drink throughout the day is that they can appear sober for much of the day and suddenly go into a stupor, becoming irrational and unwise. This is the way it was for my mother.  My mother would suddenly get slurred in her speech and seemingly out of touch with present reality.

At a drive-in (old days of movie watching from a car), after being there for a bit, she had to go to the bathroom.  But, she decided that she did not want to walk the distance to use the bathroom provided.  So, she simply got out of the car and quietly squatted in a darker area between cars.  I have no idea if anyone saw her or not – I was staying low in the back seat.

I remember one night at a restaurant, I excused myself to the men’s room.  Upon returning, I saw my mother slouching down in her seat, drooling.  I turned around and went back to the men’s room and fought back tears of shear embarrassment.

Another restaurant adventure, she had two double dry martini’s and about two helpings of wine.  The ride home was terrifying, as we dodged oncoming traffic and just about every telephone pole.  Once we turned into the end of our road, she was heading toward the front of a house…I yelled at her and she veered off, crossing the road and took us into a well established oak tree.  We hit on my side. Ouch. Fortunately, it did not make my mug any worse.

For a while, being a passenger was not tops on my “fun things to do” list.  Even to this day, while I really don’t mind others’ driving, I would rather be at the wheel.

I was thirteen, at that time.  Life was weird enough just being that age.  Having to deal with public embarrassments was no thrill.  Of course, life at home was filled with many a loud argument between me and my mother.

That summer of the car wreck was also when her health began to decline.  She began to have leg pain, which is not uncommon for people whose main diet is alcohol. By early that October, she got pretty sick and called the doctor.  These were some of the last days of house calls, so he came over to see her.

After examining her, he came outside, where I was, took me aside and asked me a few questions concerning her drinking habits – how much, how often, etc.  He asked me.  I did say I was 13…right? I answered the best I could.  Looking back, it seems pretty weird that I was the one to ask about these things.  But, I guess I was the closest thing to an adult in the house (my sister is eight years younger and my brother, being deaf, was in a boarding school during the week).

Medication was prescribed for her and she was off the alcohol.  However, the DT’s (Delirium Tremens) were in full swing and the medication basically kept them at bay.  My grandmother (her mother) would be with her during the day and helped clean our disaster of a house and I had the night shift.  It continues to be weird.

If she had to go to the bathroom, I had to help her in as she was unsteady on her feet. That is more than enough for a thirteen year-old boy to go through.  But, every once in a while, she would have an hallucination.  No fun there, either.

She was ultimately admitted into the hospital.  She had cirrhosis of the liver and really should not have been home, at all.  What us kids did not know was how severe this was and our grandparents…her parents…kept encouraging the idea of “when she gets better…”.  She didn’t.

Back in 1975, liver transplants were still experimental, so that wasn’t even a thought.  In her state, the disease was fatal.  She died later that October.

It was the end of a very stressful, weird and surreal two and a half years.

It was even weird at her funeral.  It is not as if we had a great relationship, but she was still my Mom.  At the funeral, it was like I would start to cry and nothing would come out.  It was also surreal, to see a coffin, knowing there was a lifeless shell of someone I was talking to only a week or so before.

~There are so many more details, but I was not about to exhaust too much of one post on this.  I apologize for any apparent gaps.~

I learned a year later that God makes all things work together for the good.  For some reason, I took that to heart, just about right away.

I could see how events lined up – I lived with my paternal grandmother from about a year after my mother died, who took me to church, where I heard why Jesus died and how He wanted to be part of my life and share His with me.  A few years later, I would join the Navy, which would bring me to Virginia, where I met my wife.  Not only has she been the most solid relationship I ever had, but we had those four great kids (and now, adorable grandkids!).

I will likely never know the whole picture.  I don’t really need to.  I simply need to trust the Lord.

“Though He slay me, I will trust in Him” – Job

“Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will not fear evil, because You are with me.” – King David

Many of us have or have had a weird life.  A hard life.  Maybe even a sad life. Perhaps a violent life.

We don’t understand.  We hurt and we cry, we yell and complain, we fight and struggle. We press on, maybe walking, maybe crawling.  We see light at the end of the tunnel, wishing it not to be an oncoming train.  Yet, there is something that always rings true.

The Father is no less loving.  He is no less God.

I survived a weird life.  Some might say it was sad, or tragic.  But, as the years have gone on, I have been overcoming the effects of what went on back then (still a work in progress).

There is a difference between surviving and overcoming.  One gets you through, the other puts you in the victor’s seat.

 

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Grown-Up Stuff…A Few More Thoughts

Get the Church out of the bedroom!

Oh, I can hear the logic, now.  That’s impossible!  We are the Church!  Now, what we need to do is just follow along, here.

