This was meant to be a light & encouraging holiday podcast episode.
Then, it turned into a heavy and warning-type episode.
You'll be around souls this holiday.
Souls, that maybe you don't feel fully at peace with.
Souls, that maybe you have been wronged by.
Souls, that maybe you still feel the sting of the pain they inflicted on you.
This is spoken for no specific person...except, definitely for me.
Also, maybe for all of those I work with.
And maybe every person who has ever told me about their marriage struggles.
And maybe everyone else I know, too.
So, yeah... take this one personally.
May God stir His truth in you.
This is the good news:
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
This is the terrifying truth...
"But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
Jesus said this in the gospel of Matthew 6:15 (NIV).
Here's the deal...
I follow Jesus and need Him to save me. I NEED him to forgive me.
And according to that verse, if I don't forgive others... I have no hope of eternal salvation.
May that sober us up this holiday to forgive every person, every single one.
So, I needed to hear this.
And, I NEED to live this in EVERY single relationship.
It's a command. I needed to be reminded of it. I hope you did, too.
Love you with great love -- in courage and integrity,
PS -- If you'd like to see what more God wants to do in your marriage, sign up for a free Clarity Call delightyourmarriage.com/cc
This was originally published a while back--but we highly recommend you listen again as you're praying through and discerning what God has for you in the new season of 2023.
I love New Years because everything feels fresh and energized. Even though, practically speaking, it's the same as every other day, you just have to start training yourself to use a new number at the end of your dates.
But I am all about using whatever energy there is to increase my chances of growth and change--in God's will.
So, that's what today's podcast is about--becoming stronger in your vision. It's about realizing that you're going to stand before Jesus and He'll be curious what you did with your days…which lead to weeks…which lead to years, and then decades.
We must be cautious about how we spend our time and spend it in priority to God's will.
I will show you the specific document I have used since 2013 and review at least quarterly to align my life with how I perceive God wants me to live.
I will also discuss the process I use to discern God's will for my life every quarter. I think we need to be considering God's will consistently in our lives and move toward it more and more everyday.
I think you'll love the conversation and I look forward to hearing from you!
PS If you'd like the free resource I mentioned to help you understand how to love your spouse the way they are craving, go to delightyourmarriage.com/framework
PPS If you’d like help in your marriage, you are invited to schedule a free Clarity Call here. This call is invaluable in helping you to examine and evaluate where you currently are in your marriage and whether or not our courses could be helpful to you.
From a Clarity Call participant who decided not to take the course(s)::
“Thank you and thanks for your guys' help. I honestly couldn't have done it without the help of the podcast and just our talk opens my eyes up to what God wants for me and what direction and guidance he is showing me so thank you so so much!”
This is the next part of Communication Secrets and I think it's an important addendum.
We talk about what to do when you're disappointed with your spouse.
When you want them to change.
When you feel they were irresponsible.
I have two examples for you:
1 - When a friend was irresponsible and God brought conviction even when He kept me from saying anything.
2 - When I was irresponsible (I know---unbelievable!) and God brought conviction even when my husband didn't say anything.
I hope this brings you encouragement, direction, and skills as you attempt to live God's way in your marriage.
PS - If you’d like to see if our programs would be a good fit for you in helping you grow in your marriage, we invite you to schedule a free Clarity Call.
From a Masculinity Reclaimed graduate:
“For the first time EVER we had whole-hearted sexual intimacy, 2 or 3 times total. This was something that I had no idea even existed and it was barely believable. It was so amazing.
We haven't argued in months. Based on a DYM [Delight Your Marriage] podcast that I listened to before starting MR [Masculinity Reclaimed], I began the process of responding in ways that fully prevented arguments, so it's been more than 12 weeks without an argument. That was a massive game-changer for me and our relationship.
God has called me to a far deeper level with His word than ever before. The Holy Spirit has downloaded significant insight regarding how to love. This was done as a combination of scripture, DYM [Delight Your Marriage], and clarity provided during prayer.”
So much stress revolves around communication.
I've been there!
My husband and I have miscommunications everyday.
Today, for example, I was telling him about a sore in my mouth and he was sure I was talking about Europe.
That is silly and allowed for laughter.
But what about when someone is lost and just hoping for the other to quickly look up directions.
Or, when you're in a stressful situation, and one of you is incomprehensible (to you).
Well, I want to invite you to reframe what good communication is.
I want to invite you to consider what really matters in communication with your spouse.
I try to debunk some unhelpful cliches:
"Your spouse should be your best friend," or
"You have to be compatible with someone to be happy," or
"If you don't connect on common interests, you'll die a miserable, lonely, painful death.”
Alright, that last one isn't a cliche I've heard! (but maybe have felt?)
Let's get some fun back in our lives and let miscommunication be the fodder!
PS If you need immediate help in your marriage and you've seen some changes from podcasts so far, now is the time to let that inertia grow into long term transformation with training and tailored support.
So if that's what you need, get on the phone with a Clarity Advisor and they'll see if we are the right fit for your situation: delightyourmarriage.com/cc
Quote from a Masculinity Reclaimed graduate:
"I just wanted to thank you again for your help in building the intimacy [my wife] and I have discovered.
Last night [my wife] wore lingerie, was passionate, and we had amazing sex.
You played a huge part in helping us get there.
In a thankless world, I want to give you a big high five and thank you for all of your insight."
Since Thanksgiving is coming up and we’re around people we love, but sometimes have strained relationships. We wanted to repost this episode so you can apply it to your family relationships and your spouse.
We love you and wish you a peaceful and grateful-filled Thanksgiving!!
