Category Archives: Respect

Appreciation is Much Appreciated

appreciation

Supporting your spouse is an important element in creating a satisfying marriage.  Whether it’s a matter of simply validating your spouse by listening to what they have to say or financially backing your wife’s new book—and everything in between—your spouse needs to know that you are an active partner.  You do not have to agree with everything your spouse says, but the very least you can do is hear them out and weigh the pros and cons of their proposal.  Many things will require seeking the Lord for direction, so take that time and be encouraging to your partner. Remember, it’s not all about you; your spouse has a thought process that is just as valid as yours.

In the same vein, it’s important to acknowledge the efforts of your spouse.  All too often we take our wives or husbands for granted.  Does that sound familiar? Perhaps you heard it from your spouse this week. Don’t do that!  The world offers plenty of opportunity to tear down your mate. Acknowledging good behavior is one of the most effective ways to elicit change in a person. Think about it. With children, how do you get them to do the things you want them to do? Whether it’s doing their chores, being polite, or sharing their toys, we encourage them when they do what is right.  “Thank you Johnny; Mommy really appreciates it when you take out the trash.” “Susie, that was very nice of you to let your sister play with your doll.”

Positive reinforcement makes such a big difference.  And it’s not just the children; we all appreciate it when our efforts are recognized.  The best way to encourage long-term change in our loved ones is to acknowledge them and make them aware that we appreciate what they are doing.  Leave it alone and don’t say anything and you have ensured that the positive behaviors will stop in short order.

Take a moment and assess yourself.  How well do you do in the acknowledgement department?  Do you offer is freely or do you have the tendency to take your spouse for granted?  Investing in your mate is a great way to increase intimacy in your relationship.  In what ways can you make improvements in this particular area of your marriage?.

Be Blessed!

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Communication, Love, Respect, Thankfulness

Oh, What’s the Difference?! (Part III)

Differences

As we move into the third part of this ongoing post, we will continue to flesh out the common traits that can help us understand better how our spouse thinks and some of the motivational factors that lead to our behaviors.  These are not characteristics that need to be “fixed”, they are traits that should be embraced and considered elements that will grow us in greater ways than we might ever have experienced individually.  Granted, not every person will fit perfectly into this model, but I think you will find more things in common with these descriptors than differences.  Let’s continue our journey of understanding our mate.

Men tend to give of themselves completely. They are willing to sacrifice it all, much to their own frustration and regret. Men are prone to leave nothing behind and may resent those to whom they’ve given it all. If a friend asks us to help them move, we’ll say yes regardless of how we may actually feel, regardless of how tired we are or how much we already have on our own plate, and regardless of how many things we have already done for that person in the past. Men are less likely to say “no”. The reality is that if men do not learn to say “no” when they should, they may develop bitterness for those being helped. They may spend all day griping that they are now obligated to help instead of helping out of a loving heart. Fact is, they probably didn’t want to help in the first place!

Women typically do not deplete themselves to the point of resentment. More often than not, wives can master the concept of sharing without giving away the store. This is a simple issue of knowing how to develop boundaries. People have argued the issue of boundaries as being unscriptural. Looking at the Bible, God seems very clear about what he considers acceptable and unacceptable. Are these not boundaries? God calls us to set boundaries so as to maintain loving relationships.

These characteristics delineate a clear difference between men and women, husbands and wives. When all is peeled away, the heart of a man lies in his ability to feel competent. A man has an ingrained need to know that he makes a difference, whether it is in his job, in his relationship, or within himself. The dysfunctional behavior of workaholics defines this very well. For many men, it is much easier to feel effective and competent in the workplace than in a marriage. The job only has a minimum level of relational depth required, and a man can still be effective. It is much more difficult for a man to feel that same level of expertise at home with his wife and family because the investment is so much greater, yet men often feel like they have less control.

The level of depth necessary to maintain a relationship between a husband and wife should be considerably greater. Men can easily get intimidated by the mastery that many women tend to have in the art of communication. Women can talk about anything at any time. For men, it’s like the old television series Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.” Many women can paint a vivid canvas of emotions and responses without a second thought. As men, we prefer to deal with actions rather than show our investment in the relationship through emotions. That doesn’t mean men don’t have feelings and need to learn to deal with them in a healthy way.

