How Would Jesus Date? (#HWJD)

Have you ever asked yourself, “How would Jesus date?”

Yes. I’m aware Jesus never dated. In fact, no one in Jesus’ day dated. Arranged marriage was the deal back then.

But how would Jesus date? In other words…


If Jesus is still around today, and actually alive and living in you, shouldn’t that impact how you approach dating?


Well, if you desire to successfully identify and enter a life-giving, life-long marriage that makes God as pleased as it makes you happy, here are ten different reflections on dating (inspired by scripture), to get your brain more into the headspace of Jesus when it comes to the topic. For those questions that really hit you between the eyes, be sure to click the hyperlink and read the applicable passage.

  1. How different would your dating life be if it were driven less by license and more by purpose? (1 Corinthians 6:12)

  2. What if you dated in such a way that others saw your good works and gave glory to God? (Matthew 5:14-16)

  3. How cool would it be if the people you dated could tell you had been with Jesus? (Acts 4:13)

  4. What if you sought out faithful friends willing to wound you for your good, before you sought to date? (Proverbs 27:5-6)

  5. What if you sought to learn more about dating through wisdom than by experience? (Proverbs 20:5-6)

  6. What if you dated with the same humility of Christ? (Philippians 2:5-6)

  7. What if you dated with the belief you were chosen, instead of with the need to be chosen? (John 15:16)

  8. What if you gave romance a chance to bloom out of a friendship built on enjoyment, respect, and trust. (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4)

  9. Regardless of your sexual past, what if you determined, from this day forward, to NEVER defraud anyone you date? (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

  10. How different would your dating life be if you believed Jesus’ love for you was as real as the Father’s love for Him? (John 15:9-13)

I hope at least one of the thoughts above inspires you consider how Jesus would date, and then to date accordingly! And share with your friends, because friends don’t let friends date dumb!

If you want to go deeper, check out the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date from which each of these reflections was drawn. You can find them on our FMUniversity YouTube channel. Or check out our free hot topic resource page dedicated to empowering you to succeed in date.




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

23 Reasons Why You Should Quit Porn

Here are 23 reasons why you should quit porn. Important note: they aren’t reasons I came up with. They’re reasons others posted anonymously online; others who have seen porn have a major impact on their lives. And not a good one.

Each of the stories below were shared in response to a conversation prompt in an Instagram story from Fight Against Porn. The original request:


Share with us how porn has hurt you.


There were an overwhelming number of responses, and you can read them all at the previous link, but I picked out just 23 heart-breakers. I actually tried to pick only 13 for the sake of the “13 Reasons Why” theme, but there were just too many reasons. I share them with you, holding the following hopes:

Whatever your story, freedom from porn is real. I’ve experienced it since 2001, and you can too. So can those you care about. However, people won’t seek the freedom that is possible, much less fight for it, until they are convinced porn isn’t merely naughty, but deadly. Deadly to your heart and soul and mind and body and relationships.

Think I’m exaggerating? Read on.

  1. My ex refused to stop watching porn. So I had no choice but to leave after 12 years. He chose porn over me.

  2. Porn gave me the wrong expectations of what was going to happen when I had sex.

  3. I can’t stay focused at work.

  4. I was raped by my boyfriend after we watched porn together.

  5. No motivation. No willpower. Never satisfied with anything. Shame, and guilt. Need I go on?

  6. My ex in high school was highly addicted to porn and now I’m in therapy/healing because of trauma related to it.

  7. Went through physical and sexual abuse from guys looking at porn who claimed to love me.

  8. Porn led to a marriage of covert manipulation and sexual abuse. Now I’m a single mom of three.

  9. Porn-addicted boyfriend destroyed my self worth and body image.

  10. It’s destroyed someone I care deeply about; porn warped their idea of sex and self-worth.

  11. I feel so separated from my wife. Where do I begin?

  12. I don’t want to get out of bed. I watch porn all night.

  13. I’m flunking out of college.

  14. Porn is destroying my ministry. I can’t preach against sin if I’m deep in sin.

  15. My mind is filthy. I can’t have a clean thought.

  16. Even fully dressed women set me off.

  17. I’m lost and alone with porn.

  18. I’m not even fulfilled anymore with porn or masturbating. I’m empty and I don’t know why.

  19. He can’t stay faithful. Always looking for another girl; a better girl.

  20. My husband thinks our marriage is all about sex.

  21. My husband won’t even touch me anymore.

  22. I don’t like myself, so no one else will.

  23. Scared that in the future I’ll cheat on my wife because of porn.

Want to fight for freedom? It’s worth it!!

