On Ottawa, Terrorism, and the Family

On the Ottawa Shootings and Our Response

Just four days ago I was emailing with author Shaunti Feldhahn and her assistant (Shaunti’s part of my new Christian marriage author Pinterest board). Shaunti was going to be in Ottawa on Friday (today), to present her findings from her book The Good News About Marriage. She had some free time in the afternoon, though, and I suggested we get together.

She’s staying at a downtown hotel, so I said, “as long as it’s not raining, let’s go for a walk! It’s beautiful downtown. I’ll take you by the Parliament buildings and the War Memorial, and then we can go to the Byward Market and get some Menchie’s frozen yogurt.”

I’m still meeting her this afternoon. I hope to lay flowers at the War Memorial to honour Cpl Nathan Cirillo.

Wednesday was a horrible day for my country.

When the news of the shootings hit, my youngest daughter and I were glued online to the news. I started texting the news to my older daughter, who was on lockdown at the University of Ottawa, where she had been at work in the Writing Centre. (The University is right around the corner from the Rideau Centre, the shopping mall that was in the news. They were on lockdown for 5 1/2 hours.) The twelve people stuck in the Writing Centre only had their phones, and it was easier for me to watch the news on my computer. So we texted back and forth. Her biggest problem was that she got hungry. Luckily someone had some cheese and oatmeal that they shared.

However, we have many good friends in the military, and it is they and the police who bore the brunt of the attack and are still bearing it. This was the second lone wolf attack on soldiers in uniform this week. And that is so heartbreaking and so infuriating. I was supposed to get together with several military friends in Ottawa this weekend; now I can’t, for various reasons which I won’t put here. Our military serve and sacrifice so much, and now they are being targeted here at home. I can’t quite get my head around that.

My favorite article about that morning is this one–about the bystanders who stopped to give CPR to Nathan Cirillo. So heartbreaking, but I’m glad they were with him when he died.

This week’s events, though, leave us with a question: what can we do to prevent similar attacks? The chatter on the news is on greater surveillance, and different gun laws, and powers for interrogation, and more.

That discussion is definitely needed, and I hope they figure something out.

Nevertheless, I believe our focus right now is inadequate.

We are looking for a military/police solution: a military solution overseas; a police solution here. I don’t think either will work, because at heart this is not a military problem. This is an ideological one. We are fighting against an enemy that shoots teenage girls who want to go to school; that kidnaps Christian girls to use them as prostitutes; that thinks nothing of gang raping and mutilating girls if it serves their purpose. We are fighting against an evil.

Ephesians 6:12-13 says:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

We are fighting against spiritual forces, and we are fighting an ideological battle.

Until we start fighting in the realm of ideas, we won’t win.

Until we start saying, some ideas are not acceptable, and until we get rid of moral relativism, we will not win. Until we start defending freedom and defending human rights, we will not win.

But there is something even more fundamental going on, at least in the West with these lone wolf homegrown attacks. In fact, you can see it with all the terrorist attacks and mass murders that have occurred in recent memory–even those that are not Islamic in nature.

Every single one of those mass murderers came from a broken family.

Every single one of them–with the exception of the Littleton killers whose parents weren’t divorced, but were preoccupied and neglectful.

Timothy McVeigh. Paul Bernardo. Adam Lanza. Marc Lepine (another Canadian shooter). And now Michael Zehaf Bibeau.

What makes people susceptible to the ISIS ideology? What turns a kid into a mass murderer? Many, many factors, often including some mental illness. But there is always a common thread–it starts with the family.

People who grow up with two loving parents do not, in general, grow up to hate.

People who grow up where they are not given the love and safety they need may gravitate towards evil.

This is not a commentary on all kids who grow up in divorced families; after all, I did! But my mother overcame her own issues and heartbreak to focus on me. She made sure I went to church. She made sure I had a good peer group. She made sure I saw my extended family. She made me her priority, and she kept our family together.

Most single parents do this, but not all.

One of my friends who divorced and remarried often posts family photos on Facebook that do not include her oldest children (the ones from the first marriage). I know another woman who used to attend my church who recently remarried–and did not bother to invite several of her kids to the wedding. Her new life has become more important than her oldest children.

That angers me. A person can be a single parent and also be an excellent parent. And this is the hard part–I think for a single parent to be an excellent parent they have to actually do a BETTER job than most married parents would do. They have a huge road in front of them. But the single parents I know who have raised great kids have all stressed God in their family, and have made their kids a major priority in their lives, even if they’ve remarried. They have been wonderful.

Unfortunately, many parents just don’t take their job seriously, and then the kids grow up in chaos, trying to figure out their place in the world. When they can’t figure one out, a very small but dangerous minority decides to make a name for themselves doing something awful.

We simply need to stress healthy families and healthy parenting if we are going to win the culture war at home.

Maybe it’s too late for our culture, but it is never too late for the small spheres of influence in which you live.

Let’s support our friends’ marriages. If we see a problem starting–someone texting an old flame, people belittling each other, someone using porn–get involved. Do an intervention. Let’s take care of the marriages around us before they start to disintegrate..

Let’s support kids who feel lost in the shuffle. I know several around me, one in particular that we practically adopted for a three year period, who are lost. You can never make up for two parents who love a kid, but you can still make a tremendous difference, and show a kid that they are loved. The world is not an evil place.

Let’s raise our kids to make better decisions about who they marry–and who they have children with. Let’s protect them from dating too much when they’re really young. Let’s raise them to respect themselves so that they won’t be attracted to those who treat them badly. If you know a girl in your social circle with really low self-esteem who is getting involved with losers, befriend her.Show her the difference between a dangerous guy and one who will treat her well. Show her that she has gifts and talents and she’s worth something outside of a relationship.

Let’s put pressure on absent parents to get involved in their kids’ lives. This most recent shooter had a mom who loved him–and a dad who wasn’t there. So did Marc Lepine. So did Adam Lanza. If you know someone in your extended circle who rarely sees their kids, encourage them to pick up the phone. Don’t let it be socially acceptable to ignore your kids.

Maybe if we all got just a little more involved with our neighbours, and especially with struggling kids and teenagers, we could prevent some of these horrific things. Perhaps I’m being naive, but as one person I can’t affect military policy or Canada’s security rules. But I can care about my kids, my nieces and nephews, my kids’ friends, and those marriages in my church. I can do that. What about you?