For women, it’s a bit different. When you examine the deepest layer of a woman’s heart you will find the key issue of trust and security. A woman needs to know that she can trust her husband to keep her safe, do what’s right, and protect their family. This is why when a husband does not display the character qualities of a godly man (wisdom, truth, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, and patience), it disrupts the flow of a marriage and undermines the very foundation of that marriage. Transparency is very important to a woman for it shows that her husband cares and prioritizes the relationship. Your wife wants to know how your day went, she wants to be involved in the household decisions, she wants to see her man take the initiative in resolving issues that need to be dealt with.

Here’s a challenge for you.  Examine yourself and make a commitment: what behaviors will you work on changing to better protect the heart of your mate? Ask your spouse if you are unsure of behaviors that may have hurt them in the past. The time for change is now!

Next time we will see how the differences between men and women fit together like a puzzle with intent.  This is all part of God’s design for marriage and very important to keep in mind as we grow throughout our relationship. Join me for the concluding part of the post, “The Differences Between Men and Women”.

Great blessings in your relationship!.

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Character, Communication, Differences, Emotions, Grace, Respect, selflessness, Transparency, Unity

“I Just Want to Be Heard!”

Listening

Just as important as what you say to your children is how you listen to them.  Give your children your undivided attention when they are sharing with you.  Turn off the television, put away the paperwork, get off the computer, just listen.  Acknowledge what they say and hear them out.  Your job is to be approachable when they need you. Understand that they are children and may not express as effectively as you do, but let them try.  This is not the time to correct them or critique their verbal skills.  Just like your spouse, they want to be heard.   Oftentimes whether they are heard or not has a greater impact on their esteem than whether they get their way.

A mother brought in her son, a young man about sixteen.  She wanted someone to talk to him because he wouldn’t open up at home, and he seemed to be carrying a great deal of anger. When he entered the office it was apparent things were going to get interesting.  The first thing he did was sit in the chair in front of the desk, raise his leg to the desk, and push his chair back about four feet from it.  Arms folded, body rigid in the chair, he was very direct in his communication: “I don’t have a f—in’ thing to say to you.”

It was obvious what he was expecting.  This coarse phrase would elicit a reaction and get him thrown out of the office. Ah, he would have to do better than that!  I calmly told the young man, “That’s entirely up to you.  But if you want to chat, I’d love to hear what you have to say.” He was very confused, and when he realized my response was sincere, no one could keep this guy from talking!  He was thrilled to have a venue to be heard. As he talked more and more, his entire demeanor changed and his body language loosened up.  He was able to be direct in areas where his behavior was not serving him productively, and he was eager to listen to what I said.

In the end, after speaking with his mother, it was apparent that his father didn’t really connect with him because they never talked.  The son never had a voice in the house, and when he was bold enough to speak, his father shut him down immediately.  His behavior issues were simply symptoms of a much greater problem: poor communication in the home.

Consider your own home.  In what ways do you frustrate your child by not providing them a venue to share with you?  How might the behaviors and communication we, as parents, demonstrate to our children play out in their lives as they become adults and parents?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Communication, Parenting, Respect

Bridging the Gap Between Lover’s and Friend’s

trust

Open and honest communication in the marriage is incredibly important. If things from your past continue to plague you and infiltrate the marriage, it is imperative that you bring them to the table. Be honest and transparent about your upbringing, about your family of origin. If these issues are not addressed your spouse will invariably be held responsible for events that he or she had nothing to do with. You may not blame them verbally, but you will punish them in your actions. Never forget that you are a team and you are to be as one flesh.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”    – Ephesians 5:31

This is where the importance of being safe for one another plays out. You each need to be willing to support and protect one another. Husbands, when your wives come to you to share something from their past, don’t hold it against them. Don’t say things like, “See, that’s why you are how you are!” Wives, that goes likewise for you. Cradle one another’s heart as God desires to cradle and protect you both. Husbands and wives are not just to be lovers, you are called to be friends.