Click any of the hyperlinks above, or check out our Hot Topic page dedicated to empowering others to finding freedom from porn like I did. And please feel free to share how porn has hurt you or someone you love in the comments below. Or share how you’ve broken free from porn!




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

 

The James Bond Tragedy: Sexual Detachment

[updated: 9/30/21]

So you want to be James Bond: irresistible to the ladies, but at the same time unaffected by their allure, impervious to their charm, aloof to their beauty?

In a word: invincible.

What if you got your wish?

What would invincibility feel like?

We’re you thinking of words like these:

Numb.

Empty.

Detached.

That’s the James Bond that Daniel Craig has come to represent over his last four films; an icon imploding; a soul tortured more by his messy past than by any merciless interrogator.


The truth? Your heart cannot be sensitive to beauty and numb to it at the same time.


Your soul can’t be filled by the splendor of God’s handiwork and unmoved simultaneously. And your mind can never be captured by the wonder of God’s ultimate creation – woman – and remain detached.

Now perhaps what we think we’d like is to live a James Bond life until we finally meet that one woman; the one that breaks down our every wall of defense. And then we will be enamored with her and her alone for as long as we live.

But isn’t this just the “He-Man woman-hater” equivalent to the Disney princess daydream? And just as realistic? (“Just have them line up for me and audition like on America’s Got Talent. Who needs Simon if you’ve got the poker face of James Bond? Right?”)

Forgetting about the laws of probability for a moment, do you believe this is how God intends for you to identify your helpmate: “Which woman actually wins over my callous, been-there-done-them heart?”

You don’t need rocket science to explain why most men find the female body a divine wonderland. That wasn’t John Mayer’s idea. Indeed, it is divine. God made it that way!

But God’s intention wasn’t for us to gawk and stare at every lovely lady in yoga pants, anymore than it was for us to grin nonchalantly as they give us an “I’d like you on a platter with an apple in your mouth” look.


God’s desire was that you would be intoxicated by the beauty of your future wife. Hers and hers alone.


Consequentially, you can’t be invincible toward her.

Indeed, if you want to be another i-word with her – intimate – you will need to be the opposite. You see, the oneness of marriage requires, not invincibility, but honesty, vulnerability, sensitivity and commitment.

And do you know how many men are prepared for that in marriage?

Very, very few.

Too many of us have taken our cues from James Bond.

And the worst part? Thanks to internet porn, any young man can live the James Bond fantasy. Whenever he likes, he can find the most impossibly beautiful women who are willing to share everything with him.

On camera anyway.

So he can imagine he is James Bond; able to tame any wild beauty, if only in his mind. However…


Research now shows that after enough exposure to porn (and movie scenes like those in the 007 flicks) we do eventually become like James Bond in regards to the beauty of real life women: aloof, unmoved, detached.


And the really worst part? We become incapable of being sexually stimulated by real life women.

That’s right, if you missed the memo, many men – millions of them – are turning away from porn and masturbation, not because they’re convinced it’s evil or even wrong, but because their exposure – or more accurately their OVERexposure to pornography – has made them yet another i-word very different from “invincible.” That i-word would be “impotent.”

Truthfully, that isn’t the “really worst part,” because ultimately we weren’t made for sex. We were made for relationships.

So don’t be fooled by the allure of invincibility.

Instead, aspire to grow in life-giving intimacy.

It’s not easy. It requires character traits and life skills they don’t teach at MI6. However it’s worth it. Because growing in intimacy is the very assignment your soul was made for.

Want your first lesson? Click here. Or check out the Relation^ology series on our FMUniversity YouTube channel here.




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

[originally published: 11/11/15]

Hidden Danger in Stranger Things

[updated: 9/25/21]

We need to talk about a hidden danger in the Netflix mega-hit series, Stranger Things, but don’t worry. There are NO PLOT SPOILERS in this post.