Sometimes we look at our blowups and wonder -- how did we even get here?
How did a wrong turn, an unpaid bill, an unwashed dish, or a burnt potholder... turn into World War III?
What happened here?
And why is this kind of nonsense tearing our family apart at its foundations?
It's because you're not really fighting about a potholder.
You're fighting about all the unmet expectations from the years and years of pain you've experienced. And so is your spouse.
How do you get out of this cycle?
And more important: what does Jesus require of you in this cycle?
What does it matter in eternity whether or not you succumb to these kinds of blow ups?
Well, my goal is to give you a bit of fear of the Lord to decide you are going to be a real follower of Jesus and the blow ups aren't gonna fly.
I hope you'll listen in with an open heart and a desire to grow and be edified. And ultimately a desire to grow closer to God's will for you.
PS - Two things:
1 - If you haven't yet checked, there are a ton of helpful free resources here: delightyourmarriage.com/free
2 - If you need immediate help, go to delightyourmarriage.com/cc to get a free Clarity Call where someone from my team will speak to you deeply about your specific situation and see if we can help.
If it can happen for others, it could happen for you, too! From a MR graduate:
“We have prayed, we have read books, we have listened to podcast, and we have sought counseling, both individually and as a couple. They sometimes produce a little hope but we repeatedly fall back into old habit cycles.
I needed to try something different. This program provides a different approach through a team coaching framework. I wanted different strategies and individually focused feedback.
I have become a better person. Period. I am more patient, kind, loving, gentle. I am actively seeking the Fruits of the Spirit in practical behaviors. I am more forgiving and less apt to be offended. My wife SMILES AT ME OFTEN WHEN I WALK IN THE ROOM. We have more laughter and playfulness in our home. She holds my hand and cuddles with me. She tells me with her words and shows me with her behaviors that she enjoys making love to me.”
Often preparing for Thanksgiving is the real STRESS.
So -- guess what!? Make love now, so you have a connected, peaceful, and truly enjoyable Thanksgiving next week.
Duty sex…this is such a huge challenge for SO many couples - on both sides of the aisle!
Husbands and wives, how does our personal approach to sexual intimacy affect our spouse?
Does sexual intimacy within our marriage lead us toward one another or away from one another?
And if it often or sometimes leads us away from each other, is that our Creator’s intention? How do we fix this? Can it be fixed?
The fact of the matter is, the answers to these questions can be hard to come by! There just isn’t a lot of guidance out there for couples who want a God-honoring sexual relationship in their marriage!
If sexual intimacy is a gift from our Creator - and we know that ALL of His gifts are good - then why is this area of our lives so often filled with hurt and pain?
Does it really matter whose fault it is? Playing the blame game doesn’t fix the problem, does it. Can one spouse change the dynamics in our marriages? YES - a thousand times, YES!! We’ve seen it! We’ve experienced it!
Here at Delight Your Marriage, God has blessed Belah with a lot of really good advice and encouragement for couples in this specific arena. Yes! There are principles that we can learn and apply to help us grow in our relationships - not just in the area of sexual intimacy, but in the overall connection within our marriage. This is what Delight Your Marriage is all about!
Okay, now this is THE bonus piece of information here that we hope you don’t miss because it can be cliche or common to our ears: THE key of loving others well is to be filled up with Jesus’ love and to lean into loving Him well! He IS love! As we grow in His love, the fruit of the Spirit becomes more abundant in OUR lives! I Cor. 14:1 “Pursue love…”
Would you pause right there and snatch that and think on it for a bit? I’m dead serious!
You know, we’re similar to a tree. Have you seen a branch on a tree that is partly broken off? What does the branch generally look like? A lot of times the leaves are shriveling up, right? The health of the branch is directly correlated to how well the branch is connected to the trunk of the tree.
Are we feeling shriveled up? Are we feeling unfruitful? Are we struggling to experience the abundant life that Jesus has offered to us? …That's a good gauge that we need to check our attachment to The Vine.
Do you need some guidance, accountability, and encouragement to grow in these areas? We want to help you!
We are not currently offering a free men's course, as this is a repost of this episode, but we do invite you to schedule a free Clarity Call with our course advisor. This is an opportunity for you to be heard...to share your story, to evaluate where you are in your marriage and life journey, and whether or not our courses may be the right fit for you or not.
We love you and wish you a peaceful and grateful-filled Thanksgiving!!
On behalf of Belah and the rest of our team,
PS From a Masculinity Reclaimed graduate:
"Today my wife and I celebrate our … Anniversary, and thanks be to God our marriage is better than it has ever been. As I sat this morning writing my daily gratitude's and LTP's (going strong), I am overcome with gratitude for how helpful your ministry has been.
Going through the program last fall was truly one of the most transformational hinge times in my life - first drawing myself closer to the Lord, and only from that coming first did we experience some unbelievable changes in our marriage.
By Gods grace, we've always had a "good" marriage - free from major issues or troubles, but since have learned how wonderful God really intends for this union to be. Ups and downs persist, they always will, but DYM has helped show me the tools & knowledge to navigate them and have a thriving and God honoring marriage.
I am forever thankful for DYM. Thank you for following your calling and your dedication. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless!!!"
We share these testimonies because God is SO good and He wants good in your marriage, too! We want to inspire hope and faith in you! Nothing is too difficult for Him!
(Alliteration is such a... joy--isn't it? :) Hoping that gave you a needed chuckle...
Mick's story is GREAT!
