9 Principles for Healthy Confrontation

When Jesus walked the earth, He had a few advantages over us. Minor things like He never sinned, for instance, so He never had to worry about hypocritically pointing out faults in others while neglecting His own. He was also God and knew the hearts of men; therefore, His assessments of people’s motives were always accurate. Undoubtedly, these advantages gave Him confidence and grace when it came to approaching a confrontation; He was neither shy nor overly harsh.

We, on the other hand, have to be told, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). According to this standard, confrontation must never involve yelling at someone, accusing him or her of evil, venting frustration or punishing the person for failing or hurting you. We must be especially careful about not judging the motives of people. In my experience, our so-called “gift of discernment” often turns out to be suspicion in disguise, especially when we are upset with someone.

Over the years, I have learned these nine principles for practicing the art of healthy confrontation:



Waiting too long allows the seed of bitterness to gestate. Don’t wait for anger to be your counselor. Remember, this is not about punishing the person for his or her inappropriate behavior. You are meeting with the person for his or her benefit. The goal is to help mold the person into the image of God and reconcile your relationship.



Describe in detail how the person’s actions are making you feel.



When a person is responding to you, listen from your heart to his (her) heart. Many people are not good at articulating their struggles, so you often have to listen beyond their words. As the person is speaking to you, don’t develop your defenses or turn the conversation into a war of words. Ask questions that unearth the root problem. What is really wrong? What kind of core problem would cause these symptoms?



Remind yourself that the person you are having a problem with was made in the image of God and, therefore, most likely has a good heart, even though his or her behavior is negatively affecting the environment. Never think of the person as an enemy, but instead as a wayward son or daughter (father or mother). Show honor at all times. Let the person know you believe in him or her.

Remember, you only have as much influence in someone’s life as they have value for you.



By this time, you may have found out that you are actually part of the problem. Maybe you are King David in this situation. Has your fear, weakness or dysfunction become a seedbed for the person’s strength to be overemphasized or his or her weakness to be exposed? Have you reacted to the way you were raised or to some negative circumstances in your own life?



Don’t talk to other people about your offense with the person. Don’t build a case against the person by bringing up other people’s names in the conversation, saying things like, “I talked to John and Mary and they have the same problem with you.” This just makes you look like a coward and a gossip. If you do that, don’t be surprised if the person being confronted feels like he or she is a victim of a gang assault. You are not there to be someone’s attorney.

On this note, if someone comes to you to talk about a problem with someone else, tell him or her to go talk to the person, not to you. I have 550 employees who work for me at Bethel Church. Many of my team members used to come up to me and begin to tell me about a struggle they were having with another staff member. Before they got 20 seconds into their discourse, I would interrupt them and ask, “Have you talked to this person yet?”

Nine out of ten times they would say, “No!”

Then I would ask them, “What business do you have talking to me if you haven’t even talked to the person who offended you?”

It is important to remember that a person who talks to you about someone else will one day be talking to someone about you. Allowing people to complain about others creates a culture of gossip. I personally will not tolerate it at Bethel.



Humility always leads to repentance. Don’t defend yourself; leave your weapons outside the door. If the other person is wrong, verbally forgive him or her. Forgiveness restores the standard, so the person needs to be treated as if he/she never sinned after he or she repents.



Bringing someone into the meeting that is not respected by one of the parties will only feel like the other person’s attorney is present. But a wise person who is not emotionally attached to the conflict can bring insightful perspective that is hard to see when you are in the middle of it, and will usually help bring the necessary resolution. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a problem with someone only to find out in a meeting with him or her that I am the problem. Having a respected third party present helped me see the truth.



Make an extra effort to stay close to him or her during the healing process. This is often the difference between a long healthy relationship and a lifelong pattern of conflict.

A study was completed in the business world many years ago concerning this issue of conflict. The survey showed that when a customer had a problem with a business and the company satisfactorily solved the issue, that customer became many times more loyal to that store in the years that followed than they were before the conflict.

I believe that conflict and confrontation resolved inside the core values of the Kingdom actually strengthen our relationships. These struggles are the sign of real relationships where people feel safe to tell one another the truth in love. This creates covenant societies that bond around family values, instead of fatherless sibling rivalries where orphans vie for preeminence in the pecking order of the world’s chicken coop.


Originally published on krisvallotton.com.





Marriage and Divorce

Character, communication and choosing love will sustain, revive and renew a relationship for the long-haul.


