What’s the Difference Between “Coffee” and “Dinner”?

I grew up in rural West Virginia. If you’ve ever been to West Virginia, you know “rural West Virginia” is redundant because most of WV is rural. It’s also culturally the South. When you found someone you were interested in, you asked them out on a date. That usually meant dinner, bowling, mini-golfing, or a movie. That was a date and how you communicated yourself and your interest.

When I moved to California, I kept hearing about taking a girl out “for coffee.” That seemed odd to me, and I didn’t really have a good box to put it in. I later went back to WV for Christmas and realized, outside of gas station coffee, the closest coffee shop was 1.5 hours away. THAT explains why “coffee” wasn’t on my grid, but I quickly learned it was on the grid of women around me. It was time to update my vocabulary and find out what I was actually saying. In dating, it’s not just about what you’re doing but what you’re communicating to your date. I started asking women around me what “coffee” implied and what “dinner” implied. The results were as follows…

 


What’s the difference between “going out for coffee” and being “asked out for dinner”? 


What “Coffee” Means

Coffee implies a more casual interest and is low stakes for both parties involved. You ask her out for coffee if you’ve seen her around or know a little bit about her, but want to get to know her more and see if there’s anything there. You show interest but also a desire to keep it light.

 

What “Dinner” Means

Dinner implies a more serious intent. This communicates you’re for sure interested and ready to let her know. Maybe you already know her or maybe you just know you’re interested. There’s no ring in sight, but there is a higher level of commitment and seriousness here. It’s more intentionally showing romantic interest.


 

After you ask her to “go out for coffee” or if you can “take her out to dinner,” she may have questions. She may ask you “what do you mean?” or “is this a date?” Confidently reply. “Yes, I’m asking you out on a date,” or “I would like to get to know you better.”

 

Note: Some girls love the word “date” and other girls run from it because it feels too heavy. I wish I could tell you who is who but I usually find out after I ask. I like to say “date.” I’m a man asking a woman on a date. I’m not a boy playing around. I’ll use the word. If they seem to be shocked or scared by it, I’ll affirm with “No pressure. It’ll be low key,” so they feel safe, but I want them to know I’m showing up. I think when more men start asking women out for dinner, asking a woman out for coffee won’t be as big of a deal.

 

You set the level of interest based upon the amount of time, energy, and money you’re investing in her (and asking her to invest). Consider the difference of time and money between coffee, Applebees, and a “you-better-dress-up restaurant.” The point of this is good communication and lowering the stress without over explaining. Dating should be fun. If it’s not, you may be doing it wrong. Go find yourself a pretty lady with good character and see if anything’s there. 😉

P.S. If it’s coffee or dinner, pay for hers. You’re a gentleman asking a lady out. Pay for hers.

 

ABRAM GOFF HAS BEEN PART OF THE MORAL REVOLUTION TEAM SINCE 2014 CREATING GRAPHICS AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEDIA. HE HAS SERVED THROUGH GRAPHIC DESIGN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH FOR OVER A DECADE. HIS PASSION IS TO SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATIONS EXTRAVAGANTLY FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS AND WALK IN PASSION, PURITY, AND PURPOSE. HE BELIEVES EACH PERSON IS MADE TO BE FULLY ALIVE AND FULLY BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR ORIGINAL DESIGN DISCOVERED THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST ROOTS AND AS A GRADUATE OF BSSM, HE HAS A PASSION TO SEE THE WHOLE CHURCH DISCOVER AND WALK IN ALL OF WHO SHE REALLY IS. 
WEBSITE: ABRAMGOFF.COM 
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/ABRAMGOFF
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Why Gay Pride Isn’t the Problem

A Once-Gay Person’s Thoughts on Gay Pride

I passionately disagree that homosexuality is normal sexual behavior, but I honor everyone’s right to have a different opinion. I don’t hate anyone and I have spent my life loving people I completely disagree with. To me, agreement isn’t necessary for relationship. I’m not the kind of guy who beats people with the Bible and I think it’s hard to punish people into true purity. At the same time, I also think it’s wrong to remain quiet and allow only the homosexual voice to be heard in society. Given that a few weekends ago was the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade, the largest gathering of the LGBT community in the Unites States, I wanted to allow Ken Williams to share a part of his story with you.

Ken Williams is on staff with Moral Revolution—an organization I founded years ago to help define healthy sexuality. A few weeks ago, he wrote a blog post out of his own personal journey into freedom. I wanted my readers to hear from someone who struggled with homosexuality and came out of it. Whether you know someone struggling with same-sex attraction, are struggling with it yourself, or have no grid for the lifestyle, I hope this story will encourage and inspire you towards greater levels of freedom! I have so much hope in my heart for anyone struggling in this area and Ken’s story is an incredible testimony of true freedom, not the false freedom that the LGBTQ+ community covers itself in. Check it out:


Here we are at the time of the San Francisco gay pride parade,  LGBTQ+ people will be proudly demonstrating and asking society to celebrate their gay and transgendered lifestyles.  I know that the church will have mixed reactions to this display of pride.  Some will turn their noses up at the idea that anyone could possibly be proud of such an abhorrent lifestyle.  Others will be glad that their homosexual friends are finally able to find some peace and acceptance. They may even wonder if being gay isn’t as bad as the Bible seems to suggest.