He is a dynamic, charismatic, and tell-it-straight kinda guy. When his marriage was shallow in terms of connection, emotionally and intimately, he jumped at an opportunity that seemed on target.
Well, the MAIN change was his heart. He shares some particulars on why that was so vital in the outward changes of his marriage.
But, he began to realize who God actually is calling him to be as a husband.
So... with lots of smiling he shared that they enjoyed (like never before...ever) "full-blown, wholehearted sexual intimacy...truly unbelievable."
Mick's transformation is truly awesome. But he really took responsibility. He wasn't interested in waiting to see what happens in his marriage.
He was ready to do the work and take 100% responsibility AND accountability for himself. His heart…his change…his commitment to Christ, and then…living it out in his marriage.
Is there hope for you?
We serve "the God of hope." (Rom 15:13)
In fact, He wants you to "overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Same verse ^)
I encourage you to listen to Mick's story and witness God's transformation in him. Maybe you need this. Maybe a friend does…and you get to be the one to share it with them (like a friend shared it with his wife, and thus God did THIS in his marriage AND HIS KIDS!!!!)
Love & Blessings,
PS -- We'd love to see if we can serve you in a Clarity Call where you dig into your specific journey and we help you clarify the challenges, where you're going, and WHY.
And if we genuinely feel you'd be the right fit, we might invite you in (our Clarity Advisor is reimbursed regardless of the end result -- because this is truly our gift to you.) Go to delightyourmarriage.com/cc
Quote from a graduate: So... with lots of smiling he shared that they enjoyed (like never before...ever)... "full-blown, wholehearted sexual intimacy...truly unbelievable."
If you've ever seen a headline (one of mine or someone else's), "They did [this] and got [this]" you may have experienced a "transactional trigger".
My motivation is to attract people who need transformation in their marriages.
What I call "missional marketing", some may call "bait and switch", which is kind of true, too.
You may be someone who came for a certain outcome, but you listened and found out that to get that [thing], you have to change who you are - including your motivations.
For many, it works (by God's grace).
But, initially, it may have triggered transactional thinking for you.
This can lead you to believe that you’re guaranteed a certain result if you do [X] for your spouse.
Here's what I hope for you.
I hope that you'll start your journey with an expectation of an incredible marriage and sex life and end your journey with a completely different set of motivations: to love your spouse the way Jesus loves them. Unconditionally.
Whether they do X or not, you get to love them the way Jesus does.
The cool thing is...
Humans are designed to respond very differently to unconditional love.
Humans let down their guard.
Humans start to act differently when they know the rug won't be pulled out from under them at any moment.
The desperation ends.
Peace and freedom begin.
And marriage can become pretty amazing.
BUT your motivation should be to love your spouse unconditionally and enjoy--every moment--every smile--every laugh--every miscommunication--every peculiar habit--enjoy life alongside this wonderful God-designed being you get to love.
PS If you would like help in your marriage, we invite you to schedule a free Clarity Call with our course advisor.
We truly care about you and your marriage and this call will help us and you evaluate if we can help you in your marriage. Schedule a free Clarity Call here. For the free resources, click here.
PPS From a graduate:
"It has transformed my relationship with my wife and with my coworkers and those I supervise. It has given me tools to listen and pray better and got me into the habit of daily gratitude. Every married man, regardless of how healthy or unhealthy your marriage, will benefit from the MR [Masculinity Reclaimed] program."
I used to think I only respected someone if they deserved it.
Whether that was my husband or the young adults I worked with. Which meant I didn't treat them with respect. Maybe not blatant disrespect as I saw it. But more neutral.
Though I have come to find out "neutral" is generally not good.
My natural tendency if I don't have the correct heart (that God created everyone and they should be treated with respect) is being mean.
Maybe it's our human nature?
Anyway, what I discovered is if I'm trying to tell my husband what's best for him, how he should improve, or what to do...
He's busy being mad at me rather than listening to the Holy Spirit and discovering his own journey to growth.
(We want our husbands to be the spiritual leaders right? Then we've gotta stop being their spiritual leader.
And give them the space and support and encouragement to do it for themselves.)
But he was so untrustworthy. Inconsistent. Unhelpful. Unreliable. Irresponsible. And worse...
I was doing everything and unless I would nag, push, correct, complain, teach, criticize... it wouldn't get done.
I was so exhausted.
It wasn't until I decided to
and no longer hold his past over his head---let him be a new man in my eyes,
2-let God change my heart according to His will,
3-change my words, and
Did I witness my husband transform.
And He changed without my "brilliantly helpful" input.
I also speak to women who have experienced betrayal in the form of pornography, an affair or something else.
My heart breaks for you. I would love to hold you in your legitimate anger and pain.
And I want to give some guidance on what I think is helpful next steps.
I encourage you to listen with an open heart and see if God has a nugget of wisdom that you need in your life.
PS If you need immediate help, please schedule a Clarity Call ($300 value) for free at delightyourmarriage.com/cc
A Clarity Advisor will walk through your specific situation with you and help discern if this is the right fit for you to witness God's transformation of your marriage. delightyourmarriage.com/cc
PPS From a Delight Your Marriage wife:
“It's been so amazing! I still call it a rollercoaster, because there are ups and downs, but the ups are way more than the downs now and that's a huge win! I honestly was at a place where I didn't like my husband a lot of the times...
I now WANT to spend time with him, miss him when we're apart, initiate intimacy, and enjoy intimacy!”
When I look back on my life — when I see what is currently unseen — when I see Jesus face to face — when all has been revealed…
I am convinced I will be BLOWN AWAY by the love I never realized He truly had for me.
