Monday, March 19, 2018

Thorn in the Flesh

Spend much time on planet earth — at least in 'Merica — and you will most likely hear someone use the idiom, "Don't drink the kool-aid!"

What do they mean?

Undoubtedly, the reference is to the tragic event in 1978 that happened under the control of Jim Jones, "an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana... Jones subsequently committed a mass murder-suicide of 918 of his followers. 304 of them were children who were murdered, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning via a Flavor Aid and Kool-Aid mix." ~Wikipedia

An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. 

Flash back a couple of thousand years in time. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 the apostle Paul is addressing the people of Corinth, and in the midst of a lengthy letter we hear him make use of an idiom: " keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh."

What did he mean?

More than likely Paul was alluding to the scenario in Genesis 3 where the LORD addressed Adam immediately after he'd sinned:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you..."
Adam was given the first thorn in the flesh.  And because the address is right after the infraction, many believe the LORD is speaking in judgment. This is a serious mistake.  If we follow the Spirit-led logic of the apostle Paul, we can see it in a radically different light.

Context is key.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul had just described the surpassing revelations given to him by God. Cool, you might think. But not cool when it comes to the weakness of our flesh and the corresponding tendency to elevate ourselves. To counter this tendency the LORD prescribed some strong medicine for Paul. It's critical to notice this medicine was preventive — definitely not punishment for something Paul had done. Specifically, it was to prevent him from doing something going forward. Again, this is key! We don't know what this preventive medicine was, but we do know it was effective. And we can be sure it was painful. Paul tells us he begged the LORD repeatedly for its removal, but the LORD let him know removal was not an option. "MY grace is sufficient for you," He said, "for power is perfected in weakness."  

Note that earlier in Paul's letter he mentioned a former letter in which he had purposely caused the Corinthians sorrow. He had no regrets, for it was "sorrow according to the will of God." Such sorrow, he explained, is beneficial in that it "produces a repentance leading to a salvation without regret." God's sorrow has a saving effect. Contrast this with worldly sorrow which kills.

Flip back to Adam. In Genesis 3 the LORD addressed him just after he had sinned, and again, many think what followed was punishment. I strongly disagree. The consequence for sin — Death — had already been spelled out for Adam before he ever sinned.  And as Genesis 5 relates, that definitively took place 930 years after the Fall.  Something had to enable such a long life given a now corruption-oriented nature.  In Genesis 3 we are given the answer. Adam is prescribed preventive medicine in the form of a cursed Earth along with these words from the Prescribing Physician: "In sorrow you will eat of it all the days of your life." Adam is prescribed sorrow according to the will of God. Note in Genesis 3 how many times the LORD says "I will."  It is Godly sorrow, so know it will have a preservative effect. It will assist him and help get him 930 years down the road.  It will save not only Adam, but give opportunity for all those who would be born to be saved as well.  We are all beneficiaries of our first parent's thorns in the flesh.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Men Rule. Women Drool.

The LORD could've easily created Adam and Eve simultaneously, side by side, with the same exact time stamp.

But He didn't.

Man-rule in male-female relationships has been the definitive plan from the Beginning; it has always been the LORD's intention that man rule in love. Just as we are told Christ was begotten of the Father — He came forth from Him — so woman was taken out of man: "She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man." (Genesis 2:23) Man is woman's source. It is this epic reality alone that gives man his rightful rule in relationship. Notice the logic of the apostle: "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve."

When it comes to romance, man-rule should be seen as a good thing. Why would anyone think it's not? My guess is that many women have seen or heard of instances of abuse where fellow women have been harmed or taken advantage of. It gets air play. Their emotional reaction is to wrongly put the blame on man-rule. The real culprit is lack of body love. Thus we see repeated injunctions in Holy Writ for husbands to love their wives, to cherish them, to practice awareness that she and him are one flesh. Yet, because it is common for men lacking body love to take advantage of women through power play, the emotion-based reaction is gun control — abolish male rule.

It cannot be done.

Men rule. Women drool. It is a fact of life, written by God in our genes as many avid female egalitarians that are also strongly attracted to the dominant-submissive role play aspect of BDSM have discovered. They are conflicted by their sexual attraction to dominant males even as they intellectually reject the idea. Their minds say one thing; their bodies say another. All women in general share this attraction. It's women that drive the red hot erotica-romance novel market with the common theme of a dominant, masculine male. Women turned Fifty Shades of Grey with its central character of Christian Grey — a dominant, masculine, power-exuding billionaire with a BDSM red play room — into a multi-million dollar success. Deep down, women want love; and they want man rule.