But as for me, I was that boy who grew up having only sexual desires for males and none for females, being made fun of and called “faggot” on the playground, going through life feeling there was something deeply wrong with me at my uttermost core.  So it makes sense to me that  if, one day, I had decided I couldn’t take it anymore and I came out of the closet—the most vulnerable, dangerous, and potentially isolating thing I could possibly do—but was then welcomed with open arms by a community who loved me enthusiastically (something that no one in my life had done up ’til that point), I tell you what, I would rally around that cause. I would link arms with those people and carry their torch. I would paint a giant rainbow on my chest and proudly walk in the gay rights parade.

Gay pride isn’t the enemy here. Imagine the freedom you’d feel if you found a group of people who celebrated the most reviled, hated, and despised area of your life? Wouldn’t you celebrate too?  The real problem is that gay pride pushes people further into a lifestyle that God does not condone and, therefore, cannot be what’s best for that person.  That actually won’t take away the pain from a lifetime of rejection and self-hatred.  That covers over brokenness with sex acts.  That miserably fails to meet the deep needs within a person. God cares deeply about our fulfillment and joy.  So much that He had his only Son die in our places for it.  Many marching in the gay rights parade believe that they were born gay and cannot change.  But that just can’t be true.  My sexual desires did change.  For decades, my only sexual desires were for other males (I had none for women). But, that is not the case today.  I have been happily married to a woman for 11 years.  And, I know quite a few other people who have had the same experience of transformation.

Take, for example, my friend Elizabeth. A seminary degree-toting, lesbian feminist with a long-standing conviction that homosexuality was a God-approved lifestyle, who wholeheartedly embraced her gay identity and lived within the gay community.  A change in her sexual desires was nowhere on her radar.  She had so embraced a lesbian identity that when she discovered that she was having sexual desires for a man, she actually felt humiliated, at first.  But, changes happened nonetheless.  And, Elizabeth credits encounters with a living and knowable God for this.  Today, she has been married to the man of her newfound desires for 12 years.  You should hear her speak of him as though he were one of the knights of the roundtable.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is nothing if not transformational. Dramatic change is possible when closely following Him. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that anyone who is “in Christ is a new creation.”  That the “old things have passed away” and that “all things have become new.”  Jesus is in the business of setting people free to live their deepest and most fulfilling lives…physically, emotionally, sexually…in every way.  And, there are people out there, including myself, who have experienced a radical transformation in their own understanding of themselves and in their sexual desires.  They’ve gone from gay to straight and remained that way.

With God all things are possible.  So, we who follow Him ought to humble ourselves and pray and demonstrate an extravagant love to every person around us, regardless of their ethnicity, gender identity, height, weight, occupation, or any other measurement.  But, we also need to be mindful of God’s righteous standard for sexuality…one male and one female committed for life to each other within the bonds of marriage…and to pull on Heaven, expecting God to manifest Himself to the men and women who struggle with same-sex desires and other perversions, and to transform their sexual desires.  He certainly has done so for me.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KEN WILLIAMS IS A PASTOR AT BETHEL CHURCH IN REDDING, CA WHO HELPS OTHERS FIND AND LIVE OUT THEIR TRUE IDENTITIES. HE IS A WRITER, TEACHER, AND MINISTER. HIS PASSION FOR SEEING THE ONE WHO FEELS DETESTABLE BECOME A FREEDOM FIGHTER LED HIM TO CO-FOUND EQUIPPED TO LOVE- A MINISTRY TO THOSE IMPACTED BY HOMOSEXUALITY. KEN ALSO SERVES BETHEL’S MANALIVE MEN’S PURITY GROUP AND MORAL REVOLUTION AS A LECTURER, WRITER, AND MINISTER. HIS GREATEST JOYS ARE HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE AND THEIR FOUR INCREDIBLE CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KENWILLIAMSMINISTRIES 
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/EQUIPPEDTOLOVE 

 


Am I Missing Out?

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is not a new buzzword but rather an age-old insecurity. When it comes to sexuality, it can be a strong force for some very damaging decisions. This blog is for those who are wondering, “What’s the point in waiting to have sex?” or “Why stop if I’ve already started?” My hope is to give you some clarity as to why it matters, even though it may seem every message says it doesn’t.

This is a feeling I relate to in a real way. Let me give a little context to my story: my childhood experience was very rare compared to most. Sexuality was something I wasn’t introduced to until later on. As a kid, I came across pornography a few times but never spent time watching it. I went to a public school my entire life, but I didn’t know what masturbation was until 10th grade. I have to admit when I first found out about masturbation, I was humiliated I didn’t know. I found out one day at track practice when the seniors told me all about it. At the time, my innocence felt a lot more like naive ignorance than a blessing.

As I continued on through high school and into my college years, I was able to keep abstaining from sex. I was twenty-two years old and a virgin when I married my wife, Caitlin, in 2006. Throughout my life, I never felt like I was missing out, and I have to give credit to God for guarding my desire for purity. Even though I didn’t experience this feeling when I was young, as a youth pastor I now come across questions often about missing out and feeling the need for “practice.” I wanted to share some perspective from my story by addressing these thoughts.

As a side note, righteousness comes from Jesus, not doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things. I don’t share my story to act as if I had it figured out but rather to be an inspiration for what is possible. My heart is not that my story would cause condemnation for those who haven’t had this experience, but that it would ignite hope and that Holy Spirit would help bring truth as you read.

 

Question #1: I feel like everyone is having a great time, and I am concerned I’m missing out on something that is really awesome by not having sex, am I?