In the Bible, it says that God feeds the birds. (Mt 6:26)
He FEEDS the birds.
I was observing birds yesterday in the park.
There are tons of them, flitting around, this way and that.
And yet the God of the universe cares about His creation, so much so, that He Himself feeds the birds!
He is intimately aware of your life and what you’re going through.
And He is feeding you. He is clothing you. He is giving you far more than just that.
He wants you to realize that in every good AND in every suffering, He remains good.
There is SO much you (and I) cannot see.
He allows suffering for His reasons only He can see.
But when you trust this truth that He is the one that gives everything that is right in your life — it allows you to see the suffering better.
You can endure the suffering with a peace, a joy, and a contentment that is important.
In fact, when you have that peace/joy/contentment during the suffering, you will accomplish at least some of the important purposes He has for that suffering.
Make no mistake, God cares about your suffering.
God cares about the rejection you feel from your spouse.
He cares about your loneliness in the one supposedly “safe relationship” – your marriage.
He cares about the lack of intimacy.
He cares about the lack of warmth.
He cares when your spouse ignores the cravings of your soul that you were designed to have.
And IN THIS He is good.
If we only knew how much He truly loved you…
He would risk you possibly turning away from him due to that suffering because He has bigger purposes.
Higher than the heavens are above the earth are His ways higher than our ways, are His thoughts higher than our thoughts.
We do NOT have to understand.
We DO have to trust His goodness.
That starts with realizing, if the God of the Universe feeds each of these birds, that means he makes each of my breaths happen, each of my blood vessels moves when they are meant to.
It means He causes my son to smile at me.
It means He causes my eyes to even see the sunset.
It means that He not only knit me together in my mother’s womb for 9 to 10 months…
But He didn’t stop.
He is still in me.
He is still designing, directing, causing all these things to go well in me.
EVERY good gift is from Him.
Even the ones I don’t take time to notice.
When my arm breaks it should remind me that He was the one that caused it to thrive every other day.
If we only soaked in the truth of His love, we could more easily trust it during the suffering… He is still good.
If we only knew His love.
If we only knew His love.
If we only knew His love.
May you know the love of Christ.
May I know it, too.
Love & Blessings,
PS If you would like help with your marriage, we invite you to schedule a free Clarity Call with our advisor. This call allows us to help you evaluate where you are in your marriage, and whether or not we are a good fit for you. Click here to schedule a free call.
PPS When a graduate of Masculinity Reclaimed (MR) was asked:
Do you recommend MR?
"I do far more than recommend it, I advocate for it and fortunately one couple has joined both MR [Masculinity Reclaimed] and DW [Delighted Wife] as a result. Why - because MR is filled with lots of explanations of what and why things need to occur, but it's also very heavy on HOW to do things, which is missing from all other marriage content out there. Plus, Belah's insight is extraordinary. When she was describing in podcasts about why men enjoy oral sex I stopped and remarked to myself, that's 1000% correct. I never thought about it, but she's 1000% correct. So the degree to which Belah has insight and understanding into the male and female psyches is extraordinary.
Massively improved our marriage. Brought me closer to God. Helped me see my wife in an entirely different way. Set us on a path to healing. Facilitate mind-blowing, real-deal sexual intimacy (aka wholehearted sexual intimacy) and helped me get better at being vulnerable, sharing my vulnerability, and be more sensitized to when my wife is being vulnerable. With more time I can easily think of more things.
I never once questioned if what I spent on MR was worth it, because without question it was."
Do you feel broken? Dirty? Ashamed?
These are all normal feelings for a victim of sexual trauma.
Do you know what feelings Lisa now has?
Freedom. Confidence. Trust.
One in four, or even one in three women, have been victims of sexual abuse.
One in six men have been.
So, many of us need the HOPE for healing Lisa gives us.
Was it instant?
Was it easy to confront?
Was it comfortable to start this process?
She had to have courage to get out and join a healing process to get to the other side where God ultimately wanted her to be.
You will love her story and the encouragements she gives.
Especially the one and most important thing that she wants you to know, if you've been abused.
Love & Blessings,
PS - If you'd like to get "vision", the opportunity for "intention" and the "means" to transformation (as Dallas Willard says)...
I invite you to sign up for a Clarity Call. You'll work with a Clarity Advisor to discern that vision. delightyourmarriage.com/cc
Looking forward to seeing how God heals you!
"Betrayal to a marriage is what dynamite is to a door" says Gary Thomas.
Obliterating all trust, safety, dreams...
Could there be hope?
Could there be restoration?
How could this have been prevented?
This is what we discuss on today's episode.
If these are your questions, Gary gives a lot of insight I think you'll want to listen in to.
What can you do as a couple to right the ship?
What can you as a couple do to come together and see how to build your marriage with strength and solidness -- keeping any explosives far, far away.
Check out Gary's work and his new book at garythomas.com -- (also he has many other books that you'll want to check out!)
Love & Blessings,
PS -- We'd love to help you heal your marriage no matter what the issue is, and if you're looking for a program to come alongside other men and/or women, I invite you to go to delightyourmarriage.com/cc to speak to a Clarity Advisor to see how we can support you.
Are you getting close to marriage and the looming thought of a healthy sex life gives anxiety?
I invite you to listen in to these two women who were virgins when they got engaged (one is now married) and hear how they processed through the anxiety.
And now on the other side of the program, they have a confidence and a relaxed sense around something that used to be very difficult to even think about.
Maybe you or someone you know needs insights around marriage and intimacy before they start this journey.
I hope this conversation blesses and encourages you!
