5 Cultural Myths About Relationships

It only takes a couple episodes of popular TV shows to see that what culture says about relationships, sex, and marriage is not the same thing the Bible says. Attraction seems to be the only requirement to jump into bed with someone, but even that’s not always a requirement. The order of things isn’t really important: meet someone, sleep together, move in together… then maybe get married somewhere down the line. Culture presents us with a compelling package, but what does research say? Are the guidelines set up for us in the Bible really that helpful?

Here are 5 cultural myths we found about relationships:

 

1. Living together is a good test-run for marriage.

It may seem like a good idea to “try things out” and move in together before getting married. This is becoming more and more common in our culture. However, studies also show that couples who don’t move in together until they’re married have a higher chance of staying together than those who don’t¹. The beauty of the marriage covenant is that you have the safety of someone who is committed to staying by your side for life, not leaving when things get tough.

 

2. If I get some “practice” with other people beforehand, I’ll have better sex when I’m married.

Usually, practice is a big help. Sports, music, art, and even jobs all take some time and experience to get better. However, practice doesn’t actually help when it comes to sex before marriage. A recent study interviewed a variety of married couples and found that those who waited to have sex until married rated sexual quality 15% higher than those who had sex before marriage². The practice comes in after you’re married. You don’t have to be great at having sex with everyone, you can just get great at having sex with one person: your spouse.

 

3. I need to have sex with my partner before marriage to make sure we’ll be happy together.

Sex is an important part of marriage, but it’s not everything. According to the same study mentioned above, people who waited until marriage to have sex rated their overall satisfaction with their relationships 20% higher than those who didn’t². There are many aspects that add to relationship satisfaction and even sexual compatibility such as trust, history, commitment, etc. The physical act is only a part of something that involves not only your body, but your spirit, soul, and mind as well. All of these things add to a great relationship and a great sex life.

 

4. Community is not that big of a deal.

“It’s us against the world,” makes for a pretty romantic movie line, but it’s not necessarily the best mindset for entering a marriage. Being surrounded by an entire community of family and friends to help guide you, give you wisdom, support you, and walk you through the tougher parts of marriage is a huge help. Studies show that couples who have a lot of friends and family attend their wedding tend to rate the quality of their marriage higher than those with lower numbers³.

 

5. Half of marriages end in divorce.

This statistic became wide-spread in our culture. Although there are many different ways of looking at the divorce rate, most researchers agree that it’s not as simple as the statistic above would lead us to believe. In Shaunti Feldhahn’s book The Good News About Marriage, she tells us that research shows 71% of women are still married to their first spouse, and among those who are not still married are widowed, not divorced4. Her book goes on to share other encouraging statistics about marriage.

 

God knows sex is powerful. He designed it to be that way. He created it to bond two people together in a way that nothing else does. If God is the inventor of sex, marriage, and relationships, then why look to culture for advice on how to do these things well? Why not look to the One who designed it? He’s the Father who cares enough to set boundaries, and loves us enough to gives us a standard. Even as culture and times change from one day to the next, He remains the same.

 

 

(1) Stanley, Scott. “Why Doesn’t Living Together Before Marrying Decrease the Risk of Divorce? | Family Studies.” Family Studies. Institute for Family Studies, 4 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Sept. 2016. <http://family-studies.org/why-doesnt-living-together-before-marrying-decrease-the-risk-of-divorce/#_ednref1>.
(2) Hendrick, Bill. “Benefits in Delaying Sex Until Marriage.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2016. <http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20101227/theres-benefits-in-delaying-sex-until-marriage?page=2>.
(3)Collins, Lois M. “How Your Premarital Experiences Can Affect Your Future Marriage.” Deseret News National. N.p., 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Sept. 2016. <http://national.deseretnews.com/article/2155/how-your-premarital-experiences-can-affect-your-future-marriage.html>.
(4) Feldhahn, Shaunti. The Good News about Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce. Colorado Springs: Multnomah, n.d. Print.

Squad Goals: 7 Tips for Creating Healthy Friendships

Back in kindergarten, things were pretty simple. Whoever was willing to share their crayons and run around the playground with you at recess was your friend. As you get older, things tend to get a little more complicated. Moving to a new city, being away from family, and not being in school can make solid friendships harder to come by. Our team has been getting questions on this topic, so we thought we’d answer them in a blogpost.

Now you might be thinking, “Wait, isn’t this a website about healthy sexuality? Why are we talking about making friends?” Building solid friendships and having community around you is actually part of heathy sexuality. People often think their sex drive is out of control when they’re really just looking for a way to fill their needs for intimacy, comfort, and connection. Sex is one way to meet these needs, but it’s not the only way, and it’s definitely not the best way outside of marriage. Even inside of marriage, it’s important to have friends and community besides your spouse.

So here are seven ways to build healthy friendships:

 

1. Form a genuine interest in people.

Have you ever heard that saying, “No one cares what you know until they know that you care”? It’s true. A lot of times people make the mistake of thinking they need to find a way to make themselves really interesting. Then people will notice and want to form friendships with them. This may have some degree of truth to it, but what quality friendship really takes is forming a genuine interest in other people. Listen to their stories, ask questions, and find ways to relate and form connection.

2. Ask questions.

This was already mentioned, but part of showing an interest in people is asking questions. Asking questions sets people at ease and gives them a topic of conversation they are knowledgeable about- themselves! When you ask questions, you start to uncover things you have in common, which creates connection. C.S. Lewis said it well: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “Wait! You too? I thought I was the only one!”

3. Be in it for what you can give.

If you enter a friendship, or any relationship for that matter, for what you can get out of it, you will probably end up disappointed somewhere along the way. Enter into friendships for what you can give instead. Ask yourself how you can benefit the people around you. How can you love them well?