My answer to this comes from the married side of life as well as many people I have counseled in this area. I can’t count how many people I have talked to who were hurt because of their sexual experiences. Some felt pressured to please and others gave themselves to someone who didn’t follow through with their commitment.

I will tell you this: I have talked with person after person who battled shame because of their sexual experiences. I have yet to meet a person that could truthfully say sex has no meaning and is just a fun activity with no strings attached. Those that have engaged in porn or premarital sex seem to always have a significant healing process to go through. The cost on the soul is immeasurable.

On the contrary, sex has always been an expression of love for me so that is the only context I know it in. To my brain and spirit, it is only for deep intimacy, not just for instant pleasure. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good quickie, but even that in the context of marriage speaks of love, passion, and sacrifice. I have never once thought to myself, “I knew I should have had more sex before I committed to one woman forever.” Oftentimes at the conclusion of our intimate moments, I thank God that He saved me and she is the only one I have experienced this with!

 

Question #2: What if I don’t know what I am doing? Shouldn’t I get some practice before marriage?

This is a very interesting question to me because the very nature of practice in this area requires giving yourself away to people. Let me be upfront about something, I had absolutely no idea how to have sex on my wedding night. As a matter of fact, we never even had sex on our honeymoon for various reasons I’m sure we will share in a future blog.

Our first few years of marriage were filled with awkward sexual moments that didn’t turn out how either of us would have liked. We often would start to get frisky and end frustrated with nothing happening. Even with these moments, I wouldn’t want to learn with anyone else. Who better to be awkward with than my best friend whom I am in love with? I am safe with her, covered by her and discovering with her. These moments have bonded us, and we have learned together. As a matter of fact, we are still learning. Besides, if I really meant, “Till death do us part,” I have a lot of years to learn how to have great sex, and let me tell you, it really doesn’t take that long 🙂 .

There is so much more to say on this topic, so feel free to send any questions or insight our way. We would love to help you process as you struggle with your innocence, restored purity, or desire for the unknown.

 

COLE  ZICK CURRENTLY LEADS THE YOUTH MINISTRY AT CAPITAL CHRISTIAN CENTER WITH HIS WIFE CAITLIN IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA. IN 2014, THEY LAUNCHED THE MY CITY CONFERENCE, A YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT CONFERENCE FOCUSED ON UNITY IN THE SACRAMENTO REGION. THEY ARE ALSO A PART OF THE NEXTGEN CITY PASTORS STRATEGY TEAM THAT LAUNCHED A REGION-WIDE NETWORK FOR YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT PASTORS. THEY HAVE A DEEP DESIRE TO SEE THE CHURCH THRIVING AND WORKING TOGETHER TO BE EFFECTIVE. AS A COUPLE, THEY HAVE MADE SEXUALITY A KEY FOCUS OF THEIR MINISTRY AS THEY SHARE THEIR STORY VERY OPENLY AND VULNERABLY HOPING TO SEE OTHERS FIND FREEDOM THROUGH IT. THEY CREATED FOUR CHILDREN IN FIVE YEARS, WHICH GIVES INSIGHT INTO THEIR LOVE FOR CHAOS. 

Is Love Really All You Need?

When I first came to Bethel Church, one of my primary roles was counseling. I counseled about six people a day, four days a week, for about three years. Most of the people I worked with would identify themselves as Christians. Nearly all of them could quote (and often would quote) John 3:16, which reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son . . .” But I rarely met with people who had actually experienced the love of God. They stored truth in their heads, but somehow it never made the eighteen-inch journey to their hearts.

We’ve talked about the importance of having needs and prioritizing your emotional needs as much as you would your need to eat or drink water. Of course, we have various needs such as for attention, to be known and to be seen, but one of the greatest needs we have is to feel loved. In some ways, it’s true that “all you need is love,” especially when you examine the Bible’s definitions of love. I am convinced that wars would cease, crime would plummet, divorce would diminish, and immorality would fall if the human race just experienced these three words: you are loved.

 

3 WAYS TO LIVE

There are three main ways we tend to approach meeting the needs of our souls: inactively, reactively, or proactively.

 

1) Inactive

You are inactive when you remain ignorant of the condition of your soul. In the inactive mindset, you embrace your desperate need as an unwanted yet necessary part of life’s process. Then you work hard to convince yourself that love, acceptance, attention, approval, and significance are not necessities but choices that can be opted out of. Maybe you don’t try to meet the needs of your soul because you want to be spiritual, so you wear your dysfunction as a badge of honor. Or worse yet, you bury your needs so deep that you can’t consciously remember where you even put them. Life just happens to you when you live inactively. Eventually, you find your soul existing in brokenness, emptiness, and loneliness.

 

2) Reactive

You are reactive when you acknowledge your soul’s needs but then fulfill the needs in dysfunctional ways. This is the proverbial “looking for love in all the wrong places” scenario. Living reactively often leads to all kinds of extremely dysfunctional devices that never fulfill your need to be known deeply or your desire to be loved for who you are. The fruit of this reactive lifestyle may be sexual promiscuity, pornography, fantasy, selfish ambition, and so on… anything that gives you the sense of being known, feeling powerful, and feeling loved. Yet instant gratification has horrible side effects! Typically people who live this way for any length of time have a trail full of broken relationships that follow them.