In fact, this hidden danger was introduced right away in the first episode of season one. Briefly, subtly, but revealed none the less.

A secret agenda, if you will.

Not of the Demogorgon.

Nor of the Mind Flayer.

I don’t even believe it was an intentional agenda of Writers/Directors, Matt and Ross Duffer.

After all, Stranger Things wasn’t written by those guys in an 80s nuclear bomb shelter. Instead, like the little girl with the frequent nosebleed known as Eleven, this Netflix series is just as much the creation of the culture in which we find ourselves; a world not too different from the Upside Down. And our culture has been plagued by this hidden danger for decades.

But don’t take my word for it. Hear these prophetic words spoken long before the 80s, the time period of Stranger Things:

“Our ancestors have handed over to us organisms which are warped in this respect: and we grow up surrounded by propaganda in favour of unchastity. There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us. Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance.” – CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, 1952


This is the hidden danger of Stranger Things I am compelled to expose: the harmful portrayal of human sexuality conveyed by what is arguably one of the most family-friendly programs of modern times.


Not certain Lewis’s words about “propaganda in favour of unchastity” apply to this particular Netflix original series? Think I got the wrong program?

You’re not alone.

Remember, I said it’s a secret agenda. Showing up sporadically and, and when it does, appearing as harmless as a cute little Demo-dog. At first.

So if you have the courage to face it, I invite you to check out my Date Night Advice (DNA) series of posts inspired by the first three episodes of season one.

I think you’ll be surprised, because in this DNA series entitled Sexual Things, we explore many of the sexual topics raised by Stranger Things:

Click any of the links above to jump right to a issue that piques your interest, or get started in understanding this hidden danger by beginning with the opening post of the Sexual Things DNA series.




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

[originally published: 6/26/19]

The James Bond Myth: Sexual Invinciblity

[updated: 9/14/21]

How can you hate a guy who can stare death in the face, offer a wry grin, and calmly order his martini just the way he likes it, “shaken, not stirred.”

I don’t even drink, and yet I’m impressed.

Every time.

James Bond takes all of life just the way he likes it, and elects to die another day. And he can do this because, of course, he’s invincible.

Invincibility.

Wouldn’t that be Bond’s aura in a nutshell? (As if you could fit his aura in a nutshell.)

Who doesn’t want to be invincible?

And I’m not just talking about James Bond vs. the bad guys. Bond is just as invincible when it comes to the bad girls.

Actually, all the girls want 007:

  • Good
  • Bad
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Sporty
  • Bashful
  • Ginger
  • Blonde
  • Brunette
  • Bald
  • Sultry
  • Sleazy
  • Sleepy
  • Curvaceous
  • And those carrying concealed weapons

And how is James Bond in the face of all this temptation?

Invincible.

They can hang all over him. In all manner of dress. (Or undress.)

And James Bond. Is. Invincible.

Does he admire their beauty? Their charm? Their sensuality?

With the same wry smile he offers the face of death.

Sexual invincibility.

I’ve always wanted that: to be invincible when it came to women. To stand aloof, in a tux, beside a pool surrounded by bodacious babes in bikinis who’s greatest desire is to have me for dessert.

But they can’t.

Because I’m Bond.

James Bond.

And I am invincible.

If you can relate (and I hear even girls have desires like this) you need to know something.

This.

desire

is

wrong.

For starters, it’s unrealistic. Perilously so.


Scripture doesn’t suggest we give sexual temptation a sly smile as we order our martini (or cherry coke).


It tells us to resist it, to look away, to flee temptation. (That’s flee. Not free.) And there’s a reason for that: sexual temptation is dangerous!

Believing you should be able to brush off the advances of supermodels who regard you as the sun of their sexual solar system is as silly as believing you should be able to cross a swamp by running over the backs of crocodiles who regard you as the main course of their dinner. In reality, not even James Bond can do that. Only his stunt double. And he almost died.

We sometimes forget sin brings death. Not as dramatic a death as being mauled by crocodiles, but a deeper, more profound death. The kind of death where your soul writhes in torment even while you sport a confident smile and detached air; feigning invincibility.