This is a good thing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Get Turned On Before Marriage

Many were raised under the influence of what is commonly called "Purity Culture." Basically, an emphasis was placed on teaching Christian youth to keep themselves "pure" until marriage. Latent sexual desire was downplayed, even denigrated, at least until a hoped for future marriage. As one can imagine, the methods of putting this initiative into play varied from congregation to congregation, so the effects on individuals widely vary. But one particular issue commonly shows up in the comments section of sex blogs.  It goes by the name of the sexless marriage.  

The following excerpt is typical:
Would my husband and I have gotten married had we known this ahead of time? Based on some conversations we’ve had, I’m guessing not. Had counselors and friends been open to the idea that sexual incompatibility exists, might we have gotten some advice on the subject that wasn’t just along the lines of it being my fault because I wouldn’t just have sex with him even when it hurt me and I didn’t like it? Maybe we wouldn’t have had a child…a beautiful child who I will never regret for a second of my existence….who now adds another layer of complexity to a relationship that was complex enough to begin with. It just really, really sucks, because there is no easy answer…there isn’t really even a good answer that I can see. 
What is the problem?

The answer is found in Genesis 3:16.  In said verse, The LORD directly instructs Eve about her sexual desire towards Adam; He indirectly instructs all women that will follow.  Latent sexual desire is divinely placed in women. It is activated when a specific man exuding masculinity enters her sphere.  She gets turned on.  It is deactivated when a man fails to exude attractive masculine traits.  The wisdom of God is seen in that the nature of woman is meant to provide a powerful stimulus for men to be manly.  For the one who wants to doubt this womanly attraction to masculine man, just observe the plethora of erotic novels aimed at women.  Simply look at what is portrayed on the covers and be instructed. Recognize sales of these publications to women are on fire!  And for good reason.

Needless to say, before you and your future husband tie the knot, make sure you are sexually hot; hot for him that is.  If not, this should raise a serious red flag!  The LORD intends for you to marry as lovers, not friends.  He desires zest and holy heat in the bedroom.  So should you!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Getting Off

[J]ust as God does not command anyone to be a man or a woman but creates them the way they have to be, so he does not command them to multiply but creates them so that they have to multiply. And wherever men [or women] try to resist this, it remains irresistible nonetheless and goes its way through fornication, adultery, and secret sins, for this is a matter of nature and not of choice. –Martin Luther

Getting Off: One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction by Erica Garza is an exceptionally illuminating read.  It is unabashedly explicit, if not downright erotic at times.  The Audible version I listened to was dramatically narrated.  I had to repeatedly remind myself this was a true story and not erotica.  That said, Garza's explicitness is helpful for those seeking to understand the female dilemma.  I applaud her courage and willingness to write this book.  Writing is Garza's self-professed love and she does it engagingly well.  At least for a couple of days, Getting Off kept me mentally engrossed and awake on my hour-plus drive home from work (I work a night shift).  Maybe it saved my life?

Garza begins her account as a little girl, raised in what would be considered by most a healthy two-parent home in Southern California.  There was no sexual molestation growing up.   Her dad was a workaholic; her mom a stay-at-home mom.  They were nominal Catholics, and Garza professed to having a general Christian worldview.  Garza credits two events with significantly impacting her when she was 10 or 12.  One was when she was diagnosed with scoliosis and as a result had a steel rod implanted in her back, making her feel like a freak.  This drove her inward.  The other was listening to the radio and hearing a female radio personality describe how to masturbate in the bathtub using the water streaming from the faucet. Curious, Garza proceeded to lock herself in the bathroom and give it a try.  The ship departed from port.

A small deviation from course at the beginning will render a ship enormously off track after traveling hundreds of nautical miles if uncorrected.  Similarly, Erica Garza goes on to recount a life journey that progresses farther and farther off course into the private, then public, realm of sexual deviation.  It is not without consequences.  While Garza's account is admirably absent any condemnation or blame, I found myself repeatedly disturbed at how men she encountered frequently took advantage of her weakness, used and abused her.  Garza gives ample illustration how self-pleasure can become an all-consuming addiction.  IMO, you could classify sex addiction as a form of drug addiction since the addictive pleasure arises from chemical secretions in the body.

