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Christian Living

November 11, 2009

This is now the third (and final!) entry in this short series written by my wife, Aileen. In the last article she talked about rejection and how it effects both wives and husbands. The day before that she dealt with sexual desire, pointing out some of the differences between men and women. Today the series concludes.

One thing I want to say. In this series she has been dealing predominantly with “average” marriages. It is impossible to write about sex and marriage and speak to everyone equally; there are always exceptions, always special cases, always difficulties. But do realize that in these articles, and today especially, she is writing mostly for “normal” people in “normal” circumstances. If your husband has a serious addiction to pornography or if there are other exceptional circumstances in your marriage, some of this may not apply or may apply very differently.

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by Aileen Challies

November 10, 2009

This short series, guest authored by my wife Aileen, began yesterday with False Messages I: What He Really Wants. Today Aileen picks up where she left off.

*****

by Aileen Challies

When you thought about getting married and when you anticipated having sex with your husband, did you ever think about how often you’d be saying “no” to him? I know of a few women who decided before they married that they would never refuse their husbands and who have, admirably, stuck to their promise. For the rest of us, though, “no” is is a word we use far more than we ever would have thought possible (or desirable). Maybe we say “no” with our words, whether kind or gracious; maybe we say “no” with our attitudes or body language; maybe we say it with our wardrobe or simply by going to bed long before he is tired. We grow adept at finding new and creative ways of refusing sex.

November 09, 2009

For the next couple of days there will be a guest blogger on this site—none other than my wife, Aileen. She will be sharing a few articles directed specifically at women. Here is how this came about.

Two weeks ago (yes, it was really that long ago) I posted a series called Sexual Detox. One of the unexpected results of the series was a large number of emails from women who read this blog. I passed many of these emails to Aileen and she has engaged in correspondence with some of the women. This has led to some interesting conversation and, I think, an opportunity for her to both learn from and minister to some sisters in Christ. I’ll let her pick up the story from here…

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by Aileen Challies

November 07, 2009

Last week’s series on Sexual Detox was quite an experience for me. I figured it would garner a little bit of interest simply because it dealt with an universal issue (sex) and because it included several important peripheral issues (pornography, addiction, and so on). But even then the response surprised me, both in terms of the number of visitors who showed up to read the articles and the outpouring of comments and emails in response to it. All of this showed me that I had tapped into an important issue.

November 04, 2009

How many times have you heard a person claim that he has “accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior?” Have you ever asked him what it means that Jesus is his Lord? Have you ever asked him how Jesus is his Savior? What makes him his Savior? And what does it mean that he is his personal Lord and Savior?

How many times have you heard a person open a prayer with the words “Dear God?” What do those words really mean? Why do we begin our prayers with an address? Is this necessary or merely customary?

How many times have you heard a person thank God that Jesus is present, for “where two are more are gathered together, Jesus is there?” Have you ever asked him why Jesus is only there where two or more are gathered? Have you ever asked if he is present in a more special way when people are gathered versus when they are alone?

The fact is, there are many times when we flippantly speak of God and his attributes without knowing or perhaps even caring to understand what we are saying. We repeat things we have heard, but have never thought about. But what is incredible to me is that we don’t need to understand all of these things to be God’s children. We do not need to devote ourselves to endless studies in theology and doctrine in order to be saved. God sees and knows and values the heart more than the mind. Yet if we want to grow deeper in our love for God, we need to begin to understand these things. We need to grow deeper in our knowledge of him.

On that day that I got married, I loved my wife deeply. On our wedding day, as I looked at her walking down the aisle towards me, I never would have believed that I could love her more than I did at that very moment. I had known her for four years and had spent thousands of hours just being with her, listening to her talk and watching her interact with other people. And now she was walking towards me, looking absolutely radiant, and intending to pledge her life to me. I began to sob like a child and felt my heart would nearly burst with the love I felt for her. But you know what? More than a decade into that marriage I can honestly say I love her far more now than I did when we got married. Why is that? It is simply that I know her so much better now. The more I learn about her, the more I know her. The more I know her, the more I love her.

I use that illustration to show that you can really only love God inasmuch as you know him. When you are an unbeliever and do not know God you cannot love him at all. When some day you die and go to be with him, you will know him in a perfect way, and will accordingly love him in a perfect way. The time between when you come to love him and you are called to be with him is your opportunity to experience that love and get just a foretaste of heaven here on earth.

I love God more now than I did when I first believed. As a child I loved God with a childlike love, but I barely knew him. I can think back to distinct moments as I grew older when God taught me something new and amazing about himself. I can remember moments where something hit me like a lightning bolt and I was awakened to a new reality about God that I had not known before. There were times when my whole body broke into chills as I grew in my knowledge of my Creator. There were other times when I broke into tears as I began to realize the necessity of Christ’s sacrifice for me or the vast depths of his love for me, the sinner. As I learned about my God I learned to love him more. As I learned about my God I had to love him more!

You can be a true believer and know almost nothing about God. The man who hung on the cross beside Christ new little more than that Christ was the Son of God and that God had forgiven his sins. And that was enough. But if you want to love God more you need to know him more. I know that I’m a mere preschooler when it comes to knowing God. I look at others and see some who are in primary school, some who are in high school and some who must be about ready to finish up their post-graduate studies. And how I yearn to know him that much, knowing that the love I feel for him now, as great as it may be, is nothing more than a child’s love! I long to love him, and therefore long to know him. And I look forward to the day when I will know him even as I am known by him, that I may love him with the perfect love with which he loves me.

October 31, 2009

Having wrapped up the Sexual Detox series, I thought it would be useful to provide a list of recommended resources for those who wish to do reading on a particular topic.

Pretty much every author who has written more than, say, ten books has written one on the Lord’s Prayer and one on either sex or marriage (or perhaps both). It seems to be some kind of rite of passage. I assume I’ll get a memo about it after I’ve written a few more books. So if you have a favorite author, you may want to check if he or she has written on the topic. Meanwhile, here are some other suggestions. I am relying mostly on books I have read, so the list is somewhat smaller than it would otherwise be.

October 30, 2009

Note (11/08/09) - This complete series is now available for free download. Click here to learn more.

October 29, 2009

Note (11/08/09) - This complete series is now available for free download. Click here to learn more.

This is now the fourth entry in a series of articles about sex and, in particular, about sexual detoxification—about replacing lies with truth. First I wrote about Pornifying the Marriage Bed, then about Breaking Free and finally about A Theology of Sex. Today the series continues with Detoxification.

Sexual Detox

October 28, 2009

Note (11/08/09) - This complete series is now available for free download. Click here to learn more.

This is the third article in a series targeted specifically at young men but applying, I am learning, to all of us. So far I have written about Pornifying the Marriage Bed and about Breaking Free.

Sexual Detox 2

October 27, 2009

Note (11/08/09) - This complete series is now available for free download. Click here to learn more.

This is the second entry in a series dealing with sex and, in particular, challenging young men with the notion that their consumption of pornography has so shaped their perception of sex that they need to detox if they are going to be suitable husbands to their wives. In the first part of the series I wrote about Pornifying the Marriage Bed. I had intended to move to a Theology of Sex but based on feedback from yesterday’s article, I wanted to first share what I’ve written today. This is, I suppose, a kind of parenthetical article in the midst of the series.

Breaking Free

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