So let go of the fantasy and embrace the reality of your limitations when it comes to sexual temptation.


The truth is, most of us not only can’t pretend to be unaffected by sexual temptation in real life, we can’t even remain aloof when we see it on the screen.


“Why yes. That flick did have a lot of skin, but I’m fine. Not like I don’t see stuff like that every day. I’ve actually seen hotter. Now where’s my cherry coke? Shaken. Not stirred.”

This is why it’s so imperative that we watch what we watch.

But there’s something else that makes this James Bond myth wrong: If we could succeed at maintaining the invincibility of James Bond in the face of sexual attraction, it would be sad indeed.

We’ll talk more about that next week! In the meantime, consider going deeper and discussing these questions with a couple close friends:

  • Do you find yourself longing for sexual invincibility? If not, do you know someone like that?
  • What do you think is the motivation behind the desire to possess sexual magnetism? Is it merely a sexual longing or are there other forces at work?
  • What do you think is the motivation behind wanting to be unmoved by sexual allure?
  • Do you think of sin bringing death? How should that reality impact the way you relate to sexual temptation?
  • Can you see a downside of succeeding in the endeavor of attaining invincibility in regards to our sexuality.



DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

[originally published: 11/4/15]

MEN: Be Ready to Meet Her!

[updated: 8/19/21]

Ready to Meet HerHey dude. I know you may not be into romantic comedies, but are you waiting for your movie scene moment?

The one where that girl catches your eye from across the room.

(Is she really even a girl or an angel? Or a goddess?)

As you’re lost in thought and time, you suddenly realize you had already caught her eye!

(Is she really staring at you?)

You glance behind yourself to check.

And when your eyes return to meet hers she giggles. Not a silly girlish giggle, mind you, but in a sophisticated, “you-silly-boy” kind of way.

Not that you can actually hear her from this distance. Not over the music.

The music. You know this song will be forever tied to this moment. The moment you met. The moment she touched your soul, before you ever spoke a word.

(How long has she been staring at you? And how could you have missed her until now?)

As if reading your thoughts, she smiles again.

Right.

At.

You.

And you can’t help, but smile back.

However, as you do you realize a little drool pooling in the corner of your mouth.

But she can’t see that from this distance, which means you can subtlety draw that saliva back in, by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth and inhaling quickly, followed by a deep swallow as you naturally purse your lips.

Good show! From afar that actually looked suave! And of course she couldn’t hear that slurping noise. Remember the music?

As the song hits the first chorus, you know it’s just been added to the playlist entitled: Your Life, the Motion Picture Soundtrack.

Then she swallows too.

(Is that from her own nervous butterflies or her own overactive saliva glands? How could something so divine, ever know anything but perfect calm? And even if she’s merely preventing her own drooling episode, if she’s salivating because of you, isn’t that a good sign?)

Only seconds have passed, yet time holds it’s breath. Even the moon stops to watch, forgetting all about the ocean tides under it’s command; lost in the sea of emotions surging between you and her.

And there you are. Just the two of you. In a sea of humanity oblivious to the connection that is taking place between strangers who were made for each other.

Maybe forever.

Or maybe only until that little line of drool returns with a vengeance and drips down the front of your shirt.

Yep. She saw that.

The music doesn’t cover saliva drips.

[Fade to black]


Stop Waiting for Your Moment

Maybe you’ve already had about half a dozen real life movie scenes that went something like that. And you know now what you wish you had known then. It might have been infatuation. It might have been intoxication. It might have just been gas. But it wasn’t true love.

Well, man, take heart! There is hope for you!

No seriously, I know there is hope for you! I used to be you. I was there. Drooling over that girl, and on myself. But that was…

  • two-and-half years of friendship
  • one year of dating
  • one year of engagement and…
  • almost 28 years of marriage ago.

Not only was I once you, someday you could be me; when the idea of “happily married” will seem far too trite an expression to describe the relationship you share with your best friend.


But if that’s what you want, you have to stop waiting for these silly movie scene moments and start preparing for your future.

You’ve probably spent the bulk of your life preparing for your future already.

Your career that is.

