Looking For Love FAQ

Question


How do I start to value myself and stop having sex with people to feel loved?

 

The Team’s Answer

 

This is a very real, valuable question. We’re going to cover a couple different things to answer it. The first one is recognizing what’s in your God spot. Where are you getting your identity? The way God designed family is for all of us to first learn we are worthy of love from our parents. He wanted all of us to first experience unconditional love from them. He wanted them to be the first ones to pass identity on to us. We realize that not everyone was given the gift of being born into a loving family, and we want to you to know that you can still learn these things, and God desires to come through and redeem everything that may have been missing or stolen from you in your childhood.

When you grow up, God eventually becomes your source instead of your parents. He wants to become your source for identity, direction, protection, comfort, unconditional love, healing, etc. When you put something else in this spot that belongs to God, you start getting yourself into trouble. You might start feeling anxious or insecure. Girls are often asking, “Am I beautiful? Am I desirable?” Guys are usually asking, “Do I have what it takes?” You have to go to God and ask Him these questions. If you don’t, you’ll look for men or women to validate you instead of God.

If God is your source of security, even when you start feeling insecure, you’re safe. God comes in and says, “Hey, do you remember who you are?” He reminds you of what He says about you. Other people can affirm you or compliment you, but that shouldn’t give you your identity. What people say to you should only be a reflection of what God’s already said to you. 

Having healthy relationships with people starts with having a healthy relationship with God and letting Him meet your needs for identity, direction, protection, unconditional love, comfort, and security. When there is a missing piece in your relationship with God, you will always seek man to fill it. Any time you violate your conscience, you have a need wanting to be met. If you’re sleeping around with guys, it might not be that you just have a really high sex drive. If you keep looking at porn, it might not be just because you’re bored. You might be using these things to medicate your pain or exhaustion. Figure out what your need is, and go get it met in a healthy way.


When all your needs are met, purity becomes a fair fight.


The second thing we’re going to talk about is self-awareness. Self awareness is the ability to know what’s going on inside of you at all times. Seventy percent of what’s going on in your brain, you’re not actually aware of. Self-awareness is taking what’s going on in your subconscious realm and bringing it to your conscious realm.

Here are a couple things you can do to learn to be self-aware:

1. Write questions on your mirror like, “How are you today? How do you feel?”

2. Put reminders in your phone that say: “How’s your heart? What do you need today? How did you do today?”

If you wake up in the morning and realize you’re judging yourself in the mirror, you can recognize those feelings and think, “Oh man, I’m feeling insecure. I better not leave the house feeling insecure or ugly.” Then, instead of violating your conscience, you can fix what’s going on inside of you early on. You can even get help from someone else if you need to.

These are a just couple basic steps to help you become self-aware and understand your feelings. Feelings don’t actually have any moral value. Following them is not always going to lead you down the path God is asking you to walk. What you feel is just a sign of how you’re really doing. When a feeling comes up, evaluate: “Is this a good feeling? Am I feeling overwhelmed? Why?” Feelings are critical on our journey of self awareness. Catching them early and working things out helps keep us free.

Keeping God in your God spot and practicing self-awareness are two major tools to help you value yourself and keep from violating your conscience. Remember, in Christ, you are a new creation. Old habits and patterns do not dictate your life anymore. Learn to be aware of what’s going inside of you and get the questions of your heart answered by the Father who loves you and created you. His answer is always loving and it’s the one that really matters.


Top Health Questions & The Body: FOR WOMEN ONLY

Female Anatomy

1. What is a hymen?

While some women are born with absent or incomplete hymens, in general, a hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. The most common hymen in women is shaped like a half moon which allows menstrual blood to flow out. Some women have hymens that cover the majority of the vaginal opening whereas others’ are smaller. Every woman will be different.

 

2. How do I know if my hymen has been broken? If it is, am I still pure?

The hymen — a thin membrane fold at the entrance to the vagina — can be torn by things other than sex or masturbation. Examples would include sports and tampon insertion. The tearing is not always painful, but often does result in a bit of bleeding. As an aside, virginity means not having had sexual intercourse; it does not mean having an intact hymen.

A torn hymen isn’t likely to heal. Having a torn hymen does not make you impure, sexually or otherwise, in itself. Typically, you would be able to tell visually if your hymen was broken if you observed yourself in a mirror. The best way to find out is to visit a gynecologist or your family doctor and ask them if it seems intact.

 

3. Why do some women have small breasts, while others, even their own mothers, have large breasts?

The Doctor says:

Breast growth in girls begins about two years prior to menarche (the start of menstrual periods) and may continue up to four more years, which is to say women’s breast generally grow for about six years. A 2010 Australian twin study found that bra size was fifty-six percent a matter of heredity (genetic). However, not everything in life is genetic, and genes are about predisposition and not destiny. So, a woman’s mother’s breast size says something about her own, but not everything.

Other things during her life may change a woman’s breast size. Since adipose (fat) makes up a good part of the breasts, significant weight loss or gain will also affect breast size in the same direction. Pregnancy, for obvious reasons related to hormonal changes and milk production, will usually enlarge a woman’s breasts. About twenty percent of women will have breast growth after menopause, and the main reason for this is weight gain.

Genes, weight, age, pregnancies, menopause and other factors all play roles in breast size. So the answer to your question about why some women have smaller breasts than their mothers is that they are not their mothers.

 

How it All Works

1. What is puberty?
Puberty is the period of life when a person’s sexual organs mature and he or she becomes able to have children.


2. When does it start?

The time when puberty begins varies greatly among individuals; however, puberty usually occurs in females from 10 to 14 yrs old.

 

3. What happens during puberty?

For females, the growth of pubic hair is first followed by the growth of hair in the armpits. A minority of girls, however, begin to develop pubic hair prior to breast development. The onset of menstruation usually happens later than the other physical changes and usually occurs around two and a half years after the onset of puberty.

 

4. Can you explain my period to me?

Simply, menstruation, or your period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. It is a sign that she is able to have children.

Every month, your body prepares for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the uterus, or womb, shed it’s lining. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue from inside the uterus. It passes out of the body through the vagina. This usually lasts 3-5 days. *www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/menstruation.html.

The length of the cycle differs for each woman, the average being 28 days — starting from the day you first start your period, to the last day before you start your next.

 

5. When am I ovulating? How do I know?

Once a month, in the middle of your cycle (ie: Day 14 of a 28 day cycle), your body releases an egg from your ovaries. It flows down your fallopian tubes into your uterus. The egg will either be fertilized by sperm, or dissolve if fertilization does not take place. [1] The release of the egg is called ovulation. Some women say they can feel the egg “pop,” a slight twinge of pain in the lower abdomen. Most are unaware of it happening. It is at this point, when the egg is available, that you are fertile (you are able to get pregnant). There must be at least one healthy sperm waiting, available to fertilize the egg within 12-24 hours of the egg being released from the ovary if the woman is to conceive. [2]

Many women experienced a heightened libido at this time of the month. (This means they desire sex when they are ovulating.) If you experience a “time of the month” where you are extra affectionate, cuddly, and desire sex, there is nothing wrong with you. You are probably just ovulating.