 

3) Proactive

You are proactive when you wisely assess the needs of your soul and then devise a healthy strategy to meet your needs. Metaphorically speaking, you stop eating out of dumpsters, and you start planning your meals. One of the most basic ways to do this is through the power of love. You need a deep understanding and acceptance of love to seep so powerfully into your soul that it overflows out of you and into the hearts of others.

 

PROACTIVE IN LOVE

Believing you’ve experienced love because you have a biblical definition of it—or because you’ve memorized all the verses about the love of God in the Bible—is not only deceptive, it’s also destructive. Think about it: why would you continue to press into experience deeper levels of God’s love if you’re convinced that there is nothing more to experience beyond the definition? In other words, what you know can keep you from what you need to know.

Are you proactively inviting God’s love into your life, or are you rather getting your needs met in a reactive way? Maybe you’ve even reached the point of inactivity when it comes to really living? Today I encourage you to take a minute, search your heart and really ask yourself if you’ve truly experienced the transformational love of God. If not, invite Holy Spirit in. Silence the noise of busyness around you and quiet your mind so you can listen in to His voice. I pray peace over your mind today and grace over your heart to experience the tangible, supernatural love of God! I pray it seeps into every fiber of your heart and meets the deepest need we all have – to be loved.

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

5 Tips for Teaching Your Kids About Sex

There is so much shame surrounding the subject of sex in the culture we live in today. The media paints a perverted picture about what sex is supposed to be like, while the church rarely says a word. That is until we have a quiet, one-time, whisper of a “talk” with our kids that is filled with awkwardness and may leave them uncomfortable and scared. But what we’re missing is that sex is God’s idea! He’s not scared of it, ashamed of it, or hiding it! When God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” He was giving us a sex drive. It’s time the church speaks up about God’s heart for sex and develops a healthy sexual culture, breaking the shame culture that’s been developed over years. Here are some practical tips for teaching your children about sex:


1. Celebrate sexuality.

It’s God’s idea, and He talks about it throughout the Bible. He’s not nervous about sex and He made it to be beautiful and desirable. In Proverbs 5:18-19 it says, “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.” That’s in the book of Proverbs—the book of the Bible known for sharing wisdom! Isn’t God’s heart for sex beautiful? Sex is something that should be celebrated, not hidden.

 

2.Teach them the power of sacrifice.

The goal of a healthy sexual culture is not to get rid of the desire for sex, but rather to manage the appetite for it. We must stop using shame to do this. Teach your kids that by saying no to temptation now means saying yes to a better future. The value of their virginity is in the battle it took to keep it. It gives them something valuable, that they’ve had to sacrifice and fight for, to give away to the one they love on their honeymoon night.

 

3. Teach them to manage their desires from a young age.

This principle begins when they’re young! Think about how your kids cry out for candy bars. We can teach them to manage this desire by telling them they need to wait until after dinner to have candy. This trains them in gratification delay, so that when they’re older they’ve already learned how to wait for good things. We can’t always get what we want when we want it, and every child needs to learn this lesson from a young age. It will only help as they manage their sexual appetite when they’re older.

 

4. Don’t punish them into purity.

We can’t create a positive by enforcing a bunch of negatives. In other words, we can’t just motivate our kids into purity by saying “Don’t have sex because you could get pregnant!” Rather, release and empower your children into fighting for their purity. Paint a picture and give them a vision of the importance of waiting so that they’re motivated by a strong “yes” to something beautiful, instead of a weak “no” to temptation that’s motivated by fear. Instead of motivating by punishment and shame, help them make a battle plan and always support them in keeping to it. And here’s the kicker—if they fail, God can restore anything, even your child’s sexuality.

 

5. Create a safe place for them to talk about sex.

Have age-appropriate conversations with your children about sex throughout their lives, so that you don’t just constrict communication to “a talk” but rather a normal part of your family culture. The principle of first mention comes in here. It says that when we hear about a subject for a first time, it becomes the foundation by which we determine what we believe about that subject. Everything else we are told about it is then weighed against the foundational core values we learned. In other words, the first time we hear about a subject it creates lenses that we will continue to have anytime we look at that subject. Let’s be the kind of parents who create the lenses and perspective that our kids view sex through. Let’s instill kingdom virtues in them by talking about God’s value for sex. If it is difficult for you to talk to your kids about sex, practice with your spouse. Get comfortable with it so that you don’t project awkwardness or shame when you actually begin to have these conversations.


I know this may be challenging for some of the parents out there because you probably didn’t grow up in a healthy sexual culture. Today I want to encourage you to break that pattern and begin a new culture with your family! I pray that you would have supernatural wisdom and be equipped with arrows of purity and morality. I pray that you would know how to bring light where there is darkness, and I break shame off of you and your home in Jesus’ name. I release a joy over you and a celebration over sexuality, that you would carry God’s heart on this subject!

 

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRANDCHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

 

Want to Get More Resources On Parenting Sexuality?



First Comes Sex, Then Comes…

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.

Except when sex came first, now what?

My hope is to shed some light on the struggles of intimacy in marriage and how our sexual history may have impacted that. If you are not married don’t stop reading, this is still for you. Ultimately, we will dissect what happens when sex, love, and marriage happen out of order, then break down how to pursue healing.

A large percentage of people throughout the world practice “Casual Sexuality.” Casual Sexuality is sexual engagement that is primarily about feeling good or emotional coping. Examples could be: masturbation, one-night stands, multiple partners, or even non-intercourse sexual experiences. It is important to know that this is most likely not entirely your fault. Your first sexual experience has a massive impact on your sexual narrative.