But what if your future marriage holds the potential of being every bit as important, as challenging and as rewarding as your career? And what if the rewards of your future marriage will prove far richer than a shared “stare-fest” held across a room?

What if the rewards include a more profound understanding of why you were put on this earth, a greater passion for living life to the full, and a deeper knowledge of who you are and who you were meant to be?

Doesn’t that sound like something you might want to prepare for instead of just wait around for?

Rewards like that make movie scene moments seem like the two-dimensional daydreams that they are.

Are you feeling me?

Then check out the page dedicated to directing men like you to the Date Night Advice posts, LoveEd videos and MAN2MAN memos that can empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts, before you fall in love. Not to mention, before you end up drooling all over yourself in public like some teething toddler.

Begin your journey by pressing the Button of Manhood on our homepage, or just click here.




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

[originally published; 8/17/16]

TOP5 Things Sex has in common with the Summer Olympics

[updated: 7/9/21]

sex common olympicsIn honor of the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo… a year later in 2021… I want to share the TOP5 Things Sex has in common with the Summer Olympics.

But before you judge me, like I’m always connecting everything with sex, I wasn’t the one passing 450,000 condoms at the last Summer Olympics in Rio (the equivalent of 42 per person, by the way).

That would have been Brazil’s health ministry, at the direction of the International Olympic Committee. So clearly, I’m not the only one who sees the connection between the sex and Olympic sports. However…


I wrote this post hoping to encourage you to use self control instead of birth control.


So!

On your mark.

Get set.

Here are the TOP5 Things Sex has in common with the Summer Olympics!

#5: Gymnastics

Am I alone in believing no other competition in any Olympiad comes close to magnifying how fearfully and wonderfully God made the human body?

Iron cross on the rings? Back handspring on the balance beam? Tombstone Piledriver on the mat? (Actually, I think that last one may be a professional wrestling move.)

Seriously though! How do they do it? I can’t even stick a somersault.

Sex requires a bit of physical gymnastics as well. However…


Unlike gymnastics, sex was never meant to be performed for others to watch, enjoy, and judge.


Instead, a sexual relationship is so wonderful, so fantastic, yet so intimate, it is a perversion to observe it. And we know this when we think of watching our own parents go after it – What? Yuck! Get a room! – but somehow when it’s actors in a movie, we make excuses.

Indeed, I suggest this reality explains why Christian virgins can feel so dirty on their wedding night. Many fault the church’s condemnation of premarital sex for the difficulty they find in enjoying sex after marriage. But what if the source of their shame and frustration isn’t the church’s teaching, but that in spite of all that teaching, they exposed themselves to (and subsequently fantasized about) endless explicit imagery and ideas anyway.

#4: Boxers

In case you didn’t know, boxing is the fifth oldest Olympic sport.

Boxers are also a popular underwear option for men and sleepwear option for the ladies.

But keep your boxers on whenever you’re planning to “Olympics and chill.”

#3: Hurdles

Isn’t sprinting for 110 meters hard enough? Why you gotta add hurdles every nine meters?

Heck, why stop there? Why not top the hurdles with razor wire? And then light them on fire? Make those Tough Mudders look like elementary school recess.

Sex also has hurdles you have to jump over to get it. At the very least you probably want to get alone. That’s one hurdle. You might have to buy them a drink. Another hurdle. Or you might prefer to know the person first. Maybe you’d like to know them well, at least well enough to feel like you can trust them. More hurdles.

In God’s design, the only hurdle to a happy sex life is a life-long marriage commitment. In our culture of compulsory convenience, that’s no small hurdle. However…


In track and field, hurdles aren’t seen as unnecessary obstacles, but as challenges that make the prize more meaningful. What if God meant the marriage commitment to do the same thing for sex?


#2: Freestyle

The freestyle is just one of four swim strokes you’ll see in the Olympic pool, but…


Sex was always made to be enjoyed “freestyle.” Free of pressure, performance anxiety, shame, fear, or regret. This is what the marriage bed offers.


That’s what naked and unashamed is all about. 

But how can an act of such intimate vulnerability be enjoyed freely outside of a committed relationship of love, trust and innocence?

It can’t.