Within the Church, there are those who over-legislate sex among just about everything else.  They make rules for frequency, positions, men being in charge, lights out, only in the bedroom, only for procreation…blah, blah, blah.

Where did these rules come from?  As far as I can see…pretty much seems they are made up.

What about, “Be fruitful and multiply”.  Doesn’t that mean sex is only for procreation?

Nope.  There is no indication, not a hint…nuttin’ that gives a clue for that idea.

As for any of the other stuff, it is like someone was afraid of what sex could be and thought it to be something wrong.  There are no limits…whatever position, wherever hands go and whatever they do, oral stuff…all good.  Sex once a week, three times a week, or ten times a week…all good. Before children, as parents and into senior years…all good.  Whatever makes it good for the couple, is all good.

Bed half empty.

I heard a rather sad statistic…about half of married couples are NOT having sex.  What?! If we were to believe TV and movies, it would seem everyone is having sex fairly regularly.  But, then it stops sometime after marriage?  NO!  Whatever opportunities a couple has should be spent enjoying each other. There is nothing wrong with a couple who wants to be a bit slutty with each other.

Whoa!  Did you just use that word?

Yes, I did.  Get over it.  For that matter, if you are married, get over it, under it, on top of it, beside it…or whatever works for you and your spouse..as often as you can.  Go ahead and be a little slutty.

Geez, he said it again.

Mayest thou get over thyself.

Here is a bit of information that people tend to forget.  The whole good feeling, liking what you see, all the good touching, getting all fired up and all…God created that!  He made us that way!  You know what else?  He totally approves of whatever fun you like to have, too.

After all those kids and pizza.

There is that issue of body image.  Women are especially sensitive in this area.  Well, ladies, if your husband still likes being with you, even after all those kids and a few helpings of cake and potato chips, enjoy the ride.  It’s nice if you can stay or get back in shape, but if that guy is still warm for your form, then go and let him warm you up.

As time goes on, sexy takes on all new dimensions, with the help of gravity and maybe a few extra donuts.  And birthday cake. And everything between Thanksgiving and New Year.  Don’t sweat it.  If one of you is getting a bit spongy, likely the other is, as well.

It is not dignified for people over certain ages to engage in such relations.  Anyway, people lose interest after the years go by.

bedfeetReally?  Abraham and Sarah certainly were a fun pair, then.  I doubt they were honeymoon marathoners in their platinum years (at their ages, they passed golden years), but it seems they still had a reasonable fire in the furnace.  Let’s put it this way…if you are of certain senior age-range and still can and want to…go forth and enjoy!

Now, I am not opposed to losing weight and/or staying in reasonable shape.  Honestly, I think that sex can be more enjoyable when two people are less “girthy”.  And, when I say, ‘reasonable shape’, it means we don’t have to go all crazy at the gym and all that.  But, that we should be able to enjoy our time without a trip to the ER afterward.  Out of breath after the big event…expected.  Wheezing like a dying animal for just getting your clothes off…may want to make some changes.

A few more thoughts.

I just shared Anna McCarthy’s most recent post on depression (Just a Jesus Follower).  I think that many of the demands placed on people (by Christians) also affect what goes on between husband and wife.  Honestly, I think the reason so many people are not enjoying sex is because of everything around them.  Not only do we have many two-income households with children and all their demands and activities included, but in the Church we have many demands, as well.  We have to serve this much, we have to obey this way, we have to walk this line, our marriage has to appear like this, our demeanor has to look like that…and on, and on, and on.  We have been pounded with doctrines that have reduced us to often worrying what God is thinking of us, whether He is disappointed in us and even if we met some sort of condition to earn His love for us.  This does not encourage active snuggle time.

God loves you just as you are.  Warts, flab and all.  He created us just the way we should be. He created the sexual urge and did so for more than just procreation.  If you have been missing out on some good times for a while, maybe it is time to sit with your spouse and discuss the idea of getting back in the saddle, again.  Maybe it is time for me to stop using such corny metaphors. In any case, people need to feel free to get as nasty with each other as they see fit for themselves.

What rules?

Here are the only real rules – First, the marriage bed is un-defiled.  Second, do not deprive on another. Actually, these are not so much as rules, as they are declarations of the freedom to be with your spouse the way your spouse agree and enjoy being with one another.

If anyone wants any homework…well…you can make up your own assignment.

 

 

 

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If You Aren’t Reading This Blog, You are Missing Out.

I have some history with anxiety and depression. But, they haven’t just affected me – I’ve learned to detect them behind pained smiles, hurting eyes and in surface conversations. But, before we go any further, let me first make one thing clear: if you suffer from anxiety or depression, this is NOT another Christian blog […]

via 4 Reasons Christians are Depressed — just a jesus follower

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Grown-up Stuff

Looking back at They Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage, I wanted to see if I could approach some of that aspect of marriage that only a few dare talk about.

shockedThat’s right.  That aspect.