“Personality” is easy to understand. Your “personality” is how people experience you. It’s your public persona. Character is who you are when no one is watching.

Character is defined by the dictionary as, “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Here at Moral Revolution we talk about ‘core values’. The definition of core is ‘at the heart of’ and the definition of value is, “A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” So therefore, our core values are the standards we have chosen to put at the center of our lives, that govern our choices and behaviors.

Character shows itself when we choose to live by our core values despite feeling misunderstood, maligned, accused or overlooked. If I have a core value that says I will work to not wound others when in discussion with people, then in the heat of the moment I will avoid words or phrases like: “you never…..” or “you always….”


“The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with
a personality,
but we must live with a character.”
– Peter Devries –


Marriage is a covenant that we make for life, with one person, before God. It lasts too long, at too close quarters for it to be sustained simply by personalities relating together. Personalities eventually give way to an inner self that gets revealed; a meeting of characters. Most other people in your life hold up mirrors that reflect your personality and you (probably) love it because they show your best side. Whilst in marriage the same is true, it also feels like the other person is holding up a mirror to your character and you may possibly be seeing a side of yourself that is not as delightful as you thought!

One reason people fail at marriage is not that they don’t like their spouse, it’s that they don’t like themselves. Many people would rather choose to be with someone else than remain with their spouse and have to continue to be with themselves.

God is a covenant-maker and a covenant-keeper. It’s who He is and an intrinsic part of His nature and character. When He makes covenant, He is never going to go back on His word. “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:29).

Covenant and character development go hand-in-hand. In our relationship with God it is so and in our marriages it is so. God covenants with us so deeply so that when He holds that mirror up and we squirm at the ugliness within us, we can still stand before Him knowing that we are loved and seen and He does not hide from us. As we walk that path with Him it trains us for marriage and other covenants. We can begin to dare to believe that we can be transparent in our closest relationships because we are fully loved by the One who sees it all and loves us, laughs with us and transforms us.

Sadly, there are some circumstances where separation and divorce become necessary, due to violence and mistreatment. But we must be careful not to then start saying divorce under any circumstances is okay. God’s words created this world. When He spoke, things were created and things changed. We are made in His image. Our words matter. The vows and promises we speak with our mouths He takes very seriously.

Divorce is not an option if we have grown bored or because we feel we have grown out of love. Character, communication and choosing love will sustain, revive and renew for the long-haul. God does it with us. He is passionate about covenant! He promises us power, love, self-control and humility. HE gives us the power to be with one another in a covenant relationship that so beautifully reflects His character and nature!


– Soo Prince (Intern)

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

4 More Guys You Should Never Date



Just because we had so much fun writing our last list, 5 Guys You Should Never Date, we wanted to hit you with another list. Your welcome! Here are 4 More Guys You Should Never Date.


1. Mr. Jokes-On-You

“Babe, I was just kidding. I’m sorry you took it the wrong way.”

The Mr. Jokes-On-You is easy to date because he’s funny… at first. He gets your humor and you get his, however, it doesn’t take long before you become the but of his jokes. He oftentimes tells you to loosen up, or to not take their jokes so seriously. Listen:

In a relationship, jokes at the expense of someone you care about are called attacks.

No one likes to be made fun of. Especially because relationships are about building trust and support. Anything that does the reverse is only working against your connection. This doesn’t mean you can’t joke around, that would be ridiculous. Instead, take time to discover what you both enjoy. Try watching a funny movie together or going to a local comedy club. In time, shared experiences will begin to transform the things you laugh about.

2. Mr. “Right”

“I see what you’re saying, but…”

The problem here isn’t when he’s right. It’s the attitude he carries because he’s decided to become the answer to all of life’s problems. It’s amazing how much animosity is created in a relationship when someone decides your need for understanding is less important than their need to be right. You can’t argue with Mr. “Right”, and if he’s been at it for a long time then…

he definitely knows how to keep his composure…

while making you look like the “emotional/out-of-control” one. It’s okay, we feel you. The best way to avoid Mr. “Right” is to look for social cues early on. See how he interacts with people he’s not in a close-relationship with. Watch his communication style, and ask yourself some of these questions: “Is he simply hearing or trying to understand?”, “Does he ignore someone in middle of a conversation (especially if that person might potentially be wrong)?”, “Does he always have the last word?”, and “Does he consider ‘dumb people’ an actual people group?”

3. Mr. Insecurities

“Tell me honestly, do you think he’s better looking than me?”