His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem     – Song of Songs 5:16

Unfortunately, many relationships started with sexual involvement and the friendship aspect of the relationship was never cultivated. Now is the time to begin to explore and develop your friendship if you have not done so.

Without transparency and forgiveness a relationship is doomed to stagnation at best, destruction at worst.  It is in sharing of difficult issues that the message sender should seek God in the timing of their presentation, asking the Lord to prepare the heart of the receiver and remain patient until you are prompted to share those delicate issues.

The receiver of such information should not be reactionary, but instead also lean into the Lord to give them strength and guidance as to how best to respond (Perhaps patience is the key to responding, better to process and respond rather than explode and cause greater damage.) I understand that this is not always easy. If you feel an immediate reaction rising, take a moment and remember your own story and all the sin that you have been forgiven. Let your thankfulness for what has been done for you balance your emotional response, regardless the issue.

I pray for your strength in resolving those issues that can make (if exposed to the light and worked through with grace and mercy) or break (if kept in the dark, festering like a cancer) a relationship.

Be Blessed!

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Communication, Emotions, Forgiveness, Prayer, Respect, Restoration, Transparency, Trust, Uncategorized

Age and Wisdom

senior citizens 2

You know, a funny thing happened on my way to the bacon and eggbeaters sandwich on white buttered toast…

This particular morning had already been agendized.  Wake up early, go grab a nice, but quick, breakfast, spend some time in the Word and off to the office for what I had anticipated to be a challenging day of counseling.  Little did I know what God had in store for me on this particular day.  The entire restaurant was empty except for a group of about thirty older men who were chatting, eating and sipping their coffee.  I would have to estimate the average age of this group to be eighty.  The server seated me in a booth that was very close to the congregation of “seasoned” citizens.  There was a sign posted behind the men (which they obviously posted themselves, with pride) that read “United States Veterans Club”.  As I sat, many of them greeted me with a warm “Hello”, which I reciprocated.  I will admit that it was nice to be regarded as a “young whipper-snapper” amongst these crusty codgers.

Without a beat one of the men came over to me and asked if I was a veteran, to which I replied, “No, sir, I am not.  But I have a great deal of respect for those who have served our country in its defense.”  “What do you do?” he asked.  “I’m a pastor.  I counsel and offer guidance to those in need.”  He smiled, “Oh, my friend, the battles that you fight are every bit as real as the battles that we have been involved in.”

Pretty soon, another gentleman slide out of his seat and right into my both, directly across from me.  Another joined us.  I felt like I had become an honorary vet.  They began sharing some of their life experiences, their struggles and victories, and lessons learned on their journeys.  They shared their stories of faith while presenting their personal testimonies to me, a complete stranger.  I said very little, just listened intently.  I had a rare opportunity to glean from approximately 225 years of accumulated history.  They shared with honor, yet humility.  It was my time to learn.  My quiet, solo breakfast turned into a colorfully and richly detailed lesson in human endeavor and perseverance.  I cannot minimize, and they will never fully understand, the impact that these men left on me at that fateful breakfast.

As a Christian, I walked away from the encounter with several lessons that I need to practice always.  I pray that I am so welcoming and open to experiencing the lives of others and willing to be so bold, yet humble in sharing my faith.  I pray that I will take the time to listen to what those older than myself have to offer, because there is much to glean.  I also pray that I never develop a “I have arrived” attitude; that arrogance will never deflect what I have yet to learn (which is much!)

My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.  Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.  When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,…    Proverbs 6:20-23

 Solomon’s wisdom speaks volumes to us all and transcends the confines of a familial relationship.  There is wisdom all around us in the minds of those often written off by our society.  I encourage you, don’t let the fear of a wrinkled, faded, well-worn stage curtain prevent you from peering into the wisdom and illumination that may lie just beyond it.  Those extra years may give you wisdom that you seek.

James, the gentleman who first slid into my booth concluded our interaction by stating, “I know I’m just rambling on and I don’t have much of a formal education, but thank you for letting me sit with you.”  Smiling, I replied, “My friend, there are far too many who have exchanged a fancy piece of paper for their faith.  Never underestimate the value of what you have learned and the importance that it is to the next generation.  I thank you.”  And so we all parted.  I can’t speak for them, but I can say that I am richer for the experience.  Again, God’s agenda is better than my own.

