No, Sorry, You’re Not a Virgin: Untangling Porn & Purity 

By |2022-05-13T13:00:24+00:00May 13th, 2022|Addiction, Domestic Violence, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, women|

The purity movement of the 90s created some odd sexual behaviors that we are still seeing play out 30 years later as those adolescents have become married adults attempting to have healthy sexual relationships. One of those sexual outcomes is that men (and many women) are proud that they “waited” [...]

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Abuse is War: Understanding Our Wife in Her Recovery

By |2021-11-18T19:32:27+00:00November 17th, 2021|Addiction, Death, Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence, Glory, Grief, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Violence, women|

General William Sherman once said, “War is Hell” and I completely agree. I would also say abuse is war, just a different type. The hell that a woman bears by living with an insecure, defensive, and reactive husband can leave her with PTSD similar to that of a veteran returning [...]

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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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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 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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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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The Good Wife’s Guide

By |2021-03-27T00:33:59+00:00March 26th, 2021|Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Violence|

In 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an article called, "The Good Wife's Guide," telling wive’s how to be a “good wife” to their husbands. This is the social norm that laid a foundation that our parents were born into and still permeates in the patriarchal, misogynistic air that we breathe. [...]

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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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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 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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Help! My Ex is Screwing Up my Kids

By |2019-09-27T16:10:58+00:00September 27th, 2019|Addiction, Domestic Violence, Glory, Grief, Marriage, Reader's Ask, Relationships|

Reader's Ask Andrew, My 20-year marriage ended in a rapid divorce last year. We share three children ages 9, 6, and 3. As a pastor's kid, I was steeped in patriarchy and lots of chaos in a dysfunctional family that over-spiritualized life and moralized disagreements to perpetuate enmeshment. I married [...]

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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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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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