One Flesh

sex

Making Love is the deepest, most intimate Communication between a husband and wife. It reunites them in a way that happens with no other. Becoming One Flesh is Beautiful.

Woman is perhaps God’s greatest invention. He created her specifically to meet the relational, emotional, and physical needs of His first invention: Man. He designed her in such a way that man was automatically drawn to her in wonder … she joyously gave herself to him … and both enjoyed Joyous Rapture that could have been everlasting.

But sex has been affected by sin and shame.

The beauty of the male-female relationship became tarnished, convoluted, mixed up, and messed up. Instead of rejoicing in our differences, we are afraid of losing ourselves to the other. In our fear, we hide.

Or we seek to control and change one another to be more like ourselves … as though we were God Himself and, therefore, mindful of the only “right” way of being, which always backfires with serious and detrimental results.

Throughout history, we see examples of the exploitation of God’s creation. We see woman used and abused by man, diminished in importance by his use of her for his pleasure and power. Man is also abused by woman, diminished in importance by her use of him. There are documented cases of women being mistreated, but men are also mistreated and abused … and in more ways than we can ever imagine.

Men need women.

And they have from the very beginning. It wasn’t man’s idea. Adam was clueless about what he was missing in the Garden. But the Lord knew he would need a woman to love and to adore. And to soften him. Otherwise, he would become domineering and consumed by his power.

In His infinite wisdom, the Creator designed a woman who would possess something inherently fascinating that would make her utterly irresistible to her husband. And it’s not just about sex. Men desire women at a very deep level.

But too many women believe men are only interested in sex. Yes, they are interested in sex. Sex is very important to him. It meets an important need, but it’s not all that he needs.

That said, making love to his wife fulfills more of a man’s needs than any other single thing his wife does for him.

Making Love to his wife will naturally fulfill his needs for her
attention, affection, acceptance, appreciation, and admiration.
But that’s not all …

Making Love makes a man feel … loved!

Sadly enough, too many men have given up on being loved by a woman, which is one of man’s deepest longings. They have resigned themselves to settling for a measure of peace, giving up their hope for the fullness of a Joyous Marriage. And that’s sad.

… and the Lord has given us Hope!

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. (Mark 10:7-8)

The Grace of Life

1 Peter 3:7
1 Peter 3:7

Thank You, Jesus, for what You have done and for what You are doing through The Holy Spirit in us. I believe everything You’ve said to me. Help my unbelief.

One issue I’ve always been unclear on is
how much is my responsibility and how much is Yours.

You get the Lion’s share. You determine the Path and the Pace. My job is to follow and keep in step with you.

That means I get to focus on being held by You.
To feel the Rhythm and Passion of Your Heartbeat.

To listen for Your Whispers.
And prepare to be surprised by what You say to me.
That is, not assume I know where we’re going and take off without You.

I wonder what this Process is like for a Man.
Much the same as it is for a Woman, I think, with the added
responsibility to translate Your Leadership into the Here-and-Now.

A man leads his Woman as You lead him:
with Compassion, Tenderness, and Confidence.

He submits to You. And she submits to him.
Knowing You’re at work in both.


You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of The Grace of Life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)


Learn more about The Grace of Life in these online articles:

Marital Harmony
by Pastor John MacArthur
Heirs Together of the Grace of Life
by Pastor Jack Hayford

A Woman’s Influence

a womans influence

For some time now, I have believed that we women have far more influence than many of us realize. Many words have been used to describe this phenomenon. But, simply put, men cannot resist us. At least, not for very long.

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

When you understand how much you mean to him and know how to fulfill your purpose in his life, any man with reasonable emotional health responds naturally with all the love and tenderness you desire from him.

[callout]Yes, for those of you who are wondering,
most men are reasonably healthy.[/callout]

They just express it differently than we do.
And isn’t that what draws us to them in the first place?
What we love so much about them? What we adore?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What methods do most women use to influence men today?
  • Do men respond well to their woman’s influence?
  • Or do they tune her out?

Learn more with
Quick Start Guide to Understanding Men

A Man’s Passion for Life

male passion

Without a doubt, a wife’s decision to submit to her husband doesn’t get the best press in today’s culture. Such a woman is thought to be a bit on the crazy side … or not too bright. But nothing could be further from the Truth!