Love our senior’s, remember, you will be one before you know it!

Be Blessed!

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Elderly, Fellowship, Love, Misconceptions, Respect, Role Modeling

Being Bullied: It’s Not Just For Children

Bullying

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.    Proverbs 27:17

My current post is a bit off the beaten path. I received an email from an adult female expressing a very real (and all too common concern) that she has been experiencing. After obtaining her permission, she has allowed me to share the email and my response in hopes that it may help someone else who is dealing with a similar situation. To her I say, “Thank You,” as she does her part to fulfill Proverbs 27:17

“Hi Pastor Eric I need some advice. I seem to be getting bullied and as funny as that sounds, I don’t know how to handle it “God’s way”. I noticed it with my husband’s sister and co-workers. They would do stuff to me on purpose and because I don’t know how to respond in a way that would be pleasing to God, I don’t say anything. I can honestly say I understand why people commit suicide because of being bullied. I used to bully a girl in my B.C. (before Christ) days, so is this my weakness now. I feel I can’t respond to them because it’s not going to come out nice and I don’t want to later apologize for any rude behavior. I need some advice on what to do because I feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits.”     – Anonymous

Throwing in the towel IS NOT an option for those who have their strength from God but, I do understand the feelings. This simply requires some assertiveness on your part. Remember, they are probably being consistent in their behavior. Being rude should not be an option for you, you’ll just look (and feel) like a jerk and nothing will be accomplished. These situations call for us to do what is right. Be civil, but firm.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  – Proverbs 29:11

There is certain behavior that you should not tolerate because it is disrespectful to you. Before approaching the issue, I would recommend you take it under prayerful consideration. Ask the Lord to show you how you may be provoking this type of behavior in others (bad attitude, sarcasm, teasing others, etc.). Assess yourself first and make sure your motives are pure. The Lord will guide you in the direction to go.

In the practice of assertiveness, I would let them know that you do not appreciate such behavior (Assuming you don’t treat them with equal disregard) and you do not treat them in such a manner. Do not be preachy or condescending; simply express how you feel about it (without demonstrating those feelings). If the behavior continues, it is time to set some boundaries. You might need to share the situation with your supervisor or minimize your interactions with the offending party. If the offender is family, make sure you share the situation with your husband, it’s important that he is aware (he can only support you in what he knows) so that you do not appear irrational in your behavior.

I am not of the opinion that you are “reaping what you’ve sewn”. You have grown since your pre-Christian days (or you wouldn’t even be bothering to ask the question in the first place! The Holy Spirit is speaking to you, wanting you to do the right thing (more evidence of growth). Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that you are called to be intentional in your actions. In other words, don’t let your feelings dictate your behavior; choose to behave in a Godly manner in spite of what you may be feeling about the person or the circumstance.

I would also encourage you to keep these folks in your prayers; obviously they have damage that drives such behaviors and need healing as well. This is a good place to start. Keep your feelings under control and do not simply react. Think about your presentation before you approach these people. Ask yourself, “How would I respond if someone spoke to me the way that I am about to speak to them?” Adjust your presentation accordingly. Do not even broach the subject if you are feeling intense feelings of anger or frustration, it will not go well!

I pray that God is with you as you address these circumstances. Remember, you are not in this alone. Be blessed!
– Pastor Eric

A few days later came a follow-up message:

“Good morning Pastor Eric! I just had to share this with you! I got prayed for by a pastor visiting my church. He told me, “Not to fear, it’s not part of my personality…” I love that he threw that in there. It was so encouraging to hear this reminder that He is with me.