4. Initiate hang-outs and be patient. 

It’s always nice to have someone else initiate, but sometimes you’ve got to be the one to take this step. Remember when you start to hang out with someone, you don’t have to be BFF’s right off the bat. This might sound silly, but creating friendships can be somewhat like dating. When you’re first getting to know someone, you might not be ready for a 6-hour movie marathon in your sweatpants. You may need to ease into things. Friendships aren’t built overnight, they come from having shared experiences over time. Keep it light, have fun, have good conversations, and soon enough you’ll be saying, “Remember that one time…?”

5. Don’t force it.

Also similar to dating, don’t force a friendship. You may have just moved to a new town and be feeling desperate for friends, but resist the urge to force yourself to be friends with the first three people you meet. Sometimes it just takes a little time before you meet a friend you click with and love to hang out with. Just wait- it’ll happen. The people you surround yourself with are important, which brings us to the next point.

6. Surround yourself with people you want to be like.

Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” We often become like the people we surround ourselves with. Choose to be friends with people you admire and respect. Choose people you wouldn’t mind turning out like. The more time you spend with them, the more you’ll notice their qualities or mannerisms showing up in yourself.

7. Learn to stick by people. 

We live in an age of many options. If we don’t like our church, city, job, phone, or show we’re watching on Netflix, we can just hop on over to the next one. This can happen with friends sometimes as well. Maybe you have a disagreement. Maybe they did something that offended you. The easy option would be to hop on over to the next friend. We want to challenge you to work things out instead. Jesus doesn’t leave us the moment we have a disagreement. We should try following His lead.

 

So whether you love having a lot of friends in your life or just a few really great ones, surrounding yourself with good people is important. At the end of your life, you probably won’t be wishing you’d made more money or focused more on your career. You’ll probably be thinking about the people you spent it with, the people who are important to you. Make time to invest in people and build community. It’s worth it.

 

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. 
WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

For Men: Why Sex Starts With the Dishes

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS A BLUNT AND HONEST CONVERSATION WITH MEN. IF YOU PREFER THE TOPIC OF SEX TO BE TALKED ABOUT IN DELICATE WAYS THEN YOU SHOULD NOT READ IT. 

 

Let me start by getting a few things out of the way:

No. I don’t recommend having sex while doing the dishes.

No. I don’t think you have to do the dishes in order to have sex.

No. You won’t have more orgasms if you do the dishes (well, maybe).

No. This is not an article about “Every man should bow down and serve his wife in order to get some.”

No. I’m not saying that all women are stay-at-home moms and are expected to do the dishes.

Ok. Now that we’re clear on what I’m not saying, let’s dive into what I mean.

We all know that healthy sex is designed by God for intimacy and connection.

Yes, it feels nice, but God’s purpose for sex goes so much deeper than how your penis feels. If you only want sex because of how it feels physically then you’re selling yourself short. Not only that but more than likely your wife is quietly feeling a great deal of emotional lack… or even worse… she’s feeling obligated to give her body in order to “help” you manage your sex drive. Sex was never meant to be a physical expectation…it’s supposed to be a celebration of your connection.

Genesis 4:1 says, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD” (American King James Version). 

The word “knew” in other translations says that Adam “had relations” “had sexual relations” and “made love to.”

So the question you have to ask yourself is: What does it mean to “know” your wife?

It starts with an understanding of what she needs and a willingness to respond to those needs in a tangible way. There is nothing in this world that is designed to have more companionship, teamwork, and connection than a healthy thriving marriage. When you are co-existing instead of being on the same team, the core purpose of sex is distorted.

One of the many by-products of sex is that each time strengthens the “team” aspect of your marriage. In essence, it is designed to be a spiritual, physical, and emotional bond. The outcome of that creates a sense of “us against the world”… not in a destructive way, but in a sense of “we are in this thing called life together.” Each time you have sex, it renews your covenant. You are physically and emotionally recommitting to your wife, and saying she is the one and only woman that you will know in that way.

Not only that, but it is one of the purest forms of worship that you can express. It is holy. Do you want to “be a man” in your marriage? Risk inviting Holy Spirit into your bedroom. He sees it anyway, but your willingness to acknowledge His presence amplifies the experience to a place that is hard to put into words.

 

Start doing the dishes

This is why sex starts with the dishes. Well, technically it’s more than just the dishes…. but the dishes are a great practical place to start. It’s common knowledge that action speaks louder than words. When your actions communicate that she is a priority and that you know her needs, it shows that you care enough to intentionally go out of your way to make sure she feels supported in life. It’s the first small step towards “knowing” your wife.

The more you choose to be intentional with those things, the more she will feel pursued by you, which is why you need to see doing the dishes as more than a task to do because it is. It’s the first act of foreplay because sex is primarily an emotional experience for her. Let me explain.

 

Emotional Driver Vs Physical Driver

We all know that an orgasm feels amazing for both men and women. When I say that sex is an emotional experience for your wife, I’m talking about what motivates her to want to rip your clothes off.

For women to want sex and have great orgasms during sex it requires that she feels connected first. This is why it takes longer for women to orgasm than it does men. She won’t go from 0 – 100 just because our penis happens to be hard. She needs to feel safe, relaxed,  undistracted and pursued. Why? Because giving her body to you is the most emotionally intimate thing she can do. When she feels a sense of connection it creates the desire to do that intimate act. She’s allowing you to put your penis inside of her…that’s as vulnerable and intimate as things can get. Which is why foreplay is important during sex and pursuing her throughout the day increases her emotional desire to return and respond to that pursuit.

For us men, it’s the opposite. If she looks at us the right way and starts to kiss our neck then it’s game on. We don’t need the emotional connection first because that comes after we orgasm. When we orgasm it triggers the release of dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. When this happens you’re overwhelmed with feelings of attraction and excitement, which in turn makes you “fall more in love” with your wife. It’s the emotional high you feel after sex when you can’t name one thing you’ve fought about in the last 10 years. You’re high on love. So sex for us is physical enjoyment first which then creates an emotional connection. For women, it’s emotional first, then physical enjoyment.