**********

And now, a thank you to Kevin Vickers, a real man, who shot the shooter on Parliament Hill before he could hurt anyone else. We should all raise our kids to be like him–and to be like Barbara Winters, who valiantly tried to save the life of a soldier.

Kevin Vickers

RIP Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent (who was killed earlier this week in another terrorist attack) . Your country appreciates your service.

Lies We Believe About Men: Men Only Want One Thing

Yesterday I started talking about the lies that women often believe about men. Today I want to tackle another one: Men only want one thing. And I’ve asked Julie Gorman to share an excerpt from her book What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men.

Men only want one thing
What more could he possibly want from me?

Greg seemed dissatisfied with our love-making. Displeased, discontented, and disappointed. Put a “dis” in front of it, and Greg probably experienced it.

I felt him becoming more and more distant.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, exasperated.

Without skipping a beat, Greg responded. “I want you to want me!”

I seethed with anger and thought to myself. What? You want me to want you? Oh, please! Get over yourself. I am so sick and tired of not measuring up to your standards. Why am I never enough for you? I never deny you sex. Give me a break!

“I don’t want to just have sex with you, Julie. I want you to want me,” Greg continued. “I don’t just want to have sex. I want to make love. I want to connect. I want you to want to kiss me passionately.”

TV scenarios of women dropping everything to respond passionately to their lover’s touch flashed through my mind.

Seriously, Greg? You’re going to complain about my level of passion now? Most men would feel ecstatic if their wife didn’t say no to their physical advances. It’s not enough that I push my fatigue to the side to engage with you in bed? It’s not enough that when I’m not in the mood I willingly avail my body. No, that’s not enough for you! Now, you want me to rip off your T-shirt at the drop of a hat and be some bubbling bombshell who …

Greg interrupted my thoughts. “Julie, I just want you to want me.” It was the third time he’d used that phrase, and I couldn’t take it any longer.

“You want me to want you?” I erupted. “Greg, I have never denied your needs. I’ve never declined your advances. I’ve never—ever—ever said no to you!” I snarled with prideful disdain. He couldn’t rebuff that!

“You’re right. You may have never said no, Julie … but you’ve also never said yes.”

As I looked into my husband’s eyes, I saw something I never noticed before. Greg displayed a passion for me, not just my body. I began to realize he wanted me to say yes to him in my heart, to love him with my soul, to connect with him in my mind. And so did God!

Unfortunately, my view of sex swung on a pendulum of great extremes, both of which were wrong! On one side, I manipulated sex to maintain and keep Greg’s affection. On the other side I despised and held sex in contempt, secretly angry and privately disgusted by its demands. I performed sex out of fear of what would happen if I didn’t. My limiting thoughts stifled my expression of love. I didn’t want to feel that way, but I couldn’t help how I felt. I desperately needed God’s intervention to overcome the lie that Men only want one thing.

Here’s the danger of believing that lie.

As a single person, if I believe that Men only want one thing, I am more likely to make concessions to my faith and compromise my standards, believing this is what I’m supposed to do next.

As a married woman, if I believe Men only want one thing, I’m tempted to treat sex as an item on my busy to-do list. Let’s see: I dropped off the dry cleaning, check. Chauffeured the kids to school, check. Made dinner by 6:00, check! Had sex with my husband, check! Check! Check! And, in the process, I miss out on the sexual intimacy and oneness God intended.

The deception that a man only wants one thing violates God’s design.

It mis-aligns God’s plan. God intended sex as a celebration of oneness—oneness of body, mind, and spirit reserved for the union of a husband and wife in holy marriage.

Married women, ask, “Do I express tenderness and connection in my love-making?” If not, ask God for a greater intimacy and renewed passion.

Single women, ask, “Have I given away my affection outside of God’s design?” If so, ask for His forgiveness, and commit to express sexual intimacy only within the confines of marriage.

God wants husbands and wives to enjoy His gift of sexual intimacy within the confines of marriage. He desires us to celebrate the marriage bed and keep it holy. And within the confines of marriage, God encourages us to drink in intimacy and embrace unity with our spouse, not treat sex as another duty needing to be checked off our ever-growing list of responsibilities.

For more help on this topic, pick up a copy of What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men. You’ll discover strategic Scriptures, questions, and practical applications to align your thoughts with God’s and life-transforming insights on how to experience a more intimate relationship with Him.

What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men: 12 Secrets Toward Greater Intimacy

Gorman-Standing-2
Excerpted from What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men by Julie Gorman. Copyright ©Julie Gorman. Published by Authentic Publishers; used by permission. Article originally published in WHOA Magazine for Women, Volume 4, Issue 2, spring 2014. Visit Julie’s website and hear her radio program at juliegorman.com.

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Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.

Lies We Believe About Men: All Men Are Perverts

All Men Are Perverts: From the lies we believe about men series
It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can link up your own marriage posts below.

Today I want to start a short series on the lies we often believe about men, starting with this one: all men are perverts. Have you ever felt that way?

When I was nineteen years old I took a missions trip to Tunisia. There were 6 of us, from 4 different countries, and we visited several missionaries there and learned the culture and talked to lots of people. The problem was that everywhere I went in public, men touched me. Everywhere.

I’d be sitting on a crowded bus, and some guy behind me would reach his hands around and feel my chest. Or we’d be standing in a crowded bus and a whole bunch of guys would feel me up, and I couldn’t tell who they were. I tried to tell the people I was traveling about this, and the leaders of the team, but they didn’t do much about it. I think it was because the other women traveling with me weren’t getting the same attention. I was blonde and young and cute, and they, quite simply, weren’t. To talk about protecting me would be to make a statement on their desirability, so they did nothing.

I asked one of the guys to act like we were married or something, but he wouldn’t. And so I felt very alone. I’d wear a scarf over my head to try to hide my hair. I stopped making eye contact. Eventually I just didn’t want to go out to the cafes and talk to people like they were, and then the team would get mad at me for not wanting to minister. But I couldn’t take it anymore.