All said, women wanting to read Getting Off in hopes of finding help with porn-sex addiction will probably be severely let down and possibly misled.  They may find the book loaded with triggers due to its explicitness.   This book is not aimed at helping the follower of Christ.  Garza left me with the impression that her biggest struggle was wih the shame she constantly felt living a sexual life of secrecy.  Once she finally confessed her ways to sympathetic others and came out in the open, her sense of shame abated and she felt healed.   She was convinced by others to accept all her sexual impulses and ways as legitimate. After all, she was a sexual being.  Garza's concern is absent the verticle.  The end of the book finds her living happily ever after with her new husband and live-in lesbian partner as a threesome.  Nonetheless, Getting Off should make us sympathize with legitimate struggles women face, especially in our day and age.  As a father, it has given me a more informed and sympathetic concern for my daughters.  For women looking specifically for help, I'd recommend Jessica Harris' excellent book on the same subject, Beggar's Daughter.  For the others, I highly recommend Getting Off.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Continuous Seduction

“If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.”   Exodus 22:16

Unmarried men will often do anything to attract women, specifically to get sex.  All too commonly marriage is not in the picture.  Whether they are conscious of it or not, men are internally driven to be fruitful and multiply, so they eagerly seek out help to learn the art of seduction.  Don't believe me?  Just search "seduce women" on Amazon and you will be greeted with a long list of top selling books.  This one popped up first for me: "Seduce Her With Text: The Gentleman's Guide To Texting Her All The Way To The Bedroom."

Make no mistake, seduction solely for the purpose of getting sex is unloving.  It is explicitly wrong outside of marriage.  But don't automatically conclude the art of seduction does not have its rightful place.

It's critically important that an unmarried man sexually impress the woman who could potentially become his wife.  It's critical that he be able to turn her on.  Turning her on should be a huge part of his driving ambition, even as the higher part is to convince her to marry him with the smile of God.  Recognize, that even though not yet married, it is perfectly right and expected that both the man and the woman be chomping at the bit to have sex.  Sexual desire is a good thing (Before we were married, my wife and I used to have the car windows completely fogged up in the church parking lot! Lol).  The wedding day should mark the beginning of a long journey learning how to make mutually explosive love.  To be clear, the honey moon does not represent the summum bonum for sex.  It is simply Day One in the life long school of romance.  Nevertheless, at the time of marriage the groom should already be highly skilled in the art of seduction.

Mastery of seduction — the art of getting a woman to highly desire sex from you — should be a man's continuous life ambition.  Most emphatically it's not an ambition to be shelved after the wedding bells have been rung.  A husband should continuously be improving his skill at seducing his wife, even more as the years go by.  Seduction should be considered a major part of Christ's command for husbands to love their wives.  Turning her on and fulfilling her sexual needs should be seen as a large part of the privilege of being her husband, til death do you part.  Toward that end, husbands should be continuously active performing searches on Amazon, not just single men.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Passion Assassin

How do you kill a girl’s sex drive? Marry her. —Anonymous

The woman had been plagued by loss of libido for the greater part of her 25 year marriage. She described her husband as an overall good man, but one that insisted on exercising authority over his wife, all the while neglecting to make her feel loved, cherished, and sexy. There was little to no intimacy. The emphasis was on her submitting. Sex was defined by his pleasure, not hers. He considered her diminished libido totally her problem; her fault. He even sent her to a sex therapist. Needless to say she was surprised when after her patriarchal husband experienced an untimely death, her sex drive re-emerged in overdrive. This was a true story.

A woman’s healthy sex drive is linked directly to her husband’s loving, masculine lead; diminishing drive to its abdication. As Karen Brody explains in Open Her*, "When you don’t lead yourself and your life or take the lead with the woman you love, you leave a vacuum of masculine leadership. That empty space feels unsettling to a woman, so she will step in. She’ll become directional and pointed. She’ll make the plans, tell you what to wear, choose your dentist, police your diet. And while you might think this is sort of a nice perk, I assure you she won’t want to devour you at the end of the day. Assigning a woman the role of taking care of you triggers a mothering instinct in her. This does not make her feel sexy or turned on; it makes her feel like your caregiver. You become a job, a responsibility –one of the children. It’s wonderful to be blessed by this aspect of a woman’s loving, but you don’t want it to be the primary way she relates to you. Women do not have sex with their children!"