 

Help her be fully present

These are just a few pointers for when things start to heat up. As I said before, she needs to feel safe, relaxed and not distracted. Some of that is up to her, but there are several things you can do to help. Here are just a few:

• Take time to talk. Don’t start kissing her and saying sweet nothings right away. That time can create a sense of connection for her.  After all, that’s what she’s looking for.

• Give her a massage. I can’t tell you how many times a massage turned into some of the best sex we’ve ever had. Why? Because it helps her unwind and get in the moment and makes me touch her naked body, which in turn makes for incredible orgasms.

• Make sure you have privacy.  If you have kids, they should be in bed, gone or at least unable to walk in. So lock the door. It will help her be less distracted.

• Make her comfortable. Too hot or too cold can be a major turn off.

• Be clean. If you want her to enjoy your body make it something that smells good.

 

Sex and money

When Danielle and I were going through premarital counseling, I heard a phrase that I’ve never forgotten. Our counselor, who was also Danielle’s grandfather, said “Money is like oxygen. When you have it, you don’t really realize the value, but when you don’t it’s like having someone stepping on your throat. Everything is harder to do when you can’t breathe properly.”

The topic of money could be a post by itself, and most likely will be, but I’m just relating it to sex for now. When finances are tight we all feel more stressed than when things are going well. That’s no surprise, but understand that it’s harder for your wife to disengage from that stress and desire sex. It’s like having white noise in the background that you can’t shut off.

This is just something to be aware of. If you are currently in financial hardship then be understanding to the reality that this could be affecting your wife’s sex drive. The worst thing you could do at this point is to say, “Then I’m going to work 90 hours a week, make a ton of money and enjoy weekly blowjobs.” Doing that will cause your wife to feel emotionally abandoned, which destroys sex faster than almost anything else.

 

Sex is not porn management

To be clear, this point is coming from a guy who struggled with porn for a long time. I was only able to remove it from my life when I was willing to go on a journey of facing the emotions I was trying to block by looking at porn.

Most men use porn to self-medicate pain and avoid the reality of what they’re feeling. Saying things like “I struggle with porn because we never have sex” or “I wouldn’t be tempted to look at porn if she would put out more” is cowardly and manipulative. If you have a porn addiction don’t use your wife as a scapegoat or cheapen God’s design for intimacy. Instead, try to find out why you need a false sense of intimacy to be able to cope in life. A good first step is becoming more self-aware and begin to identify the real reasons you struggle.

 

The Challenge

Take time to identify ways to pursue your wife this week. Don’t take the easy route and start doing the dishes looking for sex. Dig deeper and find what makes your wife feel like you’re on the same team in life. Then begin integrating those small things on a regular basis. Over time, she will feel more loved and want to reciprocate that.

P.S. Don’t expect an immediate change. Consider it an exercise in delayed gratification. Over time the payoff is more than worth the effort you put in.

 

JOSH CEARBAUGH IS A LIFE CONSULTANT WITH A UNIQUE ABILITY TO LEAD PEOPLE THROUGH TRANSFORMATION. THROUGH A COMBINATION OF CONSULTING TECHNIQUES, HE HELPS INDIVIDUALS TO IDENTIFY, AND THEN DISMANTLE, THE CRIPPLING CYCLES WHERE THE MAJORITY OF US FIND OURSELVES STUCK. HE HAS A PASSION FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE TO THEIR HEART AND HELPING THEM CREATE PRACTICAL STRATEGIES TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES. MOST RECENTLY, JOSH’S CONSULTING PRACTICE HAS BEEN LOCATED IN REDDING, CA
HE MET DANIELLE, HIS WIFE OF EIGHT YEARS, IN MOZAMBIQUE WHILE ATTENDING IRIS HARVEST SCHOOL. THEY CURRENTLY HAVE TWO BOYS AND ONE BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL. 
WEBSITE: JOSHCEARBAUGH.COM 
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/JOSHCEARBAUGH

Why You’re Still Single

“You’re kind of quiet. I wouldn’t say you’re a very loud or outgoing person. Maybe that’s it.”

I had accidentally walked into some unsolicited advice as to why I might still be single. After watching a myriad of my friends walk down the aisle before the age of twenty-three, I started to think I was missing something as well. There had to be some reason, something that I could fix and then men would just start lining up to ask me on dates. If I could just figure out what it was…

I started to do some research. Anytime I met someone married or in a relationship, I would ask questions. “How did you meet? Did you like each other right away? Were you dating a lot of people at the time?” I started collecting stories, waiting to find that thing that each person had to arrive at before they could cross the line into being marriage material.

Guess what I found out. Nothing. There was no magical thing. Of course there were some things that helped, but there was no one requirement that all of them met before getting married. Sure, some of them had a lot of things in their life together, but some of them didn’t. Some of my friends had never even been asked out on a date, and then one day someone asked, and then later they married him. Some of my friends had gone on lots of dates, and they were still single. Some of my friends couldn’t flirt to save their lives, and they still ended up married. Some of my friends were so good at flirting, it was actually amazing to watch, but they still didn’t have boyfriends.

The other thing I found out from hanging out with a lot of other singles, is that I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out why I was still unattached. “I think it’s because I’m too short… maybe I’m too curvy. What if I’m just too tall? Maybe it’s where I’m from or because of my past. Is it because I post a lot of pictures of my dog on social media? Maybe it’s because I laugh at my own jokes.