From the simple yet profound words of Mrs. Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” If a man doesn’t believe he has something good to offer, then he needs to work that out. That is not your responsibility, otherwise you will become his source of confidence. It may sound nice at first, but give it some time and you’ll find out…

it’s not worth it!

This goes back to the two powerful people spiel I mentioned earlier in 5 Guys You Should Never Date. Just to clarify, it takes two powerful people to establish a healthy relationship, not to simply create one. Anyone can start a relationship and have it look healthy for the first few weeks. What I mean is: two people who know who they are and are comfortable with themselves, know their needs and when not to overindulge, are responsible, and can pretty much lead normal lives by themselves.

The beauty of finding someone who is powerful, is that even though they can reasonably manage their own life, they are extremely confident in the fact that they have chosen to share it with you.

4. Mr. ‘Fraidy Cat

“Why should we get married? It’s just a dumb piece of paper anyways.”

Isn’t the purpose of all this dating to finally find someone to spend the rest of your life with? Marriage isn’t just some dumb piece of paper, or even some whimsical happy ending to your relationship problems. It’s hard work! It literally means, “You can’t leave or I take half of whatever your worth.” A lot of times, the problem isn’t finding a man who will pop the question, it’s finding the balance between freedom and pressure during your dating phase.

To avoid someone who’s naturally afraid of commitment, try establishing marriage as one of your goals early on in the relationship. Sometimes it’s best to wait until you feel your relational intimacy deepening, and other times it’s best when you just can’t keep your hands off each other.

Commitment on a superficial level means no one else gets to have you.

But don’t settle for just that. Challenge yourself to find out what commitment really means to you personally. Pray about it, and when you think you have the answer bring someone else into your process.


If you have any of your own dating advice, tips, or dilemmas, then feel free to leave a comment below. Our team would love to give you some feedback.

10 Warning Signs You Might Cross The Line

Staying faithful to my wife was a solemn promise I made to her before God.

I utterly intended to keep that promise to the end of our days. I lived without doubt that nothing could ever tempt me to do otherwise.  I never went looking for ‘trouble’ and thought I was aware when ‘trouble’ was looking for me…and believed I was always avoiding it.

The vast majority of good people who betray their marriages never see it coming. Many establish clear, healthy boundaries and have no desire to stray, in fact, their marriage is one of the highest priorities of their lives.

That was my story. Totally. 

I enlisted trusted friends to ask hard questions to help me stay accountable. And, over the years, my wife, Caron, and I often talked openly about our marriage being a prime target (actually every marriage is a target) because we believed there is an enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy our relationship with God, our witness for Christ, and out to rob us of the true joy God designed for us to experience in our marriages.

So what happened?

Actually, a whole slew of things contributed, and at a future time we’ll talk about: how to know your own state of vulnerability to tempting conditions, how we often contribute to our own emotional burdens making ourselves more susceptible, lies we believe that contribute to our deception, unhealthy personality patterns that diminish our marital and relational capacities, and entitlement. Entitlement is a subtle driver with a powerful engine for certain personality types. It’s the “I deserve a break today” mentality that seems to play a major role for people who experience moral failure. 

In this blog we want to talk about how to catch yourself before a random encounter, casual acquaintance, innocent friendship or working relationship even comes close to crossing the line. 

Here are some warning signs you should NEVER EVER ignore: 

1. When you start to notice you are not telling your spouse about certain conversations you are having with another person.


2. When you notice the other person avoids your spouse, makes no effort to include your spouse in a friendship with you or you avoid bringing your spouse into your interactions with the other person.


3.  When you begin to feel this other person may be paying attention or listening to you with more empathy than your spouse has lately.  They may say certain things to you that stroke your ego, things like:

“I’ve never met someone with such wisdom and insight as you. I so admire and respect the work you do. You really are one amazing person.”


“Wow! You look especially good today. Have you been losing weight? And what’s that great perfume you’re wearing?” 


“Hey, you doing okay? I’ve really been worried about you. You’ve been working so hard lately. Anything I can do to help?”


“Do you think we could be better friends?” 

 4.  When you begin discussing marital problems with this other person, either theirs or yours.


5.  You avoid discussing your marriage with the other person (as if it doesn’t exist) or, if they are married, you notice they avoid talking about their spouse.


6.  When you begin making excuses to yourself like: “Nothing to worry about here. There’s no harm in just talking.” Or, “I’m really strong. Nothing about this person is going to feel attractive to me. I have this totally under control.” Or, “We have a lot of work to discuss. No big deal if we grab a bit of lunch first.”