Of course sex can be enjoyed outside the marriage commitment (which explains why they’ll be passing out condoms at this year’s games), but it can’t be enjoyed freely outside the marriage commitment (which also explains the condoms).

Furthermore, how can you and your partner create your own freestyle of sexual expression, when one or both of you are obsessed with copying the sexual behaviors you’ve observed performers act out on camera or brag about in song.

Again, you can’t. And that’s why my wife and I had to spend the first ten or so years of our marriage unlearning the sexual propaganda we let our culture sell us.

Is that how you want to spend the first decade of your married life?

If not, then enjoy the Olympics, but watch what you watch when it comes to sexually arousing media that corrupts the private wonder of sexuality.

#1: Diving

I can’t even imagine making the climb to the 10M platform, much less walking to the edge and then, beginning with a handstand (something I can’t even do on the ground), executing a reverse 2½ somersault, followed by 2½ twists and the cha-cha slide before hitting the water.

But what if I did manage to mount the platform and walk to the edge, only to change my mind? Climbing back down would definitely be the right move for me, but diving board ladders are only meant to be climbed up.

And with that word picture we see why it feels so wrong (sometimes frustrating, sometimes embarrassing, and always awkward) to make out with someone up to a certain point and then back out.


Sex was made to be dived into.


The sexual experience was created by God to be one of…

Eager anticipation…

Leading to gradual arousal…

Leading to wild abandonment…

in

a

free

fall

of

intimate

pleasure

Which resolves in a blissful climax followed by a peaceful easy feeling of pure joy.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

It is! Sex is wonderful, but sex is also dangerous. And the risk inherent in such a vulnerable act of intimacy is why God made sexual intercourse for the lifetime covenant of marriage.

You simply shouldn’t take a flying leap from 33 feet unless you know the pool you’re jumping into is deep enough to keep you from breaking your neck. And you shouldn’t jump in the sack with someone unless you know your shared commitment is deep enough to keep you from breaking your heart.

Be wise! I urge you to wait to climb into bed with someone until you’re both ready to take the leap into marriage.

Want more help in understanding human sexuality and your sex drive in particular? Check out our Hot Topic page dedicated to understanding SEX!

Enjoyed the format of this TOP Things Sex has in Common with… post? There’s more!




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

[originally published; 8/4/16]

All Loves are NOT Equal

[updated: 6/3/21]

Dad and me 2A good friend from my past posted a photo on Facebook, with this caption underneath:

“People are complaining about this Fathers Day picture because they said ‘it’s gay.’ What’s your opinion?”

The picture is of three men kissing one another.

Must be gay. Right?

Wait! They’re kissing each other on the forehead.

OK, maybe not gay.

Hold up! One man is decidedly older and he’s kissing the next younger man on the forehead as that man is at the same time kissing the youngest (a boy, to be precise) on his forehead. So best guess: this is a Father, son and grandson; not inter-generational homosexual lovers.

I think we can turn the “gaydar” off now, folks. Nothing to see here.

My friend who shared the pic declared, “We need… more images like this of men in our world.”

No complaints here. I couldn’t agree more.


We not only need more images like this of men in our world. We need more men like this; willing to show tender affection for one another – especially their own children!


As I said, in my Facebook comment:

“A father kissing his son on the forehead who’s kissing his son on the forehead. Love it. For all I know, one or more of these guys may very well be gay, but what’s being portrayed in this pic isn’t ‘gay love.’ It’s not sexual/eros at all. It’s clearly familial/phileo. The fact that our culture can no longer understand the difference between fatherly love and erotic love is a very very scary thing.”

Love is NOT Love

Sadly, a couple of the other comments to my friend’s post, bore out my concern; that…


Our culture can no longer understand the difference between fatherly and erotic love.


Comment #1: “Men hold hands in many cultures as a sign of friendship. Love is love.”

Do you see the disconnect in that one quote?

  • In the first sentence the writer affirms that there are many ways of expressing friendship (ie. non-sexual affection). Good! I agree! Don’t you?
  • But then in the next three-word sentence the speaker upholds one of the new mantras of a movement seeking to promote various expressions of sexuality.

The first sentence is about friendship and the second about sexual expression. The implication: a man kissing his son on the forehead is no different from a man kissing his lover on the lips.

