My Daughter Being Hilarious–and More!

My youngest has an awesome YouTube channel, and here’s her latest installment:

What Books Taught Her (that the authors never intended). I dare you to get through the Twilight rant without laughing:

And now for Katie being more serious:

Last week she was one of 15 quizzers from the Eastern Canada district of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church sent to the international competition for Bible quizzing, which was held this year just north of Toronto (yay! We didn’t have to travel much. Next year it’s in Minnesota). They were quizzing on the books of Romans and James in the English Standard Version.

My daughter at internationals quizzing

Her team made it to the finals of the Consolation A division, and ended up winning that quiz. You can watch the whole thing here (hit the video that’s 79 minutes long–the times when Katie is featured are listed in the next paragraph). The first part of the video is a 20 question quiz. You get 30 seconds to answer a question, and most questions are jumped on after two syllables (in the district meets throughout the year you tend to get the whole question out–but this is internationals). To “jump”, the kids are sitting on benches with a sensor that’s hooked up to a board, and when you take your weight off the sensor, your light goes off. So that’s how they know who got the jump.

At 2:00 Katie leads in the national anthem. Katie jumps and answers 4 questions correctly–at 14:30, 28:15, 30:50, and 40:40–to win the quiz. It’s really pretty awesome to watch how well these kids know these books! Like I said, they have to be able to answer after just two words.

Katie (the captain) congratulating one of her rookie quizzers on pulling an answer out of nowhere.

Katie (the captain) congratulating one of her rookie quizzers on pulling an answer out of nowhere.

Katie can quote ALL of Romans and James, word perfectly. And she can tell you any verse. So proud of her!

Katie jumped on basically nothing, just said an answer--and actually got it right. Here's her surprised look.

Katie jumped on basically nothing, just said an answer–and actually got it right. Here’s her surprised look.

She ended up 6th out of 120 quizzers, and top Canadian. (But before you Americans get too proud, last year the top quizzer WAS a Canadian. Booyah!)


A Note About the Comments Section

I just want to take a moment and say something about the comments.

I want this blog to be a safe place where women can get great encouragement and inspiration for their marriage, their sex life, and their parenting. I’ve thought and prayed a lot about my perspective, and I’m quite comfortable with it, as are my publishers and the many people who hire me to speak.

However, I’ve run into trouble over the last 3-4 years with commenters who completely disagree with my stance on many things–specifically people who think that women don’t do enough in marriage; that most porn use is due to women’s refusing sex; that women should not set boundaries, since that is the job of the man who is in authority; that divorce is almost always women’s fault; and that the aim of marriage seems to be hierarchy rather than oneness.

In general, these commenters have been male, and they tend to comment critically multiple times on posts–and on multiple posts.

What I started to notice about two years ago was that my regular commenters–the women who come here day in and day out–were no longer commenting because the comment section was getting so nasty. My comment section was actually more dynamic 3 years ago than it is today, largely because of the negative tone that took over.

I didn’t want that, and I finally banned about ten commenters who were really spreading dissension. There is absolutely no problem with people having their own viewpoint, but I want this to be a safe place for the women who come here. And if my regular, faithful readers–who are the target of this blog–are being chased from the comments section, that isn’t good.

My eyes were really opened at the meetup I did in Ottawa a few weeks ago, because those women–who read me everyday–in general don’t read the comments because they either don’t care what other people think, or they don’t like it being so negative.

So once again, I think it’s time to restate my policy. I do not want to spread a view of Christianity which I feel is wrong, because 9000 people a day arrive here from Google alone–people who may have no Christian background at all, or who may be searching. For these people, in particular, I want to portray a positive image of what I believe Christ wants for marriage.

If people want to spread another view, they are free to do so on their own blogs.

Therefore, I will delete comments that I feel are harmful to the mission of this blog. I will let through contradictory comments, but, in general, I will only let through one from each person on a blog post. I won’t let arguments go on and on. And if certain people insist on criticizing me on every blog post, I will ban them, too. If I believe that comments spread a view of marriage that I think will turn visitors off of the church, I will also delete them, because I care very much about the witness of this blog and its chance to influence those who don’t know Christ.

And now I’d like to let my husband say something. Here’s Keith:

The main problem (it seems to me) is that these men are relentlessly putting forward the erroneous teaching that Biblical headship mean absolute authority.  In their view, women should not be permitted to set boundaries for their husband as he is “in authority over them” (as one commenter put it) and thus wives must submit without question to all the husband’s demands regardless of his attitudes and actions, be they sinful or not .  They further go on to characterize women who do not submit in this extreme sense as being disobedient to God and try to convince people that women (like my wife, Sheila) who teach a more moderate view are not following proper Christian doctrine.