God designed sex to happen within marriage for a very powerful purpose. Sex is meant to bind a couple together at a depth they have with no one else. We all have multiple relationships in our lives, but no matter how close we are, sex is reserved only for our spouse. There isn’t a single other person, family or friend we are meant to engage in this way with. Why? Because God knew we would need a, “’Til death do us part,” bonding agent that connects our body, soul, and spirit. For this to happen most naturally, the partners need to have abstained from casual sexual experiences. What happens when one or both partners have engaged in sex casually?


“God knew we would need a, ”Til death do us part,’ bonding agent that connects our body, soul, and spirit.”


You may be a product of sexual conditioning and not even know it. Think back to how you were introduced to sexuality. For many guys, it was late elementary or early middle school when an older brother, friend, or neighbor introduced them to porn. For women it is often, though not always, through gaining affection in some way.

Then as life continues, the first interaction creates a drive for sex and fulfillment. For many, porn seems harmless because it is “just me and my screen.” Women tend to be more aware of the pain, but because of the instant feeling of value, continue engaging. So we walk through life experiencing casual sexuality. Our first and then most frequent introductions to sexuality are done with very little meaning.

Consider the first time a person has an orgasm because of a video or image. When he or she looks at that image and then has the climax moment, it is the same exact physical response they will have to sex. The first sexual experience with our spouse is meant to create a powerful bond. However, for most this isn’t their first time. As a matter of fact, many can’t count how many orgasms they’ve had. Their entire sexual narrative was built on casual experiences and now they are supposed to flip a switch to reframe an orgasm to be intimate. By the time you are in marriage, it’s embarrassing to admit you think about someone else, relive past memories, or need porn still.

Perhaps it’s not pornography, but you have had multiple partners over the years. If this is you, I encourage you to stop and ask this question, “Am I practicing divorce?” By bonding with different partners then breaking up, we are devaluing the bond that takes place in our brain.

So now what? What can be done to change a paradigm and reset for an intimate marriage? The answer is not a quick fix or easy, but it is more than possible!

A leading Christian neuroscientist on this topic is Dr. Caroline Leaf. She wrote a book entitled, “Switch On Your Brain.” In this book, she explains how the brain works in regards to creating and changing habits. She then breaks down how one would begin to repair a broken paradigm. This book gives a crystal clear path of how to rewire the brain based on science and the Bible.

So here is a brief paraphrase of some of Dr. Leaf’s thoughts. I highly recommend her book because she really dives into this in ways I just simply lack the knowledge to do.

 

1. Acknowledge the sins committed

This is something that is important for us to practice as Christians. We must repent. It seems that many misunderstand grace as something that overlooks sin. Grace forgives and redeems sin but one must acknowledge that sin was committed.

 

2. Accept forgiveness

It seems impossible that we would receive something for free. It’s important to spend as much time on this as you need. Thank God out loud for your forgiveness and tell Him you believe in His grace. As you do this, you will be hardwiring your brain to believe God has forgiven you.

 

3. Create a Statement of Change

Prayerfully create a statement that addresses the broken paradigm. For example, if pornography is a struggle, try to discover why. A statement of change might be, “I find my value in who Christ has made me, and I don’t need casual sexuality to discover my self-worth.”

 

4. Find Loving Support

Identify someone in your life whom you trust and who will commit to you. Ask them for a 21-day commitment to help retool your thinking. They will be your support when you feel unforgiven, are struggling with temptation and will pray for your freedom.

 

As many know, it takes 21 days to break a habit. This comes from the time it takes your brain to rewire a thought. You may need two or three 21-day cycles depending on a number of things, but with the power of the Holy Spirit and your partnership to be diligent, I am certain freedom will be yours. Your sexuality will cease to be casual and you will begin to rebuild a foundation of purity that will prepare you for marriage or repair your current marriage, so that you and your spouse can thrive.

 

COLE  ZICK CURRENTLY LEADS THE YOUTH MINISTRY AT CAPITAL CHRISTIAN CENTER WITH HIS WIFE CAITLIN IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA. IN 2014, THEY LAUNCHED THE MY CITY CONFERENCE, A YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT CONFERENCE FOCUSED ON UNITY IN THE SACRAMENTO REGION. THEY ARE ALSO A PART OF THE NEXTGEN CITY PASTORS STRATEGY TEAM THAT LAUNCHED A REGION-WIDE NETWORK FOR YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT PASTORS. THEY HAVE A DEEP DESIRE TO SEE THE CHURCH THRIVING AND WORKING TOGETHER TO BE EFFECTIVE. AS A COUPLE, THEY HAVE MADE SEXUALITY A KEY FOCUS OF THEIR MINISTRY AS THEY SHARE THEIR STORY VERY OPENLY AND VULNERABLY HOPING TO SEE OTHERS FIND FREEDOM THROUGH IT. THEY CREATED FOUR CHILDREN IN FIVE YEARS, WHICH GIVES INSIGHT INTO THEIR LOVE FOR CHAOS. 

How to Ask a Girl Out

While attempting to navigate through the dating process, I’ve found that I’m not alone in my ignorance of how this process is supposed to go down. Many men need courage and many men just need language and a healthy example to follow. This is the goal, a quick example and some language to help you out when you see a girl you want to get to know better in three steps: The Approach, The Question, and The Follow Through.

 

THE APPROACH: YOU GOT THIS.