 Well, last night I get a text message at 12:00am from the coworker that I have been having all my problems with, the one that has been treating me so rudely.  She sent me a link to an encouraging video and added. “Sorry, I know you are sleeping, but I’m trying so hard to seek God. This is what I do (referring to the link), listen to the Word at night.” She said that her mom and brother attend church and are praying for her as well. This was so powerful to me that it caused walls to be broken down! I can’t express how excited I am that she reached out to me! I am so grateful that I didn’t respond to her in a negative way prior to this. Glory be to God! Thank you for your encouragement and simply being there pastor.”     -Anonymous

Important take-away, one never knows what others are struggling with or how God is trying to work in them. It is in the best interest of God to be obedient and submissive to his authority. There is great danger in taking on the role of accuser, jury, judge and executioner. Seek Him first and asses our own behavior and motivations before we act. Let your emotional drive take a back seat to your display of godly behavior. It’s better to be used by God to lift someone up rather than used by the enemy to tear someone down.  There is much to be learned by all, thank you Lord for teaching us.

Be Blessed!

©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Assertiveness, Behavior, Bullying, Character, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Emotions, Obedience, Respect

“I Have Feelings Too”

children's emotions

 Your children are counting on you to have their best interests at heart. They need to know you will be available in their time of need.  That means you need to be in tune with your children. Develop a relationship that is based on good communication. It is our responsibility to teach our children to be open with their feelings. Children who do not share their feelings tend to make decisions about those feeling based on their immature perspective of the world.

Since selfishness is so prevalent in our society, it is no great leap to assume that the choices they make will be founded in that same selfishness. Do not fear your children’s emotions. For some reason many parents shut their children down when they become angry, frustrated, or sad. “Don’t do that…you shouldn’t feel like that” is a common response.

Our children have all the same God-given emotions we do, but what is often missing is the social grace in dealing with those emotions.

When the child’s behavior tied to those emotions is destructive, the parent needs to differentiate between the feelings and the behavior that is deemed unacceptable. Make sure you validate the feelings and discuss them with your children. Men (and perhaps some women), for those of you who think that emotions are for girls or sissies, it’s time to grow up. That may require you to sit down with a counselor or pastor and identify the reasons you struggle with emotional expression. Do not invalidate your child’s emotions; rather consider healthy ways to help them express those emotions. Your children are more likely to communicate with you if you allow them the freedom of verbal expression.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Communication, Emotions, Parenting, Respect

Give Yourself to God, He’ll Clean Up the Mess!

clean up

For me, certainly one of my major battles involved harnessing what came out of my mouth.  In all honesty I have not yet arrived.  I am still a work in progress…but I’m in good company.  On more than one occasion I had attempted to stop on my own to no avail.  It was clearly evident that I need help greater than myself.  You see, people thought my insults, rudeness and sarcasm were funny.  If God healed me from this would people still like me?

Needless to say, since having asked God to temper my tongue, I no longer care about the acceptance of the world. What God thinks of us is far more important. In displaying God to our families, we should do our best to emulate Him. Men, as the spiritual leaders of our households, that is our obligation.

From the minute we wake up in the morning to the moment we close our eyes at the end of the day, plenty of people and circumstances have the potential to tear us down if given the opportunity.  Ask yourself: do I want to contribute to the “tearing down” process, or would I rather be a part of the edification process? Our marriages need to be the place where we build up and strengthen each other against the arrows of the world.

Are you assessing your behaviors as you interact with the world?  Are you learning to tame your tongue and gather yourself before you respond out of emotion?  Are you examining your motivations and responses aimed at your spouse, or are you simply taking everything personally? It is not just an issue of what words come out of our mouth; we also need to consider what we allow into our minds. External influences can have a great impact on what goes on in our minds, which in turn impacts the words that come pouring out of our mouths.

…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.-Philippians 4:8

Have you asked God to show you how to better tame the critical spirit and breed a heart of understanding and edification?  What is the potential of such a transformation in your marriage, in your life?

God allowed me to retained my sense of humor through the process yet has filtered my communication in such a way as to be more edifying to others.  But again, I am still a work in progress and try to be more intentional about my behaviors, He continues to clean up the mess.  Thank you, Lord!