7.  When you do begin to feel some type of attraction toward this person.


8.  When you begin to confide in this person in areas normally reserved for your spouse.


9.  When it feels easier to spend time with this other person than with your spouse.


10.  When you start to notice this person positioning themself to be near you, making excuses to see you privately, appealing to your compassion by “keeping you in the loop” of some troubling personal issue or they “over-serve” or keep seeking to help or assist you in demonstrative or ingratiating ways.

If ANY of the above situations are currently playing with your head, then ADMIT that those mysterious brain chemicals are starting to get overwhelming and GET OUT of there immediately.

If you have friendships with members of the opposite sex OR same sex … and you want to avoid situations that could lead in an unhealthy direction make sure you include your spouse in the relationship (in some form or another) from the get-go.  This is probably your safest deterrent.

NOTE: Any time a person is uninterested or unwilling to be a “friend of your marriage” they are no friend of yours! 

And when we do not involve our spouse or even begin to keep the slightest “secret” from them we’re already in trouble.

If you want to put your spouse at ease, able to trust you with the other people in your life, make sure your spouse is a part of those relationships. 

It may sound outdated but, when we are married, all our friendships should be open and shared. They should involve both you and your spouse on some healthy level. 

If, for some reason, you don’t feel a need to make your spouse a part of a “friendship” you have with someone you need to deeply question what your true objective is for maintaining that relationship and make a beeline to talk with a counselor or trusted, accountable friend.


David Loveless is a mentor/coach, pastor to pastors and strategic, spiritual advisor to churches and businesses in over 50 countries. He served as founding pastor of Discovery Church, Orlando, Fl for 29 years. During that time Discovery was identified in Dr. John Vaughn’s book as one of “America’s Most Influential Churches” and was named as one of the Fastest Growing U.S. Churches in the 21st Century by Outreach Magazine. David and his wife Caron are parents of three sons and are the grandparents of their seven delightfully energized children. For more from David and Caron Loveless, visit www.youlivetrue.com.

She is 16

She is 16 years old.

This is her first real relationship.  She’s dated some boys before, but this one has lasted through five months, two dances, Christmas and spring break, and it was a big deal to her. He also told her that he loved her; she has never been in love before.  All of her friends told her it was the “real and forever” kind of love. She had the classic teenage complaints about her parents.  She felt like the idea that she was in love would be silly to them.  She always felt like they never truly understood her.


This is not the first heart-to-heart we’ve had.  She has been in our living room a number of times, and she has always come to us when she needed direction. Her relationship with her parents was good and they had always encouraged her to come to us, her youth pastors, for spiritual advice. But when she sat down, I knew this one was going to be different.  She had never been this serious about a boy before.  We had met him when he’d come with her to youth group activities and over to the house when the kids hung out.  He was a nice guy but didn’t connect with her deep spiritual beliefs.  He said he was a Christian and went to church, but never really had much else to say on the subject.


As she sat there, I could tell she was nervous.  I could tell that she had something weighing heavily on her heart, but she was dancing around the subject.  In my straight-to-the-point, no-time-for-games, loving way, I asked her, “What is really going on? Why did you want to talk to us?” She was used to this type of conversation from us; the kids actually seemed to appreciate when we talked to them like adults.


“He wants me to…” She paused slightly. “Sleep with him.” Her head dropped and she stared at her feet in silence.
“Ok?” I probed, breaking the silence. “What do you think about that?”


Her head popped up, wide eyes full of surprise. She looked like no one had ever asked her that question before, like she hadn’t expected it. She began to tell us what her friends were saying, and that everyone was doing it, and that if she didn’t do it, she was worried he would dump her.  Some of her friends had lost their virginity and they kept telling her how great it was.  This went on for a few minutes.  Then I asked her the question again, “That’s what your friends think, but what do you think?”


She paused. “I know that God designed sex for marriage. I know that there is so much more connected to it than what my friends say. I know I have always wanted to save myself for marriage, but I’m so confused. He says he loves me and that the only way to show him how much I love him is to sleep with him.  But sex is such a big deal!”


She reviewed all the things that her parents had taught her and what we had said about how God designed sex for marriage and how beautiful it was in that context. She told us about the consequences of sex before marriage, STD’s and pregnancy– all the answers she thought were right.  “I am still so confused!” she said with exasperation, bursting into tears.