PS -- If you want to see how we can serve you in your particular situation, sign up for a Clarity Call at delightyourmarriage.com/cc
PPS - A woman in the Delighted Wife program shared this recently:
This programme is Christ-centred, led by an amazing loving, wise, compassionate, trustworthy team.
They have all 'been there' in marriage challenges themselves so speak with humility and empathy. There's lots of laughter too which is so good.
This programme is about sex but so much more. If a person engages and does the work it will be deeply transformational. This may not be in the way they expect...
I wish I had this programme just before and in the early years of our marriage.
Enrollment for the program closes tonight, Masculinity Reclaimed delightyourmarriage.com/minvite
Today's podcast episode...
If perverted masculinity is overly aggressive or on the other side, overly passive... what is it actually SUPPOSED to look like?
What is a strong man?
What is a true man of God?
What is the masculinity God desires of you?
That's the topic Kyle and I discuss today.
Lots of really fresh ideas, insights, frameworks, and also very, very old ways of viewing the nature of how God designed men.
Kyle is super -- you're going to love his insights and heart after the Lord.
Gosh, I'm excited for you to hear what it's all about!
If you've been praying about our 3-month program, Masculinity Reclaimed...
the program CLOSES TONIGHT, if you'd like to join, now is your time...
Wow -- God is so good.
Men are joining the 3-month program Masculinity Reclaimed because they're ready to become the men that God has called them to be (and as it turns out... that is very attractive to their wives... the results are intimate, as you'll hear.)
I want you to listen to these transformation stories (several shortened stories that haven't been on the podcast before, so you can hear what God is doing!)
If you're ready to take the leap and say I am going to risk the money and invest the time and effort for the next 3 months to see the results that God is clearly doing in others' lives and marriages
I invite you to check out all the details and register here. delightyourmarriage.com/minvite
Prayers of hope for you,
Belah & Delight Your Marriage team
PS -- If you are moved at all by these transformations, I encourage you to check out the details here. delightyourmarriage.com/minvite
Is Jesus the Lord of your life in EVERY area?
Are you trusting God in everything except your marriage?
Are you saying, "Yes, I will follow," but then when Jesus says to sacrifice for your spouse, that's where you draw the line to do it your own way?
Is your emotional intimacy with your spouse in God's hands?
Is your spiritual intimacy with your spouse in God's hands?
Is your physical intimacy with your spouse in God's hands?
Or, have you decided (like I too often do, sadly) "God, in this area, I can do it my way"?
God is really interested in your marriage.
Your spouse is the closest relationship to you.
Whom you can influence the most -- and they influence you the most.
So... if you decide to do marriage your own way, that's a big deal.
I was recently reminded that when I don't TRUST God, I suffer... often, unnecessarily.
When I don't trust God, and I try to do it my own way...the work that God was in the middle of doing -- behind the scenes -- I can ROYALLY mess up!
The lesson I invite you to learn from my fumble is: TRUST God in your situation.
TRUST God in the way He set up marriage and your role (husband and wife) and witness God move in your
He has a way. If you're suffering doing it His way, there is a reward on this side (or the other side) of eternity.
But, as I was reminded of, we may suffer because we are doing it OUR way. And I encourage you to make sure you're doing it His way.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you ARE doing your marriage and intimacy God's way, so you and your wife don't unnecessarily suffer.
(That's the biggest sadness I see with men I work with, they didn't have to suffer, they just didn't know...)
This is where I (shamelessly) plug our FREE Masculinity Reclaimed: Foundations course! (Because I know it can help you!)
We are in the middle of it, but there's just enough time for you to catch up - if you sign up now. It won't be available much longer -- delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
(Also, if you already know you're going to join the 3-month Masculinity Reclaimed Program, we officially open enrollment Saturday, September 17 -- if you join the first day you get an extra Kick Start training -- where I'd love to spend time walking you through how to "win" MR and get yourself set up for amazing success -- by God's grace. You can join right away here: Masculinity Reclaimed Coaching Program)
If you don't need help in your marriage -- will you pray for this free training -- that the men who need hope would sign on and witness God's transformation for many? And most importantly, that each man would draw closer to Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers.
May God help you to TRUST Him in your specific situation. He continues to teach me, and I hope that encourages you!
Love & Blessings,
PS -- The free men's training is going away soon. Sign up, and catch up here: delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
**Masculinity Reclaimed: Foundations course is starting Monday, September 12, 2022 -- it's on-demand training but will only be available for about a week, so register now: delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining**
I've been posting a lot of resources for men, so this one is for the ladies (and the curious men :)
I used to be very confused on what my husband needed from me. A lot of women that I have worked with feel like it comes down to a clean house, hot meals and happy kids.
And when that's not enough for him, it feels very unfair. That she is doing ALL of this and he's still grumpy and unsatisfied.
She may even have intimacy as a part of their lives, but he still doesn't seem to care.
What is missing?
Well, it took a while, but by God's grace through trial and error, learning from mentors, books and courses... now I'm at a spot where I can give you the keys I wish I had!
And I made it into a handy acronym so it's easy to remember:
Super simple. But, not easy.
See that's God kindness. I've noticed, that in order to love our spouse well, we wives have to deny ourselves and choose to love our God-given assignment (our husband).
And that choice, every day, makes us more like Him.
He's not like us, he's not designed like us. God made your husband unique and special.
And it's my privilege to let you hear from my husband and what he recommends to us.
Also, for the curious gents who plan to listen -- he's got some GREAT advice for you too!
I hope this blesses you!