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

Yes, Scripture instructs a woman to live for her husband.

But when you read the entirety of Ephesians 5, you realize she doesn’t have the more difficult role. Her husband does because he must be willing to die for her!

The simple fact of the matter is that nothing inspires a godly man more than experiencing the Beauty of his wife.

  • He’s naturally drawn to her strength as she basks in the Joy of the Lord.
  • His heart and soul are softened by the Fruit of the Spirit flowing from her.

And as she chooses to honor him as her leader – to submit to him out of trust and respect for who he is and for who he is becoming – the fullness of his Passion for life automatically propels him forward toward his destiny!

To fulfill his God-Given Purpose in life,
a man must access his Male Passion.

And a wise woman knows how to build up her husband and thereby increase his Masculine Passion to fuel the Power he needs to Produce results.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • Have you observed any couples who live this way today?
  • How do they do it?
  • Have you asked?

God is First. Always.

god first

Every Good Thing Begins With God. God is calling us to Love. Yet His Love is so hard to grasp. Therefore, His Love must grasp US first. For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36)

There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18)

There is no fear in love.
We need to know that kind of love.
So that we can love with that kind of love.

God must be First. Always. In all things.

The words of the song “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real provide a clear description of the pressure a man feels as a leader … and emphasize his desperate need for God’s help to be the leader He wants him to become. If you haven’t heard it, check it out on YouTube.

Therefore, the First Thing every Man needs to become the Leader he wants to be is … Jesus!

He is absolutely The Essential One, not only for a man’s well-being, but also for his family’s well-being. If a man is a Christian, he must reconnected with Him daily … if not moment-by-moment (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

[callout]If you’ve not yet invited Jesus into your life, you can do so now.
He’s with you – wherever you are in the process of life
– and eagerly waiting to hear from you!
It’s simple. Just talk to Him.[/callout]

An Unstoppable Team: Man, Woman, and The Lord

When a Godly Woman is the willing recipient of the fullness of God’s Love, she is free to love her Man in ways she could not have loved him if she were merely on her own.

Her Man benefits from being loved by her. He receives the love and moral support he needs to be able to lead well as he …

  • Listens to her.
  • Is her hero (i.e., treats her like a lady).
  • Pays attention to her response to his leadership.
  • Asks for what he needs from her (in addition to a great sex life in marriage).
  • And most of all, is courageous enough to allow himself to be vulnerable with her.

The Bottom Line: God is First. Always. In all things.

A Godly Woman receives love from God, loves God in return, then loves her Man out of her own fullness. And as her Man receives love from God, she gets to delight in following a Godly Man who knows how to lead gently and confidently. It’s irresistible joy!

We love because He first loved us.
(1 John 4:19)

Shall We Dance?

submission in marriage

Our culture – with the well-intentioned assistance of more than a few overly zealous feminists – has all but obliterated God’s plan for a man and a woman. Some Christians totally ignore the concept of submission, whereas others read Paul’s words as permission for husbands to dominate and/or abuse their wives. Neither option, of course, is acceptable. And neither will create the loving and romantic relationship you desire.


My approach to healthy relationships is often labeled
as an old-fashioned, out-dated notion about Love and Marriage.


Some have suggested it’s rooted in the 1950s.
Or in the Victorian Era.

But it’s much, much older.
In fact, it’s as Ancient as Adam and Eve.

Yes, it’s Submission in Marriage

One Sunday evening, I was dancing with some friends in a beautiful gazebo at one of my favorite outdoor venues, when a park ranger appeared.

Although the ranger’s intent was to inform us that the park had closed 37 minutes earlier, he was simply standing there watching us in awe. A dozen couples ranging in age from 30-something to 60-something, enjoying a pleasant summer evening, engaged in an activity straight out of the 19th Century.

Perhaps it was just our Victorian costumes that fascinated him.
But I believe it was so much more.

As my friends loaded their cars to leave,
I chatted with the park ranger.

“My dance partner and I have offered workshops for couples. We want men to know how it feels to have a woman follow them and make them feel good about their ability to lead. And we want women to know how wonderful it feels to be treated like a lady.”


The ranger turned his head and looked at me in shock.
“There are still women who want to follow a man?”