I leaned in toward her and asked one question — four simple words. Four simple words that would change her life for the next 8 years:

“What is God saying?”



I am 17 years old.

It’s been two months since he broke up with me. Two months since I told him that I wanted to wait till marriage to have sex. Two months since he tried to pressure me into sex. Two months since he said, “If you really love me, you will sleep with me. Waiting till marriage is so old fashioned.  Everyone is doing it. It’s what teenagers do!” Two months since I heard the voice of God so deep in my heart say, “Wait. I have so much more for you.”

These two months have not been fun for me.  “Not fun” is an understatement. He said he loved me, but I saw quickly how conditional that love was. After our huge fight, where he called me a lot of horrible names and told me I owed him, he stopped talking to me. Just like that, it was over. It’s amazing that someone can say that they love you and then when you don’t do what they want, how quickly that “love” goes away. The next day his friends began to share with me what they thought of my choice. I never knew how creative high school boys could be with words and gestures. If I hear the word “prude” one more time, I might go crazy.


My friends haven’t been much better. I really have uncovered the meaning of true friendship.  Some were there to dry my tears as I went through the break up, some just stopped talking to me after I made my choice. Some joined in with the name-calling.  I think the girls are worse than the boys. Usually, I can go into the girls locker room to escape what the guys are saying, but that doesn’t stop my old friends once I’m in there.  Most of the time, it’s said in whispers or behind my back, but it cuts deep. Those that wanted me to do it in the first place seem to be the ones that left the quickest.


My birthday is today.  My best friend is still around and is still supportive. Tonight we are going to see a movie and go out to eat with my family.  The hardest part is how lonely I feel.  Two months ago, I thought that I would be spending this day with him. Two months ago, I thought that I would be spending all my birthdays with him. After all, as my “friends” said, love is forever.


So no, these last two months have not been easy.  They have sucked, actually. But I don’t regret my choice.  I know that day, when I sat in my youth pastor’s living room, I heard God.  I heard that He has a plan for me and that I should wait.  Every day since then I keep asking Him the same question: “Did I make the right choice?” That is when His love fills me and He reminds me to wait, because He has so much more for me.


She is 24 years old.

From the caller ID, I can tell it’s her.  I still have the silly contact picture we took of her when she graduated from high school.  The one with her tongue sticking out of her mouth, silly string on top of her grad hat and life in her eyes.  She calls me from the other side of the country.  She has graduated from college and has begun to follow her calling, her destiny.


She’s no longer the unsure teen who sat on my couch; she’s now a young woman, vibrant and in love, calling me to talk about wedding plans.  She has asked that my husband perform the ceremony.  She is giddy and talking a million miles an hour.  But I sense there is something deeper lingering, something reminiscent of all the times she came to us for direction throughout the years.


“Three months until I’m married!  I am so excited!” she squeals.  We discuss the place where the wedding is being held. She met her fiancé in college, at her church.  He shares the same values and beliefs she does.  He actually grew up in a small town only thirty minutes from us, so the wedding will be here, at our church.  She always wanted it that way.


As her excitement winds down, what she really called to talk about comes to the surface. “We are struggling,” she says, finally.


“What do you mean, ‘you’re struggling’?” I ask.


“We are so close to the wedding, but honestly it’s so hard to… you know….” her voice trails off. I’m sure her eyes have fallen to her feet and her face is flushed; some things never change. She and her fiancé are both virgins.  He had victory in his purity all through high school and college as well, though his frat brothers hadn’t made it easy.


“Ok? So tell me what’s going on.”


“Well, we both know that God wants us to be together. It’s just that knowing that, it’s so hard to wait. It’s hardest when we are alone and…he…he is just such a good kisser!”


I have to admit, I laugh at that.


“Both of you made an agreement when you started dating, one where you asked us and your current pastors to keep you accountable. Has something changed?” I ask.


“No, that’s why I am calling you. How do we do this?  How do we keep ourselves off each other?” she asks, obviously very frustrated. I stifle a laugh.


We begin to discuss the boundaries they had set for themselves; what’s okay and what’s not okay to do.  Then, I ask her some hard questions.  Where were they when they found themselves in these situations? Had they gone too far? How far is too far for them?  They hadn’t had sex, but they had gotten close and it was usually when they are alone in his or her apartment. We explore that a little further as well.


“Well, I guess we shouldn’t be alone in each others apartments anymore,” she concluded with a sigh. “It’s just so hard!”


