Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Loss of Interest in Sex

Q.  For the first five years of marriage our sexual relationship was very satisfying. Then we had children and it's been down hill ever since. I've lost interest in sex. I make excuses to avoid it. This bothers my husband but I don't know how to change. At times he gets angry about it. I wish he would stop wanting sex. Why is sex so important to men?
A. Sex is a very basic way in which a husband gives himself to his wife. When he is received he feels accepted and loved both physically and emotionally. When he is rejected he feels very hurt and his self-esteem suffers. Wives need to learn about and understand the vulnerability husbands experience with sexual rejection. When they are turned down they interpret this as, "She doesn't love me" or "She doesn't want me." Since they aren't as adept as their wives at expressing their feelings they may hide their hurt under a layer of coolness or hostility.

Think about the reasons for your loss of interest in sex. Since it was once very enjoyable, you should be able to regain this lost pleasure. But you will have to want to for yourself. Remembering how pleasurable it once was may help you enjoy it again. Realizing that you are missing out on this enjoyment may help. You are cheating yourself!     

Reasons for Loss of Interest in Sex
There are a number of possible reasons for a loss of interest in sex and only you can say which one fits you. Many women lose interest in sex after having children. They no longer think of themselves as sexy. They are now "Mom" and their husband is now "Dad." Is it O.K. for Mom and Dad to have sex? Of course it is, but you must believe so in your own mind.
Have resentments built up between you and your husband? After a few years of marriage many couples reach an impasse. Conflicts they can’t talk about or resolve stack up between them forming a wall that prevents closeness. These issues are hard to suppress unless distance is maintained. It's impossible to be intimate and emotionally distant at the same time. Resentment can lead to a loss of interest in sex.

Do you have hang ups from childhood about sex? Many people grow up thinking sex is in some way wrong or dirty. This is more often true for women than men. Men are given more permission by our culture to be sexual. Also, if you were sexually abused or assaulted in any way, the memories and scars from this can cause a loss of interest in sex. 

Talk with your husband about these issues. Journaling about the reasons for your loss of interest in sex will also help. Christian counseling together is recommended. This is a crucial issue in your marriage and worth whatever it takes to resolve it.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 NIV

Blessings, Dottie

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Commands of Jesus

Matt. 7:6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and then turn and tear you to pieces.
Matt. 7:6 Don’t give what is holy to unholy people. Don’t give pearls to swine!  They will trample the pearls and attack you. NLT
Matt 7: 6 Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege. The Message

This is a puzzling verse. Through study, thought and prayer I learned that we are not to give what is sacred and eternally valuable - the Truth about you - to those who hate the truth, those who will reject it and dirty it. According to the Message we aren't to water down the message in order to be relevant. Wow! I must be guided by your Spirit in sharing the good news with those with differing views. The church must be also. Jesus did not argue with the Pharisees or the Sadducees but he did offer eternal life and Nicodemus was open to hear him. Help me in sharing the Gospel and forgive me for not understanding how wasteful and even alienating this can be when not led by You.

Readers: Do you know other interpretations of this verse? If so please comment.
                                                                                                                                                          Blessings, Dottie

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Is Big Really Better?   
The impact of megachurches, both positive and negative, is detailed in my book, Changing Churches. The question I focus on in this blog is the issue of church size. Is big really better?

Almost 60% of the churches in the United States have 99 members or less. 35% have 100 to 499 members. Yet megachurches win most of the media attention. And megachurches are often the model smaller churches mimic.

Twenty years ago we visited a very large United Methodist Church in Ohio. We entered a vast sanctuary through one of many doors. The ushers at each door carried walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. People streamed in, mostly young and casually dressed. In 1979 the membership at this church stood at 118, with 90 in attendance each Sunday. They now "host" 4,500 people in five services each weekend.

The Perils of Bigness
Are there negative side effects to rapid and enormous growth? Malcolm Gladwell, in his book The Tipping Point, describes a "magic moment" that causes unexpected change, similar to an epidemic spreading quickly from one person and infecting vast numbers of people. Gladwell shows that the size of a group can precipitate dramatic change. According to Gladwell:
Congregations of a rapidly expanding church or the members of a social club, or anyone in a group activity banking on the epidemic spread of shared ideals needs to be particularly cognizant of the perils of bigness. Crossing the 150 line is a small change that can make a big difference.

Gladwell cites a variety of sources that indicate groups larger than 150 become alienated and divided. In other words, the larger the church the more difficult it is to be connected and to be united in purpose. Yet these are two qualities essential for an effective church. The desire by a church to grow bigger and bigger may be a man-devised goal. Little notice is taken of a church with 118 people. No church tries to be a small church. The world values bigness and large numbers.

We forget that Jesus valued faith the size of a mustard seed. We forget he chose only twelve disciples, and none with special credentials. The early church met in homes and multiplied itself by planting new churches. John Wesley did the same thing. That's why most every town has several Methodist churches to this day.

In an impersonal world we need to be in a church where we can know each other and are known by each other. Hopefully most megachurches make every effort to be connected and unified. I'm speaking here to Christians in small churches. Value what you have.
Rick Warren put it this way recently in his blog:

Every church is large in God's eyes, there's no such thing as a small or insignificant church. Jesus died for your church. That's how much your ministry matters to God. It is the Body and Bride of Christ. 

Church growth, led by his spirit, rather than engineered by man, produces deeper faith and gentle growth. Family connections remain in tact and church unity thrives. Small churches are in the majority and many faithfully bring glory to God. We need to stop copying the big box churches and prayerfully commit to our church family.

Blessings, Dottie

P.S. For much more information on Changing Churches my book is available on Amazon. It describes our journey in three churches and also raises questions about changes in the church. See my reviews on Amazon.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What is Marital Therapy?

Marital therapy is quite different from individual therapy. In marital therapy the “patient” is the marriage. The focus is on the relationship between the couple and the patterns and problems there, rather than on the inner conflicts or the childhood issues of each individual.
The focus is on the couple and their communication patterns, their resentments or disappointments in each other and on the positive areas in their relationship. The past may be explored to give the therapist some diagnostic understanding of the couple but it is focused on only as it affects the marriage today. 
In marital therapy the therapist comments actively on the issues raised, focusing on the process that is occurring between the couple. This is done in a non-blaming way, simply helping the couple see the roles they assume in their relationship. Initially, there may be a great deal of resentment or anger which needs to be dissolved. The therapist helps couples hear the underlying hurt or pain behind the anger. 
As couples talk in the safety of the counselor’s office, they gradually are able to let go of negative emotions. They begin to see their relationship in a different way. They may discover new meanings to their partner’s behavior. They may listen to each other and be able to put themselves in the other’s place for the first time. They also may share things never before revealed. All of this leads to a new level of intimacy.
Marital therapy is not an easy or painless procedure. It takes courage and a willingness to let down defenses and risk opening up to someone who may have hurt you in the past. However, marital therapy often produces dramatic, positive results in a short period of time. Working on your marriage is worth the pain and struggle. You will both grow through the process and your marriage will be stronger. You, your children and your extended family will benefit. Marital therapy is worth the cost.

Select a counselor who is trained and skilled in working with couples. Choose a Christian counselor. The counselor’s worldview does make a difference. 

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

Blessings, Dottie