When I returned to Canada I had a difficult reintegration. I still couldn’t look at men in the eye. If I was walking on a sidewalk and a guy was walking towards me I’d have to cross the road. I stopped saying “hi” to strangers (and we’re Canadian. That’s normal). It took me a few months to relax and be myself again.

Fast forward twenty odd years and I started writing this blog–and with it I started to get emails from women in some serious pain. I’d get a dozen a day. And I’d read them and they’d be heartbreaking and often gross. Husbands who were into porn. Husbands who had done something to her niece. Husbands who had been caught photographing her best friend’s underwear. Husbands who wanted things that were gross.

When you read those emails day in and day out you start to feel like all men are pigs. And then my husband would come home from work, all happy to see me, and I’d bark at him. It got so that I had to stop reading the emails. My assistant reads them now and passes on the ones that she thinks I can use on Facebook or for Reader Questions. And she prays over them. (So pray for her! That’s a lot to have to read through). But it was tough.

What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men: 12 Secrets Toward Greater IntimacyAll men are perverts.

I think we all go through times when we feel that way. Julie Gorman has written a book called What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men: 12 Secrets toward Greater Intimacy, and one of those secrets is that all men are NOT perverts. Julie weaves her own story about why she believed that–abuse, promiscuity, and more, that scar the heart and leave you knowing you want to get close to men, but hating them in the process. How do you stop that feeling?

Julie writes like a novelist, weaving vivid stories into her chapters on the lies that we believe about men. And the book isn’t a self-help book as much as it is a Bible study, pointing us to passages to study, verses to consider, and prayers to pray to help us defeat these lies with the tools that God’s given us.

She knows what it is to feel like all men are perverts–just like you probably have at times, or do right know.

If you’re walking with a husband who is using porn, it’s easy to get sucked in. If you’re married to someone who has had an affair, it’s easy to start believing that lie. Or maybe you’re married to a wonderful man, but all the things that other guys did to you has just distorted your image of men so much that you can’t relax around him. You can’t let him be him.

And it hurts. It hurts because you don’t want to live like this, and you don’t want to feel this way about your husband, but what hope is there? You feel like you know the truth about men, and the truth is that they ARE gross. Men are perverts. Men do only want one thing. And somehow we’re supposed to give it to them? Makes sex seem awful, doesn’t it? I understand.

After years of blaming her husband and looking down on her husband, Julie realized that she couldn’t keep living like this anymore. She had an epiphany, and it went like this:

I could bash man’s design, or I could seek to educate myself about how God wired his body and desires differently than my own.

I could openly see all men as perverts, or I could view the men who sexually sinned against me as fallen beings in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

I could run away from the painful memories and build more walls of isolation and pain, or I could invite God to heal and restore His original intentions for my life.

I could masterfully concoct and strategize plans to protect my heart, or I could allow my heavenly Father to expose the wounds that ravaged my innocence since I was four and heal the fallout of men’s actions.

You face that choice today, too.

If you’re walking through life thinking all men are perverts, you are at a crossroads.

If you keep going down that path, telling yourself that lie (and it is a lie), then you will find yourself increasingly isolated, alone, and bitter. And that is not God’s design for you.

The truth is that SOME men are perverts.

Some men will use little girls. Some men will travel to Asian countries to rent out an 8-year-old virgin for the night. Some men will kidnap Nigerian teenagers to pass them around their camp.

Some men will stare at pictures of naked women being used. Some men will throw away a great family and a great marriage for a little roll in the hay with some woman at work.

And some–not all, but some–of these men are upstanding men. Some of these men are normally good guys, but they occasionally fall. They are tempted, and they don’t make it through.

Yes, some of them are evil all the time. But most are not.

And so we have a choice: will we define all men in terms of their temptations (and some of their failures), or will we see them as creatures like us, who sometimes fail, but who are, at heart, good?

For there is a problem with defining all men as perverts. When we do that, we define ourselves, too. We say, “I am going to be the strong one and put a wall around myself so that a man can’t touch me. I am going to keep myself from being hurt.” But when you keep yourself from being hurt, you keep yourself from being vulnerable–and vulnerability is a part of love.

Your marriage was meant to be wonderful--don't let someone who hurt you in the past keep hurting you today.

I know many of you have seen so much evil in your life it’s hard to let go of it. But I think, like Julie, you have a choice. Will you let your past experiences impact your life now, or will you let yourself be free? Will you let yourself truly experience love with a good man who sometimes falls, or will you condemn yourself to a life locked up in a box of your own making?

God doesn’t want you in a box.

God wants to start healing you. You are precious, and if things were done to you, He is angry about that and He will avenge and there will be justice. But He wants you to know love, too.

If you’re struggling, why don’t you pray this prayer today:

God, I know that you created us, male and female. I know that your design is perfect. But I feel like you messed it up–like you made men to be disgusting pigs sometimes. I’ve seen it. And I don’t want to live with that constant suspicion and that constant fear anymore. Please, God, help me to see men through your eyes. Take my bad memories and show me that they don’t define me–and they don’t define men. Let me experience your love. Lead me through a journey of forgiveness and letting go of bitterness. And in your mercy, surround me with good men. Let me notice when a stranger opens the door, or smiles politely, or lends a hand. Keep my eyes open for the good. And keep my eyes open for the good in the man I married, too. Teach me to trust, and forgive me where I have let anger seep in. I don’t want it anymore, and I give it to you. Most of all, let me see the perfect man, Jesus. Let me see how He loved women and sacrificed for women. And let me experience His love today. Amen.

Christian Marriage Advice

Now it’s your turn. What advice do you have for us? Link up the URL of your own post in the linky below!



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Win a Marriage Library–with the Christian Marriage Author Pinterest Board

Christian Marriage Author Pinterest Board

I love Pinterest.

I love scrolling through and finding inspirational quotes and new recipes and great articles on the internet.

The problem is that a lot of what’s out there isn’t really, well, GOOD. And how do you weed through all the not-so-good advice and questionable theology find the stuff that’s actually quality?

I’ve got the answer today–and I’ve got THREE awesome GIVEAWAYS of a library of 12 marriage books, too!

I’ve asked five other marriage authors–people who have written books that are widely respected in the Christian marriage field–to join me on a group board on Pinterest.

Follow the board here!

There we’ll pin blog posts, links to new books, research we find interesting, other things we like around the web, information on where we’re speaking, and more! So if you want to know what your favorite Christian marriage authors write–and read–you’ll find it all here!