Now I know there is a great deal of debate about what headship means, but I think we can all agree on one thing: our model as husbands is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  But a subtle (and deadly) error has crept into these men’s teaching. They feel they ARE Christ to their wives and demand the same obedience from their wives that she would give to Christ Himself. This is a gross misinterpretation of Ephesians.  In my mind, although Christ is my model as a husband, I fully recognize that (unlike Him) I am prone to sin, error and selfishness.  I have no problem with my wife “calling me” if I am slipping.  I believe the VAST MAJORITY of Christian husbands feel the same way.  And I think we all feel the same disapproval of men who demand this kind of absolute submission from their wives.

When Sheila first told me there were men specifically coming to her blog to disagree with her on issues of submission, I couldn’t believe it.  Do they honestly have nothing better to do with their time than troll around on women’s websites looking for fights about this issue?  That would just seem pathetic to me if it hadn’t been so hurtful.  So to all the women who have been hurt by what these men have said: Please know they are not the majority opinion and they do not have the monopoly on Biblical truth that they claim.

A successful Christian marriage works best when God is the one in complete authority and both husband and wife, in submission to Him, are seeking each other’s best interest. True, God has given a role of leadership to husbands, but the clear model of Christ is servant-leadership, not despotic-leadership.  Rather than proof texting from specific verses, we need to look at the whole teaching of Scripture in this area.  The clearest commentary I have is this: Jesus said you would know them by their fruit.  The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  To me it is very clear which sort of home is more likely to provide an environment for these fruits to flourish.

May God bless you in your marriages as you seek to honour Him.

Special Offer, Neat Links, and more Fun Friday Stuff!

Hello everybody! After my mini-meltdown online last Friday, I’m feeling muchos better. In fact, I’m heading off to speak at a marriage conference with my husband this weekend, and then I’m heading down to the Pennsylvania area next week to speak. So I’m back on my feet.

My Column

But one thing that came out of last Friday was that sometimes the audience for my weekly column–an opinion column that appears in secular newspapers–is not the same as the audience for my marriage blogs. I’ll still post it here if it has to do with marriage and family, but today’s is about politics, and how the “Cool” factor (or voting for the coolest politician) is highly overrated. I posted it on my main website instead. Want to read it? It’s right here.

A Big Special!

A number of you wrote me last weekend to encourage me, but several women also said that they had wanted to buy The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, but were embarrassed to pick it up in a Christian bookstore. And embarrassed to buy it on Amazon because there would be a record of their order.

I hear you. So this week, until October 26, I have a deal on, where for $15 you can get the book, postage included. Just head on over to my store and click “Add to Cart”. Then you can pay either with a Visa or Mastercard, or you can pay with Paypal where you can use any credit card or your bank account. You get those choices on checkout.

Here I am explaining the special:

Get the special here!

Cool Marriage Links:

Over on my Facebook Page a number of people linked to this great article by Danoah at Single Dad Laughing, who I actually quoted at one point in my book! He has a post on 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage. Very profound. I wonder what the points would be if it were a woman writing the post? If you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments here!

The blog Fancy Little Things has an interesting 72 hour challenge. Do you think you could do it?

Don’t forget Cheri’s Holiday Ready Heart challenge! If you dread the holidays, with all the work that they entail, then it’s time to get your heart ready to celebrate.

And since we’re linking my YouTube videos today, here’s an older one: Do you feel alone in your marriage?

4. My Question

Last night I asked on my Facebook Page: do you share bank accounts? Why or why not? I’m thinking of writing a post on this, so if you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments!

There’s my Friday round-up. Hope you have a great weekend!

Christian Marriage or Christ-Centered Marriage?

This week, in Revive Your Marriage, we’ve been talking about how to revive your attitude! We started with looking at letting things go, moved into why he won’t meet your needs, and then talked about submission.

Today I thought I’d post this great video I found a few months ago, which encapsulates some of these things. Hope you find it encouraging!

Happy Canada Day! With an Adorable Video

Happy Canada Day! And even my non-Canadian fans will appreciate this. Pampers makes awesome commercials:

It's a Dad Life: Father's Day Video

For your Father’s Day pleasure…

And, as always, I know your guy would love it if you picked up The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex…for Father’s Day!

Now go cuddle with your guy!

Wifey Wednesday: Do You Try to Avoid Sex?