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Character, Communication, Leadership, Male Leadership, Respect, Restoration, Submission

Pornography (Part II): Exposing the Sin

secrets

You may think that you are good at concealing your indiscretions, but think about it. Is there a more common story than that of the child who comes across his father’s pornography collection while riffling through his dresser drawers? God has a way of exposing sin, one way or another. Children typically have high regard for their parents. If they believe that you think pornography is no big deal, rest assured they too will participate in your sin.  We will continue our journey through sexual sin as we shine the light of truth on three more consequences of pornography.

Fifth, pornography develops like any other addiction. You see it time and time again in counseling. When you participate in an activity that elicits excitement, a chemical called dopamine is released. Over time, in order to reach that same level of excitement, more and more stimuli is necessary because you develop a tolerance to it. This is true with all addictions. Now it becomes necessary to up the ante. As you become more dependent on outside stimuli for excitement, you become less dependent on, and derive less enjoyment from, your spouse.

 Sixth, the more you become dependent on pornography, the less attractive and more insecure your spouse will feel—and rightfully so. You will naturally compare your spouse to the people in the pornography. You may not do it verbally, but you will do it in your mind, and your mate will be very aware of your increasing lack of interest in them. The reality is that people don’t look in real life the way they do in pornography! They have been made-up, touched-up, airbrushed, and inflated beyond reality.

One more reason if you need it. Your ability to communicate with your spouse and others will steadily decrease. It’s easy to have a relationship with something that doesn’t require anything of you.  What do you think that does to a marriage over time? If you are involved in pornography you don’t need to be told.

In all of this we’ve said nothing of the secrecy and deceit often accompanied by the use of pornography, constantly looking over your shoulder hoping not to get caught.

If you need any more reasons why pornography is destructive to your marriage, put this book down immediately and go to your secret hiding place. Remove and destroy your pornography collection.  Get down on your knees, ask forgiveness, and repent of this behavior.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8

Regardless what you may have done (or are doing) we serve a God of restoration.  Find accountability with someone you trust and plug into the helps available in your community and your church.  Ask God to change your heart and begin the road to sexual discipline.  Be blessed!

Website Filters and Accountability: Covenant Eyes: www.covenanteyes.com & X3watch: www.xxxchurch.org

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Accountability, Behavior, Character, Idolatry, Pornography, Respect, Restoration, Sexuality

Pornography (Part I): From Thought to Action

Shame

Pornography is a very dangerous practice to bring into your marriage for a variety of reasons.  I will spend this and the subsequent post dissecting the destruction created when you place your own sexual desires above God’s will.  It is important to remember that every decision we make has ramifications in our relationships, marriage and family.  We will focus on seven consequences of pornography, whether you introduce it into the marriage or partake in it as your “secret sin” (Remembering that there are NO secrets from God).  Let’s have a look at the first four, shall we.

 First, it creates a fantasy problem.  We introduce other people into our mind, heart, soul, and relationship. Now there is plenty of fodder to fantasize about people other than your spouse.

 Second, there is the moral question of partaking in pornography.  The actors/models who perform in these videos or photos are damaged themselves.  Many struggle with insecurity and their own need for acceptance.  To an overwhelming degree, they come from painful pasts.  By supporting this industry, you encourage more of that behavior, as well as participate in the degradation of precious people who were created in the image of God—created for great things.

 Third, ask yourself the question, “How would I feel if I found out that my son or daughter were in a porno magazine or video?”  We can become so desensitized that we don’t even view these performers as human beings.  They all have parents too.

 Fourth, anything that you partake in has consequences.  These consequences can pass down and influence the behavior of your children.  Remember, if your children think you are okay with a certain behavior, odds are they will do it in excess.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. -Exodus 20:5-6

In what ways do you feed your sexual sin?  What exactly are you feeding? (insecurities, fear of intimacy, difficulty in communication, etc.)   Are you already reaping the consequences of your behavior?  If this is a “secret sin”, have you considered what might happen if you were exposed?  In spite of the fear and consequences, how do you justify the behavior?

If this is a hindrance in your relationships I encourage you to take it to the Lord, from Him comes strength.  There are counselors and groups that deal specifically with issues of sexual addiction.  You don’t have to take the journey alone.

We will continue our exploration of sexual sin in my next post.  Be Blessed!

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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