And each author is giving away some of their books, and all together we’ll have THREE great prizes of a marriage library that you can read yourself, donate to your church, lend to friends, or use as wedding shower gifts (after you’ve read them, of course. :) ).

Here’s who is on the board:

gary thomas

Gary Thomas: The Profound One

I first met Gary when he spoke at a retreat for all the Weekend to Remember speakers for FamilyLife Canada. He explained what he meant by his now famous question, “what if God intended marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”, and I sat there frantically scribbling as many notes as I could.

I’ve since read his books and gotten to know him a bit personally, and he is a very humble, wise man who never fails to make me think.

I love especially his book Sacred Search, about how to choose whom you will marry. And I’ve made my girls read it, too!

Gary is donating to our giveaways:

A Lifelong Love: What If Marriage Is about More Than Just Staying Together?A Lifelong Love: What if Marriage is About More than Just Staying Together?

Gary worries that many couples settle for too little in marriage. Understanding how God sees you, your spouse, and your marriage can revitalize your relationship–and make it great.

Sacred MarriageSacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

Gary’s book is so profound, and will make you look at your marriage in a whole new way. It’s not that we’re not supposed to be happy–it’s that happiness is a by-product of holiness, and it’s character that God is really concerned with.

 

pam crop lean
Pam Farrel: The Generous One

Pam makes me laugh.

She is just so FUN, and her books are fun (and quirky), and wise all at the same time. My husband and I had a chance to meet Pam and Bill for dessert one night a while back, and we still talk about their counsel when we’re trying to figure out what to do with work and speaking and schedules, etc.

Pam is likely the most generous author I know. When I was all upset and worried recently about a writing project, I Facebooked her, she phoned me, and she calmed me right down in five minutes flat. She’s introduced me to people, she’s introduced others to me, and she takes delight in mentoring others. Her heart is to get God’s message out, not her own.

And she writes amazing stuff about keeping love alive in your marriage. She’s my common sense, go-to marriage person.

Pam is donating to our giveaways:

Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your DifferencesMen Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti

Men and women are made differently. Men live their lives in little boxes–like waffles–and women are more like pieces of pasta, with everything worming its way into everything else. In this practical–and hilarious–book, you’ll learn how to understand your mate and forge a great marriage.

Red-Hot Romance Tips for WomenRed Hot Romance Tips for Women

Has marriage gotten stale? Do you yearn for romance, but you just can’t find it anymore? Pam gives us some great advice on how to make your marriage red hot once again!

 

shannon ethridge
Shannon Ethridge: The Courageous One

Shannon talks about fantasizing. And sex. And temptation. And passion. And all those things that Christians generally hide from. And she started talking about them before anyone else was! I want to be Shannon when I grow up (which may be mean to say, because it makes her sound old. And I think we’re about the same age. :) )

But Shannon wasn’t afraid to knock down walls and start saying, “every woman struggles with this stuff. If we don’t talk about it in the church, where are we going to talk about it?” She is on a lifelong quest to help women realize that God made us to be passionate beings, and she wants us to channel that passion in a healthy way.

Shannon is donating to our giveaways:

The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual ThoughtsThe Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Hidden Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts

Are all fantasies bad? Is it wrong to fantasize? What do my fantasies say about me? Shannon helps us navigate what are healthy fantasies and which ones are “rocky road maps to our past” that show where we need God’s healing.

The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage
The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage

God wants us to enjoy our spouses without shame or fear, and with total passion! Learn how to embrace passion in your marriage without all the baggage that often inhibits real freedom.

leslie vernick
Leslie Vernick: The Wise One

The Christian marriage world is filled with great advice on how to make a good marriage great.

What we don’t do as well is helping people who are in difficult marriages–and who need to know that God’s purpose for us is that we be GOOD, not always NICE. The two are not necessarily the same thing.

Leslie has written some hard books, but some very needed ones. Last week I phoned her when I wanted to clarify my own thoughts on submission for the book I’m finishing up right now, and she sent me some articles she wrote that were a tremendous help. Leslie is real, and she is wise, and she is so needed.

She preaches true freedom and true goodness, and it isn’t always what we typically hear in the church.

Leslie is donating to our giveaways:

How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts WrongHow to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong

No one has a perfect marriage. But what do you do when your spouse does something wrong that hurts you? Leslie shows you that acting right will help you look more like Christ and grow more like Him, even if your spouse doesn’t change. A real encouragement–and an important message.

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your HopeThe Emotionally Destructive Marriage

You can’t put it into words, but something is wrong. You’re on eggshells, you’re always stressed, and your marriage seems wrong. Leslie helps chart a course to help free you from emotional abuse and find hope again.

Shaunti-with-blue-sweater-200x300
Shaunti Feldhahn: The Ground-Breaking One

When I picture Shaunti, I picture a little Tasmanian devil, whirling around getting as much done as possible.

I met her for the first time almost a decade ago, and I interviewed her for a radio show I was doing. I remember being so impressed with her dedication to helping marriages.

Shaunti is a born researcher, and early in her writing ministry she realized that maybe the reason that marriages were breaking up is that the sexes really didn’t understand each other. Her ground-breaking books For Women Only and For Men Only, explaining the opposite sex, became the go-to wedding shower gifts.

But what really excites me about Shaunti is all the first hand research she’s doing today to figure out the TRUTH about marriage–and what makes a successful one.

I cannot rave enough about her book The Good News About Marriage, which proves that the divorce rate is not–and never has been–anywhere close to 50%. Let’s get the word out and pass it on!

I’m meeting up with Shaunti in Ottawa this Friday–I’m going to show her the Parliament buildings and grab some frozen yogurt, as long as it isn’t raining. And I can’t wait!

Shaunti is donating to our giveaways:

For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men
For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men

Do you “get” your husband? Or is he a mystery to you? Shaunti opens up what motivates men, haunts men, and preoccupies men, and helps you understand him better!

 

The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big DifferenceThe Surprising Secrets Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference

I LOVE this book! I’m using tons of Shaunti’s research in my new book, too. It is amazing how little things can make a big difference, and how your marriage can be changed if you just think about it differently.

 

…And then there’s me. I don’t know what to call myself.

