Links of the Week

  1. 5 reasons men cheat and how to stay faithful. This is based on a Gallup study and put out by Men’s Health. Interesting how biblical there 5 ways to stay faithful are and some good stuff to think about. The best thing Katie and I have done besides a weekly date night is setting up boundaries.
  2. Andy Crouch on the Ten most significant cultural trends of the last decade. Huge implications to ministry in the church as we try to reach the culture.
  3. Living gospel centered. You need to read this post.
  4. Watch this great video with Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt talking about what living on mission looks like.
  5. Trevin Wax on Reframing the discussion on homosexuality and the Bible. This is one of the best things I’ve read on this topic. Wow.
  6. Rest and the pastor’s soul.
  7. C.J. Mahaney on What the bible says about productivity. This was a really helpful thing for me, lots of great things in this short e-book.
  8. Luke Simmons on Leadership development. Luke is a good friend and has been to Revolution several times to preach and he has some great insights.
  9. Perry Noble on 6 steps to overcoming obesity Part 1 and Part 2. I’ve shared my journey and struggle with my weight before and Perry is right on when he says being overweight is a spiritual issue first.
  10. 17 signs of a fast growing church.
  11. John Starke on Teaching children the gospel in everyday prayers.
  12. Church trends with Jim Tomberlin. This has been a great series by Tony Morgan on what leaders see as the coming trends in church, this one in particular caught my eye.

#6 of 09: Marriage, Cheating, Football & Steve McNair

I’ve been watching with the interest since last Saturday about the death of Steve McNair. One of the best quarterbacks of our time, killed in a murder-suicide (according to ESPN).

What this shows, once again is how easy it is to cheat, but also how dangerous it is.

I think in our culture, we’ve become used to the idea of cheating and we have a nice word for it, affair. But as Mark Driscoll says, “Affairs are what you get dressed up for, affairs are the prom. Cheating is adultery.” We need to use the right words so we understand the damage they inflict. Affair/adultery/cheating, however you want to slice it, it will inflict sometimes, irreconcilable pain. Even Skip Bayless at ESPN understands this when he tweeted, “McNair findings prove once again that affairs can be extremely dangerous. The danger makes them more exciting. But it can be lethal.”

I think most people would agree that cheating whether in a marriage or dating is wrong. But how does it happen? What is considered cheating?

It happens because on some level, there is a need that is not being met. It might be a need that you are aware of and have even talked with your significant other about, or it might be a need you have not realized. When that need is not being met, you will instinctively go looking for someone to fill that need. When that happens, cheating becomes easier.

There is a great book His Needs, Her Needs that lays out the basic needs for men and women. When these needs are not met, according to the authors, your love bank is not filled, it makes withdrawals. When your love bank is empty, you look to fill it.

For men, the needs are: sexual fulfillment (this is different from just sex), recreational companion, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration/respect.

For women, the needs are: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, safety and security, and family support.

What often happens in our culture is we only see the womens needs as the necessary ones. “Of course he wants sex” people will say. Or, “how degrading, an attractive spouse.”

Think about it like this, if your husband talked with you with as much enthusiasm and frequency as you have sex with him, how would you like that. If the answer is, “he already does” then you have a problem.

Katie and I sat down early in our marriage and explained to the other what each one of these needs meant for us. It is different for each person. Your husband defines what is attractive, not a magazine cover, so let him tell you. If you do this, you will actually meet the need of conversation (look at that!)

There are also different levels of cheating. It could be physical (which is what we often think about) or it could be emotional or mental. Cheating happens when we allow someone we are not married to to meet a need that our spouse should be meeting.

So how does cheating happen? It doesn’t just happen, it takes place over weeks, months, sometimes years. Slowly, your love bank depletes and it is not refilled. Then, a man shows you attention, he is easy to talk to, interested in your life and you find yourself opening up to him, wishing your husband was like that. You are right there.

Or, a woman compliments you, she takes pride in how she looks (ironically, study after study say that people cheat on their spouse with someone less attractive than their spouse, so it isn’t looks), takes an interest in you, asks about what you like and bam.

Katie and I often talk about how we don’t meet with someone of the opposite sex alone and we get some weird stares. The reason. If you aren’t alone with someone, you aren’t in the position to cheat on your spouse. If you don’t share intamite things with someone, you can’t be amazed by someone. This doesn’t mean you aren’t friends with people you aren’t married to, but it does mean you are guarded around those people.

Do you share things with people of the opposite sex that you don’t share with your spouse? Are you making memories or having experiences with someone you aren’t married to? Do you find yourself looking nice for someone you aren’t married to? Do you find yourself thinking about what someone other than your spouse is doing? How they’ll be dressed when you see them tonight? When you are talking or having sex with your spouse, do you find yourself thinking about that person?

If you answered yes to any of these, you are having an emotional affair. Which sometimes, but not always, leads to a physical affair.