I tried a lot of things myself. I tried giving up dating for a time on purpose. I also unintentionally gave up dating for a while as a result of no one asking me on a date. I tried talking to a lot of guys. I tried not talking to any of them. I tried not looking, because people told me once I stopped looking I would find someone…

I’ve found a lot of things that haven’t proven to be true, but here’s what I do know is true:

God is not limited by any of the things listed above. He’s not finding it impossible to find someone because I don’t go to enough parties or I’m not loud enough. I’m not going to go down the road of self-criticism hoping that one day I’ll become good enough for someone. I’m not going to change my personality to get married. I’d be cheating myself, and I’d be cheating the person I marry. 

The truth is God could find me a spouse tomorrow. He could bring me someone out of nowhere. This is the most beautiful and frustrating thing in the world. I’ve definitely prayed my fair share of prayers about it.

Then there’s my list of single friends. What about them? What about all the ones who have waited and prayed and fasted and waited and prayed? I’ve prayed for them, talked to them, bought them ice cream and dried their tears, but I’ll be honest, I don’t have a good answer for them. I don’t know why God hasn’t brought them a spouse yet.

I do know that some people pray and don’t get healed, but it doesn’t mean God’s not the Healer (Exodus 15:26b).

I do know people following God who lose jobs or lose money, but it doesn’t mean God’s not the Provider (Genesis 22:14).

We can’t decide Who He is based on our circumstances. We have to decide who He is based on what He says about Himself in His Word. The Word says He’s the Lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). The Word says He withholds no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11). The Word says if we delight ourselves in Him, He’ll give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).

So I’m going to venture to say, if you’re single, maybe it’s not because you’re broken. I mean it could be, but maybe it’s not. If you’re single, maybe it’s not because you haven’t embraced your life enough. What if, just maybe, it’s not because you’re doing anything wrong? 


“We have to decide Who He is based on what He says about Himself in His Word.”


It might be timing or circumstances or something else, but regardless, this is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith isn’t when you have the perfect boyfriend or a line of great guys who want to buy you dinner. Faith is when you’ve been a bridesmaid thirteen times, you haven’t been asked out on a date in five years, the only one texting you is your mom, but you refuse to give up.

Faith isn’t when the woman of your dreams just said yes when you asked to marry her, and all the things you’ve desired are finally becoming reality. Faith is when your fiancé just broke off your engagement and you have to pick up the pieces of your life and start to build again. That’s when you need faith. That’s when you need the substance of things you’ve been hoping for for years, and the evidence to support the promises of God you can’t yet see.

So if you’re wondering why you’re still single, I don’t actually have an answer for you. All I know is, God offers peace without understanding. God offers comfort and strength in the middle of the struggle and the journey, not just at the end. God offers hope that the things that look out of reach, are actually more possible than we think.

-Andrea Alley

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. 
WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

 

For more blogs like this one, check out: 

The Redemption of Men

Creating Healthy Expectations

10 Ways to Not Hate Being Single

 


Courageous Morality

Morality has become relative in our time. It’s not that people were inherently more righteous a century ago, it’s just that people acted immorally against society’s social standards. I mean, if you were having sex with your girlfriend you knew it was wrong, and you certainly didn’t tell your mother. But nowadays it’s common for people to cohabit and have three children together so they can decide if they are compatible.

This hyper-sexual culture affects all of society. It is perpetuated by our music. Forty years ago many Rock and Roll songs had sexual lyrics, but for the most part they were hidden in metaphors and analogies. Today the f-word is used in the title and the lyrics. Likewise, music videos are filled with every kind of pornographic act known to man. In fact the more outrageous the act… the more edgy the song… the more perverted the singer; the more popular they are.

 

SANCTIONED SIN

To make matters even more confusing, churches that were once charged with loving sinners have now embraced and SANCTIONED sin so that sinners feel included. God forbid that someone would feel uncomfortable in church! Of course, this is all done in the name of unity. After all, who are we to tell other people how to live? WHAT?!

People who don’t even believe in God, much less the Bible, use verses like “judge not lest you be judged” and “Jesus didn’t condemn sinners” to neutralize righteous living and moral teaching. But what bothers me the most is that Christian leaders are letting these unbelievers tell them how to interpret the Bible.

While compassion and empathy MUST remain paramount in our hearts, and love for everyone has to be the hallmark of who we are, it never should be at the expense of our character.

Think about this:

 

1. JESUS DIDN’T BECOME A SINNER TO LOVE SINNERS, NOR DID HE SIN SO HE COULD RELATE TO SINNERS.

He was tempted in every way, but He never sinned. Therefore temptation is not sin! In fact, temptation is not only common, it’s normal.

Temptation is to our soul what exercise is to our bodies. Let me explain it like this: lifting weights breaks down your muscles (thus the pain you feel), and then builds muscle by the muscle tissue healing stronger than it was before. 

When you resist temptation (for instance, you have a desire to have sex with someone who isn’t your spouse) and you refuse to allow yourself to think or behave accordingly, your soul is doing some heavy lifting. Resisting temptation is like lifting weights. It is often painful at first, but your inner man is growing, becoming more noble, and maturing in character.

On the other hand, when you give in to temptation, especially by believing that you are your desires, then you stop resisting them. You choose instead to avoid the pain of conviction by reducing your standards to embrace your temptation. Subsequently, you stop building character because character is only forged in the furnace of resisted temptations.

Soon you become like the obese guy who “throws off society’s shackles, and his doctor’s condemnation” to embrace his desire to eat as much as he wants, whenever he wants, and be happy doing it. If you were in this situation, you might feel like people are condemning you, but the right answer isn’t to eat yourself to death! (I also understand that there are many other medical reasons why some people are obese. There is no judgement on my part, I am simply demonstrating what it is like to do something that is killing you without conviction).