Sheila2012 Blue 200
Sheila Wray Gregoire: The Authentic One

Some people call me “the sex lady”, and that’s a big compliment (my husband especially thinks so!)

But what I hope that I’m known for is being authentic. I don’t shield very much on this blog, or in my books. I share with you about my struggles. I probably share TOO MUCH about some of my health issues. I’m open about when I mess up.

But I hope and pray that as we take this marriage journey together that we can encourage each other and learn from each other. I’ve thought so much about marriage (and sex!) over the last few years, and it’s an honor to share that with you in this blog and in my books.

And if I can be the “big sister” who tells it likes it is, then that would be a great honor, too.

I am donating to our giveaways:

Good Girls Guide My SiteThe Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex

God created sex to be something amazing–but many of us have never experienced that. Learn how sex is supposed to be intimate and awesome physically, spiritually, and emotionally–and what you can do if you haven’t found that yet.

To Love, Honor and VacuumTo Love, Honor and Vacuum: When You Feel More Like a Maid Than a Wife and a Mother

Do you feel exhausted and taken for granted–like your life has become one big to-do list? Here’s help to reprioritize your life and get your kids and husband more involved in the household, so all does not rest on your shoulders.

There you go–a marriage library of 12 awesome books, and a Pinterest board to follow your favorite Christian marriage authors!

So follow us on Pinterest

And if you’re interested in winning ONE of THREE prizes of a marriage library–each with twelve books–just enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Filming at Focus on the Family, Colorado MeetUp, and More!

Last Tuesday I flew from my daughter’s place in Ottawa to Colorado Springs. And I had such an amazing time! I wanted to share with you some of the highlights.

First, I got to speak at a morning meeting for a MOPS group in Denver, since I was in the area.

DenverMOPS

MOPS groups are so much fun to speak at! My only regret: I didn’t get to hold one of the babies. I just love holding babies. It’s been too long since I’ve had one of my own. but I shared my Girl Talk with them, and we had a Q&A, and it was a riot.

Then I went to the offices of Waterbrook, my publisher for my upcoming 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage.

Waterbrook

Since I was going to be in Colorado Springs anyway, my editor arranged for a big meeting with all kinds of people in marketing, publicity, editing, etc. I met all the bigwigs, and we talked for two hours about how they’re going to do the book launch and how they can help. It will be officially out on August 18, and I’m so excited! Now I just have to finish editing it this week…

After that was the big coup de grace–the reason I went to Colorado Springs in the first place. I was filming part of a DVD series for Focus on the Family for newlywed couples, talking about sex. It was so much fun to finally see the building and be part of Focus!

FOTF sign

Then they did my makeup and hair and I got to sit under lights wearing a blue satin top.

FOTF1

Think about that for a moment. Hot lights. Blue satin top.

Let’s just say that after a while I stopped moving my arms.

It sounds like it’s going to be a great curriculum, and I don’t know how many of my stories will make the cut. But I love doing these types of things. Reminds me that I really should film more video for this site, because I like speaking and talking into the camera, and you guys really just read what I write. You don’t hear me. I think I’ll steal the camera back from my daughter, who confiscated it to film her own YouTube videos, and start vlogging myself soon. AFTER I finish the editing of course. Sigh…

Then on Thursday night I had another “meet up”. I emailed everyone on my list who lived in Colorado and told them I’d be at a particular frozen yogurt place on Thursday night. And we had a few turn out! We ended up talking for almost 2 1/2 hours. And no on knew each other beforehand!

MeetUpGroup2

We talked about what I should blog about more, about how to teach kids about sex, about submission in marriage, and more! Most of all we just heard each other’s stories.

MeetUp6

I went on a few rants, but I think I did less talking than a lot of the others. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to meet people who actually read the blog! There was one couple there who had dated long distance for 3 and a half years before marrying 3 months ago. There was a woman with a 5-month old baby, who had three more little kids at home, who had just celebrated her tenth anniversary. A woman with three teens trying to figure out her place in the world now that her children have grown. Another woman who writes and blogs–like me. And then there was my assistant. I stayed at her house all week and met her family–and met her! And she’s been working for me for 3 years! But it was the first time we were actually together in real life.

MeetUp3

So fun to meet Holly.

I heard some great stories that night, and I’d like to share some with you in time. But they’re not mine to tell. I asked one woman in particular to write a guest post, and I think she will. She has some important things to say.

Best of all, I got to tell these people stuff I CAN’T share on the blog about my family and other things. We were all laughing together, and the poor boy working at the yogurt counter (that Holly knew) I think was trying to shut the place down, and we were still talking.

Before we left, though, I asked Lara to teach me how to tie the scarf that she had around her neck–and she did!

MeetUpScarf

On the way to the airport, Holly took me for a drive through “Garden of the Gods”, these amazing rock formations. Here I am by Balancing Rock:

1017140846e

I’m back home now, getting ready to get back to blogging myself and finishing writing. But it was a fun trip, and I wanted to show you some of the things I’ve been doing. Whenever I’m somewhere for a few days I think I will do a meetup–they’re really encouraging for me, too, to meet people who read me regularly, even if they don’t always comment. It’s fun to put faces to my blog readers. And it’s neat to come up with new ideas and to know what they struggle with. The other thing it does is ground me. I have a lot of issues in the comments with people I can’t let through because they’re off on a tangent or rude, or people who have one persistent theological issue they’re trying to push. Because they comment most frequently, it can seem like EVERYONE feels that way. But they really don’t. So it’s nice to talk to “normal” people and know what they’re going through.

My next big trip will likely be Texas in February, and there’s still time to get your church in on that tour! I’m also doing Louisiana in March and Arizona in April. Just email me if you’d like me to come to your church! And be sure to sign up for one of my newsletters, and then you’ll get notified if I’m ever doing a meetup in YOUR area.

One of the biggest points of praise for the trip is that my health was fine. As many of you know, I had some issues last May and needed surgery. Thankfully, those issues have completely resolved. But my body decided there’s no point in being healthy, so let’s get something else to act up! And my gallbladder has, causing tremendous pain. At least, I’m sure it’s my gallbladder, but nothing is cooperating by showing up on tests. So I have a ton more tests ordered, and meanwhile I have to live with it, eating absolutely nothing with grease, etc. The good news: I’m losing weight. The bad news: I feel pretty terrible quite often. But I was really careful last week, and I made it through!