Do You Try to Avoid Sex? (with a really funny video!)

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up. Today I want to ask the question: Do you try to avoid sex?

I know for a significant portion of you, sex is stressful because your husbands don’t seem to have any sex drive. I’ve written posts for you here and here, and I do feel for you! But for many others, we’re tired of being pestered.

See if you can relate to this tongue-and-cheek sketch my husband and I filmed:

That was the story of the first few years of my marriage (though I didn’t decorate with Tampax!).

But I just hated the fights that we would get into if we didn’t have sex enough.

Or if it wasn’t fights, I could still tell he was mad at me, or hurt. And I didn’t want him to be hurt, because in my mind what he was saying was, “I love her, but only if we have sex a lot. If we don’t have sex very much, then I have to withdraw from her.” So I felt like he was punishing me and that his love was conditional.

Of course, I was giving him the same message, because to him, I wasn’t loving him, either (because we weren’t making love enough). But I still figured that if I could just stop him from expecting anything, then we could get back to a “normal” relationship where we relate in the way that two people who enjoy each other’s company should. So I tried to avoid sex as much as possible by making sure he never thought it was coming.

I’m not sure I did this consciously; but it certainly happened. I stopped kissing him. I wore really ugly stuff to bed. I complained about how tired I was and what a headache I had constantly (I’m surprised he didn’t try to admit to a hospital or something). And to me, it worked.

But here’s the problem:

When you spend so long trying to get him turned off, you never have time to figure out if you want to be turned on.

I was so focused on making sure nothing ever happened that I never opened the door, even a crack, to my own sex drive.

And then when we avoid sex we miss out on intimacy, and fun, and release, and all the good stuff that we can get from sex.

Now, of course, part of the reason that women stop wanting to make love is that for many of us it just doesn’t feel very good. I’m going to film a video soon (hopefully tomorrow) talking to men trying to explain this problem. And I’ll have some thoughts on how you can communicate this to your husband better, too.

But for many of us, if we decided to jump in with enthusiasm it would feel good, because for women, our sex drives are largely in our heads. We don’t tend to be “turned on” before we start making love. We become aroused once we start. And if we make sure we never start, then we’re cutting off an important part of our lives.

I received one particular response to a survey question that I asked when writing The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex that has really stood out to me. I even quoted it in the book. The woman said:

My husband of [over a decade] has a very high sex drive. I had no idea before we got married that our sex drives wouldn’t be hte same–he says he wouldn’t have married me if he’d known. (But really, how was I to know?). And in order to “turn him off”, so to speak, and not have him asking twenty times a day, I gained weight. I thought that if I was fat he’s leave me alone–really his needs and the constant asking made me feel as though I had no other options. So here I am, obese and a huge disappointment to him. All because I have a low sex drive.

My heart aches for this woman (and her husband), because I don’t think it had to be this way. There could have been compromise, and they both could have understood each other’s needs better. But I do believe that many women find that “I’ll never get turned on as often as my husband“, so the answer is to turn him off. But there is another alternative. Why not work on turning ourselves on?

Let’s get a positive attitude about sex, and learn how to prepare for sex throughout the day. I’ve got lots of advice in that post from the 29 Days to Great Sex series on how to do practical things during the day so you’re in the right frame of mind later.

So today, here’s a challenge for you: If sex has become a source of tension, because he wants it more than you do, then instead of avoiding sex, why not spend today trying to get ready for tonight? I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time trying to get ourselves in the mood that we do trying to get our husbands out of it?

wifey wednesday
The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!


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.

 

Marriage VLog: Help! I Can’t be Naked in Front of My Husband

Every Thursday I’m going to try to post a video response to a reader question. I’m still getting used to the whole “making a VLog” thing, and I really need to get a better place to film these so they look a bit better. And I have to do my hair better. So have mercy on me when you watch them!

Today’s question is from a reader who is just too embarrassed to let her husband see her naked. So I took about three minutes and tried to give some quick thoughts (I’m trying to keep these vLogs to three minutes). But there’s probably a lot more that could be said!  So why don’t you watch it, and then chime in with your own comments? I know she’s reading, so be nice, but if you have something helpful to say, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

Let me know what you think!

Marriage VLog: My Husband Used to be Addicted to Porn

I thought every week I’d post a video of me answering a reader question. So here’s one that came through recently, from a new bride with a dilemma:

I need to keep the videos to under 3 1/2 minutes, so it’s hard to give a topic a thorough answer. What would you all add? I know she’ll be reading, so if you can think of some other great advice, please comment!

If you have a problem with a husband who is involved in porn, see my series here. Or if you have a problem feeling that sex is positive, reread Monday’s post! And, of course, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex deals with both these issues in detail.

A Contest, A Video, and a Round-Up!

Hi everybody! I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful weekend. I’m away with a group of teenagers at a Bible quizzing tournament (not nearly as geeky as it sounds), so as you’re reading this, I’ve probably already got a migraine. But at least I’ll be smiling!

So here is your quick weekend round-up, complete with some fun stuff:

1. Have you Entered the Contest Yet?

Zondervan, my publisher, has two contests running simultaneously, one for Americans and one for Canadians. In each, you could win $1000 travel voucher (or a $500 voucher for second prize) to use towards a first–or second–honeymoon! Americans enter at my Facebook Page (just click the Trivia button on the left on the Facebook page), and Canadians, enter here!

For those of you who aren’t American or Canadian, we’d love to include you, but every country has different rules about contests, so it just gets legally prohibitive. But I’ll try to keep writing great stuff that helps you, anyway!

2. A New Video is Out

Zondervan’s been making up some little “bad advice” videos to go along with my book. The first one debuted last weekend, in the article with kids in the bed. Here’s this weekend’s, which kind of goes along with yesterday’s post, Why Frumpy Makes us Grumpy:

3. Interviews, Interviews, Interviews!

If you just love hearing my actual voice (and who wouldn’t, except my kids when I’m trying to get them to clean up), you can listen in on some quick interviews I’ve done lately!

Here’s me talking on the Stupendous Marriage show. You can also download it for iTunes to listen later here.

And then I did a rather fast-paced and funny interview on the Drew Marshall Show a while back, which you can access here.

4. Rock It. Work It. Love It. Fridays

I’m the “love it” at Peak313 in yesterday’s post! Such kind words from Clare. Check it out.

5. A Big Thank You!

And a huge thank you for all of you who bought my book during my one-day blitz on February 29. Here’s what happened on Amazon:

March1857

I hit #344 in all books that day (which means that only 343 titles out of Amazon’s 8,000,000 sold better than me!)

And here’s what happened on Amazon.ca:

Feb29Amazonca11pm

I hit #29!

Still 30% off at Amazon until it's released March 6!

I just want to say that I’m really humbled that so many of you bought the book–and that so many bought multiple copies for people who are about to get married. I’m just really encouraged by your emails and your comments, and by the fact that what I write resonates with you. Sometimes I write this stuff and then I get a panicky feeling like, “what if other women don’t actually think like that? What if I sound like an idiot?” And so it’s such a relief to know that I am not alone.

And again, I’m very humbled that so many of you chose to buy the book. If you haven’t bought it yet, of course, it’s not too late! And it’s still 30% off until March 6.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’m starting my series on why men don’t want sex on Monday, and I hope you’ll join me. And there will be lots of information there even for those of you whose husbands ARE in the mood!

29 Days to Great Sex Day 14: When You Don’t Want to Make Love

Before we launch into Day 14 of 29 Days to Great Sex, I have to show you this! My books arrived yesterday! Here’s a 30 second clip of the first time I saw the printed version of The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex:

So cool! Get your copy here!

Okay, now back to the task at hand. In looking at sex this month, we started with how we feel about sex, leading to how to have fun with your husband, and this week we’re looking at what happens when you wind up in the bedroom together at night. Now it’s Day 14 of 29 Days to Great Sex, which means it’s Valentine’s Day! For many of us that’s a lot of pressure. Sure we could buy him chocolates and a card, but we know what he really wants. Can we deliver?

Don't Want to Make Love? Here's how to get "in the mood"--even if you don't feel like it. Too often it’s hard because we think, “I just don’t want sex.”

Today I want to walk you all through how desire works in women, because I think we often misunderstand it.

In movies, a couple totally hot for each other, and so they fall into bed together. They’re both “in the mood”. They’re both aroused. And so they make love.

That’s honest. They make love because they want to make love. They’re in the mood, and they’re acting on that.

The problem is it’s also not realistic.

Most women just are not “in the mood” at the drop of a hat, panting and waiting to fall into bed.

A Psychology Today article explained this well:

That’s what University of British Columbia psychiatrist Rosemary Basson, M.D., discovered in interviews with hundreds of women. Contrary to the conventional model, for many women, desire is not the cause of lovemaking, but rather, its result. “Women,” Basson explains, “often begin sexual experiences feeling sexually neutral.” But as things heat up, so do they, and they eventually experience desire.

What does that mean for us?

It means that we need to rethink what being “in the mood” actually means.

You see, men were designed to need very little stimulation. They see something and they’re ready to go. Women, on the other hand, simply don’t work that way. We need to relax, be able to concentrate on what’s going on, and slowly heat up. It’s not like there’s a physical need in the same way (which is not to say that women don’t get aroused, or that we aren’t bothered if we go for too long without sex; only that physiologically we tend to work very differently).

That means that to make love when you aren’t currently “in the mood” isn’t lying or being dishonest.

Instead, what you’re doing is responding to your husband. He pursues you, and tries to arouse you, and then you respond. That actually makes perfect sense. Men, after all, are more the pursuer, and we are more the responder. That’s the way we were made. And so our bodies are made to respond to theirs; they weren’t made to necessarily be ready before the pursuit is actually begun.

I’m afraid that many women are missing out on how great sex can be, and what a great sex life they can have, because they figure they don’t want sex, they aren’t “in the mood” so they can’t, because it would be somehow akin to faking. But to start to kiss him when he wants to make love, and to start to let your hands wander, and to respond to his hands wandering, is not faking. It’s responding. And when you put your head in the game, as Rosemary Basson found, women do tend to heat up.

Now, if you never heat up, there could be several reasons, some of which we’ll cover in the next few days. You could have low testosterone, and if you never have sexy dreams, never get aroused, and never seem to desire sex, you should be checked for this. He could simply not have learned how to properly stimulate you, or perhaps because you don’t know yourself, and we’ll look more at that this week. Or you could have some issues with sex, such as past abuse, which you need to seek healing from. But in general, if your husband has learned what your body likes, and you make a decision to respond, your body will indeed follow.

'Anna' photo (c) 2010, David Salafia - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

It’s this decision part that’s so important.

If you don’t make that mental leap that says, “I’m going to throw myself into this and enjoy it”, then you likely won’t. You’ll keep thinking, “I don’t want sex”, and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You have to turn on your own switch. No matter what he does, he can’t arouse you unless you decide to become aroused, because we control our own sex drive. And this, too, makes sense. If women automatically could become aroused no matter who they were with, then the pursuit really wouldn’t be as big a deal, would it? But women don’t automatically become aroused; we have to choose to let ourselves, which means that we are choosing to enjoy our husbands. He’s pursuing, and we’re choosing to be caught. Incidentally, this is what men often wish women understood. They desire sex not just for physical release, or even primarily for physical release. Sex is their way of seeing if we actually will respond to them and accept them. It’s their way of seeing whether we would choose them again. So what really interests a man is not his orgasm nearly as much as it is his wife’s ability–or choice–to respond sexually.

So how do you actually heat up? This is going to sound really strange, but trust me on this. When you’re making love and he’s touching you, keep asking yourself, over and over, “where do I want him to touch now? What feels good?” If you ask “where do I want him to touch now?”, then you’re paying attention to your body and you’re thinking about what it’s feeling. And that, in and of itself, is the key to arousal. You’re not letting yourself become distracted; you’re thinking about your physical body. And as you do, you’ll likely find that some body part does want to be touched. Just move his hand there and show him! And then the arousal will likely start.

With tonight being Valentine’s Day, many women will want to give their husbands a fun time. That’s great. Just remember that you don’t have to be “in the mood” first. You just have to love him and be willing to jump in, and then concentrate once you do. You’re deciding to accept him, and deciding to respond, and chances are your body will. (And if it still won’t, more on that in the next few days!).

Great Sex Challenge 14: Jump in and initiate sex, even if you don’t think you’re in the mood. Make a decision to have a fun time, and really throw yourself into it, and see if your body responds!

31 Days to Great Sex
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)

It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.



29 Days to Great Sex:

Day 1: The Act of Marriage
Day 2: Starting Fresh
Day 3: Loving the Skin You’re In
Day 4: Pucker Up!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
Day 12: If you’re Having a Hard Time with these Challenges
Day 13: Getting Your Head in the Game

Next: Day 15: What is Foreplay?
Day 16: How to Orgasm
Day 17: The Pleasure Center
Day 18: Foreplay Can Be for Him, Too!
Day 19: How to Come Alive Again
Day 20: Deciding on Boundaries
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!
Day 24: Initiate, Baby!
Day 25: Sex When You Have Kids
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when You Make Love
Day 28: Overcoming Selfishness
Day 29: A Contest & a Party!

Remember to hit the Share buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! (or any other buttons below :). Let’s spread the word about the series, and help other marriages thrive!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!


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.