Take a deep breath. Don’t overthink this. Your entire future does NOT hinge on this moment. You’re just asking her for coffee or dinner to get to know her better. It’s going to be alright. You can do this. You’re a good-looking guy, and you’re going to make her laugh and smile and bring value to her life.

Remember, relationships are about what you can give to the other person, not what you can get from them. If you’re not ready to add value to someone else’s life, then you’re not ready to date. Assuming, you’re ready to give to someone, then go for it and show her a great evening/afternoon. Get out of your head. If she says yes, then you show her how a gentleman should treat a lady. If she says no, you were brave, kicked fear in the face, and broke off passivity. Keep rolling, she just didn’t see you with those eyes.

 

THE QUESTION: SHORT, SWEET, THEN SILENCE

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve seen “Friends,” I know how it’s supposed to work. You confidently walk up to a woman you think is attractive and would like to know better and then drop the Joey Tribbiani line: “How you doin’?”

I’m joking. While this does show that you’ve got a good sense of humor and are familiar with 90s pop culture, it’s actually never worked for me. At best, I’ve gotten a good laugh then a period of silence which left me realizing I didn’t have a plan for what to say next #awkward. I needed language. So here’s what you’re going to say, tailor it as needed, but this will give you a start:

 

IF YOU DON’T KNOW HER:

Find something that you admire about her, besides “she’s hot.” Notice her smile, her laugh, the way she interacts with others, her shoes, something you like. Approach.

“Hi. I’m sorry, to interrupt, but I just wanted to let you know I really like…(insert honest genuine compliment).”

(She’ll say thank you.) Hold out your hand to shake hers and introduce yourself. (She’ll tell you her name.)

“I know this may seem a little forward since we just met, but could I take you out for coffee/dinner sometime? I’d love to get to know you better.” Easy.

 

IF YOU ALREADY KNOW HER:

Approach.

“Hey, how’s your day/week/month going?”

(Listen to her answer. Respond accordingly. Keep it light and short when she returns the question to you. Don’t talk for thirty minutes while awkwardly building up to the question.)

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and I was wondering if I could take you out for coffee [or dinner?]”  Boss. Nailed it.

Here’s an important note: if you’re nervous after you ask, don’t keep talking and explain yourself. Be okay with some silence. This may be a surprise to her and she’s running through a lot of thoughts in her head. Just breathe and let her think. Don’t feel the need to over-explain yourself. If she’s confused, she’ll ask. Let her speak. 

If you have her phone number, call her. Please don’t send her a text asking her out! She wants a man to show up. It’s good for us, as men, to be bold and cross that chicken line. I really don’t like talking on the phone period, but I want to show women they are worth the phone call. You can use the language given above.  Rehearse as much as needed, no shame in that. Just pick up the phone and go for it.

 

IF YOU GET HER VOICEMAIL:

Don’t ask her out over her voicemail. One time, I was so nervous and had rehearsed my words so many times that when her voicemail came on (the shortest voicemail message in the history of the world), I blanked and launched into my speech on her voicemail. Don’t do that. It doesn’t work. If her voicemail kicks on, keep it short and sweet:

Hey __________,  This is _________. I hope you’re doing well. I had something I’d love to run past you. Give me a call when you get a chance. My number is ____________.

 

THE FOLLOW-UP: WHAT TO SAY NEXT

IF SHE SAYS “YES”:

Have two or three ideas and dates in your head. Women like to know you’ve got a plan and intentions and most of us don’t think fast enough to plan when we’re nervous. Have two ideas so if the first option is a no-go, you have a back-up plan. P.S. Don’t forget to breathe.

Great. How does Monday Night/Thursday Morning/Saturday sound to you?  How about the coffee shop on Lincoln Street? Do you like Italian? Mexican? How about Los Tacos on 5th Street?

If it’s coffee, set a time you’ll meet her. If it’s dinner, ask if you can pick her up. Remember, be a gentleman. If she says yes, give her your number and ask her to text you her address, then go clean out your car.

 

IF SHE SAYS “NO”

Respect the no. Hopefully, she’s nice about it. Don’t take it personally. It could be that she just got out of a relationship, her grandpa just died, her world is spinning right now, or a hundred other reasons that have nothing to do with you. Don’t take it personally and don’t beat yourself up. I usually smile and say:

Fair enough. Well, it was a pleasure to meet you. I’m glad we got to talk briefly. I hope you have a wonderful day and it would be great to see you around.

or 

That’s okay. I really just enjoy getting to know you. If something changes, feel free to let me know. I’d still love to take you out sometime.

 

HEAR ME ON THIS:

No matter what she says, celebrate yourself. You were bold. You went for it. You gave it a chance and put yourself out there. So much of being a man is showing up, taking a risk, and going for it. You just killed passivity and were courageous. Celebrate yourself for that. After that, enjoy your date or shake it off and find another lovely lady you’d love to get to know better. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but going for it and living in the present is always better than living in your head wondering what would have happened.

P.S. If you’re a lady reading this, feel free to pass it on to any guys you know or would like to know ;). Guys, if she tagged you in it, go for it. It’s going to go well for you.