See how easy it is?

Top Posts of October ’09

In cased you missed it, here are the posts that generated the most traffic in October, 2009:

  1. What is the 30 Day Sex Challenge?
  2. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  3. When Male Headship Does Not Work (The Men Who are Still Spoiled Boys)
  4. 16 Ways not to Fight
  5. In Case You Missed Saturday (Some Pics)
  6. Say What You Think the Bible Says
  7. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (10/10)
  8. Boundaries in Dating & Marriage
  9. What Church Hoppers Say
  10. Adultery Ladder

30 Day Sex Challenge: Day 25 (Married Guide)

30day-bulletin

Everyday, I’ll be posting the 30 day sex challenge guides, both married and singles. Here is day 25:

If your spouse was going to cheat on you, what emotional need would the “third wheel” most likely be meeting?

How did it feel to even think about it? Most people don’t think about it until it’s too late.

Read Song of Songs 8:5 – 14.

Journal your answers to these questions, any thoughts from the passage and what you are praying for.

Adultery Ladder

A few years ago, Katie and I were in a small group and one night we talked about adultery and protecting your marriage. Below is the ladder to see where you might be in a relationship and to ask questions like “When should red flags go up?”

  • Make eye contact
  • Think he/she is attractive
  • First talk or meet
  • Start meeting regularly
  • Extensive work related discussions
  • Complain to him/her about your spouse
  • Close friendship
  • Confide in him/her
  • Extensive non-work related discussions
  • Share goals and desires
  • Look forward to seeing him/her
  • Eat lunch together
  • Spend time alone together
  • Become very attracted to him/her
  • Go on a business trip together
  • Simple touching when talking
  • Flirting and sexual jokes
  • Goodbye or hello hug
  • Meet without your spouse knowing
  • Look forward to telling him/her something
  • Rearrange your schedule to see him/her
  • Extended prayers together (one-on-one)
  • Buy him/her a gift
  • Hide plans from spouse, friends, or family
  • Dress-up or fix your hair before you meet him/her
  • Look up his/her home address or phone number
  • Drive past his/her house or office
  • Find yourself disappointed when you don’t see him/her
  • Diet or exercise to look better for him/her
  • Write him/her a personal note or e-mail
  • Compare him/her to your spouse
  • Wonder what it would be like if you had met him/her first
  • Fantasize about him/her
  • A friend confronts you about the relationship (accountability)
  • Feel trapped in your marriage
  • Start thinking about how to get out of your marriage
  • Close hug
  • Kiss
  • Passionate kiss
  • Make plans to meet (dinner, hotel)
  • Do everything but intercourse
  • Intercourse

Saturday Night Mind Dump…

  • Wow
  • I’m not even sure how to put into words tonight or this week
  • Tonight was a night that God was definitely moving and working in our church
  • You pray every week for that to happen, and yet, we are often surprised when it happens
  • Love what God is doing right now at Revolution
  • I’m listening to the new Glorious Unseen and just thinking and praying through the conversations and the look in some people’s eyes
  • Lots of heartbreak and pain
  • Remember what I said tonight, “You are not alone, God is real, this is pain is real, but there is hope, it is hard work but there is hope”
  • There were a lot of couples and individuals who were doing a lot of work tonight
  • Love to see people working at life and relationships
  • This quote kept running through my mind tonight, “To have what few couples have, you must do what few couples do”
  • If you missed tonight, you can listen to the talk here
  • If tonight spoke to you and you need some resources or help as you move forward to healing or purity, here is a list of books and website software that have been incredibly helpful to Katie and I
  • Katie had a great follow up post to last week’s talk, definitely worth reading
  • Have you checked out Katie’s blog yet? She is writing a ton of stuff that is huge for women/wives to get
  • This week, she will be talking more about our journey, especially out of what I shared tonight
  • If you are a woman at Revolution or a pastor’s wife, you need to check it out www.missionalwife.wordpress.com
  • It was really cool to start a little slower tonight and allowing scripture to set the tone for the night
  • Never bad when a service starts with scripture reading and ends in communion
  • Everytime Hope sings Revelation Song, it is just awesome
  • Paul did a great job of navigating through some of the tense moments tonight
  • Not sure what the 30 Day Sex Challenge is or how to participate, go here to find out
  • And yes, Katie and I are doing the 30 day sex challenge
  • We did it last year as a church, but we were pregnant with Ashton, so we decided then that we would do it as a couple this fall
  • Pretty excited about seeing what God does in our relationship over the next month
  • We’ll both be blogging some thoughts as the month goes on, stay tuned
  • In case you missed them, here are the top posts from the last month
  • Expecting big things out of my Steelers tomorrow
  • As long as Jeff Reed doesn’t lose our 3rd game in a row for us
  • We’re thinking about heading out to Octoberfest tomorrow, should be fun
  • Regardless of what we do tomorrow, I’m really looking forward spending the day with Katie and the kids
  • I got to meet with DJ Jenkins who leads Cru at the U of A this past week, love hearing what God is doing in the lives and ministries of college students
  • Lots of energy and passion
  • Reading through a really challenging book right now
  • Agreed to do another wedding tonight, which means pre-marital counseling
  • Love doing weddings and helping couples get started on the right foot
  • Got asked tonight how we plan our sermons and how far in advance we plan, if you are curious you can see my answer here
  • You need to be at Revolution next week
  • If last week or this week has challenged you, next week is going to push even harder
  • Ladies, you need to call up all of your girlfriends (or whatever you call them) and tell them, “you need to get your man to Revolution next week”
  • What are we talking about?
  • Communication
  • Communication
  • Communication
  • (I had to write it more than once for all the men)