Then I asked her that same question that I had asked eight years ago:


“What is God saying?”


Three months later, she walked down the aisle to meet her soon-to-be husband in the whitest of white wedding dress. They had won the battle! They had made it! She had been through it all. She had lost boyfriends, friends and her popularity, but she had made it and no one was going to take that away from her. God truly had so much more for her!


– Johanna Wilson, Volunteer


Waiting for Mr. Right

All the single ladies, put your hands up!


Oh hay, I see you wavin’ your hands over there like you just don’t care (even though I know you totally do). Don’t you worry baby girl, even when you feel totally invisible to the male species, I see you.

Hands up again: How many of you are still waiting for a glimpse of the infamous, mythical Mr. Right? (Hey, you can’t raise your hand if you’re already married! Them’s the rules.)

Sure, I know what you’re thinking: He’s the unicorn of mankind. He’s like a good Nicolas Cage movie; a humble Kanye West; the holy grail of the female conquest for love.

In other words, He just doesn’t exist.

But what if he does?

It all depends on how you define “right”. For some, it’s someone who is fitting, appropriate, complementary. For others, it’s perfection. English is such a tricky language sometimes.

Let me tell you something: I’m a notorious perfectionist, so my biggest fear is having standards that are way too high. Not only must he have impeccable taste in everything, he must also have a more than basic understanding of proper grammar, an affinity with children, a solid family, a great sense of humor, be a creative genius and love cats.

Do you know how hard that is to find? I’m sure you do. Because if you’re anything like me, you have a long list of “must-haves” and “wants” and won’t settle for anything less than the best.

But what if I don’t really know what’s best for me? I may know what I want, but I don’t necessarily know what I need. Have you ever been thrown into a new job without much training? Sometimes you don’t have the questions to ask until you get there. You don’t know what you need until you’re in the thick of it.

Finding a life partner can be very much like that. I’m not a serial dater per se, but I’m also not against getting to know people who seem interesting to me. My motto used to be, “everyone deserves an opportunity to prove how wonderful they are.” I went on dates, got to know what I wanted, got to know what I needed (often uncomfortably) and found out what I just can’t live without.

So far, I haven’t met someone who has satisfied that last part, but I’m gaining a better understanding of what’s really right for me. Most likely not an exact replica of me, my tastes, my perspectives, or my dreams but probably someone I never saw coming. Someone different, challenging, intriguing. Imperfect, even.

My question is this: What if we threw out the lists and just listened to our hearts?

Don’t get me wrong. I love writing lists. I love seeing what’s in my heart and putting language to my desires, but it shouldn’t stop there. Once you know that what’s in there, let it lead you where it may. But understand that what makes someone perfect for you is how much they fill in the gaps you didn’t see, how they understand you in the oddest moments, and how they surprise you with their whims. So girls, put your hands down, your pen away, and start listening.

You never know, Mr. Right may become Mr. Real in no time at all.


-Leah Sookoo, Intern

Trust Is Key

A while back I dated a girl who was extremely insecure and for some reason I took on the responsibility of “fixing” her. I made it my goal to make sure she knew how incredibly beautiful and lovely she was. The problem was, I was very insecure myself and we had both put each other in a place that only God should have had in our lives.


No matter how much I tried to love her, she struggled to receive it because she didn’t think she was worth it. And to add to that, I had some trust issues that weren’t helping matters. I recognized that there were various things damaging our connection, but I never addressed them because I was afraid of hurting her feelings. I also realized I had gotten into the relationship for the completely wrong reasons. It was unhealthy, co-dependent, and smothered by insecurities. I began to build a case and get frustrated, and she didn’t seem be getting any less insecure. With insecurity comes a lack of trust. There was such a low level of trust that we didn’t feel safe, which makes sense, because when you don’t know who you are, it is impossible for someone else get to know the real you.


Trust takes time to build and should increase as the relationship progresses, but there was very little in this relationship. Not only were we individually not whole; we didn’t trust one another enough to protect the other’s heart. The relationship became stagnant and did not develop. For a relationship to work, you need to fully trust that you are seeing the real person and that you like the real them. I learned this the hard way by entering a relationship with little trust already built. Since learning my identity, not taking on other people’s responsibilities, and choosing to trust, my life looks, and is, so much healthier!


Ashley-James, 24, California, US

Top Dreams & Fantasy FAQ

What’s On Your Mind?


Our dreams, imagination, and thought life play a big role in how we live our lives, and navigate our relationships. Here are the top eight questions Moral Revolution answers about dreams and fantasy.