Thanks for reading, everybody! I do appreciate my readers. I’ve had my biggest month ever on the blog, and things keep growing, and that’s really exciting for me. If there are things you want me to share about more, leave them in the comments!

What if Balance is Overrated?

Balance is Overrated

Here is an older post that I really love, so I wanted to resurrect it–in case you missed it the first time!

Balance. It’s the buzzword of this generation.

In our hectic lives, everyone is searching for that elusive thing called “balance”, where we feel like we’re living out our priorities, we’re able to get the rest we need, but we’re still being purposeful.

What if the whole idea of finding balance is more like a millstone around your neck than it is a real thing to aim after, though?

Let me explain.

Finding Balance, in and of itself, says that some things must lose.

It says that you have to put less of an emphasis on one thing so that you can put more of an emphasis on something else. To aim for balance is really to aim for a constant series of trade-offs. You decide that this will have to go, that you can’t do this, all so that you can do this.

It’s not exactly an easy psychological process.

What if there’s a better way?

A bunch of very disparate but interesting things have led me to this conclusion. First, I was reading Kathy Peel’s book The Family Manager while staying at a friend’s home recently. Her point is that many housewives are extremely capable when it comes to organizing work or organizing big functions at church, but we can’t seem to organize our homes. The solution? Take what you’re good at and apply those same principles at home. In other words, work to your strengths.

I’ve read something similar in another book recently, which even though I disagreed with much of it, that one part I thought was useful.

Forget finding balance; instead, figure out what you’re good at.

What makes you feel alive? What gets you excited? Now concentrate on maximizing your time for that.

At the same time, I’ve been delivering a number of messages at various speaking engagements about finding your purpose in life. And it occurs to me now that if we apply all three of these principles to our lives, we’d be a lot happier than if we just sought balance. So here’s what such a life would look like:

1. Figure out your purpose.

What is it that God is calling you to right now? Where does He want you investing your time, your money, your energy? Sometimes there may be just one area; some of us have several areas. I feel called to speak, to homeschool, and to lead the Bible quizzing program with our youth at church. One of those areas is simply my specific responsibility (my family). God always calls you first and foremost to your family. The others are more where I am using my gifts and serving in my particular church.

When you figure out where you are most called, then it’s easier to emphasize those areas. Forget everything else. Let it all fall by the wayside. We don’t need to be “balanced”, doing everything in moderation. We need to be sold out to the areas where God has called us!

Figure out where God has called you, and ditch the rest. Yes, the other stuff needs to get done. But God will call someone to do that other stuff. Your responsibility is just to live out the areas where you are called.

I believe that we are always called primarily to our families and to the people who are closest to us. Those are the people that God has trusted us with to show them Jesus. We are also called to our local body of believers, to serve in at least some capacity. I don’t think having children gives you an excuse not to serve. We all can be serving somewhere, because without us the church can’t function. So ask God to show you in what one area you can serve that will make a difference.

2. In those areas where you feel called, work to your strengths.

Maybe you don’t cook. Maybe you never will learn to love cooking or cook very well. That’s okay. Stop beating yourself up about it. Learn to make 7 meals well, and rotate them every week. You’re allowed. Maybe your real gift is in making a fun home where you play lots of games and create an atmosphere where people just plain have a roaring good time, even if the house is never in tip top shape.

That’s who you are. Stop trying to become someone you’re not. What are your strengths in your family? Play to them. Do the things that you do well, and then figure out how to minimize the other tasks which do need to get done so that you have more time for your strengths. Don’t strive for balance, because in your case, balance means spending more time on stuff that frustrates you and makes you miserable, and less on stuff that gives you life.

I was reminded of this a few years ago when I went on a craft binge. I bought painting supplies. I bought fabric to sew. I bought all kinds of stuff. And then I started doing it and hated it. I sewed my maternity clothes and they never fit quite right. I tried to stencil something and kept going out of the lines.

And all the while my knitting sat beside me, untouched. I was trying to conquer all these other crafts that I admired, instead of doing the one that I am great at (if I do say so myself) and that relaxes me. So now I proudly announce that I don’t sew, I don’t cross-stitch, I don’t scrapbook, and I don’t crochet. What I do do is knit. Everywhere. Even in line at the grocery store (I always have a pair of socks on the go in my purse).

Sheila Wray Gregoire knitting--work to your strengths!

It may not be balanced, but it’s what I’m good at and it’s what I enjoy. You don’t need to do everything. Work to your strengths.

When you figure out what you’re good at, it’s easier to apply those things to your home. If you’re a spontaneous person, then create a spontaneous home. Work less to lists and more to creativity. That’s okay. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Figure out how to get done what does need to get done, but then create a tone for your home where you’re laid back, and people can drop in anytime and it doesn’t bother you.

If, instead, you’re very organized, then don’t try to be spontaneous! Create a schedule for your day and stick to it. You’ll feel better.

Often instead of working to our strengths we work to our weaknesses. We see the things we’re not good at and we spend all kinds of time trying to make ourselves better at these areas of weakness, rather than spending productive time in the areas where we do excel. If we each worked to our strengths, we’d get things done a lot more quickly and with a lot less grief.

God made you the way you are for a purpose. You do not have to be the typical Christian woman, because God may not have made you that way. He sure didn’t make me that way! I function best when I have a ton of things on the go. I work really hard, and then I crash really hard, and my family loves it. We’re busy, we do interesting things, we talk about interesting things, and no one day is ever exactly like the other.

That’s who I am. Do you know who you are? Or are you still reading all these books that tell you that you should fit into a specific mold? I think often we mistake our identity and calling with the things in life that need to get done. Just because laundry needs to get done does not mean that you are naturally a laundry person. Just because you’re looking after your children at home does not mean that you are naturally a kid person. But you can take what you are naturally good at and you can apply those things to how you manage your home, how you raise your kids, how you serve in church.

3. If you don’t fit the mold, break it!

Just don’t try to have balance, if what you mean by finding balance is that you do a little bit of everything. It seems to me that God calls us to live out our purpose, and to work productively six days a week, and then He calls us for one day a week to rest in Him, to have time to think, to meditate, to enjoy each other. That’s the balance that we need.