 

ABRAM GOFF HAS BEEN PART OF THE MORAL REVOLUTION TEAM SINCE 2014 CREATING GRAPHICS AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEDIA. HE HAS SERVED THROUGH GRAPHIC DESIGN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH FOR OVER A DECADE. HIS PASSION IS TO SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATIONS EXTRAVAGANTLY FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS AND WALK IN PASSION, PURITY, AND PURPOSE. HE BELIEVES EACH PERSON IS MADE TO BE FULLY ALIVE AND FULLY BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR ORIGINAL DESIGN DISCOVERED THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST ROOTS AND AS A GRADUATE OF BSSM, HE HAS A PASSION TO SEE THE WHOLE CHURCH DISCOVER AND WALK IN ALL OF WHO SHE REALLY IS. 
WEBSITE: ABRAMGOFF.COM 
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/ABRAMGOFF
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/ABRAMGOFF

 

 


Four Tips for Being the Woman Men Want

A few weeks ago I shared 4 Tips for Being the Man Women Want. Some of you asked for tips from the other side of the coin – what do men look for in a woman? You asked, and I listened. I surveyed some men and asked what stands out to them in the woman they are looking for, and here’s what they said (once again, even if you’re dating or married, I encourage you to keep reading as these may be a good refresher):

 

1. Confidence.

This overlaps with what we told the guys, and that’s because confidence in general, is just plain attractive. Men love a woman who knows who she is and has done the hard work in life that grows fruit of self-awareness and self-assurance. Confident women know their value, and they don’t have to overtly prove it to anyone but also don’t try to hide it away. They know what they want and don’t hesitate in being clear with their “yes” and “no” (Matthew 5:37). So ladies; when you stand strong in your identity and spend time getting to know yourself, it empowers the men who are pursuing you to get to know you too.

 

2. Beauty and Self Love.

Another important thing to look for in a life partner is self-love. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as [you love] yourself” (Mark 12:31). In other words, the standard with which you love yourself becomes the measure with which you will love others. A woman who loves herself well knows how to get her needs met in a healthy way. It’s also attractive to men when a woman takes time to care for herself, including her body, because they’re visually driven. I want you to hear me here that I’m not saying you have to starve yourself to try and look like a supermodel. Not at all! But taking the time to dress in clothes that make you feel beautiful and expressing your creativity in the way you do your makeup goes a long way. Men love a woman who encompasses beauty in every aspect of life: in the way she treats people with kindness, the way she carries herself with grace, and in the beauty of her spirit.

 

3. Passion.

The point of dating and marriage is not that you arrive at a destination, but rather that you’re adding to the life you’ve already started to build. Men are looking for a woman who has a purpose in life and isn’t just waiting around for Mr. Right to come along before her life is kickstarted into greatness. What are you building and contributing to? What makes you come alive? Ladies; having hobbies and unique interests speak to the special way you’re created! Lighting up when you talk about your passions is very attractive.

 

4. Encouragement.

I liked being around Kathy because she believed in me and made me feel comfortable, and I see this as a common need among men. Guys appreciate a woman who encourages them so they feel free to be themselves without feeling judged. Ladies, real men are attracted to women who take an honest interest in them and encourage them along the way. The truth is that most men are pretty insecure in the presence of a strong woman. They need some reassurance that you see something valuable in them and believe in them. It’s really not that hard to make a man feel this way. Just taking a sincere interest in someone and asking the right questions to discover his true passion goes a long way toward breaking down the walls of fear and insecurity. You can be inviting and friendly without being overtly sexy.

Dating Is a Two-Way Street

Bottom line, ladies, is that being powerful and intentional is something you can do regardless of your season! I want to encourage you today to be empowered, whether you’re single or dating, to know that you too play a role in pursuit and dating too. Do you agree with these four attributes? What would you add to the list? And give a shout it in the comments below to someone you know who encompasses these traits!

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

5 Red Flags to Consider Before Marriage

Have you ever looked at a couple that’s about to get engaged or married and thought, “Oh please, no! Don’t do that!” as the glaring red flags of their unhealthiness slap you in the face every time you look at them? How is it that it’s so clear for an outsider to see the warning signs of a road to an unhealthy marriage, and yet sometimes the couple themselves have no idea? Unconscious ignorance, and sometimes straight-up stupidity, often get in the way of couples seeing their relationships clearly, and in the worst situations, committing to a marriage that is setting them up for a journey of pain.

We’ve been chatting a lot on the blog about relationships, what to look for in a guy or girl, and how to date well. Today I want to share some fatherly advice with you when it comes to taking the big leap into marriage. Here are some red flags to look out for and seriously stop and pay attention to before saying “I do.”

 


1) If someone says they love you but they refuse to respect you, they are lying. An example of this if they say, “If you love me, then you’ll have sex with me.” The truth is, if they loved you they would protect your virtues! If they disrespect you in this way they are most likely thinking and speaking from their raging hormones, not their heart!

2) Never marry someone to fix or change them; it never works! If they have serious issues to work through; porn, drinking, drugs, cheating, lying, etc., the reality is that’s what you are marrying. It may be hard but if this is where you’re at, it’s time to face the facts. Marrying someone to be their savior is a bad plan and will lead to heartache! Also, serious addictions and unhealthiness aren’t fixed by marriage. I’m not saying that someone with a rough past is disqualified from marriage. I’m simply saying that if they aren’t willing to look at these issues and work through them, then you’re setting your marriage up for pain. Rather, choose someone who has put in the hard work to get healthy, just as you do the same.

3) They say love is blind but the truth is love is stupid blind! Therefore, it’s imperative that you have wise people around you that you give a place to speak into your romantic relationships. If your significant other is not open to the feedback and counsel of wise people around you, that is a red flag. Think about it; if you’re about to make the most important decision in your life, not listening to wise people is stupid blind and dangerous.