 

2. MOST OFTEN YOU STOP RESISTING TEMPTATION BY GIVING IT A NAME OF A FRIEND INSTEAD OF AN ENEMY.

For example, you call homosexuality being gay (happy). Then you make your temptation your identity because you reason “If I desire it, then it must be who I am.” Therefore, I am no longer my biology, my DNA, or physiology; instead, I am my feelings. Yes, this makes perfect sense…NOT!

But what if pedophiles used the same reasoning; “I am only sexually attracted to children, therefore pedophilia must be normal!” (I understand that violating a child is nothing like two consenting adults having sex; I get that. But reasoning that your desire determines your identity is a bottomless moral cesspool).

 

3. JESUS FORGAVE THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY.

When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery He said; “Does no one condemn you? Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin NO MORE!” Did you get that? Jesus told the woman to never sin again! There are two things we can learn from this: first, telling someone they are sinning is not condemning or judging them. Knowing right from wrong is called wisdom, not bigotry. Secondly, Jesus told sinners to stop sinning!

 

4. JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS COMMON DOESN’T MAKE IT NORMAL.

For example, cancer is common, but it’s not normal! Therefore, the number of people who believe something doesn’t make it true. 

 

5. SOME PEOPLE ARGUE THAT EVERYONE DESERVES MERCY.

I agree completely. But mercy means “You didn’t get what you deserved.” In others words, mercy demands that you did (or are doing) something wrong, otherwise it’s not called “mercy”, it’s called being nice to people. I would propose that you get mercy from God when you ask for it, which means you have to acknowledge that you did (or are doing), something wrong. 

But if something is wrong and you call it right, then you wouldn’t ask for mercy because mercy is only given to people who believe they need it. For example, if you say adultery is right, then you can’t possibly ask for mercy because mercy is only for people who are wrong.

 

COURAGEOUS MORALITY

The truth is that the morals of any society are not determined by right and wrong; instead they are established by courageous people who brave the backlash of public opinion and forge new “norms.”

Cowards are always the first to surrender their souls, then comes the sympathetic, and the politicians. Intellectuals tend to follow close behind. They exchange the reasonable for the ridiculous, and rationalize until facts become fables. This is the brain space where fetuses are not human beings (craziness), the complexities of the universe are explained through a mindless explosion, and humans evolved from apes who still fill our jungles (interesting).

 

TAKE A STAND FOR NOBILITY

The question is, will you sit back until your soul atrophies, until your moral legs become feeble, until your children drown in the cesspool of the silence of your disapproval? Or will you break ranks with the crowd and take a stand for nobility?

History hangs in the balance of your decision! You already know where I stand. Tell me yours in the comments below.

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

How to Thrive This Christmas

It seems like the holidays were easier when I was a kid. As a kid, I was caught up in the wonder and excitement of it all. There were presents under the tree with my name on them. Each one held so much possibility. The expectations on me were minimal. My family would ask questions like, “Are you making good grades? How’s soccer going? Do you have a lot of friends at school?” The answers were easy: “Yep. Soccer’s great. I love my friends.” Then it was over.

Nowadays a couple harmless questions at the family dinner table can feel like the Spanish Inquisition. “How’s the job? How much longer are you going to stay there? Well what about dating? Do you have a boyfriend?”

“The job’s good. It’s paying the bills for right now. Um, a guy asked me out to coffee last month, does that count as a date? Actually I paid for it, so never mind. Nope, no boyfriend… still.” Meanwhile, my thirteen-year-old cousin’s next to me texting his girlfriend, and I have launched into a full-on quarter-life crisis before the mashed potatoes made it around the table. Why don’t I have a boyfriend? Why am I still at that same job? When am I going to start a career? And how did this kid get a girlfriend? He can’t even drive.

We have all these plans, all these pictures in our heads for how life’s going to be and all of a sudden we’re hit with the reality that it didn’t end up that way. I remember sitting under the tree, opening presents as a kid and sometimes feeling disappointed because I didn’t get what I wanted. Life is like that too sometimes. We come in with a blank slate, a whole future of endless possibilities, and then things don’t turn out like we planned. We didn’t end up where we thought we would.

This is where shame starts knocking on the door.

Here’s the thing about shame. It doesn’t play fair. It’s one of the enemy’s favorite tools. His whole job is to ruin things (John 10:10). He will shame you for working too hard. He will shame your for not working hard enough. He will shame you for getting married too young. He will shame you for not getting married young enough. He will shame you for going too far in your past sexually. He will shame you for not going far enough.


“You can either walk inside your story and own it or you can stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

-Brené Brown


When you look back on your life, maybe you can’t even figure out how you got where you are now, but it’s okay. Every moment, every chapter leading up to the one you’re in is now apart of your story. Own it. You may not have always had the most perfect of circumstances, but it’s not about having it perfect all the time. It’s about deciding circumstances don’t get to run your life. It’s deciding rain or shine, success or failure, you want to walk in joy, peace, and hope, not hide away in shame, fear and disappointment.

Disappointment is real. I’m not saying it’s not. You don’t have to shove down pain. Let it come up, feel it for a moment, and cry it out if you have to, but don’t stay there. Give the disappointment to God and get your hope back. Get in the Word, and speak out the promises God has over your life until you believe them. Own your story, and then start writing the rest of it. You get to decide how you want the next chapters of your life to unfold.

Our heart for you this Christmas season is that you wouldn’t be naïve to the enemy’s schemes. When the questions from family and friends start coming in, the temptation is to start getting into evaluation mode. The key is to recognize that whispering, evaluating voice, and to not listen to it. The enemy would love nothing more than to ruin the time that is meant for you to rest, recuperate, spend time with family, and celebrate one of the most beautiful gifts we’ve ever been given. Stay ahead of the game and feast on His promises. Keep your standards high, keep dreaming, and keep going after more. We pray abundant blessings over you and your family as you spend time together this Christmas and as you head into the New Year.