Think I’m getting my feathers all ruffled up for nothing? Check out this next comment.

Comment #2: “Honestly, we cannot separate touch and nurturing from sex. At all.”

Como say what?

Let me be plain:


Not only can you separate touch and nurturing from sex, but you must be able to do so.


An employee who cannot separate touch and nurturing from sex will discover he has exchanged his former job with a sexual harassment lawsuit.

And as long as we’re talking about a suspected “gay love” photo involving two adults and a young boy, it’s worth noting that the consequences are even steeper for a parent or any childcare worker who cannot separate touch and nurturing from sex. That’s mandatory prison time.

Indeed, I know three friends who have gone to prison for failing to “separate touch and nurturing from sex” and one of them may be there for life. Should they not be in prison for pursuing sexual love with minors? Should they be celebrated instead, because, like, you know, love is love?

This Confusion isn’t a Homosexual Problem

There is a whole world of difference between a man’s love for his son and a man’s love for his lover, whether that lover be a woman or another man, or both.

Put simply: All loves are not equal.

One love is about family connection and the desire to provide, protect, nurture and actually give one’s life for the other. This is what Fatherly love should be.

This is the kind of love I received from my Father as a boy. (Yep, you guessed it – that’s me and my Dad with the matching butterfly collars in the photo above.) Whether it was an occasional kiss on the forehead or full-on “tickle torture,” my Dad showered me with love completely free of sexual overtones or expectations. The kisses and tickle fights may be only a memory now, but I still expect a big bear hug from my Dad every time I see him today.

The other love is about romantic/sexual connection and the desire to enjoy someone’s body; perhaps even use or consume someone’s body.

Sadly, I know more than one man who’s Father expressed this kind of “love” toward them. It breaks my heart that they never got to experience the kind of love my father gave me. It even seems ruthlessly unfair that they did not.

By God’s grace, these men have worked through the emotional wreckage left in the wake of their father’s abuse. (Which means you can to do the same if you lived a similar story.) However, let’s be careful when we talk of love.

If you believe homosexuality to be a legitimate form of sexual expression, then be clear and say that. Say, “sex is sex.” But…


For the love of all the children of the world, forced into sexual acts – not loving acts, SEX acts – let’s not confuse people with the “love is love” mantra anymore. Please!”


Whether you’re a homosexual activist, a homophobe or somewhere in between, can’t we all agree this wording is terribly misleading? (Just look back at the confused comments on the Facebook post I referenced at the start of this piece.)

Whether you can find it in yourself to agree or not, here’s a final thought. “Love is love” is actually the very sort of word-manipulation a sexual predator uses with a child.

“This is just another way we show someone special that we love them. It’s OK. It’s good!”

Finally, if your heart is breaking, like mine, for the stolen innocence of countless children, pray for our culture which cannot tell the difference between fatherly and erotic love.




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

Check out all three study guides. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it! [originally published: 6/2/16]

A Secret to Healing from Heartbreak

I’m going to share a secret to healing from heartbreak, and to introduce that secret we’ll start with a question posed in the song, Pompeii, by Bastille:

“Oh, oh, where do we begin? The rubble or our sins?”

In other words, when you’re ready to deal with the heartbreak in your past, where do you start?

  • The rubble: the hurt you endured, disappointment you experienced, and lies you believed
  • Your sin: the hurt you caused, the disappointment you left behind, and the lies you told

It’s a pretty profound question for a pop song. And though I don’t have the answer to the question, the very question itself reveals a secret to healing from heartbreak:


To heal from heartbreak you have to deal with both your role and the role of the other person in your broken relationship.


Yet most of the time we don’t, and when we fail to deal with both our own role as well as the role of the other person, we make it impossible to fully heal.

Of course, in the wake of heartbreak it can be easy to focus on the wrongs committed against us, never acknowledging the part we played. For instance, we can remember all of their unkind words, word-for-word, but easily forget our own. Or, better, justify our own unkindness.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5

On the other hand, it can be tempting to simply live in the shame of our own wrongs; to wallow in it and feel hopelessly broken, but…


While it’s wrong to blame others for your sins, it’s equally wrong to blame yourself for the sins of others.


