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

By |2022-08-07T10:33:34+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, former Executive director of Northwest Family Life, and created Speaking Up online course to help educate churches in navigating issues of Domestic Violence. She has been my teacher and supervisor [...]

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I Deserve Sex: Addressing Entitlement Over Women’s Bodies

By |2020-02-19T19:18:56+00:00February 19th, 2020|Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality|

I hear it time and time again: “She won’t give me sex”, “She won’t give me what I deserve”, “What is wrong with my wife?” Even if these things aren’t said directly, they are often implied. Men feel they deserve sex on-demand from their wives, and that something is wrong [...]

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Marriage through the Genesis Narrative: Creating Equality

By |2020-04-07T01:39:19+00:00February 7th, 2020|Glory, Healing, Marriage, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism|

Genesis 1-3 offers a unique view of gender roles within marriage. Genesis 1:27 begins with "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Males and females are both uniquely image-bearers of God, and in that, both deserve [...]

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An Option Before Divorce: What is a Trial Separation?

By |2020-02-04T20:54:24+00:00February 4th, 2020|Healing, Loss, Marriage, Relationships, Sexuality|

Excited to team up with my wife Christy Bauman on this article. We regularly work with couples who are in this stage of trying to figure out how to save or lay to rest their marriage. (Check out our marriage offerings) Check out Christy's incredible work here and her new [...]

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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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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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The Log & The Speck: In Light of Contempt 

By |2019-09-23T01:02:48+00:00September 23rd, 2019|God, Grief, Healing, Marriage, Relationships|

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your spouse’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your spouse, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your [...]

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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 |2022-04-02T00:52:48+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 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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The Voice of Sons

By |2019-06-10T20:57:09+00:00June 10th, 2019|Anxiety, Calling, Fatherlessness, Forgiveness, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Masculinity, Poetry, Relationships, Shame|

We cry out for attachment through our excessive violence, our lack of school attendance, the amount of women we seduce, and few understand why we act out. In just three decades, the number of boys living without their biological fathers has doubled. Fifty percent of American children tonight will go [...]

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A Letter to Your Parents: Reclaiming a Lost Voice

By |2019-09-03T14:55:56+00:00June 6th, 2019|Addiction, Fatherlessness, Forgiveness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Pornography, Relationships|

    One exercise I do often with clients is have them begin to tell the truth to their parents. This is not an attempt to blame their parents for all their current problems, but rather to reclaim a lost voice. We often relate to our parents the same way [...]

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Bringing Your Body Home: A Porn User’s Guide to Embodiment

By |2019-05-23T16:41:11+00:00May 23rd, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

After a few years as a therapist, I realized that a strictly narrative-based approach towards counseling limited the depth of the work that I was able to do with my clients, especially those who were who struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors. I started training with a somatic therapist to step [...]

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Sexuality in the Extremes: Shame vs. Shamelessness

By |2019-04-11T19:54:06+00:00April 11th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

“Getting off is getting off, it doesn’t matter how,” he said with a smirk. “I mean, I’m not gay, I just like busting a nut and don’t care how it happens.” My client’s crude demeanor was no surprise, considering his unwavering narcissism and complete shamelessness. I listened as he described [...]

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