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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Am I an Abuser? A Self-Assessment

By |2021-07-21T03:09:28+00:00July 20th, 2021|Addiction, Church, Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

One of the most difficult parts of this healing process of becoming a good and safe man is owning the fact that you have been abusive. So does that make you an abuser?  Of course, it does. Yet, there is such stigma and shame around that word, it is difficult [...]

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The Good & Safe Man

By |2021-04-26T17:39:53+00:00April 26th, 2021|Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Glory, Healing, Masculinity, Relationships, Sexism, Shame, Uncategorized|

  Many women long for good and safe men in their lives. Sadly, they are rare, so much so that my wife keeps a list in her top drawer to remind herself that they even exist. Women need more good men. But men also need more good men. We long [...]

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The Idolatry of Shame: Engaging the Full Spectrum of Shame

By |2021-03-27T17:29:18+00:00March 27th, 2021|Pornography, Shame|

Just as there is an idolatry of sex, I have seen a new idolatry arising—the idolatry of shame. Let me explain.  There seems to be an entire group of folks who are quite zealous to call out when they perceive you are “shaming” someone and/or eliciting shame by something you [...]

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My First Time: A Story of Covert Sexual Abuse

By |2021-02-04T18:32:17+00:00February 4th, 2021|Grief, Healing, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

*Trigger Warning: Depression, Sexuality and Abuse It was the summer of ‘02, in my late teens, I was just coming out of my first full year of college after nearly flunking out; my life was crumbling all around me. A few weeks earlier, I had checked myself in and out [...]

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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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Why We Love Narcissists and What to Do About It

By |2020-11-13T01:38:39+00:00November 12th, 2020|Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Healing, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Shame, Violence|

We love a good narcissist. Like flies drawn to the organic matter within feces, we hover close to a narcissist to try to catch some of what they seem to have, but what they actually offer us is clearly already decaying waste to those who are not the flies. Crude [...]

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Welcome Home, Grief.

By |2020-10-05T16:12:18+00:00October 5th, 2020|Death, God, Grief, Healing, Shame|

Hello, Grief. Come into my house; make yourself comfortable. I trust you, as you are a relentless yet steady companion.  Come to the table. Yes, my friend, you are invited to eat. You may have the seat of honor, for though I do not love you, I respect you.  I [...]

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Pornography Accountability Software: Yes or No?

By |2020-09-09T21:29:14+00:00September 9th, 2020|patriarchy, Addiction, Healing, Loss, Marriage, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

  It's a question I hear often in the work I do with men recovering from unwanted sexual behaviors: “Is accountability software helpful or effective?” My answer, like most of the advice given in this field, is a nuanced one; yes it is, and no it isn’t. Let me explain.  [...]

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Male Embodiment

By |2020-09-09T16:35:15+00:00September 6th, 2020|Masculinity, Glory, Healing, patriarchy, Pornography, Sexism, Shame, Wildness|

I am realizing that men are innately disconnected from their own bodies in a way that is unique to their maleness. (I am clearly not saying all women are connected to their bodies, clearly, and trauma warps all bodily connection.) But girls grow into womanhood with their monthly cycles literally [...]

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WAP: A Celebration of Female Sexuality or An Internalization of Male Supremacy? 

By |2020-09-02T17:57:56+00:00September 2nd, 2020|Domestic Violence, Addiction, Grief, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

  *trigger warning: Degrading language, graphic sexual abuse described    Patriarchy’s influence on popular culture has made objectification and violence against women normative. We are so accustomed to violence against women, we don’t even react to it anymore. Songs I grew up listening to, for example, “O.P.P." by Naughty By [...]

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Sexualizing Sorrow: How Trauma Informs Our Sexual Brokenness

By |2020-12-07T18:46:34+00:00March 11th, 2020|Addiction, Glory, God, Grief, Healing, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexuality, Shame|

This is an excerpt from my book, The Sexually Healthy Man For us to break free from our unwanted compulsive behaviors, we must have the courage to delve deeper into our woundedness and explore what lies beneath it. We must begin to kindly yet decisively cut out the roots of [...]

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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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Seeing My Dad’s Body

By |2020-03-03T20:24:37+00:00March 3rd, 2020|Addiction, Death, Fatherlessness, Forgiveness, Glory, Grief, Healing, Shame, Uncategorized|

The hot Clearwater, Florida sun demanded that we turn up the AC in the rental car on our way to the funeral home. As Christy and I drove up to the faded yellowish-white brick building, I felt the familiar tension of grief deep in my body. I knew this feeling, [...]

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Breaking Down Stigmas & Sexism

By |2020-01-30T23:26:03+00:00January 29th, 2020|Death, Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

There are many stigmas that need to be broken in the Christian tradition. The stigma of divorce in the Christian community is a phenomenon where folks are, after much pain and heartache, retraumatized and relegated to a second-class-citizen type of Christian and branded as damaged goods, a failure, or both. [...]

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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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Liberation From Sex Addiction? By Stephen Grant

By |2019-11-14T17:13:18+00:00November 14th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Pleased to have a guest post by counselor Stephen Grant today on the blog. Read his bio and check out his work below.  As I walked up the outside stairs to the church’s classroom I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I was a dead man walking. Life as I [...]

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I Roll Back: A Poem for the Abused

By |2019-10-31T15:52:43+00:00October 31st, 2019|Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Poetry, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Violence|

I am a bowling ball  heavy with holes,  unwilling to be used by you any longer.  You finger me at your will then Throw me away again and again,  and again.  I have become hard to survive; your grip is squeezing the life from me You toss me away, send [...]

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I Carry You With Me, Everywhere. 

By |2019-10-29T20:52:53+00:00October 29th, 2019|Addiction, Fatherlessness, Glory, Grief, Healing, Masculinity, Poetry, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Shame|

I carry you with me, everywhere.  The lines of my hands resemble yours.  The wrinkles beginning to form on my face bear a time when you used to smile. I see you in my crooked nose;  it looks a lot like your integrity. These types of recognitions stun me on [...]

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