 

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. 
WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

 

We wanted to make sure your were cozy and cuddled up with some great stuff this Christmas, so we put together our Cozy Christmas Bundle for you! Check it out: 

cozy-christmas-bundle


Parenting Sexuality

The Sexual Revolution that emerged as a counterculture movement in the 60s has become the mainstream mindset of the new millennium. What was once whispered in the dark corners of topless bars is taught in mandated public school curricula all across America! That’s right, folks, if your children are in the public school system, they are likely to end up in a “Health” class teaching them that bisexual, homosexual, and transgender lifestyles are all normal expressions of their sexuality. They are also likely to be encouraged to experiment with their sexuality. Although the school can’t give them an aspirin without your permission, they can send them to a Planned Parenthood clinic without your permission to get birth control pills! In fact, your children can have a legal abortion without your consent or even your knowledge!

“How did we get here?” you ask. That’s a great question. Although there are many complex issues that have effected the erosion of morality, the single most destructive factor at the root of the entire demise of morality is the absence of healthy sexual instruction at home.

That’s the bad news! The good news is that parents have the power to transform the nations in one generation without passing a single new law, or even closing one more abortion clinic. The strategy is simple, yet profound. If parents develop a healthy sexual culture at home where children grow up hearing the truth about their sexuality, it will alter the landscape of morality in the nations in a single generation.

There is something inherent in the way we learn that is referred to as “the principle of first mention.” The first time we hear information on any given subject, that knowledge becomes the foundation upon which we weigh everything else we are exposed to on the same topic. For example, if you begin teaching little Johnny about healthy sexuality when he is eight years old, and at thirteen his friends try to influence him with a perverted sexual message, he will weigh their opinions against what you taught him, which he deems to be the truth, and most often reject their message as a lie. Of course, this principle works against you if his friends teach him about sex before you do! In this case, Johnny will be prone to embrace his friends’ perversion as the truth, and discard your wisdom as a lie.

God designed us with this principle because He wants parents to be the ones who lay the foundation for truth in their children. King Solomon put it best: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). When parents train their children in the ways of morality, that training attracts virtuous living in them for the rest of their lives. (Of course, we all have a free will, so nothing we do guarantees perfection). It’s paramount that parents push past their fears of inadequacy and be the first to instruct their children on the important subjects of life.

 

SHAME ON YOU

The world perverts sex, but Christians tend to shame it, which ultimately leads to a different, but equally destructive, kind of perversion. We must come to terms with the fact that when God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” He gave us our sex drive. Therefore, sex is good and our sex drive is normal! But what does it mean to have a sex drive? It means that you want to have sex with someone! Our children shouldn’t be shamed for being sexual beings. However, they do need to learn how to manage their sex drive nobly.

Shame is a killer. Conviction says, “I did something wrong,” but shame says, “I am something wrong.” Leading social researcher Brené Brown says that shame is the most destructive force of all time. It’s the enemy of connection and belonging, and it leads to the most devastating outcomes in our lives. I have watched so many parents discipline their children with shame and wonder later why their kids struggle with low self esteem and self-destructive behavior. Shame is a tool of the enemy. We should never, under any circumstances, embrace his ruthless instruments in raising our children.


Shame is often unknowingly seeded into the hearts of our children by the way we relate to sex.


For example, when our children are little they are very curious about their bodies. We often play silly games with them to help them through the discovery process. They touch their nose and we say, “Nose. Say, ‘N-o-s-e.’” Of course, the game continues with ears, mouth, and eyes and so on. At some point they finally get around to touching their penis or vagina, which often invokes a completely different dynamic. We often we say something like, “Don’t touch that!” and follow it up by renaming their penis or vagina something silly. “Johnny! Don’t play with your dinky!” This shift in attitude sends a loud message to our children that there is something shamefully wrong with parts of their body. This begins the lifelong process of forcing sex into hiding, like a wanted criminal or a terrible habit.

 

THE ART OF DEVELOPING A HEALTHY SEXUAL CULTURE

God has a completely different approach to sex, which is demonstrated in Jewish weddings throughout the Bible. Jewish weddings lasted a week, and the process of the marriage ceremony was quite revealing. The wedding began in much the same way as our celebrations do today. The bride and groom exchanged vows while the families looked on. But then something powerful happened. There was a bridal chamber (most often a tent) erected in the midst of the festival, and after the ceremonial vows, the couple entered the chamber to consummate their covenant. The newlyweds had sex for the first time while the families waited outside. Then the groom took the sheets from the bed and hung them over the chamber wall for all the guests to see, thus displaying the blood from his bride’s broken hymen. It was only after this that the celebration began.

Jewish weddings were a family affair attended by every age group. You can imagine what the conversation was like when three-year-old Johnny saw the bloody sheet for the first time. The sheet actually became a talking point for Johnny’s parents to teach him (age appropriately) about sexuality. They didn’t need the sweaty palm “sex talks” at fifteen, because the Jews had a healthy sexual culture, where sex was integrated naturally and organically into their daily lives.

If you are a parent, I want to encourage you to develop a healthy sexual culture in your home where sex is celebrated as a beautiful gift from God to be shared with the man or woman of your dreams in marriage. Your children need to know the reason they have a sex drive long before God wants them to have sex, and understand that the value of their virginity is in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get their virginity from the battlefield all the way to the honeymoon suite, so that on the night they lay with their lover, they have something to give that they had to fight to keep. Anyone can give away something expensive, but only those who understand sacrifice can give away something valuable!

There are a lot of great resources available to help you prepare to teach your kids about sex. We tend to fear what we don’t understand, so study this subject until you feel comfortable and confident that you can teach your children about sexuality without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. May God richly bless your efforts and may we together incite a moral revolution!