Right?  Yep..that’s the one.

If you are unclear as to the aspect I am alluding to, let me just put it out there…sex.

You just cringed, didn’t you.  Either that, or your ears just perked up like a pug.

As I am writing this, I will try to be as forthright as possible without making anyone want to gouge out their eyes, jump off a building or volunteer for root canal with no anesthesia. I am not one to get too clinical, really.  If you want to get into some really exciting details, I highly recommend The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye.  Virtually any book about the sex act is good, if you need to pick up on some details.

Let’s start with this…I do believe that sex is meant for the confines of marriage.  This is not a matter of legalism or prudishness.  Sex is an intimate act and is best to be explored, experimented and improved upon between two people who have made a lifetime commitment.  It is something that love and full commitment should be in the center of. What we do should be out of love, which takes away selfishness and considers the other first.

About selfishness.  Men tend to get selfish, greedy and thoughtless in relationships and often in the realm of sex.  So, guys, make sure it’s not all about you. Besides, if you are married to a woman who truly loves you, if you put her considerations and pleasures above yours, I will bet cold hard cash you will be paid pack in kind.  Yup.  You won’t be sorry.

Sex is an area that should be mostly about giving.  Oh, yeah, yer gettin’ something.  But, if it is more about giving, the getting often turns out to be more fun.  So, maybe we should go on with some of the myths which come out of the brilliant minds of “Churchians”, who had nothing better to do than to regulate just about everything.  There are many who, unfortunately, still hold to some made up regulations and consider them necessary for a “good Christian marriage”.

Made-up sex rules…

  • Only in the dark
  • All about the man’s pleasure
  • Wives should always “be available” for their husbands
  • Only for procreation
  • Only “missionary position” allowed
  • None of that oral stuff

When it comes to rules or preferences, this is something that is to be openly discussed between husband and wife. It takes communication.  Then, it comes down to what both agree to.  In other words, if a simple, tame, once a week amalgamation works for a couple, that is the direction they need to continue in.  If wild animal, chandelier-swinging, wild-ape, house-shaking nastiness works, by all means, enjoy it!  But, what if one likes it more tame and the other wants to crank it up a bit?  This needs clear communication in order to see where some experimentation might be in order.  No matter what, it should end in agreement and result in pleasure for both.

Don’t be afraid to do some research!  Get online, ask a trusted friend, read books and embarrassedarticles. Don’t worry who is giving the tips and advice – sex is sex, no matter who is telling about it.  Sure, it can get candid and raw, but you may pick up a thing, or two.  Just be careful that it is kept in the realm of research to be discussed and experimented with your spouse.

As for these supposed rules, they have no Biblical base, whatsoever.  The only mentions of sex are concerning adultery and fornication.  As for marital sex…no listed, mentioned, hinted, suggested, insinuated, inferred or secretly coded rules exist.  If there is any rule (if we may use that word), it is…do it.

Reasons for “holding back”.

It seems that sexual inhibitions are largely a woman’s issue.  It can stem from any of several reasons…anxiety, stringent upbringing, psychological trauma from some form of sexual abuse, fear of the unknown to name a few.  These really represent longer-term issues.  Shorter term issues would be anger (he hasn’t done that chore, yet), exhaustion (like, from those kids she’s with all day), illness, injury, recent stresses – these are all mood killers.  Men can be slowed down by most of these, as well (anger rarely has much effect).

Are you still here?  Great!  Please, make sure to leave any comments or questions, below.  I make no claims of expertise and we can all learn from each other.

Communication and Cooperation

A couple should be able to talk freely with each other.  Lay it all out on the table, so to speak.  Maybe he would like more frequency, while she wants more “grope time” before the main event.  Perhaps he has ideas that scare the color out of her hair or she thinks he should consider trying something different.  He desires, she desires.  Be honest, open and patient.  Then, see where you can reach some area of agreement.

Tip:  There is a big difference between desire and demand.  Express your desires and listen to the desires of your spouse.  But, do not make them into demands.

Then, when the opportunity is there, give it a go.  Try that new thing or improve on the old thing.  It is another way people improve together.  Of course, if that same menu works for the couple, that is just fine.  No rules.

Personal Rules

There are areas in life where individuals draw a pretty strict line and sex is no different. One spouse may refuse to try certain things for any number of reasons.  There are things that couples will agree on that are absolute no-go’s.  That is fine – we need to agree on where to put on the brakes, especially if there is a chance of injury of some sort.

Yet, people should pray about and consider pushing their personal boundaries. Sometimes, we have some boundaries because of what we have been taught or simply because of the fear of the unknown.  This may be where some of that research could be good.

I plan to go into another post on this topic…maybe addressing men on a few issues.  Let’s see where this goes.  Suggestions and feedback are quite welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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