So make sure that you’re spending time connecting with God so that you can find your purpose. Spend time on your own everyday rejuvenating yourself so that you can live out that purpose. And then apply your strengths to living out your calling day by day. Don’t be everything to everybody. Be uniquely you. And that is perfectly okay.

This One Tip Revolutionized Our Marriage

Tip_1
Today, welcome Kyle Gabhart, author of The Phoenix Marriage, who wanted to share how to revolutionize your marriage.  His experiential story will change how you see your spouse!

One weekend in February of 2013, my wife and I attended a weekend marriage conference that rocked our world. The workshop was presented by Dr. David and Teresa Ferguson at our local church. We had so many amazing realizations that weekend, but one of those stands out more than any other. Dr Ferguson walked the couples through a simple visualization exercise:

Imagine you are sitting next to God and both of you are gazing a short distance away toward your mate. Rather than seeing him or her as your spouse, try to imagine what God sees – His child. Uniquely created for a divine purpose, He has cared for and nurtured this child for years. Now ask Father God what He loves about His child. What is it about him or her that delights the Father? What special qualities has He uniquely placed within him or her and why did He choose this person to be your soul’s mate?

This simple exercise transformed our marriage. Our physical eyes that saw only chores and bills and schedules were exchanged for spiritual eyes to see one another with grace, compassion, and love.

How do you see your mate?

If your marriage is anything like ours used to be, you likely see your spouse in terms of his or her function. Your mate is a partner that helps with chores, finances, logistics with the kiddos, and makes sure you never have to go alone to the movies. While all of those are true, they only scratch the surface. All of those functional elements are generic qualities which would be applicable to anyone operating in the role of husband or wife. Beneath that surface layer is someone specially crafted to share a life and a mission with you. Yet, losing sight of this truth is so easy to do.

This one tip revolutionized our marriage--see like God does!

What does God see?

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -I Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

God sees His son or His daughter. He sees a precious child whom He uniquely endowed with talents and capabilities. Your spouse didn’t come from a mold. There was no factory assembly line. This was a custom job for a specific purpose. God lovingly crafted your husband or wife and chose to trust you with loving this person for the rest of your life. Before the two of you even met, He was delighting in this person every day. Long before the two of you said your vows, He was weeping over your mate’s failures and celebrating each success. He LOVES your mate unconditionally. Do you?

Honor your mate

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose.” -Proverbs 16:3-4 (ESV)

The Lord has made EVERYTHING for its purpose, your spouse included. Those qualities that annoy you most, may actually be a side effect of the unique gifts that your spouse has been blessed with by God! My wife sometimes gets frustrated by my absent-mindedness. But this is just a natural side effect of being a thoughtful and introspective person. These are the very same qualities that I use in ministering to her heart and shepherding marriages on a daily basis! Likewise, I tend to get aggravated by Tammy’s insistence that we leave on time to get to places we need to go, and yet it’s this very quality that makes her so invaluable to managing our crazy family of eight!

Commit to honoring your mate. If one or more qualities bother you, ask God to help you see why He created them that way. Chances are, you’re missing out on an incredible aspect of your spouse. Then once you discover it, commit to celebrating this quality of your mate and praise them for it. The dynamic of your relationship will radically change when you honor your mate’s uniqueness by seeing them the way Jesus does.

Kyle and Debbie
The Phoenix Marriage: God Creates Beauty Out of AshesKyle Gabhart is a devoted husband and father of 6. He is also a blogger, public speaker, entrepreneur, and author of the the newly released The Phoenix Marriage. He and his wife Tammy, founded Equip Your Marriage, a faith-based ministry dedicated to empowering, equipping, and restoring marriages. Kyle is an avid soccer player and board game enthusiast, but he prides himself on being a constant embarrassment to his children.

WEBSITEEquip Your Marriage

BOOK: Phoenix Marriage

 

A Peek Inside a Blogger’s Marriage

Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look
I’m on the road right now (well, technically I’m in the air) traveling to Colorado! If you live in the state, come and meet me! Details of where I’ll be when are here. So I didn’t have time to write a post today. I have a contest I wanted to announce, but it will have to wait until next Tuesday. Instead, I wanted to share this lovely guest post from Emily Wierenga, author of the touching memoir Atlas Girl, giving us a peek inside her marriage.

The other night we left the boys with my sister, rented a hotel room in the mountains. We planned to snowboard the next day.

We bought some beer and take-out and I couldn’t rest that night. For hours, we lay there in our separate beds because the room came with two, but I couldn’t sleep. And I cried.

Trent stretched out his hand across the space between our beds, his fingers reaching for me in the dark. “Hold on to me, Em,” he said. “I’m here.”

“Hold on to me, Em. I’m here.”

We’re not exactly John and Yoko.

Trent’s a math geek and I’m a literary nerd. He’s loud and I’m quiet. He’s athletic and I run into walls. We both like books. We both love camping. And we’re both over-the moon crazy about each other and our boys.

But marriage has come hard for us.

Hard, with years of anorexia and insomnia and fists punching the wall.

I’m putting away the laundry, the seven loads which Trent folded for me while playing a computer game, because between my books and my boys, I can’t seem to take a shower or do any house cleaning. Let alone fold the laundry.

And I’m putting the baskets away when he calls “Suppertime,” because Trent’s made burgers, and on the table, a salad: with peppers and grated Jalapeno cheese, lettuce, bacon bits, and grated carrot, and chopped onions which always make Trent cry–it’s the only time I see him cry– and “I made you fancy salad,” he says.

Like my friend says, there’s nothing sexier than a salad-making man.

But truth is I’d be a wreck without my salad-making man.

The one who held me those long, skinny anorexia years.

Our best conversations happen over a board game because games are Trent’s love language, and we’re still getting the intimacy thing.

I used to fight him when I got mad, sometimes with my fists, and he’d shake his head and grab my wrists and then finally leave. Slam the door and drive off while I wept into the couch pillows, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

No man is perfect, and Trent will say things that unintentionally hurt me, or he’ll forget to take out the trash, but I will also do things–like forget his birthday, as I did one year–and ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love.

Ours is the kind of marriage that throbs with love.