PS -- Women if you want to go further in this, we have a community of women who support and love each other on this journey to heal their marriage, honor God, and love well. If you're interested to find out if this is right for you, sign up for a Clarity Call and a kind, empathetic Clarity Advisor will listen to your story and be able to give you guidance on your next steps. delightyourmarriage.com/cc
PPS -- For the men who want direction for your next steps, join the free Masculinity Reclaimed: Foundations course, which is starting on Monday, September 12, 2022.
It's an on-demand training but has lots of interactive bells and whistles. It'll only be available for about a week, so register now! delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
(My boys make an audio appearance on today's episode).
I thought it was appropriate because Robert and I both got choked up towards the end of this interview -- you'll hear why.
Robert has more kids than me. Not 2, 3, 4 or 5... He has 7.
Robert also has about 7 times more energy than I do. Which is why I'd like him to write a book. (Please, Robert, we all need it.)
His wife was actually the one who invited him to Delight Your Marriage. And felt sure he would learn what he needed for her.
And... I have got to hand it to her :) I think she was right!
But I also have to hand it to Robert, because he totally humbled himself, did the work.
Changed himself -- and God did beautiful things in their marriage!
I can't wait for you to listen in to their story!
If you're a husband -- he gives tons of ideas and thoughts about what you can do to change things.
He started his journey with the free training, that we're offering just around the corner -- September 12, 2022. You'll need to be signed up -- you can do so here.
Love and Blessings,
PS -- You might tear up too.
PPS -- Gents, grab a tissue while you sign up for the free training!
Or if you're a lady or a gent, and you want to get on a call 1:1 to see how we can help you, you can sign up for a Clarity Call here.
From a past of pain and hurt Reed realized he needed healing.
His first wife left him after twenty years. He then found out that she had had several extramarital affairs.
Completely devastating. And left him with 5 kids to raise on his own.
Now, God be praised. He is remarried -- his wife is utterly wonderful. They had a really good marriage.
But he realized, the areas of his marriage that were not fully there around intimacy had to do with his woundedness from the past.
He is in full-time ministry and heard God encourage him to take the program for himself. Not for others -- but he needed healing.
And as he did the work of the program, his heart healed and his marriage did to -- in the ways he didn't even realize it was lacking.
I want to share his story because -- you might be like Reed.
Maybe you've done the right things for a LONG time... and you are hurt. And you are wounded. And you have rightfully, steadfastly done the good work.
I want you to have hope through Reed's story. He not only shares his story -- but he also shares his process for healing. He gives lots of practicals!
He started by taking the free course: Masculinity Reclaimed: Foundations (starting again Sept 12, 2022) -- and then decided to go forward with the full 3 month program.
I am excited for you to get inspired by Reed's heart for the Lord and for his marriage and intimacy shifts because of the healing God brought in his heart.
Love & Blessings,
PS -- We would love to have you on the Masculinity Reclaimed: Foundations free training right around the corner -- sign up before you forget: delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
Reed began his healing through the free course.
PSS -- Seriously go register! :) But seriously... delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
An episode for a struggling husband -- or his wife.
To give you hope.
See, if you don't know what is the root of a behavior it's very hard to "white knuckle" yourself out of the behavior.
Therapist Sam Tielemans specializes in helping couples who have suffered through the pain of porn addiction.
He gives the specific reasons he sees over and over again at his practice (in Las Vegas of all places!) what is at the root of the porn addiction.
Why does he keep going back?
Why is he overwhelmed by shame but can't seem to stop?
And for the wife, how can she find healing in this?
Could she understand this addiction to see that the behavior is covering up the pain?
Should she have boundaries, and what should those be (we touch lightly on this -- there's a lot more depth we'll go into in the ladies program -- if you're interested, go to delightyourmarriage.com/cc so we can support you).
For the man listening, Jesus took your sin. If you accept his sacrifice -- you are clean. Whiter than snow. As though it never happened.
You can walk with that confidence.
We speak more about it -- but if you only read this -- I want you to know the truth.
Jesus took your sin (yes, this is a bad sin). But HE -- the God of the universe -- died for it.
Don't keep the sin and pay the price of shame anymore -- God came to die to pay the price FOR YOU.
The gift you don't deserve.
That's the good news.
As a person who was addicted to porn for years, I know you can walk in victory, too.
PS -- The men's training is coming up! All new videos and fresh training for you. I can't wait! It all starts September 12, 2022 -- sign up delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
Ladies -- if you want to witness your marriage transform -- go to delightyourmarriage.com/cc and get on a Clarity Call to see how we can help you.
PPS -- Sign up before you forget! It'll be gone before you realize it!
We invite you to listen in to Jameson's story.
Jameson participated in the free MR Foundations course that we offered in March 2022, and then decided to enroll in the full Masculinity Reclaimed course. (We're offering the free course very soon for a very limited time - Sept. 12th! Sign up here!)
Having a good marriage, but wanting to take it to the next level, he learned of the free course and signed up for it.
One of the first lessons in the free course "wrecked me," Jameson said. He realized that he had more work to do on himself than he had realized. The deep reflection caused him to see things that he couldn't see before.
Another cool thing Jameson shared as an unexpected, but also "biggest game changer" result of him taking the Masculinity Reclaimed course, "was me growing with God."
"I wish I could make everyone take the course." ~Jameson
One important thing to remember about Jameson is that his wife joined the women’s program AFTER he did the work on himself. She was incredibly impressed with the results and wanted to join him in the journey! He said there’s no chance she would have done the program on her end had he not gone first. And he’s very grateful – by God’s grace – that things transformed.