Yes, you may have allowed someone you dated to violate your boundaries, and that’s on you. But there’s something to be said for the person who claimed to “love” you, while they took advantage of your weakness. That is the polar opposite of love.

Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. – Proverbs 26:24-26

“Oh, oh, where do we begin? The rubble or our sins?”

Dear one, whichever you tend to fixate on, your fault or theirs, you must deal with both!

This is the only way to true healing.

Is this easy? Of course not, but trust the God who died for your healing to lead you, one step at a time.

That said, here’s the next critical questions to lead you into healing from heartbreak:

Click one of the hyperlinks above and keep on growing!




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

Check out all three study guides. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

19 Truths I Wish I had Known before I Turned 19

I can remember when I was 18, like it was only yesterday (give or take 30+ years or so).

Amongst other recollections, I had quite the hairstyle. Short and spiked on top, shaved on the side, and long in the back.

Of course, today they call that a mullet, but back then we called it rad.

For the most part, I thought I had it all together. Even though evidence showed otherwise. Like my hair.

Which leads me to the point of this post. Here are 19 truths I wish I had known before I turned 19.

It’s the perfect gift for the 18-year-old in your life. Whether they sport a mullet or a more permanent fashion statement like gauged ears, facial piercings or tattoos.

Maybe that 18-year-old is YOU!

Some of these truths may make sense to you right away. If so, write them on your heart, and share them with others.

Some of these truths may seem opaque, or even raise new questions. In that case, remember true understanding lies in committing to knowing God’s word, pursuing community with believers, and seeking His face in prayer. (Also know, that clicking on any of the hyperlinks will hopefully grow your understanding as well.)

That said, let’s get to it…

19 truths I wish I had known before I turned 19

#1: It would be impossible to overestimate the impact of the media on your beliefs.

#2: Belonging is only something you feel when you believe it.

#3: Romantic love should not be pursued until you are mature enough to handle it.

#4: Love is not something you can find, earn or lose.

#5: Maintaining sexual purity may never be easy, but doesn’t have to be complicated.

#6: Your biggest enemy is in the mirror. That’s why you need a Savior.

#7: Sex is a conversation. Which is why, “How far is too far?” is the wrong question.


Incidentally, we tackle the question of “How far is too far?” in this episode of our LoveEd series, Hot Topics Handled with Care, on our FMU YouTube channel.


#8: Rejection is not the end of the world, so any feelings that say otherwise are misinformed. Hold to the truth.

#9: Trying to impress a girl is selfish. And it’s immature. Seek to bless. Not impress.

#10: Contentment is not a destination you reach or a prize you earn. It’s a discipline you have to learn.

#11: Sex isn’t bad, but it is dangerous. And because of this, God’s rules about human sexuality are meant to promote our flourishing not hinder our fun.

#12: Trusting that if you do what God wants, then He’ll do what you want isn’t really trusting God. It’s trusting you know better than Him. And that’s the opposite of trusting God.

#13: Forgiveness is the single most important relational skill. So important you simply can’t thrive in long-term, sacrificial relationships without it. And you were designed by God for those kinds of relationships.


Want to grow in forgiveness? Check out this live presentation shared at LeTourneau University, from our LoveEd playlist, Forgiveness: The Single Most Important Relational Skill, on our FMU YouTube channel.


#14: If you actually know what you’re looking for out of relationships you’re far more likely to find it.

#15: Waiting for marriage to have sex is the wrong way to look at both sex and marriage.

#16: Marriage should not be the purpose of dating. It should be the goal. And there’s a HUGE difference between the two.


What’s the difference between the purpose and goal of dating? We clearly explain in this episode from our LoveEd series, Purpose Driven Dating, on our FMU YouTube channel.


#17: Ultimately God’s will isn’t to give you His will. It’s to give you something infinitely better. And when you understand this. You will never miss His will.

#18: If God isn’t enough for you. Nothing else will be enough for you. At least not for long.

#19: God is always near, but He is not always easy to find. However, He’s worth seeking!

That’s it, my friend! Whether you are 18 or 80, I invite you to join me in embracing these 19 truths I wish I had known before I turned 19!




DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

Check out all three study guides. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!