Redeeming Power: Reclaiming Authentic Masculinity

By |2021-09-09T18:05:13+00:00September 9th, 2021|Death, Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Glory, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Violence|

The answer to becoming a safe and good man is not becoming weaker (humble, yes—weak, no); it's about becoming more powerful (not aggressive). However, stepping into authentic masculine power can seem like an oxymoron that conjures up images of the Marlboro man, or thoughts of violence, homophobia, misogyny, money, and [...]

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Action as the Repair of an Apology

By |2021-09-09T02:55:57+00:00September 9th, 2021|Church, Forgiveness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships|

“I am sorry.” “I am SO sorry.” “SORRY!” “No, listen, I am REALLY, REALLY sorry.” “Forgive me?” “My bad.” “My apologies.” When these attempts at an apology don’t get through to the partner we have harmed many times we try self-contempt. “Okay, I suck.” “I am such an idiot.” As [...]

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Fantasy Roots: Exploring Our Patterns of Escape

By |2021-09-06T18:48:56+00:00September 6th, 2021|Addiction, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Masculinity, Pornography, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, women|

Fantasy is an effective tool of escape. It soothes wounds and calms the anxious heart. Yet, this commitment to escapism leads to a cowardice in facing our most wounded places and takes a serious toll on how we live and relate. Engagement with fantasy teaches us that relief is more [...]

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The Spectrum of an Abuser

By |2021-05-04T00:53:40+00:00May 4th, 2021|Addiction, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Violence|

It’s important to note this article's intent is not to be used to justify abusive behavior but to more clearly define it. If you are a woman in an unsafe situation, get safe, immediately.     I have been working with abusive men in my private counseling practice for ten [...]

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What Happens When My Abusive Husband Gets Healthy?

By |2021-01-29T15:04:04+00:00January 29th, 2021|Church, Death, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

It’s rare, but it happens. Abusive men can heal. But by rare, I mean the data is abysmal. Becoming safe and doing the work of healing only happens among roughly 1 in 10 abusive men.  Your abusive husband can heal when, and only when, he fully faces the depth of [...]

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Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Recognizing Our Partner’s Invisible Work

By |2021-03-20T11:49:09+00:00December 14th, 2020|Domestic Violence, Glory, Kindness, Marriage, Relationships, Sexism|

Merely being a living, breathing human in this gloriously fallen world is a task in itself. Yet throwing in living in partnership, both people attempting to authentically with full desire even more daunting. Marriage is grueling, at times feels like an impossible invitation to the heights of Heaven and the [...]

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The Shape of Grief: Guest Post by Andrew May

By |2020-09-06T17:13:53+00:00September 6th, 2020|Kindness, Death, Glory, Grief, Healing, Wilderness|

I am pleased to feature a guest post today by photographer and podcaster, Andrew May with Allegory & Elm in Asheville, NC. Seldom do you have a photographer who is willing to enter into the depths and contradictions of what it means to be human as courageously as Andrew and [...]

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How to Honor Your Mother & Father as You Heal

By |2020-08-15T16:24:01+00:00August 15th, 2020|Fatherlessness, Forgiveness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Relationships|

One question that comes up often during the healing journey is, how do I honor my mother and father? Telling the truth of one's family of origin is vital to understanding the truth of one’s own life. To begin to live differently, we must first see clearly.   Why does [...]

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If I Were an Abuser, What Church Would I Want to Attend?

By |2020-09-10T13:34:06+00:00March 9th, 2020|Addiction, Church, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Violence|

I am proud to feature the work of Dr. Nancy Murphy on my blog today. Dr. Murphy is a professor, Executive director of Northwest Family Life, and runs www.DVtraining.net to help educate churches in navigating issues of Domestic Violence. She has been my teacher and supervisor for the past 10 [...]

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Vocation & Calling: Musings on discerning direction and purpose

By |2020-01-16T18:05:53+00:00January 16th, 2020|Calling, Glory, God, Healing, Kindness, Vocation|

The romanticized idea of continued schooling/training or of stepping out into a career often clash with the stark truth. The first can mean strained finances, relationships, and pulling all-nighters, while the second could look like a nine-to-five, consistent income, and vacation time. Each is hard in different ways. Very hard. [...]

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Pornography Saved Your Life By Matt Mulder

By |2020-01-09T18:01:20+00:00January 9th, 2020|Addiction, Forgiveness, Kindness, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

I am pleased to host a guest post today by therapist Matt Mulder. Until you can name the goodness of what your addiction gave/gives you, you cannot let go of its devastating cycles. I asked her when she first started looking at pornography. She looked up at me with a [...]

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Grieving a Lost Self

By |2019-12-04T16:53:03+00:00December 4th, 2019|Death, Death, Fatherlessness, Glory, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexuality, Shame|

I knew what had to be done; now I had to convince my body to carry out what my mind was telling me. It was about 9:00 p.m. when I reluctantly began gathering my belongings. I opened my pack and began filling it with my sleeping bag, a lighter, a [...]

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Hello, Good Penis: The Practice of Blessing Our Genitals

By |2019-09-10T19:18:59+00:00September 10th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Our genitals are good.  They were made for giving and receiving pleasure, new life, and experiencing radical divine joy.  Many times our sexual organs get a bad rap. Sometimes we feel they have betrayed us. This happens often in the context of sexual abuse. Many victims of sexual abuse experience [...]

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The Savior & The Goat: A Relational Theory

By |2019-09-03T17:30:38+00:00September 3rd, 2019|Forgiveness, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Relationships, Shame|

A common theme in marriage is a relational dynamic I call “the Savior & the Goat”. Typical Saviors and Goats are initially attracted to each other because of function; each person serves an unconscious role of utility and psychological soothing. For example, if I have a high level of self-contempt [...]

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Face to Face with a Dying God: Engaging Beauty & Arousal

By |2019-08-27T18:18:44+00:00August 26th, 2019|Addiction, Anxiety, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

 I was attending a professional training group to improve my therapeutic skills when I was brought face to face with deep, lingering fear and shame around my past treatment of women and idolatry of beauty.   One of the exercises we were asked to do was to pair up with another [...]

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My Child Was Exposed to Pornography: From a Concerned Mother

By |2019-08-19T17:09:16+00:00August 19th, 2019|Death, Fatherlessness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Pornography, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Below is a note from a concerned mother about her and her child's traumatic experience with pornography. We have chosen to protect the identity of the child and the family. Yet this letter is a gift for many of us to learn from as we continue the fight against the [...]

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Eulogy for Marriage: Honoring Life & Death

By |2019-08-21T16:21:58+00:00August 15th, 2019|Death, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Shame|

  Some of the most committed Christians I know have suffered the heartbreak of a divorce. Each story is different, each heartache unique. Some are the result of infidelity and betrayal or covert abuse. Other times, contempt extends so deeply over the years that the other begins to look more [...]

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Welcome Home, Delight

By |2019-08-12T17:55:40+00:00August 12th, 2019|Kindness, Poetry|

I carefully make my way to the edge, there I find her.  My Delight.  She is timid at first, not knowing if she can trust my approach.  You see, I have been a stranger,  Lacking the courage to pursue.  I am afraid of what she will require of me.  I [...]

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My Testimony is Better Than Yours

By |2019-09-09T16:28:39+00:00July 3rd, 2019|Calling, Church, Death, Glory, Healing, Kindness, Relationships, Shame|

We Christians love a good story. We know that stories are powerful, and sometimes we get caught up in the craving for that power.  I've told my life's story hundreds of times. In fact, when I was a pastor, I was applauded time and time again for the “power” of [...]

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