If you're doubting that things can ever really change, check out Jameson's story. God can and does do powerful things in marriages and we invite you to have faith to believe that God CAN move in your marriage...through YOU!
Come join us for the free sampler course...what do you have to lose? God cares about you and your marriage and we do, too! Sign up here.
The FREE Masculinity Reclaimed Foundations training is back for the last time this year. If you missed it previously, join on September 12 -- sign up at delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
First of all.
I'd like to tell you that I'm right in all that I do.
In fact, I'd like to say that I'm right... all the time.
I'd also like to tell you that I'm right even when others think I'm wrong.
I'd especially like to tell you that I'm right when other people think I'm right. (I mean, isn't that extra confirmation that I am definitely right...?)
So, the truth is...
[I have] become like something unclean, and all [my] righteous acts are like filthy rags (Is 64:6).
Even the things I think I did that are right... are filthy.
Even the things you think I did that were right... are filthy.
Oh, but then the things I did that were wrong! (The things I am sure were wrong... eek!)
I hope you see where I'm going with all of this.
You're in the same sad boat that I am.
And... it's sinking.
Can you imagine being on a boat in the middle of the ocean, and it sprung a leak... and then another... and then another...
Seriously, take a moment to put the picture in your mind... breathe fast... your stomach is turning and feel utter alarm and desperation.
The ONLY way you could survive is by being saved.
That's what's happening here. You and me. We are in a leaky boat in the middle of the ocean.
We desperately need to be saved.
Every single time we sin and we hammer a hole in our boat, we need a Savior to restore it. We can't do that ourselves.
When we try to defend our sin, we continue to hammer through the sides of our boat.
What does this look like in your marriage...
As an example, when you are rude and cruel to your spouse (disrespecting and/or making them feel unsafe), you hammered a hole in your "marriage boat".
And then you defend your own righteousness by saying they triggered you... thus hammering another hole in your "marriage boat". Making your marriage worse.
The marriage boat is sinking and your self-righteousness is making it worse... it's going to continue to make it worse and worse and worse.
You can't fix it.
We can't hammer our way out of a leaky boat.
How hopeless this is for people who don't depend on Jesus.
If you don't, here's how it is...
You know you're on a leaky boat. You've made mistakes and your whole sense of self is tied up to being a good person.
So, when you see evilness in yourself, it threatens you're whole identity of being a good person. And you can't erode your whole identity by humbling yourself and saying you were wrong (!?)
Of course not! It wasn't your fault, you were triggered, someone didn't do something they should have... it was someone else's fault.
Do you see yourself in that description?
Are you following Jesus? Do you really believe in Him? Is He really your King, Master, Lord?
Is He mine? Every. Single. Day?
Our boat is sinking.
That's why only in Jesus is there hope.
We need forgiveness for our sin against God and others.
We need Jesus over and over and over again.
Every single action.
It's pride to think we can do it ourselves.
It's pride to think we're good enough.
It's pride to think we are righteous.
It's pride, to defend our own righteousness.
It's even pride to think we can do something great for God without Him.
That's why our burdens are heavy. We think it's our job to do what only God can do. We just need to be grateful slaves. Humbled servants. Dying to ourselves and doing it God's way.
Humility means depending on Him.
Humility is coming before Him.
Humility is needing Him.
Humility is resting in Him.
Humility is being faithful to Him.
Humility is not contriving and defending an identity of perfection, it's boasting in our weaknesses.
Instead, go before Jesus, hand your worry, your issue, your burden, your identity, your pride to Him.
Humble yourself... you can't fix your sinking boat.
You need to be saved. Over and over again.
If you're married... you have hurt your spouse. You have hurt others in your life.
And that was sinning against a precious child of God.
That was sinning against God.
That was tarnishing God's name in front of them. You represented God and you did evil to them. That was sin.
Here's your hope. This is the process.
1- Repent to Jesus --
Confess your need for Him. Accept His sacrifice for all of your sins, and believe in Jesus to be saved. Make Him truly your Lord. (Start reading the Bible and find a Bible-believing church to be discipled).
2- Every day after your first conversion, continue in the same way --- repent of that new sin that He reveals. Come closer to Him over and over and over. That is His invitation.
3- Regarding marriage, your next step is to repent -- tell them the wrong you did, own it, listen to and validate their hurt, and say genuinely how sorry you are that you hurt them like that. That you were wrong.
Guess what that means?
Because you humbled yourself, that means you're strong.
[God said:] "'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness'
[Paul said:] For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor 12:9 & 10b)
Humble yourself today.
Accept Jesus' sacrifice today.
Accept Him saving your boat today.
And then apologize to others you've hurt.
Don't squander today.
You don't know how many days you have left.
I don't do right.
You don't do right.
Jesus is right. :)
PS -- If you're a husband, you want to love your wife the way she was designed by God to be loved.
Maybe you know you have hurt her, you've accepted Jesus sacrifice but you don't know what to do next... this free training is going to be a big help.
The free Masculinity Reclaimed Foundations course will be coming on September 12, 2022 -- Sign up here. delightyourmarriage.com/menstraining
Alternate Title: 7 Steps to a Productive Disagreement
Arguing. Ugh. It's so... so... unhelpful.
When have you left an argument where the dust has settled and you felt 100% good with everything you said -- your eyes, your words, your tones...? Everything.
In fact, how would you feel if your church congregation watched what you said and did?
Would you be proud of yourself?
Would you feel small and immature?
Usually, after an argument, I only feel the latter.
To clarify, what I mean by arguing is having elevated emotions when we start using a stronger voice and intense words.