A dream is the succession of images, thoughts, and emotions passing through the mind during sleep. Dreams are involuntary and do not necessarily reflect whomever is having them.

Your dream life can be affected by three sources: God, the enemy, or you (your body, soul, and spirit). For example, if you are crushing on someone, and they keep showing up in your dreams, that could be your soul “talking out loud” at night. A second example may include, you dreaming about things you’re worried about, like a promotion, a move, or a break-up. If your dreams are being influenced demonically, you may experience dreams that are violent, scary, or leave you feeling gross, confused, or hopeless upon waking. God also speaks through dreams.

We suggest, when you wake up in the morning, ask God this simple question: “Is this dream coming from me, the enemy, or You?” Then ask for the wisdom to discern and interpret it.



Throughout the Bible, God used dreams to speak to His people. The word “dream” is mentioned 85 times in the Old Testament and 8 times in the New Testament. Acts 2:17 says that in the last days, dreams will be frequent and prevalent. In the Bible, God uses dreams to communicate direction, warning, future events, wisdom, and promises, among other things.

Remember, your spirit never sleeps. Just as God used dreams to speak to Jacob, Daniel, Joseph, Paul, and John, oftentimes, God will use night seasons to minister to and counsel your spirit. If you dream a lot, it may be that God is speaking to you during this quiet, uninterrupted time at night.



Fantasizing is the activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. It is a ficticious mental image that we focus on, or an idea with no basis in reality.

Fantasies are the imagination unrestrained; unrestrained implies that the imagination, is in fact, manageable. Although no one completely controls what sort of thoughts they may or may not have, or when they might occur, it is clear that our thought life must be stewarded well.



In short, the word “fantasy” does not appear in the Bible. However, the Bible has a lot to say about a believer’s thought life and the importance of stewarding that well. For example, Phillipians 4:7 instructs us to check our thoughts against this standard: Is it true? Noble? Right? Pure? Lovely? Admirable? Excellent? Praiseworthy? If not, we must take it captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Proverbs 4:23 and 23:7 tell us that what we allow our minds and hearts to meditate on will manifest in our lives. Therefore, it is important to guard our imagination and our fantasies, if we are to live holy, healthy, happy lives. These are just a few examples of the many directional words that the Lord gives us about using our thoughts and imagination. Our team invites you to further explore what the Bible has to say about managing your thought life.



There are many reasons people fantasize. Here are a few reasons our team has discovered:
For some of us, reality is painful and disappointing. We use fantasy to soothe ourselves because it’s easier than dealing with our pain and disappointment. Other times, we feel powerless in our circumstance, and our fantasy world is a place where we can feel in control. For example, a man who feels helpless in trying to raise his kids may fantasize about extreme sports, climbing mountains, getting his “big break”, or leaving his family for an easier, more perfect world, full of adventure. This helps him escape, if only for a moment. A woman who struggles to feel beautiful and desirable spends her time day-dreaming about Prince Charming; he will come sweep her off her feet, save her, and take her back to the golden castle of ease.

We have found that people who are dissatisfied with their life often fall prey to the temptation of living in a fantasy world.The danger all of these scenarios (pain, disappointment, dissatisfaction and powerlessness) is when we exchange vision for fantasy and childlikeness for childishness, we become God over our own life. We begin to worship our idealism instead of submitting to God’s will. As we plan, play, and replay our imagined scenarios, we begin living in a false reality. We set ourselves up to be disconnected from God and His ability to give us comfort, wisdom, guidance, and the power we need to function in the reality that is our own life.



The idea of receiving a dream specifically identifying who you will marry is Biblical and can be accurate, although rare. If this happens, both parties in the relationship need to receive a word from the Lord for themselves.Throughout Scripture we can see that even though God may have helped bring two people together, ultimately it became the individual’s choice. In no way should a dream violate someone’s freedom to choose.

Once both parties receive this same direction to marry from God (as a dream, vision or response in prayer) and feel peace about moving forward, we suggest they share their process and intentions to marry with safe and discerning leaders, mentors, spiritual parents, friends, etc. By doing so they are not isolated with the dream and have invited feedback into their lives.



Sex dreams, like most dreams, are not necessarily a reflection of the individual having them, or what’s going on inside of them. There is nothing to feel guilty about; you can’t control your dreams.