[1] www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/anatomyvideos/000094.htm
[2] www.americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant-window/

 

3 Things Everyone Should Know About STD’s
No fear-mongering here. Just a few things everyone should know to stay safe and stay healthy. Care for your body; it’s the only one you have.

1.  Can I have an STD and not know it?

Yes. Unfortunately, some of the most common STDs have no symptoms in many women, or the symptoms may appear to be from another common cause such as a bladder infection. According to the CDC, there are 19 million new cases of STDs in this country every year, and at least 50% of those are in teens or young adults. For two of them, HIV and herpes, there is no cure. Another, HPV, can lead to genital warts or cervical cancer. So it is important to know if you have an STD. The best way to do that is to be tested by a medical professional.

 

2. What are the 7 Most Severe STDs?

Something can be life-altering and heartbreaking without being lethal. Bacterial infections are very treatable when caught early, but can cause greater problems the longer they are left untreated. This is particularly true for syphilis — which can infect and damage the brain with time — but is also true for Gonorrhea and chlamydia (pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, urethral blockage, etc.). Viral infections are often incurable, but may have successful treatments to keep controlled. I think the top 3 here are in order, the rest vary.

– HIV/AIDS
– Hepatitis B/C, though C is harder to acquire sexually than B
– Syphilis
– Gonorrhea (also includes pelvic inflammatory disease)
– Chlamydia (also includes LGV and pelvic inflammatory disease)
– Human papillomavirus (can lead to cervical cancer)
– Herpes Simplex.

 

3. Is it ok to perform oral sex when I have a cold sore or fever blister?

No, it is not a good idea to have oral sex when you have a cold sore. Historically, viral sores on the lips (cold sores or herpes labialis) were HSV type 1, and sores on the genitals were HSV type 2. Both are types of herpes viruses. However, things are less clear now, and either can be found in either location, though it is still more common for the distinctions mentioned above to hold true.[1]

In either case, cold sore viruses can be transmitted to genitals by oral sex. Not the best of gifts.

[1] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000606.htm

 

Medical Mysteries

Think you’re the only one? The Doctor addresses some common questions women have about their bodies.

1. Sometimes there is pressure in my crotch and it makes it uncomfortable to sit. It usually occurs the day after I have a wet dream. Is this similar to male ejaculation but with women?

Thanks for your courage in asking up. The answer is yes. A wet dream (nocturnal emission, as discussed here regarding men) does involve ejaculation, which simply refers to the discharge of fluid, and that’s what the “wet” part is about. In guys it is semen, and in women it is other normal fluids. Not every woman has wet dreams; and for those that do, the orgasm that comes with it can be dry. The uncomfortable crotch can come from engorgement of the pelvic blood vessels as well as the after effects of the event on the tissues involved – things can get a little swollen and sore for a short time. It’s not anything to be concerned about, unless you have pain that does not go away, and then a visit to your doctor might be a good idea.

 

2. Does sex hurt the first time?
For men, often not. For women, it usually does, for a short while. This is because a woman’s labia and vagina has some stretching to do, which has generally not occurred to that degree before having sexual intercourse. The same can be true for men and their foreskins, but usually not to the same extent, again, usually.

As husband and wife tenderly grow together in their sexual oneness, these pains often resolve quickly. However, there are also problems of a medical or psychological nature that can be present that would cause pain that is not so mild and doesn’t fade away with further intercourse. Should that occur, it’s time to see your gynecologist or family doctor.

 

3. Will his penis fit in me? Will I be too small? Should I do anything to stretch myself?

The vaginal opening is made from muscles that contract or relax. When a woman gets aroused, the vagina actually increases in size, both in length and in width, to be able to accept an erect penis. Remember, you are made to be able to have a baby — the baby’s head, which is bigger than a penis, comes through that opening. However, there are women who are smaller and will experience pain the first few times.

When you first have sex, it can feel tight, so use lots of lubrication. But if you can relax and enjoy your arousal, it will not feel as tight. Over time, it won’t bother you at all. There is no need to stretch yourself beforehand.

It is always a good idea to have a gynecological checkup before you get married and have sex for the first time. If you still have questions about whether you are too small, your doctor can physically examine you and set your mind at ease.

 

4. Is there anything a doctor can do if sex is difficult and/or painful for a couple?

Yes, there are things a doctor can do. Painful intercourse, or dyspareunia, can have many causes other than just vaginal tightness, and the physician can perform a detailed history and careful physical exam to sort things out. Her gynecologist can get her set up with a dilation program to comfortably stretch out the vagina, if that turns out to be the main issue. In the mean time, using ample water-based lubricants (e.g., K-Y Jelly), pre-dosing with anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.), gentle but plentiful foreplay, great communication, and lots of patience will help.

If you’re constantly trying new approaches and still have pain, consult your doctor to find out if there’s something happening that you’re not aware of. If you have issues such as sexual guilt, shame or trauma, it could be helpful for you to find healing in order to solve the problem of painful intercourse.

 

5. What is a pap smear for? When do I need one?

The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. Cells scraped from the opening of the cervix are examined under a microscope. You can read more about Pap smears here, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The Doctor shares: Cervical cancer usually does not show up as nodules or hard spots or things one can feel, thus the need for regular pap smears once a woman becomes sexually active – precisely to identify pre-cancerous or cancerous changes early on that cannot be felt.

 

6. My gynecologist recommended that I should get vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus. I am not sure about the nature of HPV, only that it is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse. Does the vaccination make sense when two virgins marry and remain faithful to each other?

Excellent question. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is for girls 11-12 years old (but effective for ages 9 through 26) to help prevent cervical cancer and genital warts. It is given to boys and men ages 9 through 26 as well. Why give this vaccine to children we raise – or adults who have committed – to abstain from intercourse until marriage? Three main reasons: (1) our children/we cannot account for the past of their/our spouses, (2) the chance of sexual violence against our children/us, and (3) despite the best upbringing, our children/we might make bad choices (though we neither predict nor wish that).

If you are already married and both you and your husband came to the bridal chamber as virgins, the only reasons for the HPV vaccine would be protection from the virus in case of sexual  violence (rape) or infidelity. Having put all the cards on the table, the final choice of whether or not to get the vaccine is your own.

Check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s page on HPV.

 

7. I’ve heard it said that all men have a high sex drive. Is the sex drive of a woman more or less the same?

Your question is a good one, on many levels. Men do standardly have stronger sexual drives than women. Men have the higher testosterone levels propelling stronger impulses for sex and aggression, the latter of which is properly directed toward the protection of wife and family. However, the degree of sex drive varies among men – it occurs across a spectrum from stronger to weaker. It also varies with advancing age. Dudes are not equally “in the mood.”

Women, likewise, have varying strengths of sexual drives across a spectrum – some more robust and others not. Though women as a whole average lower sex drives than men as a whole, that is not the full story. A man with a relatively weak sex drive can be the spouse of a wife with a relatively strong sex drive, thus leaving the man feeling behind the power curve.

Libido is not all about hormones, either. Something as simple as being sleep deprived or not feeling well (like the proverbial headache) can quench the flames of desire with little trouble. Medications can interfere. Past traumas, painful intercourse, and/or negative views of sex can hinder as well. The more satisfied a woman (or man, for that matter) is with her (or his) life, marriage, family, communication, and so forth, the less inhibited the desire for sex. Conversely, when relationships and financial matters are severely challenged, it is hard to feel very animated about sex.

Much goes into the makeup of a sex drive at any given time, but the short answer to your question is that not all women are alike.

 

8. Can you become pregnant if you hymen hasn’t broken?


Yes. Pregnancy is not really related to having an intact hymen, so a broken hymen will not hinder your ability to become pregnant.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003157.htm

 

9. I have never had an orgasm during intercourse. Is this normal?


Anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm) can have several causes: medications (certain antidepressants, antihistamines, or blood pressure meds), medical problems, hormonal issues, emotional/relational factors, past trauma, psychological components, and more. The treatment options vary with the underlying causes, but treatments do exist.

Our team would add that there is also the common problem of husbands rushing intercourse and not adequately engaging their wife in enough communication and foreplay (hugging, cuddling, talking, touching, and so forth) for a woman to be ready for sex. This alone, can make it difficult for a woman to achieve orgasm; she’s simply not primed for it. This can generally be corrected by communicating with your husband, guiding him in what you want and need in the bedroom, focusing on foreplay. You may want to consult a sex therapist for insight if the problem persists.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001953.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anorgasmia/DS01051

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003157.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/painful-intercourse/DS01044

 

 10. What are your thoughts on Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery?

Labia come in various sizes and proportions that are still normal even if not just the way you want them to appear. Part of the problem is the false standards of body image promoted in the media. Even medical publications and web sites can unintentionally give girls and women a false impression, especially if what is being displayed is not quite the same as what you perceive on yourself.

Another concern is young women rushing to cosmetic surgery to “fix” what is likely just fine in the first place. Anatomy changes with the years, often for the better. The risks – what can go wrong and how it might affect sexual function – with what is formally known as Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery (FGCS) is just not that well worked out yet. [1] FGCS is rarely required and should not be approached lightly.

So if your labia minora do stand out more than most, you are still normal, there is probably nothing wrong with you, and it is not likely to cause problems. It is a natural variation. On the other hand, if your labia often hurt, are easily infected, interfere with urination or menstrual function, are too frequently injured, or pose other recurring problems for you, a visit to a gynecologist is in order.

A final encouragement for you– The man who will marry and love you will also accept you as his own standard of womanly beauty: his wife. The proportions of your labia will not likely be much of a concern to him, despite what you may fear. Likewise, your future husband is probably sweating it out about some genital imperfection of his own that you just won’t care about. Be kind to yourself.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21696338

 


Do You Deserve to Be Forgiven?

 

FORGIVENESS RESTORES THE STANDARD

I learned this lesson years ago when my kids were teen­agers. I became angry with Kathy in front of them and treated her disrespectfully. An hour later, I apologized, and she forgave me. But when I went to bed that night, I suddenly realized that I had disrespected Kathy in front of my teenage kids. So I needed to apologize to them for being a bad example of a husband, or they would grow up believing that my behavior was okay. The next day, I gathered the kids together in the front room and asked Kathy and each of the kids to forgive me.

“Okay, Dad,” they each said, a little annoyed that I was making such a big deal out of this. “We forgive you. Can we go now?” they pressed.

“You can go,” I responded. I was as glad to get that over with as they were.

About a week later, one of our boys came in the kitchen and started being sarcastic with Kathy. I walked into the kitchen and said, “You don’t have permission to talk to my wife like that.”

“You were rude to Mom the other day yourself!” he responded.

“Yes,” I continued, “but you forgave me. Forgiveness restores the standard. When you forgave me you gave up your right to act the same way that I did because your forgiveness restored me back to the place of honor. I repented. Repentance means to be restored to the pinnacle, the high place.”

“I’m sorry, Mom. I should not have spoken to you that way,” he said humbly.

“I forgive you, son,” she said, embracing him.

 

LIVE AS IF YOU HAD NEVER FAILED

If we don’t understand this principle, then the lowest point, the worst mistake or stupidest thing that we have ever done in life becomes our high watermark. For instance, if we were immoral as a teenager and later on in life we have teenagers, we won’t have confidence to correct them for their poor sexual choices because we failed ourselves. Failures that we have repented of are no longer the standard that we must bow to. When we asked God and those we had hurt to forgive us, we were set back up on the high place that God assigned to us. The truth is that forgiveness restores the standard of holiness in us and through us.

When you repent, you have permission to live happily ever after! That’s God’s gift to you. It’s called mercy and grace. Mercy means that you don’t receive the punishment you deserve, but grace means that you do receive the blessing you didn’t earn. This was all paid for when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus didn’t just die for you, He died as you. You get to live as if you had never failed!

 

THE RIGHT TO BE HEALED

I was teaching this principle at a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) base some years ago when suddenly a young, beautiful woman stood up and shouted, “You are wrong!” Then she just stood there weeping out loud.

“What do you mean, ‘I’m ‘wrong?’” I asked.

“I have VD because I slept with many men before I started following Jesus,” she said through her tears. “How can I live happily after that? Who is going to want me now?”

“When you asked for forgiveness, you received the right to be healed of all of your diseases,” I said confidently.

“I don’t deserve to be healed because I knew my lifestyle was wrong when I was living immorally, but I did it anyway,” she said in a harsh tone of voice.

“Jesus didn’t die for your mistakes, He died for your sins,” I argued. “Sin means you did it on purpose. You can’t sin by accident because sin is always a heart issue. Accidents are not heart issues because an accident isn’t something you tried to do on purpose. So accidents don’t need to be forgiven by God, only things you did on purpose need God’s forgiveness. Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah said that Jesus was crucified for our sins but that He was beaten for our healing (see Isaiah 53:5). So Jesus paid the price for us to be forgiven and healed. Why not get all that He paid for?” I contended. “And oh, by the way, none of us deserve anything from God. But we don’t get what we deserve. We get what He deserves.”

After debating for a while, she finally let God heal her! He is so amazing!

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.
WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
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Top Health Questions & The Body: FOR GUYS ONLY

Urban legends, unexplained phenomena, and locker-room bravado debunked

 

Men, we know you have questions when it comes to health and your body. We’re here to help you to fill in the gaps.

Doubting your physical prowess or your ability to please your wife? Wondering why your body does what it does? It’s our responsibility to steward our bodies. Even if you don’t want to talk about this…you need to.



THE MALE BODY

1. WHAT IS PUBERTY?

Puberty is the period of life when a person’s sexual organs mature and he or she becomes able to have children. Along with the physical changes described below, boys may experience emotional changes and begin to “notice” the opposite sex. Simply put, when you go through puberty, you are physically beginning the change from boyhood into manhood.

 

2. WHEN DOES IT START?  

The time when puberty begins varies greatly among individuals; however, puberty usually occurs from 12 to 16 yrs old in males.

 

3. WHAT HAPPENS?

In males, an increase in the size of the testicles is the first change observed at the onset of puberty. Enlargement of the testicles begins at an approximate average age of 11 and a half years in boys and lasts for about six months. After enlargement of the testicles, the penis also increases in size. Enlargement of the testicles and penis almost always occurs before the development of pubic hair. The next stage is the growth of pubic hair and hair in the armpits. Next, the voice becomes deeper and muscles increase in size. The last step is usually the development of facial hair.

 

4. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE “AROUSAL” FOR MEN?

Very simply, arousal for men will typically start visually, and their brains and bodies almost always agree. This means that as soon as an appealing image registers in the brain, the body is turned on immediately. Exposure to the erotic stimuli activates the parts of their brain related to getting an erection.

When a man is stimulated in this way, his body reacts; blood flow to the genitals increases. The penis, which is full of spongy tissue, fills with blood and becomes hard. This is called an erection.

 

5. WHAT IS A WET DREAM?

A wet dream is a nocturnal emission, more commonly called a wet dream. It is involuntary, a spontaneous orgasm that can result in ejaculation. It’s very common in teen years, and can continue to some extent later in life. It is not wrong/sinful. This occurs with males and females and is common for both. You can read more about this in our article: Top Dreams & Fantasy FAQ.

 

6. WHAT IS “BLUE BALLS”?

Blue balls is a slang term referring to the unsatisfied and prolonged sexual arousal in males. It’s nothing to be concerned about; it’s nothing more than an uncomfortable sensation and no damage will occur if the male does not ejaculate. If ejaculation does not occur, discomfort resolves within an hour. Some ways to relieve this are: lying down, a hot bath, cold compression on the area, gently massaging the area, or lifting a heavy object.


 


PENIS ENVY & UNDERSTANDING

The world is full of ideas and ideals regarding the figurehead (no pun intended) of manhood. Here, the Doc gives it to us straight about the penis.

1. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PENIS SIZE? 

Young men are often concerned about penis length or girth, but should not be. The average length of a penis is 3.5 inches or 9 cm. Some are longer and some are shorter, and that is generally fine. The average length of an erect penis is around 5 to 6 inches or 12.5 to 15 cm.[1][2][3] Erections have been called the great equalizer, since their average length is about 5 inches in most men.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528816/

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8709382

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11223678

 

2. WHAT IS NORMAL WHEN IT COMES TO SHAPE?

Just like people, penises come in many shapes and sizes. If you’re concerned if your member will measure up, think of it this way: if it works, you’re okay! However, there can be a real, medical condition, that some men face: curvature of the penis.

Our Doctor says:

When it comes to this curvature question, two main issues come into play. One is congenital or acquired anatomic problems in young men, and the other is Peyronie’s disease, usually in men over forty years of age. In congenital or acquired bending of the penis — the latter often from trauma causing penile fracture, aka broken penis (no, I am not kidding . . . cringe) — there is a defect in one of the two tube-like membranes (tunica albuginea) covering spongy tissues in the penis (corpora cavernosa) that engorge with blood during erections. Since one side’s tube is smaller than, less elastic than, or otherwise tethered compared with the other side, erections curve/bend. Peyronie’s disease causes curving/bending of the penis through development of scar plaques on the tunica albuginea.

When is it time to seek medical advice? The Mayo Clinic says to consult a physician if erections hurt or if the bend is enough to interfere with sex. One might add significant psychological concern to this list, especially for those who do not have painful erections but don’t plan to have sex until marriage, and therefore won’t know yet if the curve would interfere with intercourse.

For congenital or acquired penile curving that is severe enough in younger men, surgical correction can be quite effective. For Peyronie’s disease Medline plus lists possible medical treatments (steroid injections, the medicine Potaba, radiation therapy, shock wave lithotripsy as with kidney stones, Verapamil injections, and Vitamin E) though none of these work very well. But surgery can be done, including penile implants, with better results.

Overall, however, men who have it tend to carry an exaggerated sense of the degree of their penis curving. For most young men who perceive abnormal bending, most won’t need to do anything.

 

3. DOES HAVING A LOT OF SEX INCREASE YOUR PENIS SIZE AT ALL?

Two answers: no and not worth talking about. Think about it. How many old married guys out there brag about how much larger their unit is now than when they first got married? Right, not many at all. And you know they would be telling us all, since guys brag about anything. Overall, the answer is no, sex does not increase your size.

4. WILL MY SIZE AND/OR SHAPE MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO PLEASING MY WIFE SEXUALLY?

Regardless of erection size (length or girth), a man can generally still sexually satisfy his wife, assuming he actually listens to her about what satisfies her rather than running on his assumptions. Our sex therapist Heath Wise put it this way:“The size of your penis is not what makes for great sex. I have clients who cannot get an erection who say they have the best sex they have ever had because they are focused on connection and intimacy with their partner, rather than mechanics and body parts.[6] The average non-erect penis is approximately 3-3.5 inches long and an average erect penis is 5-5.7 inches long. A woman’s vagina only has nerve endings in the bottom third. An average erect penis is long enough!”

The point is that the odds are overwhelming that you’ve already got what it takes physically for good intercourse, but what makes sex in your married life great depends on a lot more than anatomy.

As for the shape, there are many different curvatures and shapes that are completely normal and don’t affect stimulation during sex in any negative way. There are diseases or acquired bending (broken penis) that are defects that can cause curving or bending but don’t affect your health. Recognize that everyone is different and your future spouse will let you know what they need when the time comes.

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8709382

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11223678

[6] http://www.moralrevolution.com/dating-and-sex/the-sex-therapist/2011/08/penis-size

 

5. I HAVE HEARD THAT SEX UNCIRCUMCISED IS MORE PLEASURABLE FOR THE MAN AND THE WOMAN, THAN IF A MAN IS CIRCUMCISED. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS AND IS IT TRUE?

Our Sex Therapist Answers:

This has been a topic that has been debated for years. Unfortunately there has not been much well designed research on the topic and the results were confusing. But in the last years there have been studies that were done to see if circumcision had an effect on HIV transmission in adult males in several African countries where the HIV rates are high. So they circumcised adult men and asked them about sexual satisfaction along with studying transmission rates of HIV as well as other infections. What they found was that there was some loss of sensitivity to the glans of the penis when the man was circumcised. The circumcised men took longer to have an ejaculation which was thought to be from decreased sensitivity. However, the men and the women who were their partners said that they either liked it when it took longer or it did not matter.

But the longer ejaculation time was not the only positive effect. Both the men and the women said that they either liked sex more due to the circumcision or it did not affect them one way or the other. Whether it was due to better hygiene after a circumcision or it was due to other unknown variables, there did seem to be an increase in frequency after the circumcision.

So there was not a negative effect on sexual satisfaction – it either had no effect or it was a positive effect both in the men and in their women partners. And just as an aside, circumcision made an astounding difference in HIV transmission rates – about 40% lower with circumcision. Circumcision has been found to protect against not just HIV transmission but also other infections and cancers. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1999 came out against routine circumcision of infant males and many insurance companies stopped paying for it after that. However, the Academy has convened a panel to revisit that stance due to the new information about the protective effect of circumcision.


 

MEDICAL MYSTERIES

You may feel like you’re the only one, but you’re not. Here are quick answers to some of your unanswered questions.

1. IS IT NORMAL FOR GUYS TO HAVE FREQUENT ERECTIONS, EVEN WHEN NOTHING SEXUAL IS HAPPENING?

Our Sex Therapist answers:

You are very normal, especially if you are a young male. Your body is just doing what it was made to do. It can be embarrassing at times for sure. As you get older, your body will settle down and you will have more control over them. But the good news is that your body is doing what it was wired to do!

 2. WHAT CAN’T I GET AN ERECTION WITHOUT ANY STIMULATION OR AROUSAL? (IE. MORNING ERECTION)

Often due to changing levels of testosterone in the body, fluctuating hormones can cause this to occur. According to some scientists, a morning erection can simply be a leftover from a series of nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) episodes that occur like clockwork during the night for all healthy human males—most frequently in REM periods of sleep. Scientists have determined that the average 13- to 79-year-old penis is erect for about 90 minutes each night, or 20 percent of overall sleep time. With your brain cycling between the four sleep stages, your “sleep-related erections” appear at 85-minute intervals lasting, on average, 25 minutes. Needless to say, this is normal and common.

 

3. WHY DO I EJACULATE (OCCASIONALLY) WHEN I EXCERCISE?

Exercise ejaculation occurs during intense physical exercise. It is more commonly associated with weight lifting, but other strenuous exercises – particularly those that engage the core muscles – can also cause the release of semen. A very intense abdominal and core workout puts a lot of pressure and squeezing on the prostate gland, which, in some cases, expels some semen. Mostly it is related to a general release of testosterone.

 

 4. WHY DO I GET AN ERECTION SIMPLY WHEN I FEEL LOVED AND CLOSE WITH SOMEONE?

This is a natural response since the body will respond to a chemical stimulant and release in the brain. As you feel loved and are close to someone, the chemicals in your brain respond which releases testosterone in the body. There’s nothing abnormal about this, especially while you’re younger and the body is learning how to respond to things. If you are trying to refrain from this, try thinking about different things when you’re feeling this way. If this is an issue among people you are not attracted to, think about how much you respect them, cherish them and honor them the same way you would a sibling or parent. Learn to train your brain and see what works for you.

 

 5. I SEEM TO BE HAVING ERECTILE ISSUES? WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND? 

The Doctor answers:

Erectile dysfunction (ED), can be embarrassing, frustrating, and discouraging. It is also quite treatable. The first thing to do is go to your doctor for an exam and some lab work. This will likely include looking at levels for testosterone, thyroid, chemistries, and so forth. The causes of ED can be as simple as newlywed anxiety or more physiological. Certain medications, alcohol, and tobacco can get in the way. If the issue is more psychological and persistent, a good sex therapist can be of help. If physiological, proper diagnosis leads to the right treatment.

One last thought from our Sex Therapist: We are seeing an increase in erectile dysfunction in young men who have looked at a lot of porn. If this is true for you, then getting free from porn would be an important first step. After that, learning to be truly sexually intimate can begin to happen.

 

6. WHEN I GET AN ERECTION MY FORESKIN DOESNT RETRACT OVER THE HEAD OF MY PENIS BECAUSE THE BAND WITHIN MY FORESKIN IS TOO TIGHT. IS CIRCUMCISION NORMALLY THE ANSWER, OR IS THERE ANY OTHER PROCEDURE TO CURE IT?

This condition is called phimosis (Greek for “muzzled”), and you are not alone. Circumcision has commonly been used as the most reliable and effective treatment, but there are several alternatives that can be tried first. These include application of topical steroids over 4 to 6 weeks, simple dilation (either by repeated manual stretching or using tools designed for that purpose), or a minor surgical procedure for cutting the constricting band itself but leaving the foreskin (preputioplasty). A urologist can get you started with your treatment options.

 

7. IS IT HARMFUL TO NOT EJACULATE? CAN IT MAKE YOU STERILE?

No, this is not harmful nor can it make you sterile. Seminal fluid and sperm are from two different places. Semen back up does not destroy sperm.

8. IS IT OK TO PERFORM ORAL SEX WHEN I HAVE A COLD SORE OR FEVER BLISTER?

No, it is not a good idea to have oral sex when you have a cold sore. Historically, viral sores on the lips (cold sores or herpes labialis) were HSV type 1, and sores on the genitals were HSV type 2. Both are types of herpes viruses. However, things are less clear now, and either can be found in either location, though it is still more common for the distinctions mentioned above to hold true.[1]

In either case, cold sore viruses can be transmitted to genitals by oral sex. Not the best of gifts.

[1] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000606.htm

 

9. CAN I HAVE AN STD AND NOT KNOW IT? 

Yes. Unfortunately. According to the CDC, there are 19 million new cases of STDs in this country every year, and at least 50% of those are in teens or young adults. For two of them, HIV and herpes, there is no cure. Another, HPV, can lead to genital warts or cervical cancer (in women). So it is important to know if you have an STD. The best way to do that is to be tested by a medical professional.


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How to Not Treat Your Boyfriend Like a Husband

(Or Your Girlfriend Like a Wife)

 

There I sat in the middle of class letting my mind drift away into thoughts about him. Mr. Dreamy. We’d had such great conversations in the hallway. He was so funny, and he loved Jesus. The questions bounced through my thoughts one after another: What if he asks me on a date? Where would we go and what would we do? What if we have a great time? What will be the first song we dance to at our wedding?

Wait, what? Our wedding?!

How do thoughts escalate so quickly when an attractive man or woman enters the picture? I have no idea, but I’ve seen it happen many times and witnessed it firsthand in my own mind more than I would like to say. I believe part of it lies in the fact that many single people know they want to one day be married. When we see the first glimpse of this possibility becoming a reality, we get excited. We might even skip a season or five.

Sometimes this shows itself in a girl treating her boyfriend like a husband or a boy treating his girlfriend like a wife. She justifies it in her mind thinking, “Well, eventually I do want to be his wife.” He justifies it in his mind thinking, “I want to show her what a great husband I would be.” Pretty soon, she’s doing the guy’s laundry on the regular and cooking all of his meals. He’s picking up her mom’s dry cleaning, and they’ve only been dating a couple months! The problem with this is that the level of their involvement in each other’s lives is exceeding their level of commitment. They may think they’re going to get married, but there’s no ring. Until there’s a promise of a lifelong commitment, you have to treat your boyfriend like a boyfriend or your girlfriend like a girlfriend. This is how you keep yourself and the other person safe.

So how do you do that?

1. Don’t be his mom. I know it can be fun to take care of him, and caregiving is often in our nature. The problem comes when you give him all the benefits of having a wife with none of the commitment. A man can get a lot of his needs met outside of marriage by his girlfriend who takes care of him. This is especially true if she starts sleeping with him. This is why some men can be dating or engaged for years without any desire or plans to get married. Many women enter these relationships with a desire for security and stability, but this is only truly found in a committed relationship where both people are staying together… forever.

2. Set physical boundaries. Here are some thoughts people use to justify crossing the line physically: “We’re going to get married anyway. He said he loves me. She said we’re going to be together forever.” Until there’s a pastor, vows, and a couple of rings, it doesn’t matter what they said. He is not your husband, and she is not your wife. Commitment is a big deal, and until you’ve actually made one, the other person’s body is not yours. Make a plan for how you’re going to respect them until then. Don’t just look for where the line is. Look for how you can best honor the person you’re in a relationship with and their future spouse that may or may not be you.

3. Don’t spill all your emotions. Emotional boundaries are also important and not always talked about. Sometimes it’s tough as a girl when he’s asking you questions, looking at you with those dreamy eyes, and suddenly a shooting star crosses the heavens. You want to tell him your whole life story, every feeling you’ve ever felt, and what kind of cake you want to have at your wedding. (Okay this is obviously an exaggeration, and I understand not all ladies are like this. I’ve been here before, so there might be a few who can relate). This is where self-control comes in. Leave a little mystery. The dating season is for finding out about each other and building trust little by little. Don’t uncover everything at once. Whoever you’re dating doesn’t get all of you, physically or emotionally, until they’ve made a forever commitment.

4. Have your own full life. Hang out with your friends. Join a bowling team. Go after your dreams. Pursue other interests, and don’t stop when a cute man or woman walks in. Eventually, if you get married, you will put him or her before a lot of things in your life. In the dating season, don’t let go of the other things that make you happy. It may sound romantic, but he’s actually not your everything. Don’t forget the rest of your life because you’re so wrapped up in him.

5. Keep people around you. Have leaders in your life who can speak into your relationship and give you an outsider’s perspective. When you’re in the middle of it, things can get a little fuzzy: “Flaws? What flaws? They’re perfect!” It’s wise to invite people who have great marriages and have been through this dating thing before to help guide you.

The dating season is fun. Everything’s new, and you’re finding things out about each other. How does he like his coffee? What’s her favorite kind of music? You’re never going to get this initial time of discovery and excitement back, so don’t rush it. It’s okay to take things slow and let them develop naturally.

We don’t want to set solid rules on how involved you can be at each stage of a relationship. That’s why you use wisdom and bring other trustworthy people in to help you out. The thing to remember is your involvement in your boyfriend or girlfriend’s life should match the level of commitment you are at. Know what season you’re in, and enjoy it. Don’t try to jump to the next one before it’s time.

-Andrea Alley

For more information on what healthy sexuality looks like, check out our latest book:

original The Naked Truth About Sexuality
The Naked Truth About Sexuality is a practical, Biblical guide
to understanding God’s original design for sexuality.

 

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 

 


Restoration of Love

About three and a half years ago, a sequence of events began that would ultimately change my life forever. About that time, I was living with my girlfriend who, in all honesty, I hooked up with in a one night stand. We both grew up in church and knew that how we were living was wrong, but we wanted it to work so we made up every excuse we could to make it seem ok.

Fast-forward to right now. We are still together, we are madly in love with each other, and even greater, we are insanely in love with God. We have huge hearts to help others transform their relationships to allow God to be at the center. How did all of this happen? God. Only God could pour out enough grace in our relationship to completely transform it to one of purity, honor, and covenant.

We allowed God to basically put our relationship in reverse and then slowly rebuild it, all the while changing our beliefs and mindsets. This isn’t an easy process, especially when couples stay together like Libby and I did. We moved out and became physically pure with each other, which meant no sex, no foreplay, and during certain time periods, no kissing and no hand-holding. During this time God taught me I needed to know myself before I could attempt to understand someone else. I had Libby in my “God spot.” I looked to her for everything—joy, happiness, value, confirmation, and even guidance. I had to come to the understanding that only God can be in the God spot. I had to learn what it meant to have an identity as a son to God.

 

– John, 23, Florida, US


Breaking Up With the Timeline

About three years ago, I stood at the altar, pink bridesmaid dress, curled hair and bouquet of pink and white roses. My friend since high school stood next to me, same dress, shiny wedding ring on her left hand. We were there to celebrate one of our closest friends as she stood across from her groom, making a promise to stay by his side. Right there, in the middle of the most significant moments of her life, a thought dropped into my mind making my heart race:

“Your two best friends are married. You should at least be engaged by now.

We all have an idea of how our lives will turn out. I remember dreaming about it with the same friends that were standing at the altar next to me that day. I felt a strong desire to reach life’s milestones around the same time they did. As time passed, I started to realize this wasn’t going to happen. The sting of disappointment worsened with the feeling that I had failed in some way.

Disappointment turned to pressure. I felt anxious when I saw other people getting engaged or entering into relationships. I felt my heart sink into my chest when I saw baby announcements. Instead of celebrating friends getting married and bringing new life into the world, I became worried about being behind schedule. I started to be mad at God too. I had trusted Him, why was He keeping things from me?

There came a point when I needed to break up with the timeline. At first, I thought it was keeping me on track. I thought it was helping me pursue the happy life I wanted. Although there were certain things in my control, like being social and open to meet guys and go on dates, ultimately I couldn’t control when I would meet the right person. The timeline I was holding over my head wasn’t helping me; it was stealing from me. I had to stop waiting around like my life wasn’t going to start until I met someone, and start living. I wanted my life to be rich and full, not just during my married years, but for all my single years as well.


“I had to stop waiting around like my life wasn’t going to start until I met someone, and start living.”


It’s hard to find words to describe the rest I felt when I finally broke up with the timeline. I realized my goals to reach certain points by certain times were burdens that my heavenly Father never asked me to carry. I prayed what felt like a risky, but necessary prayer: “God, you’re a good God. I believe You will fulfill every desire You’ve placed in my heart. If that’s tomorrow or ten years from now, that’s okay with me. I’m not letting my life be ruled by a timeline. I’m not going to compare my story to anyone else’s. I’m not going to miss out on this season of my life because I’m so anxious about when the next one’s going to start.” I felt the pressure lift off and my soul quiet for the first time in a while.

I now find peace in the truth that I have my own story unfolding, and it isn’t going to look like anyone else’s. Even though things didn’t work out like I thought they would, God is trustworthy. He tells us in Psalm 84:11 that He will not withhold any good thing from us, and I stand on that promise. I am learning to rest in the heartbeat of the good Shepherd. He leads me beside quiet waters and makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my very soul. He doesn’t put weight on me but takes my weight upon His shoulders (Psalm 23:1-2, Matthew 11:28-30).

When I feel my anxiety start to rise or like I’m falling three steps behind, I take a moment to picture His face. He’s not worried, and He’s not in a rush. He’s not concerned that I won’t make it to my destination on time, but has peace for me at all times. I breath in deep knowing my trust in Him is secure and he holds my dreams in His capable hands.

-Andrea Alley, Intern

For more on this topic, check out some of our other blogposts:

Seriously Single

19 Lies Churched Kids Believe About Dating

10 Ways to Not Hate Being Single

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AND CURRENTLY INTERNS FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. HER PASSION IS FOR EQUIPPING THE UPCOMING GENERATION TO WALK AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. SHE LOVES CREATIVITY AND DREAMS OF IMPACTING THE WORLD THROUGH WRITING.
 WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

7 Signs of an Unhealthy Soul Tie

SOUL TIES

Sex is a tridimensional experience: spirit, soul, and body. Anytime you have sex with a person you bond with them. Dr. Daniel Amen writes in his book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains that encourage limbic, emotional bonding. Limbic bonding is the reason casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level. Two people may decide to have sex ‘just for the fun of it,’ yet something is occurring on another level that they might not have decided on at all: sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.”

This is what we call soul ties. Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together and the next day ripping them apart. Of course, wood from the opposite board remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you (and vice versa) for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners.

Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a life-long bond with through a sexual encounter(s), but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. The bond (soul tie) remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

 

THREE REASONS UNHEALTHY SOUL TIES TAKE PLACE:

1. People are misinformed and therefore convinced that sex is strictly a single-dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like.

2. A person (usually the woman) gives him or herself sexually to someone expecting that the intensely intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in their relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her need for intimacy and used her vulnerability to get laid. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody that they deeply resent!

3. Two people commit to marriage and therefore surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a life-long commitment. But later they decide (for whatever reason) that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their being in the separation.

I understand that there are hundreds of other reasons why unhealthy soul ties take place, but I am simply trying to give you a few examples.

 

7 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY SOUL TIE:

1. You are in a physically, and/or emotionally, and/or spiritually abusive relationship, but you “feel” so attached to them that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries with them.

2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you think about the other person obsessively (you can’t get them out of your mind).

3. Whenever you do anything – make a decision, have a conversation with someone etc., you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you.

4. When you have sex with someone else (hopefully your husband or wife), you can hardly keep yourself from visualizing the person you have a soul tie with.

5. You take on the negative traits of the person that your soul is tied to and carry their offenses whether or not you actually agree with them.

6. You defend your right to stay in a relationship with the person that your soul is tied to, even though it is negatively effecting or even destroying the important relationships in your life (husband, wife, kids, leaders, etc.)

7. You have simultaneous experiences and/or “moods” as the person your soul is tied to. This can even include sickness, accidents, addictions etc.

1 Corinthians 6:15 – Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”

 

THERE IS HOPE

There is hope if you find yourself in an unhealthy soul tie. You can never fall so far that you can’t be restoredNew life is available to you by simply repenting and asking Jesus to forgive you. Forgiveness restores the standard in our lives, and you can live in freedom and hope again.

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.
WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

4 Steps to Overcoming Powerlessness (Part 2)

In our previous blog, we looked at Steps 1 and 2 to overcoming powerlessness: Do the Work of Repentance and Start the Messy Cleanup.  In case you missed it, read it here. Today we’ll take a look at Steps 3 and 4.

 

THIRD STEP: THINK DIFFERENTLY

There are a lot of situations in life that seem hard to overcome because of the level of bravery it takes to actually acknowledge there is a problem. We have all met people with the proverbial pet elephant standing in their living room. These people are oblivious to the elephant—their internal world—but usually are quick to point out the elephant standing in other people’s living rooms.

 

Vampire Victims

To change the metaphor a bit, these people are vampire victims! The victim mentality is one of the deadliest mindsets, because a victim is totally incapable of changing his or her environment. Victims spend massive amounts of time sucking the life out of everyone else because they live in a powerless state of mind. Victims believe that their external world has to change in order for them to be okay. Because a victim is so out of control internally, he or she feels an enormous need to control everyone else.

Powerlessness is the process of giving away ownership and empowering someone or something else as your sole decision maker. You cannot fix something for which you are unwilling to take ownership. It’s simply impossible. Taking ownership for your decisions and your problems is the only way to ever become a healthy person. Regardless of what you have come to believe, you are responsible for your own life and actions. When you give up that right to someone else, you have rendered yourself powerless.

 

Meet Jim and Sarah

Recently, I counseled a couple who typified the victim mentality. Their cry for help came in the form of a Facebook chat. I sat down with my friend Jim and began to assess what was going on. It didn’t take him long to explain to me that his wife, Sarah, was impossible to please. She was a black hole that nothing could ever fill; and worse yet, she was a nag. She had no respect for his boundaries, especially when their discussions morphed into arguments. This usually resulted in Jim punching holes in the wall or smashing things.

“She won’t let me leave the room or give me time to think; she just keeps hounding me,” Jim complained. “Sarah totally controls me!”

My first thought was, Wowza! I’m so glad I’m not in this guy’s shoes! After giving him time to talk and vent, I began to ask him some pointed questions about himself. First I asked what he had done to work on his relationship with his wife. There was a long pause accompanied with a sigh. “Um, I guess I’m here,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “Did you set up this meeting, or did Sarah?”

(I already knew the answer to this question, but I really wanted Jim to know the answer for himself.)

“Uh, she did,” he admitted.

Continuing down that train of thought, I said, “Who have you gone to in order to get some help with your relationship?” Thinking for a second, Jim responded, “Well, I talk to my mom sometimes. Actually, my mom found out because Sarah called her. She normally calls my parents when we are hard at it.”

 

Stuffing Pain

At this point, I was starting to see a pattern in Jim’s life. As the questions continued, I found out that Jim didn’t talk to anyone about his marriage, including his best friend. To make matters worse, when I asked him what he does to get rid of his pain and frustration, his response was, “I normally just try to forget about it.” It wouldn’t take a psychiatrist to figure out that Jim’s plan of ignoring his frustration and stuffing his pain wasn’t working! This man was punching holes in the wall and turning over tables in the house.

“Jim, it doesn’t seem like your plan has been working very well,” I said. “What have you done to meet your wife’s love languages?” (I was referring to Dr. Gary Chapman’s research on the five primary ways people express and interpret love— Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.)

Annoyed, Jim replied, “Even if I try, I don’t ever seem to be able to meet them. I’ve felt really frustrated lately trying to meet Sarah’s needs. It feels pretty hopeless.” You could hear in his tone of voice the irritation he was carrying inside.

“Jim, what are you going to do about your marriage?”

“I don’t know. I wish Sarah wasn’t such a mess and so hard to live with,” he said.

It was time for me to give some feedback. “Jim, it doesn’t feel like she is really the whole problem. You have made her responsible for getting help for you guys. She is the one who is contacting your parents and me. You haven’t done anything proactive to work on your relationship other than the things she hounds you about; and you have no process for dealing with the pain and frustration you feel from not being successful.

And finally, you still believe that she is the sole problem in this relationship. I’m not surprised that she nags you, Jim. It’s the only way that you have ever become motivated in this relationship. You have empowered her to be your mother.”

 

Light Bulb Moment

I could see the light bulb exploding in his brain. For the first time in a long while, Jim was beginning to realize that he had given his power away to his wife. She had become responsible for the health of their relationship. As long as he kept this belief system, he would always be powerless to fix what was going on inside of him.

So many people are like Jim. They create a belief system that tells them they are not responsible for the condition of their own life. It is less painful to believe that their problems are everyone else’s fault.

When I first talked with Jim, he had given up on his relationship. He told his wife that he was considering getting a divorce because she was making him miserable. What Jim didn’t realize was that if he spent less time worrying about what Sarah was going to do and more time trying to figure out what he was going to do, he could actually fix a majority of his problems. However, Jim had never taken personal responsibility for his life and marriage, so he was always frustrated and overwhelmed because his peace and happiness were at the mercy of his wife.

Once Jim realized that he had given all of his power away, he was then able to repent for his victim mentality and figure out what he was going to do to get his power back and love his wife. Today, Jim is no longer a victim, and his marriage is flourishing!

I have always said that any time a problem is 100 percent my fault, it’s a good day! I can fix anything that is my fault, but I can’t fix anything I don’t control. The day that you take ownership for your life is the day that you begin to take control again.

 

FOURTH STEP: SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

One of the major aspects of being in control of your life is the ability to set healthy boundaries with people. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” The person who lacks the ability to set boundaries will end up being like a broken-down, pillaged city. A defenseless city gets plundered and has nothing of value left to offer anyone. Personal boundaries are like the protective walls of an ancient city. The purpose of having good boundaries is to protect and nourish yourself so that you can cultivate healthy relationships with others. Without the ability to protect yourself, you have no way to provide protection for anyone else in your life. A person establishes healthy boundaries through the process of defining his or her virtues, values and needs, and then communicating them to the people that he or she is in relationship with.

When you articulate your boundaries to people, they have the opportunity to respect your needs and virtues and protect your relationship with them. And when they value and protect the things that are important to you, the relationship flourishes. This is the process that builds trust between you and others.

Another great aspect of boundaries is the ability to let people know what you can do/will do and can’t do/won’t do. You actually have the right and the ability to set limits with others for the health of the relationship. There are no healthy relationships without healthy boundaries.

One of the things we all need to keep in mind when we are setting boundaries is that the primary goal should be to build stronger and deeper relationships with people. Yes, boundaries do keep some people out of relationship with us when they refuse to respect those boundaries. But the main goal of telling people what we need and feel is so they can do the things that cultivate a healthy relationship with us, not so that we have a valid reason to scratch them off of our friend list.

Powerful people know what they need and what they are going to do. They are able to set boundaries because they believe that no one else is responsible for them. No matter what the situation, they are still able to be powerful and choose their responses, because no one else but God is in control of their future.

 

For more on this topic, check out our podcast from Danny Silk on Boundaries or the book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com

 

JASON VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF THE SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF FORGIVENESS AND THE CO-AUTHOR OF MORAL REVOLUTION. JASON WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THE SMALL TOWN OF WEAVERVILLE, CA WHERE HE SERVED AS A WILD LAND FIRE FIGHTER. IN THESE FORMATIVE YEARS HIS PASSIONS OF DISCIPLESHIP AND LEADING OTHERS INTO WHOLENESS WAS IGNITED. HE CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE CORE TEAM AT BETHEL CHURCH AND IS A SOUGHT AFTER COUNSELOR AND SPEAKER. HE AND HIS WIFE LAUREN HAVE THREE CHILDREN AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  

 


Does Siri know you better than your friends?

Who are you connecting with?


 

Did you know that the average person checks their phone 110 times a day?*

 

I was in a bit of disbelief when I heard this, until I paid attention.

 

It didn’t matter if I was in a conversation, eating dinner, watching a movie, or just hanging out- I noticed that people we’re always on their phones. (I wish I could say I was exempt from that group, but I can’t.) But why? The obvious answer would be the plethora of distraction. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Temple Run, Candy Crush- the list goes on! But why? Are we really that bored and lethargic that we’ll open Instagram 3 times in less than a minute just to keep ourselves occupied? Or is there something else going on?

 

I think, sometimes, it’s easier for us to be numb than to be sad. Sometimes, instead of dealing with the stress of bills, we watch a show we don’t even follow. Sometimes, distraction is easier than confrontation. Sometimes, instead of calling a friend and asking how they are doing, we check out their Facebook and decide for them. If we’re not careful and we remain unaware of this problem, “sometimes” will lead to “all the time,” and we will find ourselves scared, isolated, and alone.

 

Community matters. Having people in your life that know about the details of your life- the fears, the victories, the struggles, the relationships, the hurt, the promotions- matters! Living on your own, isolated and independent, will only get you so far. You need people who can love you through your messes and celebrate you in your victories! You don’t need 20 people to know everything and having one person is better than no person, but 3-5 is healthy and realistic. Plus, with numbers, you gain the variety of perspective and experience.

 

So, who knows you? Besides Siri.

 

– Anna Weygandt (Intern)

 

* Woollaston, V. (2013, Oct 08). How often do you check your phone? The average person does it 110 times a day (and up to every 6 seconds in the evening). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2449632/How-check-phone-T…