4) Ladies, however this guy treats his mother, is probably how he will treat you when you marry him. Men, however this girl treats her dad, is probably how she will treat you when you marry her. There are exceptions to this concept, but this is truer than most would admit. If your partner treats their mother or father with disrespect, they’ll likely treat you the same way. This is warning sign to consider, as respect is necessary for a relationship that will bear the fruit of freedom and love.

5) Ladies, getting pregnant so a guy will stay with you never works! Neither does having children to fix a marriage. It’s a really bad idea to use a child as a band-aid and in the end do you really want to be in a marriage that you had to manipulate someone to be in? You’re worth being chosen for who you are and don’t need to control someone into a relationship. Ever.


 

I want you to hear my heart today. Some of this may sound harsh, but it’s because I want to share wisdom that will protect you from heartache in the long run. If you’re in a relationship that has some of these red flags, I encourage you to seek wise counsel from some mentors around you. Process through this in the context of safe community. If you need to make a hard decision to end an unhealthy relationship, I pray grace, strength and courage over you today. It may hurt in the short run but I promise you that it’s worth it to wait for a healthy marriage than to jump into one prematurely simply because it feels good now.

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

Responsibility Looks Like Something

TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS REQUIRED

Have you ever wondered why Moses had to be raised in the palace? Why could he not be raised with his own family? I asked God this question one day and His response hit me when He said, “A man who is in slavery internally cannot free people who are in slavery externally. It was necessary for Moses to be raised as a prince so that he could free My people.” Growing up in the palace gave Moses the character traits he needed to lead a movement. For example, when he saw his brothers being mistreated, he immediately jumped to action. Because of this royal upbringing, he responded to injustice as if it was his own responsibility. He knew that the things that occurred in the Kingdom had a direct pull on his influence and responsibility.

I think we can learn a lot from Moses’ story. When we live close to the palace we begin to perceive injustice differently than if we lived removed from royalty. When we are raised up in our royal identities, we move to action when we see injustice. As sons and daughters of God, we must take up the responsibility of our royalty and start responding to the injustices we see in our world today. This is not only our call, but it is our nature. A few injustices that come to mind are the ISIS crisis, racial tensions and the need for the #blacklivesmatter movement, and a current hot topic, abortion. While all of these are important, let’s take a look at abortion.

According to the World Health Organization, during 2010–2014, an estimated 56 million abortions occurred each year worldwide. In the United States alone, 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011. The greatest holocaust in the history of the world is happening on our shift. It needs to matter to us. Do you understand how we got permission to kill our young in the womb? We took the word “fetus,” which is the Latin word “offspring,” and redefined it to dehumanize our unborn babies. And because we dehumanized them, we took away their constitutional protection. This is what the Nazis did to justify their extermination of the Jews, and what Americans did to Africans to validate treating them like animals. Any time you dehumanize a person, you give permission to treat them as something “less than,” and in the worst circumstances, take their lives.

The law plays a big role in this crisis. In general, laws support our societal core values. Women only received the right to vote in the 1920s because until then, our society didn’t have a high value for women’s voices. We redefined the way we thought about women and gave them the right to vote. In doing so, the American mindset changed. Thankfully, women no longer need to worry about their rights being revoked because we live in a country that has changed its value system to highly regard their equality. The law also supports our societal core values when it comes to abortion. So abortion is not just about bad laws, it’s about bad thinking. If we want to change the laws we must change the way our society thinks about our unborn babies.

I often hear the argument that our current abortion laws in the United States protect women’s rights. The problem is that being for women’s rights gets twisted when we forget that every woman was once a baby. Abortion laws should protect two women, the mother and the child, one of whom does not have a voice.

 

OUR ROYAL RESPONSIBILITY

Abortion is an issue of war in the spirit realm. When Moses, who would be the deliverer of the Israelites, was born, the Pharaoh issued a decree to kill the first born babies. And when Jesus, who would be the deliverer of humanity, was born, Herod killed all of the first-borns. When there’s about to be a movement for God, the enemy tries to destroy the generation that will carry it through and change the world. It’s time we take up our royal responsibility to see an end to this injustice!

If everybody did one thing, we could shift this. Here’s a list of things to do, but I want you to ask Holy Spirit what your role is and commit to action to what He puts on your heart.

1. We need work to change public opinion and the conscience of the nations. Talk to your friends, your family and your children about saving the lives of our unborn babies.

2. Scientists – we need you to step up and redefine when life begins.

3. Politicians – the laws need to change to protect the unborn.

4. Media – create media that gives voice to the voiceless and sheds light on how we’ve dehumanized an entire people group.

5. Doctors – hold yourselves to the oath you took to protect life.

6. We need to create a safe place for unwed mothers to be fathered and mothered.

7. Men – we were created to protect women and children. We must step into our God-given role and protect the unborn.

8. Women who’ve had abortions – there is so much grace and forgiveness for you. You must take a stand against the lie that abortion has no negative side effects. Your stories are powerful, and the world wants to hear them.

As royalty, it matters to us what happens in our kingdom. So I urge you to take a moment now, close your eyes, and ask Holy Spirit how you can play a part in seeing change in our world on this subject. Once He speaks, write down what you hear and commit yourself to action. I’d love to hear what you’ll be doing to play a part in saving the lives of God’s precious children!

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES