Gender Issues, Men, Quick Read, sex, Women

Images of Imtimacy

***The following is an article I just found!***

Images of Intimacy by Josh Glasser

March 22, 2018

https://regenerationministries.org/images-of-intimacy/

 

adam-and-eve

“If you struggle with lust, consider this for a moment: Can you explain why you are drawn to the form of a woman or the form of a man?

Beyond the specifics of what part of the body titillates you sexually, have you ever considered why it titillates you? Why does your body stir at the sight of another’s body? Is it a learned response because your body knows the pleasure that awaits if you engage in sexual activity? Maybe, but it did not begin that way.

At the core, the bodily stirring, the feeling of being drawn, the romantic and sexual desire, all these happen because sex is relational.

In other words, the core reason you’re drawn is because you’re longing for intimacy.

In pornography and other forms of sexual fantasy, intimacy isn’t really there, of course, but something in the images suggests it is. Nakedness suggests it.

By God’s design, nakedness is a sign, an icon, an expression, an image of intimacy. It has always been so. God has made the human body wonderful and glorious—“fearfully and wonderfully made”—beautiful to behold.

We might also think of this in this way: The naked body reveals the person without covering, without veil, without obstruction. If intimacy is knowing and being known fully, then of course nakedness would serve as a sign of more complete knowing than clothing would. Clothing veils, even disguises the physical person. Nakedness reveals.

And nakedness as a sign of intimacy goes further still. Consider the sexual parts of the body. What makes them “sexual”? Isn’t it that they are designed to connect intimately with another human being?

In nakedness, a man and woman’s genitalia is exposed—the specific parts of the body by which we experience deeply intimate physical knowing and being known. The man and woman’s bodies are designed for intimate connection—two becoming “one flesh” with each other.

So doesn’t it make sense that the naked images of man or woman draws us because of our God-given need and our good longing for intimacy—to know and be known fully and without fear?

Lust, pornography, and other expressions of sexual sin hijack the icon of intimacy and use it instead as a false intimacy—the form without the substance. For a few moments, the brain and body may have a sense of nakedness without shame, a sense of being known and knowing. The human body on its own cannot tell the difference between the real and the false. But the soul can.

This is why lust never satisfies.

Jesus came to restore the union between body and soul. We were rent apart in the fall, but Jesus can make us whole again. Jesus can help us see again.

We are drawn to nakedness because we are created for intimacy.

Nakedness is a sign, an image, an icon of intimacy because it reveals that our bodies are created by God for intimacy, for knowing and being known, to love and to be loved. In this way, human nakedness is most profoundly an image, a sign, an icon created to reveal God Himself.

Do you struggle with lust? Recognize your longing for intimacy. Seek out healthy, non-sexual intimate relationships. Ask Jesus to show you who He sees when all you see is a what. And keep asking Jesus to raise your body from the death of false intimacy and to make you whole again—body and soul—an image bearer of God.

Question for you: What stands out to you in this post? How might this change your approach to dealing with lust? Leave a comment here.

For you,
Josh

P.S. Listen and subscribe to our new podcast! Search for “Regeneration Ministries Podcast” on iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!”

 

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Journaling, sex, Transformation

A Lonely Girl’s Cry

I’ve been pursuing deeper things with the Lord lately and examining the issue of soul ties. Soul ties are the bonds we make with others. They can be healthy or toxic, Kingdom building or Kingdom breaking, holy or unholy.

Recently I looked through a workbook from a transformative conference my church calls, All Access. In the conference we cover the deeper topics of Identity, Generational Inequity, Father & Mother Wounds, Inner Vows, Soul Ties and more. I’ve participated a few times in the past couple of years. Each time new issues in my heart and mind are brought to light. Soul ties are always on the forefront of my quest. I have on multiple occassions prayed prayers breaking soul ties to people of my past, specifically sexual in nature. Honestly, each time I do I haven’t felt much happening after that. I’ve prayed but the pull in my soul still persists.

During one of the sessions at All Access, a deep intricate thought came to me but I didnt jot it down in my notes. I assumed it was such an epiphany that I’d remember later…but…I didn’t remember! Grrr! About a week later I reviewed my notes and tried desperately to remember that great thought. I searched the internet for more information on soul ties and watched a teaching video from Jennifer LeClaire. The link to the video is at the bottom of this post.

Everything I read included the steps to breaking soul ties. One of the steps was always to get rid of mementos or gifts, anything that could link you back to the soul tie. I kept thinking I don’t have any objects at all, nothing. I have gotten rid of things like that. But the Holy Spirit reminded me I had journals in boxes in my closet. He told me to get rid of them. Its true, I had journals and journals of documentation of the past, exploits with men and all kinds of unrighteous and spiritually dead themes.

Amongst these journals I had been holding onto a photograph of myself and my “first love” from 2002. He was my first sexual partner and yes first love. He died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning. Sad & Alone. We hadn’t been a couple since 2004. There were some brief sexual encounters years later. I hesitated putting the picture in the throw away box. It was the last item that would link us together.

There were many more stories I threw away in between all those pages.

Included was a play by play of the unrequited love that defined my life. Someone I wanted to be with since I first slept with him. Talk about a Stage 5 clinger! He NEVER wanted me more than to sleep with and I wanted it all from him. To this day I’ve still wanted him. This person has always been the object of my soul tie prayers. I’ve *always* been conflicted about it.

At All Access, our Pastor’s wife (oversees all counseling needs at our church) said something about being Bonded to Loneliness. Those pages were filled with a lonely girl’s cry, confusion, rejection, insecurity etc. Thats been the theme of my heart for decades, and I’m only 32! On that day, March 12th, I threw away all the old scripts and memories. I know I have to cling to the New Life Jesus gave me.

Did magic happen on that day? No. God is not a magician. I’m unaware of what all took place in the spirit realm when I followed through with the Holy Spirit’s directive to throw away those journals. I’m unaware of all the unholy doors that were slammed and bolted shut that day. Im unaware of what Heaven is is now able to do on my behalf because of my obedience. I dont know everything but I know it was a move I had to make to get closer to Jesus and the Father.

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https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-warfare/25853-7-signs-of-an-unhealthy-soul-tie

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hookup culture, sex, Uncategorized

The Faux-Intimate Generation

As I was driving home from a work event I was listening to Clean by Natalie Grant. A memory came to the forefront and I figured I would have to write about it. I was trying to think of title but I didn’t like, “Don’t be a Cheapskate” or “How I knew I had to Stop having Sex.” Another song I like is a country song called Every Little Thing by Carly Pearce.

“Every little thing, I remember every little thing, the high the hurt the shine the sting of every little thing…”

I love it because I’m one those people that remembers. I remember those little things, all the things that never mattered to the other person.

One of the last times I slept with a particular person (about 5 years ago), I remember we didn’t use any protection. Surprise- Surprise. At that time, I was (pathetically) okay with it because I only did that with him. I wasn’t sleeping with anyone else nor did I want to. I was okay with there not being a boundary. I’m not condoning unprotected sex here but explaining my own poor choices.

The next days after, I realized we should have used protection because although I knew where I had been- I did not know where he had been. I could not account for what he was doing with other women or not doing with other women. He was a wild card. I decided to text him.

“Just so you know I only do that with you.”

His response went something like, “Yea me too…I’m clean…trust me.”

He asked if I was on the pill and I said no.

He said if I got the Plan B pill he would “reimburse” me.

reimburse

Reimburse

REIMBURSE

REEEIMMMBUUURSSSE.

I said I wasn’t worried about being pregnant and joked “we’ll see what happens in 9 months.”

He didn’t think it was funny.

I didn’t think REIMBURSE was funny. I didn’t think REIMBURSE was appropriate. I didn’t want his money. I didn’t like the way he so casually used the word REIMBURSE. How many other women had he REIMBURSED? Reimburse is not something you say to someone you slept with. Reimburse is reserved for business transactions. You get reimbursed for office supplies, mileage. You get reimbursed from petty cash when the vending machine won’t give you your Funyuns. I had been given money to purchase Plan B years prior and I vowed that would not be an experience I would repeat. (The Time I Went to the Abortion Clinic)

I was NOT a transaction.

But I was to him.

This exchange of communication was monumental in my quest. Right now, I can thank God for the word choice of that person. Obviously, it has stayed on my mind all these years. It was another reminder of why I could not keep sleeping with him or anyone. Especially as the times have changed and young men have become even more gluttonous for sex as women have become even more feral.
This is the generation of soul-less faux-intimate transactional sex.

I wondered if the new normal was to sleep with a girl unprotected, and then utilize Plan B as a plan a. Just reimburse her later. I remembered when I was younger the mantra was Do Not Get Pregnant. Do Not get a STD.

Had that changed? Had the plan changed so much in less than a decade?

It seems as though as the years pass on Responsibility has become an outdated tenet. How could that be? You would think that as we get older we get wiser.

As our culture has come to worship sex we’ve placed responsibility under personal self-indulgence.

We began to desire the benefits and none of the responsibility. Men and women equal in foolishness.

That *REIMBURSE* conversation led me to see that I had better get out of the game. The game had changed and it wasn’t for me anymore.

I never want to hear the word Reimburse from a man that I have been intimate with. God never intended for men to run amok reimbursing women for Plan Bs or abortions. He intended for men and women to make a covenant with Him at the center to care of one another. To represent Christ to one another. Anything short of that is faux-intimacy. It’s a foundation of quicksand, you lose your footing before you know it. You’ll be left feeling played and cheap. Don’t be a cheapskate. You’re worth more than $50 for Plan B or the $500 for an abortion.

Ladies, a man isn’t taking care of you by throwing money at what he or you may deem a “problem.” The problem happened before the conception. The problem is your lack of purity. You lack a firm and full understanding of who you are.

Men, what happened to you? When did you begin to sell out? Generations before you welcomed responsibility. Welcomed the opportunity to showcase your provision and protection. Being a man meant taking care of someone other than yourself.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her – Ephesians 5:25

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. – Proverbs 31:31

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Men, Quick Read, Women

3 Ways Sex is The Great Distraction

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I find it amusing just how God can teach you something through the conversations you have, the people you meet, the books you read and everything in between. I often see patterns where others don’t and can quickly correlate streaming information into one theme. Something that God has taught me and clearly highlighted for me recently, is that sex is a distraction. The Great Distraction. It runs interference through all areas of your life. Many don’t realize how focused they are on sex and how many of their decisions reflect its importance. Sex is often an imitator and distorter as well. I read The Wait

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Uncategorized

7 Reasons I’m a Hot Mess


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So I’ve been a hot mess trying to write about being a hot mess. I bought this mug over a month ago which quickly turned into me wanting it to be an inspiration for a blog post. I’ve started multiple times and dropped the pen each time. Many ideas have come but none of them withstanding. I’ve beaten myself up about it, pestered myself to get it done. My task oriented side competing with my artistic side. All the projects I’ve got to do.

Which brings us to my List.

7 Reasons I’m a Hot Mess (that Jesus loves)…

1. I’m halfway through many projects, tasks and ideas. The large mirror that’s been on my living room floor for probably a year? It’s supposed to hang above my couch but I don’t have the proper hardware. Like nails? Screws? Its large and heavy so I don’t want it crashing on me, cracking my head open one Wednesday evening. The two baby blankets I’ve been crocheting for my friend’s baby twins! I should have had those done months ago. The desk and dresser I no longer want. They are collecting dust and taking up space in my bedroom. Every weekend I declare to get rid of them. The DIY office-chest that’s just stuck on my Pinterest board. The few clothing items that need some mending. This list goes on and on.

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2. Monday through Friday my alarm is set for 6am. I snooze until 6:30am which gives me 30 minutes to get ready for work. Breakfast? No time. Coffee? If I’m lucky. Prayer? No time. Devotions? No time. Picking out my clothes? Barely. Preparing a lunch? Nope. Every week I vow to get it together. Just get up the first time and I wont have to rush.

3. I get obsessed with certain meals. Right now its a taco salad from Taco Bell. Don’t judge me. I rarely go to Taco Bell because my 30 year old gut cant always take it. So it was a surprise when I was there to discover such treasure. I think I’ve had 3 in a week. There is also the carne asada burrito on Mondays from a nearby drive-thru taqueria . The frozen margherita pizza in yellow box from the grocery store. I love it with Valentina hot sauce.

4. The gas light adventures. Anyone else wait for the gas light to come on before getting gas? I let my first car run out of gas three times! It doesn’t matter whether I have the money or not I just hate taking time to put gas in my car. I even bought a new (2015) car in the fall and told myself with this car it would be different, but its not.

5. I go MIA. I leave my friends confused especially after consistently hanging out and showing up to events. After awhile I just step back. I’ve always been this way, it comes and goes. I get texts asking where I’ve been and if I’m doing well. I get the “Don’t be a stranger” accompanied with a hug. I feel bad but I’m just me so I also don’t understand why its a big deal.

6. And… there’s always my LianaProblems. These are usually financial or vehicle related, sometimes & definitely intertwined. The time my car was impounded in the middle of the night due to super expired plates, the multiple days it sat in the impound lot because I didn’t have money to get it out nor pay for the new tags. The time my tire shredded on the highway because I never put air in it, days later the flat tire on the way home as a result of driving over a pot hole. The notices I receive in the mail for an old credit card I have yet to pay off. The gym membership that was set to auto-pay but couldnt charge my card when it expired. I never even went one time to that gym, but I owe them payment for a few months. The budget I created on a Dave Ramsey site that I don’t follow and now also avoid logging in.

7. Lets get real here, “Dating.” I have unusual views of dating. I feel like an anomaly when it comes to this topic. Everyone seems okay with meeting strangers and spending time with them, sometimes alone. Really? I think its weird. Going on a date with someone is so odd to me. Especially if its someone you don’t know well at all. How do I know I want to be seen with you in public? How do I know I want to spend my time with you? How do I know that I want to share a meal with you? Spending my time and physical space with people is a big thing for me. I have to like you already, have to know your basic nature, have to be comfortable with you already. I have to have decided on my own (on my own time) that I genuinely like you and your presence. You cant convince me to like you or that I should “give you a chance to get to know” you. For me, the best way to get to know me is by a natural sequence of events. It must be very organic and not orchestrated. I know I’m complicated.

That’s me…and more. My list could be longer, but I want to keep this post as light to medium as I can. It could be darker because my list does get darker. My hot messness gets deeper because I’m not perfect. I’m messed up. I’m a wreck without Jesus. Okay, I’m still a wreck even with Him, but He holds me up.

In the last three years I’ve put down many things. I’ve given up, sacrificed, behaviors and beliefs. I’ve given up sex, flirting and “going out” to bars, clubs and drinking alcohol. I have had small amounts of alcohol few and far in between. I actively and intentionally choose not to drink even when I want to.

Sex and alcohol, by themselves, don’t seem like much. There are ideologies and a frame of mind that comes with them. The acts themselves plus all the thoughts, emotions and the string of other behaviors- are a package deal.

Leaving sex behind also means I’m leaving behind the following: flirting, seducing, lusting, manipulation, power, ego, obsessive behavior, envy, selfishness, pride etc.

Leaving alcohol behind also means I’m leaving behind the following: drunkenness, poor decision making, ego, power, wasted money, impulsiveness, drunk driving, drunk texting etc.

If you think you can be out having sex and drinking without all the baggage you’re wrong. If you take about 5 seconds to examine your behavior you’re going to have to acknowledge these leeches you welcome. You have to admit to the wounds you’re trying to patch up. Wounds like: insecurity, pain, trauma, rejection, inferiority, emptiness, stress, fear etc.

Any band-aids or glue we try to repair our own brokenness is a cheap, weak substitute for the Real Deal named Christ.

When you leave your “bad habits” you’re left with your real issues. Your holes feel like they’re gaping with the cold wind blowing through. When sex and alcohol (and whatever else you’ve been choosing or used to choose) are no longer options is when you’ll really start to grow.   When you aren’t able to run to other things, you end up having to look yourself in the mirror. The broken mirror. You have to answer all the Whys. Why do I do this? Why do I feel like that? When you’re only option is Jesus, you’re setting yourself up for success.

You truly begin to mature. You no longer run to hide behind those vices. Even Adam tried to hide in the Garden, but God saw him and sees us. He sees your heart breaking and ego shattering. If you are ready to mature, you need to take your hot mess to the feet of the Cross. To Jesus’ feet. Lay all your cards on the table. Speak out loud that you cannot do it all yourself. You can’t fix yourself. A broken pot cannot repair its cracks, a tree cannot shine light on itself.

You’re a hot mess and so am I. It’s okay. Jesus loves your hot mess and He wants to make it less hot and less of a mess. Let Him.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.                                                                                                                                       Matthew 11:29-30

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Related Music: If We’re Honest- Francesca Battistelli https://youtu.be/ySa3Vu4FUW8

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Blow My High- Sevin https://youtu.be/FIAMYOypb5A

Related Reading: Real Men Don’t Text by Ruthie & Michael Dean (2013)
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Men, Women

Doing Single Well

I’m not an expert in relationships. In fact, I’m sure a statistician could create a formula and generate some numbers to show that statistically speaking, I’m bad at them [relationships].

I haven’t been in many. They haven’t always lasted long. They’ve always failed. The guys? Umm… See Am I My Brother’s Keeper- I mention them briefly.

I’m not putting myself down. I’m being honest. I’m being Real. I’m not in the business of covering up my messes, my HOT messes. My walk with Christ in the most recent years, has revealed that those relationships/situationships were doomed from the beginning. Before they even started. Before a first kiss, a first glance. Doomed. Destined to fail.

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Since getting serious with God about three years ago, I have not been in a relationship. I have been single since May 2012.

I’m writing this piece as an expert at being single. A professional singleton. Here are my main tenets for being single, especially a “Christian” single:

  1. Know Yourself

Outside of and apart from some dude or chick, who are you really? Outside of trying to impress a potential lover. Apart from trying to win the affection and validation of another person. Visualize your life in the future or even now. What do you want in it?

Eventually and God willing, I want a husband. I want the boyfriend that will be the fiance, that will the husband, that will be the father of my children. I’d like to move out of my city to a smaller community on the outskirts. I’d like to home-school my children while they are young. I’d like to have a home that is accommodating enough that we can invite friends and family over for holidays and special occasions. I’d like to continue serving Christ and have a husband that does the same. I’d like to raise children against the grain. I’d also like to become a foster parent of older teens.

This is me. This is what I want for my life. You either want the same or you don’t.
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What don’t I want? Dysfunction. I detest dysfunction. I need someone that is just as committed as I am to living a life free of dysfunction.

If a guy doesn’t want to be my husband or the father of my children, he is not for me. If he is not committed to destroying the dysfunction in himself, he is not for me. If he chooses to not give his heart to Jesus Christ, he is not for me.

I’m seeing too many people trying to Churchify and Christianize some dude or chick they’re fooling around with. If you’ve already sinned with this person, what makes you think you can flirt or seduce them into coming to church with you and that somehow makes it all Right? Your attempt at fooling God is futile. He sees your deeds and sees your heart. Stop trying to validate, justify and impress yourself with all your church dates.

Some ladies need to know there are guys that will come to church with you as long as they think its one step closer to getting in your bed.

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God says that He knew you before you were born. Jeremiah 1:5

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

“I am God’s child.
Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend.
John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art.
Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness.
Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive.
Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world.
Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker.
Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved.
Romans 5:8”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/faithandlife/devotionals/what-does-bible-say-about-me.html

You are who God says you are. Not what some dude or chick said. If your ego is getting fluffed up by “You’re hot” and “Hey Sexy,”… You Are in Danger. If your love tank is getting filled up by fornication, You’re On Your Death Bed.

I tell you this from experience. See The Purge. I tell you this to help open your eyes Wide and snap you into reality. God is on His way back to Earth. What do you want to get caught doing when He arrives?

Confession: In God’s strength, I have been abstinent for over two years. It can be done. I’m serious about waiting until I’m married.
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2. If Its Not From God, I Don’t Want It

Nowhere in the bible does God, Jesus or anyone else guarantee you a husband or wife. You’ll have to prepare yourself to live a solo life. I ask God for a husband, but I don’t feel entitled to one. I ask God to prepare me to be a wife. God knows exactly who I’d like to be my husband. I pray for that person but I also tell God, “If its someone else, I’d be happy with that.” I preface a lot prayers with “If its your will…” I have relinquished all my Proverbs 7 ways. Look it up and read it well.

I continue to let God direct my path and move within me. I ask Him to mold me and shape me. Yes, guys catch my eye. Yes, I fantasize a little bit with the “what ifs” but I always stop myself and give it to God. I’ve apologized to God, “God, I’m sorry if I’m wanting [ fill in the blank guy] more than I’m wanting you.” You’ll have to get in the habit of giving people, fantasies, thoughts, feelings and ideas to God. Get in the habit of relinquishing your fleeting “control” over to the Master. You’re not entitled to a man or woman, not entitled to have sex. We are to be living pure Holy lives. So get used to denying your flesh, dying to yourself. If you believe its your Right to have a “physical release” you’re mocking God. Eve thought she had a Right to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

I continue to give moments to God, continue to press into Him. Continue to do things His way not mine. Mine leads to Heartache, Confusion, Insecurity, Rejection and Darkness.

3. Be Smart

I describe myself as a strategic person. The steps I take, no matter how small will lead to my end goal. Each step is leading me in the direction I want to go. Where are your steps leading you?

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If you want a job, you get up, look and apply for jobs. You go to the interview, accept a job offer, then show up when you’re supposed to. However, some people think jobs fall out of the sky while you lay on the couch in your underwear watching the Steve Harvey show and eating Lucky Charms.

Being smart, means taking responsibility for your actions and choices. At some point, you’re going to have to accept responsibility for your poor choices. You chose to have sex with someone not committed to you. Someone you’ve known for about 5 minutes. Someone that is not seeking Christ. Someone that doesn’t take your choices seriously. You’re upset because they don’t care about your relationship with Jesus? You’re upset they don’t see the point in honoring God? You’re upset because they don’t care to understand the turmoil you feel when you sin? You chose to sin with them and are upset they aren’t upset? And you wonder why they look at you like you’re crazy!

I firmly believe there are times you can only love certain people from a distance. You may “want” this person badly, and even for the Right reasons- to Glorify Christ in the final Outcome. Lord, if we ended up together, Lord, if he gave his heart to you- it would be for your Glory! Happily Ever After, The End.
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Not always. Not exactly. I will continue to choose Jesus day in and day out, despite getting the things or people I want. There’s more to life, than lovers and spouses. I choose to honor God in not coveting what isn’t mine. If you’re longing desperately for some dude or chick, check you heart. Is you’re longing for that person replacing your longing for your Creator?

I do my best to keep drama away. I do my best to play it smart and make sure I get the results I’m looking for. I no longer have the energy to confuse myself with my poor choices and want the other person to “understand me.” God knew sex was deep stuff. He knew it was binding. He knew it was powerful. He knew that outside of His protection (marriage) it could destroy people. It could cause chaos and emotional havoc. If you continue to be unhappy single and feel entitled to have “someone, ” to engage someone sexually- you are not playing it smart.
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These are my tenets. Lessons I’ve learned in terrible ways. I sharing this with you in hopes it will make sense to you and you will get your heart Right with God.

 

 

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