Originally published on lovingonpurpose.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.
WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

 

 

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The Need for Date Nights After The Wedding

Let’s admit it, we’re all busy. Not only that, but when you throw kids in the mix it can often feel like you’re at the mercy of what life has to throw in your direction. If you’re a parent you know exactly what I’m talking about. Managing the kids’ school schedule, extra curricular activities, homework, parent-teacher meetings, and the list goes on. Let’s not forget about managing your own career, groceries, bills, social gatherings, etc. It’s easy to feel like the last thing you have time for is a date night with the person you see every day.

That’s where you couldn’t be more wrong. 

Take a moment and think about what your relationship looked like when you were dating. There was intentional time dedicated to getting to know one another. Within that time you had a chance to “put life on pause” not because you had to, but because you wanted to. It was a choice you made then, and you can make the same choice now.

The worst thing you can do for your marriage is to stop dating your spouse. When this happens is when the beginning of decay in your connection starts. Now some of you might be saying “That’s a bit extreme…. We do just fine without date nights.” To that I would have to challenge your ability to see your marriage from the lens of “till death do us part”. If you stop dating your spouse you won’t be filing for divorce next week, but what you are doing is removing the very ingredient that made you fall in love (to the point where you married him/her). Over time that wears on the relationship. It causes your marriage to slowly loose the excitement and romance that God intended to be there until the very end.

We all know that marriage is holy and set apart. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. So why is it that so many of us treat marriage as second in line to so many other things in life? How do we lose site of that time when we were madly in love and committed to loving our spouse until our last breath?


Date nights keep the commitment and passion alive.


 

Here are a few reasons my wife and I commit to dates on a regular basis:

1. Distraction-free time to connect. Whether you have kids or not this first point can apply. When at home you probably often grab your phone, watch tv, talk about your schedule, or just want some peace and quiet. On the other hand, when you block out a time to go on a date it’s an opportunity to create a distraction-free environment. One where you block out everything else you have going on and solely connect with one another. That means NOT looking at your phone, but looking into the eyes of the person you love.

2. Heart Connection. This comes into play after point one. Once you have blocked out a time, then take that time to connect with one another. Really connect. Men, here’s a side tip… doing this leads to more and better sex… since emotional connection is very directly connected with pleasure and the ability to orgasm.

3. It helps integrate fun into your marriage. When you plan dates, you generally plan to do something that’s out of the ordinary. This leads to more memories and an opportunity to break up “life as usual” (I’ll expand on this point in a later post).

4. It helps create a team dynamic. We only have one life to live. You’ve chosen to live it with the person you married. The last thing you want is to wake up in five, ten, or twenty years and find yourself with a roommate. When we go on dates it allows us to process the fact that we’re doing life with someone. We can laugh, cry, fight, make up, pray, etc. We’re in it together.

I’m sure that others could add to this list, but these should be reason enough to raise the priority of date nights in your marriage.

The Challenge:

My wife and I try to do a date once a week. Does that always happen? No. But it does keep date nights at the forefront of our connection. If you don’t currently go on dates, try to schedule one in the next month. The goal is to be intentional about connecting with one another. Go ahead. Risk pursuing each other like you were dating again and see what happens.

 

JOSH CEARBAUGH IS A LIFE CONSULTANT WITH A UNIQUE ABILITY TO LEAD PEOPLE THROUGH TRANSFORMATION. THROUGH A COMBINATION OF CONSULTING TECHNIQUES, HE HELPS INDIVIDUALS TO IDENTIFY, AND THEN DISMANTLE, THE CRIPPLING CYCLES WHERE THE MAJORITY OF US FIND OURSELVES STUCK. HE HAS A PASSION FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE TO THEIR HEART AND HELPING THEM CREATE PRACTICAL STRATEGIES TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES. MOST RECENTLY, JOSH’S CONSULTING PRACTICE HAS BEEN LOCATED IN REDDING, CA
HE MET DANIELLE, HIS WIFE OF EIGHT YEARS, IN MOZAMBIQUE WHILE ATTENDING IRIS HARVEST SCHOOL. THEY CURRENTLY HAVE TWO BOYS AND ONE BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL. 
WEBSITE: JOSHCEARBAUGH.COM 
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/JOSHCEARBAUGH

 


Should Girls Ask Guys on Dates?

Ladies, I’ve been there. You sit next to a cute guy and start up a conversation. You notice he has perfect teeth and he’s funny. This is going well. You start talking about what you did over the weekend and you say, “Just hung out with the girls. Yep, no boyfriend though… because I don’t have one, because I’m definitely single.” He nods his head and tells you about his own weekend. “That sounds fun,” you comment, and then reiterate just to make sure, “Yep, there’s not a boyfriend in sight. I am on the market. Available… Next Saturday actually.” He doesn’t seem to be picking up the cues.

What does a girl have to do to get a date? These kind of interactions bring us to the question:

“Should girls ask guys on dates?” 

We’ve gotten this question a few times, so we’re going to look at some ideas that might help answer it.

First of all, there’s a difference between initiation and pursuit. We believe God’s innate design is for a man to pursue a woman. God has placed it in a man to be the pursuer and to win the heart of the woman he is attracted to. Sometimes brokenness or past experiences can throw us off this track, but it is in our design. A relationship where the woman is doing all the pursuing will ultimately be unsatisfying for both parties. Men are designed to set their eyes on something valuable and fight for it. Women are designed to respond to the man who is willing to risk it all for her.

What we’ve seen though, is that many times girls will put the entire weight of initiating and pursuing on men’s shoulders, when this isn’t necessarily how it has to be.

Ladies, if you see a man you’re attracted to who has traits you admire, it’s okay to initiate some contact and put yourself in his world. Don’t be afraid to show that you’re interested. We have a few suggestions for this below, but just be your open and friendly self. It’s okay to be authentic to how you’re feeling and show that you like him. If he’s interested, he will start to show it as well and eventually start to pursue you. If he doesn’t, he may just not be interested, and that’s okay. You don’t want a man who’s not interested in you.