The kind of love that will not give up: not through anorexia, not through insomnia, not through moves to Korea or moves home to take care of parents with cancer, not through slammed doors or tears or fists, because there’s also the salad. There’s the laundry. There’s Trent taking the kids to his parents so I can write. There’s him reaching out in the dark to hold me, to pray for me.

I want the kind of marriage that dances into its Golden Anniversary, that kisses each other on wrinkled cheeks and laughs at each other’s jokes long after the sun has wound down.

I want the kind of marriage that dances into its Golden Anniversary.

Golden Anniversary

 

And maybe the secret is to never stop reaching out in the dark. To never stop taking hold of each other’s hands. And to never let go.

Not even for a moment.

Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to LookEmily Wierenga is a blogger and the author of several books, including her touching memoir Atlas Girl about her struggle with anorexia and figuring out where she fits in this world. She’s an artist, a writer, a mother, and a lover. You can find her at http://emilywierenga.com.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, so I’m going to take the day off of blogging to drive to Ottawa and make dinner for my daughter, her boyfriend, and her roommate. I’m looking forward to seeing them! So forgive my lack of a new post.

Then tomorrow I fly out to Colorado Springs to do some work with Focus on the Family and to speak in Denver on Wednesday morning. If you’re in the Colorado area, I’d love to see you! Here’s information on where I’m speaking in Denver and a meetup I’m planning for Colorado Springs.

In the meantime, I posted this on Facebook the other day and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

Tough times don't last; tough people do.

I love the sentiment, but I don’t know that it’s always that easy. It seems to me as I go through people’s emails and read the comments that tough times DO last–in a way. The immediate pain goes away, and you’re able to smile again and get through the day. But hurts we suffer come with us. God heals much, but some pain is always there. I’m not sure it’s supposed to be different–as Laura Story said in her song Blessings, maybe these tough times give us a thirst that this world can’t satisfy. They point us to heaven.

I know some of you are walking through tough times in your marriage, and I want to reassure you that the aching pain won’t last. It really won’t. And it does make you stronger, and it can bring you together. And when  you decide to cling to each other in tough times, you forge such a strong bond.

But some pain does stay, and that’s the nature of life. Perhaps, though, that’s okay, because it gives us a sense of the joy of heaven.

That’s what I’m thinking this Thanksgiving. I’m so grateful for everything that God has brought me through, and it’s made me into a tough person. But there will always be some aches, and I’m at peace with that. Because it makes me even more grateful that this world is not all there is.

A few more things for today:

These posts are being shared quite a bit this week. If you haven’t seen them, you may want to take a look:

My 7 Pet Peeves About How We Do Music in Church

The 21 Day Marriage Challenge

Should We Stop Using the Term Virgin?

The 50 Best Bible Verses to Memorize

And to all my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving! To everyone else, have a wonderful day, and come on back tomorrow for the launch of an exciting contest!

Some Weekend Links

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada, and I’m getting ready for two turkey dinners! One at my aunt’s, and then a small one at my daughter’s in Ottawa with her boyfriend and her best friend. Just the four of us–three university students who crave a good meal, and me!

In honour of Thanksgiving, let me share this one video that is my favourite of all time (#70skids)

In all seriousness, though, as my girls get older and move on with their lives, I am deeply thankful to God that they both have faith, and that they both have sought out friends who also have faith. And with the chaos in the world today, I am so grateful and thankful for my country as well.

I’ll Be in Colorado This Week!

I’m coming to Colorado Springs this week to film some things for Focus on the Family, and if you’re in Colorado, I’d love to meet you! Here’s how:

Wednesday, 9:15 a.m., Bethany Lutheran Church near Denver (4500 E Hampden Ave, Cherry Hills Village)

I’ll be at their MOPS meting giving my signature Girl Talk! Come on by if you’re in the area. Join the Facebook Event here!

Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Meet-up at In the Moo Self-Service Frozen Yogurt, Colorado 105, Monument.

If you’re in the Colorado Springs/Monument area, I’ll be dropping by In The Moo for some frozen yogurt. Come on by! I’d love to meet you–and have you meet other women who read To Love, Honor and Vacuum!

And Now, for something more serious….

So I’m sure you’ve all heard about those celebrity nude photo hacks. Really sad. Actress Jennifer Lawrence said,

I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.

That made me really sad. It assumes that everyone will look at porn. It ignores the effects of porn. And as I’ve said before, you can’t defeat porn by becoming porn. The problem isn’t porn itself; it’s what porn does to you, and how it messes up your arousal process and your idea of intimacy.

Another thing for all of you women who have ever thought, “if only I were prettier he wouldn’t be tempted to look at porn”. We’re talking about Jennifer Lawrence! So once again, proof that porn use is not about you; it’s about a compulsion, and it needs to stop.

Can You Help Covenant Eyes in their Fight Against Porn (and get paid for it!)?

Covenant Eyes
Covenant Eyes is a great resource that helps with internet accountability. You can install it on all your devices, and then it sends an email to a person of your choice if someone tries to access a site that isn’t good.

Thy want to improve their service, and so they’re seeking feedback from married women with children. Here are three ways you can participate:

Fill out a survey

  • Incentive: Special e-book bundle from Covenant Eyes
  • Plus, a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card in a raffle!
  • Must be completed by October 24

Test a part of the Covenant Eyes website. This interview should take 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Incentive: a $15 Amazon gift card for completing the interview
  • Plus, free Covenant Eyes software for your family for three months while you participate in the Market Research
  • Must let Covenant Eyes know by October 15th to participate. Email Leigh Seger if you’d like to.

Single question e-mails. Simply respond by e-mail to the question-of the-day for a week. Covenant Eyes will e-mail you the questions.

  • Incentive: a $25 Amazon gift card
  • Takes place from October 20 – 24

Interviews are conducted by the Covenant Eyes User Experience department to:

  • Find out how people use Covenant Eyes software/website.
  • Find problems that users have with the software/website.
  • Give out gift cards from Amazon to thank people for offering their opinions and time (Now that’s fun!).

If you would like to participate in any of these offers, please e-mail Leigh Seger and she will provide you with additional details to participate.

If porn is a struggle in your marriage, don’t forget to follow my “Dealing with Porn in Your Marriage” Pinterest board!