Interestingly, BDSM practitioners in their erotic power-play seem to grasp this masculine-feminine dynamic better than many Christians. To the uninformed, what appears to be a “Dom” or dominant male abusing a “Sub” or submissive female, is in reality a performance at the request of the Sub. In BDSM, Subs are in control. The Dom only acts by permission. The Dom's careful and loving domination turns the Sub on. And while BDSM may seem strange to many, its play requires a high level of communication and intimacy, relational aspects critical to the female psyche. Patriarchy types who obsess over male authority in marriage would do well to take this to heart, for these are the same dynamics that should be at play in Christian marriages, but are often missing.

Are you turning your wife on? Are you focused on increasing her sexual pleasure even if it costs you yours? Are you riveted on building intimacy with your wife? Are you determined to learn how to open her? Studies suggest men experience three orgasms to women's every one. According to surveys, sexual satisfaction in marriage is much lower for women than men. And this is probably an understatement because it's the tendency of a women to judge her pleasure by her man's experience. Orgasm and pleasure inequality is probably much worse. The default in marriage is for sex to be man-centric, Christian or not. In Christian marriages women often endure this man-centricity in the name of submission, rationalizing that to expect anything better would amount to marriage idolatry. Sad.

The oft-repeated instruction in Holy Writ is for wives to submit to their husbands; not for husbands to exercise authority over their wives. A hot, harmonious, loving relationship can only come about with a consenting wife. The Dom is servant to his Sub. And, just as a Dom serves his Sub by acting Dom, husbands are to serve their feminine wives by acting masculine: providing solid direction, leadership, and passionate love. Robust masculinity is the only thing that will turn her on.

* OPEN HER: Activate 7 masculine Powers to Arouse Your Woman’s Love and Desire by Karen Brody

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Christian Women Love Alpha-Males

Spend time in community with other Christians and you will eventually encounter the phenomenon of a Christian woman in relationship with a professed non-Christian man, or perhaps a minimal professor of the Faith at most. Why does this happen?  Shouldn’t a true Christian woman only be attracted to a “godly man?”  To answer this question we must look at how we were formed by our Creator; how we were made to tick as male and female.
Genesis 3:16 should become as familiar to you as John 3:16. Both verses are foundational to our being. A correct understanding of both is critical for life in the now, though you will probably never see someone on TV holding up a Genesis 3:16 sign at the Super Bowl.  This is the complete verse:
To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
For the topic under discussion we will only focus on the last part of the verse: “your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

It is important to understand that in this divinely recorded incident God is instituting the feminine – masculine bond.  What He is doing is transforming the nature of Eve such that she will be under increased physical constraint to desire masculinity in her husband, and her husband by implication will now be under constraint to behave in accordance with Eve’s new hyper-femininity.  He’d better be masculine.  Consequently, by natural generation all women share the same nature as Eve, and all men the same nature as Adam.  Male – Female created he them.
This is why Christian women are attracted to what are commonly labeled “Alpha-Males.”  An Alpha-Male by definition exudes masculine traits, usually revolving around strong leadership which answers directly to a woman’s feminine needs, needs such as a sense of security and direction. An Alpha-Male also possesses a confidence to dominate his woman in a loving sense, not pandering to her every whim.  Women want to be highly valued, vigorously romanced, and confidently pursued in a sexual way.  In these areas, Alpha-Males excel.
Alpha-Males tend to be found more outside the Church than within, due to the feminizing culture that pervades the Church of our day.  An emphasis on equality of the sexes has led to the repression and disregard of both the feminine and masculine.  Female and male distinctives are not taught.  As a result, men do not know how to respond to women, nor women to men due to lack of understanding.  For example, in a chapter of What Women Want When They Test Men: How to Decode Female Behavior, Pass a Woman’s Tests, and Attract Women Through Authenticity, author Bruce Bryans describes the radically different responses three men produced when tested by a woman.  Why did the three men respond so differently?  Bryans explains why: 

"The main difference lies in how these men think and respond to a strange and sometimes misunderstood aspect of a woman’s behavior: the subconscious need to test a man to determine his capability to lead and capacity to love her."

What Bryans describes as an innate womanly trait – the subconscious need to test a man – the Church would commonly label lack of submission.  A Christian man would tend to avoid such a woman rather than rise to her challenge and pass the test.  Christian men are overwhelmingly afraid of confident women, partly because man’s natural desire to rule is often ridiculed as tyranny, within the Church.  They are not taught to confidently and attractively rule.  Not that both feminine and masculine traits can be abusive when taken to extremes, but the modern pursuit of equality is attempting to abolish both male and female.  Christian women are being stranded and left single in the Church, bereft of romantic, masculine men.

Christian women rightly desire Alpha-Males.  The Church must expend every effort to bring them back from extinction.