Posts Tagged ‘feelings’

Feel Like Having Sex?

I just received yet another email from someone telling me the woes of living with a less-than-satisfying sex life. This time it was a woman explaining that her husband doesn’t want to have sex with her very often. She initiates. He turns her down.

This scenario is played out countless times everyday in marriages. It’s one of the great stand-offs in married life. Typically, one spouse wants to have sex more than the other.  Sometimes, the husbands write to me that the woman isn’t so interested. After all, that is the stereotype. Men who want to have sex all the time and it’s the women who turn them down. (Truth be told, in my ministry, I hear much more from women who say that it’s the guys who aren’t interested—and the pervasiveness of pornography is a big reason for this.)

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It’s Dangerous for Men to “Follow Their Feelings”

Maleness is under attack in this country and has been for the past 40 plus years. This is true in the culture at large, as well as in The Church, and it is extremely detrimental to male culture and our society at large. For a few years now people have been addressing this issue in books like The Feminization of American Culture by Ann Douglas, and David Murrow’s Why Men Hate Going to Church. The results of this feminization have been disastrous. Men are not real men anymore. Many males themselves don’t even know what it means to be a man because they have no role models. Part of this is due to the fact, that far too many fathers have literally abandoned their children or they are not engaged playing an active role in being a part of their son’s lives. For decades since the industrial revolution, most boys have been surrounded and raised by women who are the caretakers and role models. The message men are getting in spades—consciously and unconsciously– is that they need to be more like women and less like men.

While, there is much to be said about the causes and cures for this phenomenon, for the sake of this argument, we are going to zero in on one particular area: living by feelings.  More importantly, how it’s a dangerous thing when men live by them. In his book, Man and Woman in Christ, Dr. Steven Clark states that one of the earmarks of a feminized man is that “he will place an unbalanced emphasis on how he feels (and how other people feel), in turn becoming highly visceral in his personal thinking and reactions”.  In other words, because such a high emphasis has been placed on feelings, men have incorrectly learned that they have permission to act on and live by their feelings rather than thinking through logically what is right and wrong.
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Hugs=Happier Marriage

A recent poll of 4,000 couples found that those spouses who described themselves as “very happy” tended to hug one another at least four times a day. Science has found many direct correlations between human touch and physical health…and I’m not even talking about actual sexual intercourse!  Just holding hands, hugs, a pat on the back, a hand on the arm or other touches like this have a great impact on our mental wellness, our health and the state of our relationships.

Studies have shown that people who don’t have physical touch don’t fair as well. Single people, who generally don’t get as much physical touch have more health problems, and babies in ICUs and people with chronic health conditions who get touched more heal faster and fair better.  We are not designed to be people who are never touched or held. We really do need to have it. See the following article on the connection between touch and the release of oxytocin.
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There Ain’t No Easy Button

Lots of people wish life had an easy button… like the commercial for the office supply store Staples, where you just push the big red button with the word “easy” on it and everything you want  just magically happens. But the reality is, there are no easy buttons in life, and that is especially true in Christianity—even though people often think and act like God is the easy button for us.

Frequently, believers will treat God like the magic genie or giant vending machine in the sky. We ask Him to do things just so we don’t have to do it ourselves;  then we don’t have to put any work or effort into a situation.  Husbands and wives will pray for God to make their marriage better, yet they will continue to invest no time and attention into the relationship.  People may be diagnosed with some illness or condition and beg God to heal them and take it away, but they won’t do anything to change their diet, exercise or lifestyle that would improve their health.  Students will blow off studying for an exam, yet earnestly pray for God to help them do well on the test.  There are people who pray and ask God to bring them a job or a spouse, but never go out and look for one! I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but that’s not the way it works. (more…)

Attention = Desire Disorder (Part 2)

In the last post I wrote about the connection between attention and desire and explained that when a man pays attention to his wife, it builds desire in him. As human beings we want or desire what we give our time and thoughts to. It could be a shiny new car that you keep driving by the lot admiring or the big piece of chocolate cake that you continuously look at sitting on the counter! Then I explained how this applies in marriage—mostly from the man’s point of view—trying to get women to understand this connection between attention and desire in a man’s brain. If you haven’t read it yet, you may want to check out Attention = Desire Disorder (Part 1) first.

Now, I didn’t say that every time the guy gives his wife a little attention she needs to fulfill his immediate desire (as some readers assumed). Rather the intent was to explain why some men stop paying attention to their wives. If time after time a man gives attention, causing his desire for his wife to grow, and then she constantly stiff-arms him and pushes her husband away, the dude is going to stop with the attention. He will do it if for no other reason than to keep his arousal and desire in check and limit his own sexual frustration.
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