Top Posts of July ’09

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for July 2009.

  1. Marriage, Cheating, Football & Steve McNair
  2. Links of the Week (7/24)
  3. The Role of Men in the Family
  4. Pictures from Revolution’s Baptism
  5. Recent Family Pic
  6. Goals & the Future of Revolution Church
  7. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (Vacation Edition)
  8. Jack Welch’s 6 Rules of Leadership
  9. Missional vs. Missional
  10. Summer Break

Marriage, Cheating, Football & Steve McNair

I’ve been watching with the interest since last Saturday about the death of Steve McNair. One of the best quarterbacks of our time, killed in a murder-suicide (according to ESPN).

What this shows, once again is how easy it is to cheat, but also how dangerous it is.

I think in our culture, we’ve become used to the idea of cheating and we have a nice word for it, affair. But as Mark Driscoll says, “Affairs are what you get dressed up for, affairs are the prom. Cheating is adultery.” We need to use the right words so we understand the damage they inflict. Affair/adultery/cheating, however you want to slice it, it will inflict sometimes, irreconcilable pain. Even Skip Bayless at ESPN understands this when he tweeted, “McNair findings prove once again that affairs can be extremely dangerous. The danger makes them more exciting. But it can be lethal.”

I think most people would agree that cheating whether in a marriage or dating is wrong. But how does it happen? What is considered cheating?

It happens because on some level, there is a need that is not being met. It might be a need that you are aware of and have even talked with your significant other about, or it might be a need you have not realized. When that need is not being met, you will instinctively go looking for someone to fill that need. When that happens, cheating becomes easier.

There is a great book His Needs, Her Needs that lays out the basic needs for men and women. When these needs are not met, according to the authors, your love bank is not filled, it makes withdrawals. When your love bank is empty, you look to fill it.

For men, the needs are: sexual fulfillment (this is different from just sex), recreational companion, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration/respect.

For women, the needs are: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, safety and security, and family support.

What often happens in our culture is we only see the womens needs as the necessary ones. “Of course he wants sex” people will say. Or, “how degrading, an attractive spouse.”

Think about it like this, if your husband talked with you with as much enthusiasm and frequency as you have sex with him, how would you like that. If the answer is, “he already does” then you have a problem.

Katie and I sat down early in our marriage and explained to the other what each one of these needs meant for us. It is different for each person. Your husband defines what is attractive, not a magazine cover, so let him tell you. If you do this, you will actually meet the need of conversation (look at that!)

There are also different levels of cheating. It could be physical (which is what we often think about) or it could be emotional or mental. Cheating happens when we allow someone we are not married to to meet a need that our spouse should be meeting.

So how does cheating happen? It doesn’t just happen, it takes place over weeks, months, sometimes years. Slowly, your love bank depletes and it is not refilled. Then, a man shows you attention, he is easy to talk to, interested in your life and you find yourself opening up to him, wishing your husband was like that. You are right there.

Or, a woman compliments you, she takes pride in how she looks (ironically, study after study say that people cheat on their spouse with someone less attractive than their spouse, so it isn’t looks), takes an interest in you, asks about what you like and bam.

Katie and I often talk about how we don’t meet with someone of the opposite sex alone and we get some weird stares. The reason. If you aren’t alone with someone, you aren’t in the position to cheat on your spouse. If you don’t share intamite things with someone, you can’t be amazed by someone. This doesn’t mean you aren’t friends with people you aren’t married to, but it does mean you are guarded around those people.

Do you share things with people of the opposite sex that you don’t share with your spouse? Are you making memories or having experiences with someone you aren’t married to? Do you find yourself looking nice for someone you aren’t married to? Do you find yourself thinking about what someone other than your spouse is doing? How they’ll be dressed when you see them tonight? When you are talking or having sex with your spouse, do you find yourself thinking about that person?

If you answered yes to any of these, you are having an emotional affair. Which sometimes, but not always, leads to a physical affair.

See how easy it is?