So here are few ideas from our team to help break the ice or make the first move. You can use all, some, or none of them, but the idea is to do whatever feels most like you and maybe gets you a little out of your comfort zone:

1. Say hello.

If you pass him, smile at him and say hello rather than looking away. This may not seem like ground-breaking advice for some people, but for those of us who would rather pretend we don’t see that super attractive man passing us in the hallway, this is a big step.

2. Initiate some conversation.

Ask him a question or give him a compliment to break the ice, start going out of your way a little to talk to him, and see what happens. You might even forget how to talk the first couple times (yep, I’ve been there), but it’s okay, you’ll figure out how to make sentences again in no time.

3. Invite him to a group hang-out.

Tell him he can bring friends as well. It’s always good to see how people interact in group settings.

4. Ask about relationships and his view on them.

This will at least get you on the subject of dating, and you can get a general idea of where he’s at.

5. Invite him out for coffee.

Coffee does not have to be a big deal. It can be an easy way to get to know someone without the pressure of a full on “date.”

6. Ask a friend to set you up.

If there is someone in your life who knows both of you, ask them to help you get connected.

7. Help him get in contact with you.

You can send him a friend request on Facebook, maybe throw a few “likes” or comments on his page, or for the really bold among us, you can slide in a gentle suggestion like: “Here’s my number, if you ever want to use it.”

The main thing we want to say is that no matter where you’re at, you don’t have to feel powerless in your dating life. Being a lady does not mean you have to sit and wait until a handsome gentleman notices you. If you feel stuck, you don’t have to be. If you want to get things moving a little more in your dating life, there are steps you can take. If you try some and they don’t work out, give yourself a high-five for being brave and taking a risk. As always, talk to God about the best steps to take in your dating life. He knows where you’re at and what you need, and He’s always thinking of your best.

For more information, check out some of our other blogposts on dating:

Date A Man Long Enough

For Her Eyes Only

19 Lies Churched Kids Believe About Dating

 


Boundaries in Relationships

Maybe it’s just the rebel in me, but when people talk about boundaries in relationships, my natural inclination is to cringe. “Don’t put me in a box. I’m my own boss.” But when we understand that boundaries are put in place to protect us, that it’s God’s way to protect our heart, soul, and body, it’s a game-changer.

Once you’ve gotten to the point that you know you’re attracted to someone, and you’ve started dating, then it’s time to think about setting some boundaries.

Throughout Song of Solomon, we are reminded in a message by a group of women:

“Do not awaken or arouse love until it so desires.” (Song of Solomon 8:4).

There is no condemnation in Christ. I am not trying to wag a finger or judge people. I’m with you. I know God’s in control. What are some ways to walk in the respect God wants us to have for others and ourselves? God gives us guidelines in our relationships, not so He can be this cosmic killjoy, but so He can protect us. God’s very clear on how we are to approach purity, before and after marriage. God created sex and intimacy to be within the safety of marriage. So when you’re married, He’s not peeping down from heaven like, “Oh no, I wonder what they’re doing down there.” After you get married, He blesses it. He wants married couples to be fruitful and multiply. Procreate and recreate.

On the other hand, scripture is clear that before marriage, having sex is not kosher, it’s not copacetic. If we have intimate relations with somebody, we bind ourselves to them (1 Corinthians 6:16). I’m not talking about just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. So be careful that you’re not engaging in things you shouldn’t be engaging in with a person you’re not married to. Why? Because it complicates things.

Scripture is very clear that there are things we shouldn’t engage with. I feel like there’s this next generation of Christians that say, “Well the Bible doesn’t explicitly say that I can’t do this or that in my relationship…” Here’s a piece of free advice: If it’s something you’re not comfortable doing in front of your mama, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I recently read an article that said there was a group of guys who vandalized a church. I was outraged. It wasn’t even a Christian institution, but it didn’t matter to me because it was somebody’s place of worship, and they vandalized it. Now listen, I grew up in east LA, my dad’s church is in the hood, and there’s graffiti everywhere. I’m anesthetized to it. But when I read that they went inside the church, that they threw around the pews, and they graffiti’d their names on the wall: Johnny was here. Peter was here… I was outraged. Then I felt convicted. I was more upset that people broke into a building than I was about my friends being entered in by people who were also leaving marks: Johnny was here. Peter was here.


Our bodies are temples of the living God. 


I’m seeing this phenomenon of Christians having pre-marital sex. Just because the Bible doesn’t spell it out for us and say, “Pre-marital sex is wrong,” doesn’t mean it’s okay. It still makes it clear that sex is meant for marriage.

So in your dating relationship, set clear boundaries. Decide what’s best for yourself and your boyfriend or girlfriend: “I can’t cross this line because I don’t know where it will stop.” Can we go into it like that and have God honor it? So even though I’m telling you not to have sex before marriage, after marriage it’s a different story. You can make up for lost time. God wants to bless sex inside of marriage. After all, it was His idea in the first place.

 

BIANCA JUAREZ OLTHOFF IS A WRITER, SPEAKER, AND IN LOVE WITH TWO MEN: JESUS AND HER HUSBAND, MATT. BIANCA SPENDS HER WEEK WORKING AS CHIEF STORYTELLER FOR THE A21 CAMPAIGN, AN ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION, AND AS THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR PROPEL WOMEN. SHE LOVES HAVING DANCE PARTIES IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH HER TWO STEP CHILDREN OR COOKING MEALS FOR FRIENDS. 
WEBSITE: BIANCAOLTHOFF.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/BIANCAOLTHOFFSPEAKS 
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/BIANCAOLTHOFF