It can be perfectly normal to have occasional wet dreams (dreams that culminate in an involuntary orgasm), and there is no need to be ashamed; it’s part of how you were made and is part your body’s natural response to hormones while you sleep. For example, many young men, when they reach puberty, begin to experience wet dreams. This is normal! Men and women may both experience involuntary orgasms, in response to erotic dreams or hormones, especially during REM sleep.

However, if you find yourself having recurring sexual dreams, there may be some habits that you are feeding during the day that are being released in your dream life. For example, if you’re filling your day with highly sexualized movies, music, conversation or images, don’t be surprised if they revisit you at night. Similarly, if you find that you live with stress or high anxiety, your body may try to relieve itself at night by looking for a sexual release in your dreams.

If you find this to be true, there is hope for you! First, be kind to yourself as you grow in awareness and begin to filter your daily “input”. You may also want to take some practical steps toward organizing your life, lowering your stress levels and taking care of your body (exercising and eating well). Second, before you go to bed at night, invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you through happy, healthy, holy dreams. Third, ask the Lord to cleanse you of anything you’ve been exposed to, or experienced during the day. Fourth, when you wake up in the morning, ask the Lord to help you remember what you dreamed, and for wisdom and discernment on how to interpret the dreams.

If the sexual dreams you have are reoccurring dreams about an actual event, like trauma, abuse or promiscuity, it may be wise to seek professional counseling.




God has wired people for relationship and intimacy. When you fantasize relationally or sexually about someone other than your spouse (i.e., the cute cashier at Target, the anointed worship leader, that sex scene in a movie), you are exchanging reality for fantasy. This, in itself, sets you up to easily slip into idolatry, codependency, and transference.

The danger with fantasy, is that it can actually rewire your brain and become more powerful than your reality. You could begin to bond with and crave these “perfect” scenarios or people. Additionally, fantasies can lead to disappointment, dissatisfaction, and pain, because eventually they will show themselves for what they are: your glorified imagination. We have also found it makes it harder for individuals to have a real connection, with a real person, in a real relationship. This is the opposite of what God wants for you.

Finally, a sanctified imagination, when submitted to the Lord, is a beautiful thing. However, when it comes to people, relationships, and sex, you must tread carefully. Be cautious that your imagination doesn’t turn into a fantasy world. Vision is powerful (knowing what and whom you’re waiting for), but if your hope for the future is coming from a fantasy, rather than the Lord and His promises for your life, you’re treading on dangerous ground.

A Life Sentence

Have you ever noticed that wedding bands look a lot like tiny handcuffs?

I’m being funny. But, you have to admit, it’s an accurate description of the covenant they represent. Not the prison part…the never-leaving, never-forsaking, “death-do-us-part” part. Unfortunately, many marriages feel like a prison, because too often, our un-renewed selves get in the way of true love.

When we got married, my husband and I read these vows to one another (our own adaptation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8):

“By the grace of God, by His mercy and His truth, I tie my love to yours.
I vow that my love will be patient and fully kind.
Jealousy shall not taint it, nor arrogance abuse it.
My love, by the grace of God, will hold you blameless;
no account against you will I keep.
My heart will rejoice in truth; it sees you with perfect eyes,
putting you first, before myself.
My heart will bear all things, believe all things and hope in all things, knowing that Love never fails.”


By the time we were fixin’ to get hitched, we were fully aware that the only way our marriage would succeed was if we fully submitted to God’s image of love. We knew that we had to get out of our own way. We knew that we couldn’t do it in our own strength. We knew we needed His. So, we made a point to acknowledge that God was the center of it all.

Since then, we’ve seen first-hand how God has honored and breathed on our promise and given us the grace to see every part fulfilled.

We’ve seen true Love, in action. Just like we vowed we would.

That hasn’t looked like “getting it right” every time, but every time there is an offense or a mistake, we believe that the other didn’t do it on purpose. We hope that it’s going to get worked out, and that things will be better than ever. It means that the slate is always clean after the mess is cleaned up. It means that even after the worst offense or shortcoming, he is my Prince Charming, and I am his “Belle,” because that’s who God says we are. So, we treat each other that way. In the process, we practice choosing to be patient and fully kind, knowing that neither has all the answers. When one of us succeeds, we both celebrate! And most importantly, we stick together.

You see, we may have slipped on the “cuffs,” by our own choosing, but God now holds the key. And, though there is no escaping this inescapable love- a bond as strong as death (see Songs 8:6) – it doesn’t feel like a life-sentence…

Our sentences now continually bring us life.