Essentially, the judging/reasoning/impulse-control part of our brains (pre-frontal cortex) goes offline during that stressful conversation and we're left with the "lizard brain" which only knows how to flight, fight, or freeze.
All the wisdom that we have cultivated throughout all of our lives and have prayed for and read about, goes out of the window during an argument.
We say things we don't mean and throw verbal knives at each other.
Sure, we might apologize for it the next day when we're calm, but those words leave scars.
So, can we ever disagree?
We need to disagree. That's healthy and correct.
We need to be courageous and disagree about things that matter.
But we need to do it the Jesus way.
I have some very practical tips on how to disagree well, and how to honor God in it.
It's easy to use "popular thinking" and just say what you think. But the Bible is clear that's not best.
"We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check...
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." James 3:1 & 6
(Also, see the full book of James for more of this type of goodness. :)
How do we make sure we're not setting forest fires with our mouth?
Well, I have given you 7 or 8 keys in this episode that if we could consistently apply, I'd be a closer reflection of Jesus, and I think you would be, too.
Love & Blessings,
PS - We'd love to help you with your marriage and intimacy - to be connected, and for you to rate your marriage a 9 or even a 10 out of 10 marriage!
If you're interested in finding out if we can help you, sign up for a free Clarity Call at delightyourmarriage.com/cc
Encouraging believers is a very biblical concept in the New Testament.
I want to encourage you in this episode.
I am praying for several people through this episode:
7:00 - invitation prayer
8:30 - prayer for men who feel like they're not leaders in their home
12:28 - men who are receiving frequency in intimacy, but it feels like a duty from their wife
14:30 - men who don't have frequency in intimacy and lack joy in their marriage
17:00 - women who have a critical and judgmental husband
19:45 - women who want to find pleasure and desire
23:30 - churches and ministries and pastors who would have courage to address the hard issues around sex, sin, desire, & God-designed passion
May God give you grace and strength and encouragement - wherever you are in this mix. Or, if you want to agree and pray with me on these topics.
Love & Blessings,
PS We're here to bring hope and help in all these areas of your marriage...we invite you to schedule a Clarity Call to see if we can help you.
*"I speak the name of Jesus over you
In your hurting, in your sorrow
I will ask my God to move..."
*Lyrics to "In Jesus Name" by Katy Nichole
I'm excited to share that my wonderful friend Darcy is here to share her story and advice for you!
She is actually the Delight Your Marriage Office Manager, and she reads all of your emails and prays for all of those who are suffering and in such difficulty in their marriages. She often weeps for you and truly, truly cares about you and feels your pain for those of you who are in need of hope.
Her conversation today reflects what God has done in her and what she prays He does in you. I am excited to let you hear what she has to say!
Thank you, Belah, for giving me this opportunity.
God is doing and has done so many amazing things and what an honor to testify of His power, love, and goodness!
*“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.” Ps. 63:3-4
I pray that God speaks to and encourages many weary hearts through this podcast.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Prov. 13:12
This is my prayer for you:
Father, thank You for the one listening to this podcast. Thank You that You know them...intimately! You know how many hairs are on their head. You know their hurts, desires, and joys.
You desire good for them and desire them to know and experience You and Your love in ways that will reveal to them the abundant life that You have offered to any who will come to You in faith in Jesus and walk in the power of the Spirit of God.
Father, you see the tears. You see the brokenness. Even more incredibly, You care about them and have the power to do something good with them.
God, You know that we so often want to run from hurt and pain! Teach us to trust You...to take You at Your word...
I encourage you to read this scripture as though you've never read it before:
*"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:18-28
Thank You, Father, that You NEVER lie! Thank You that we can cling to You and Your promises through every storm, every hurt, every disappointment, and every thing that we face on this planet! People may fail us, but You NEVER do!
You use the trials and pain to teach us greater things. You may seem far off at times, yet You are more interested in the details of our lives than we could ever imagine!
Teach us to relinquish everything we hold onto to You, trusting that You will never disappoint...we wait on You.
...in Jesus' name, I ask this, amen.
So, dear listener, remember:
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18
*"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Ps. 37:4
And let me ask you:
How long was Joseph a slave and a prisoner?
How long did David wait for the throne or Abraham and Sarah wait for a son?
How long were the Jews in captivity?
Hebrews 11 tells us that some died not yet having received the promise, yet they looked forward in faith and believed what God said.
God asked Abraham to sacrifice the fulfillment of His promise - Isaac. Abraham was willing. He even got up early the next morning to do so.
Likely not because he felt like it or wanted to, but because he believed God.
Husband...wife...are you willing to believe God?
Are you willing to sacrifice what you hold dear and trust God to deliver on His promises regardless of how bad things look and regardless of how long it takes?
Faith fleshes out in obedience. Because Abraham believed God, he acted like he believed God.
What does that look like for you in your situation today?
He is worthy! He is faithful! You and I can bank on it!
Grateful for His presence and His great and precious promises,
*(All verses are in the ESV Bible version - emphasis mine)
PS If you would like to grow in your walk with God in many various ways, and particularly how that relates to your marriage, we invite you to schedule a free Clarity Call with our very caring Clarity Call advisor - click here to schedule
A testimonial from a course graduate:
"I was very, very nervous to try this program out. My wife still doesn’t know about my involvement and I was very nervous about doing this without her knowledge.
But it has really exceeded any expectations I had about what might happen in my marriage.
I do believe I will talk with my wife about MR, in the right time, and I think it will go just fine. But if that is the reason you are hesitating, I can tell you…it really can work!"