“Yes! At least Christian women do.
In fact, they love it.
And even long for it!”

Still in apparent disbelief, the ranger reported,
“I read something the other day about most women
making more money than men … and that most women
believe they don’t even need men around anymore.”

“That’s not true for all women. Not the good ones anyway.”
I replied confidently. Because I know it’s True.

Our conversation ended there, but knowing a little about how a man’s mind works,
I’m pretty sure he continued to process the whole thing.

Fascinated by our dance.
Wondering what it would be like
if he himself could find a woman
who would trust and respect him.
And if that’s even a remote possibility …

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What are your beliefs about submission?
  • How have your beliefs affected your relationship?

Click here for Fast-Forward Learning
about Submission in Marriage

God’s Answer to a Problem Adam Didn’t Know He Had

what a man needs

You remember the Story. God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. All of it was good. Except that Adam was alone. So God created Woman for him. And Adam named her Eve. Perfect.

The Psychology of Men

Way back in 2008, I taught a full course on men at Azusa Pacific University. As part of the course, we created a blog, The Psych of Men. One post is about Abraham Lincoln, and this quote about women:

A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.

Surprisingly, even after all this time, the site still gets a fair number of visitors. Very cool. For example, on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, Will from Oklahoma commented,

I am 23 and i can tell you why men fear women, women are really wonderful and we are afraid to screw up you know like that afraid of something that seems to good to be true and at the same time is alive and talking to you. God really knew what he was doing just think how Adam reacted Genesis 2:23 “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” this was basically a gasp of amazement at God’s work.

Yes, “too good to be true” can be a little scary.

For both people. Women desire men, but we’re easily influenced by the culture around us. Which leaves a woman a little confused about what a healthy Christian man really needs.

What a Man Needs

We know it’s not good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). But exactly how is she to be his helpmate? Well, a woman can help her man win his battles with the enemy of his soul. To do that, she must learn all she can about his needs. But she won’t likely hear what they are directly from him. Mostly because it’s too vulnerable … and thus breaks the Boy Code.

[callout]So, ladies, here’s The Short List … in a Long Message.
Print this. Hold onto it. Until you’ve got the whole thing memorized.[/callout]

1. Your Attention

Men are only interested in one thing? Well, whether you believe me or not, it’s not sex. Yes, it’s true that sex with his wife is one thing that makes a man feel loved. But, what he needs most is a woman’s positive attention.

  • Look at him adoringly when he talks to you.
  • Listen intently to what he has to say.

Every time he speaks, he’s sharing something about who he is – his thoughts, his beliefs, his hopes, his fears, his values. Men share far more than we realize, but they do it differently than we do. And if he believes you’re interested, he’ll keep talking.

  • Be a safe person for him.

Don’t evaluate what he says or compare him to yourself or to another man. Don’t probe or ask questions, unless you’re simply saying, “Tell me more.” And don’t share intimate details with your girlfriends.

2. Your Acceptance

Have you ever responded to your guy’s gift with some sort of critique?

  • He “wasted” money on flowers.
  • You’d rather have such-and-such.
  • Why didn’t he _____ (fill in the blank)?

If you do that to him again and again, he’ll be inclined to question the possibility of making you happy. And at some point, he won’t even try anymore.

Your man wants to be your hero – always. God designed him with a natural desire to protect you, to guide you, and to hold you – to make you happy – if you’ll only let him. He won’t do it perfectly. So you will need to let go of your tendency to correct him, to teach him, to give him advice.

Those messages tell him he’s not good enough – that he will never be good enough – and that he’ll never be able to make you happy.

You don’t have to pretend that he’s perfect, or that his gifts are perfect. When you accept what he brings to your life, you are accepting him. And that’s a very good thing.

3. Your Affection

We are all so hungry for human touch, and we rarely get that need met. Women, of course, have a better shot at it because it’s more socially acceptable for them to hug one another. But we do more than just hug. We actually hold one another.

But after a certain age (sometime in elementary school), men are rarely held … unless they’re having sex. Perhaps that’s what makes sex so important to a man’s well-being?

An Experiment. When dinner’s ready tonight, don’t holler at him to come and eat. Go to wherever he is and stand beside him, place your hand on his shoulder or arm, then smile and softly say, “Dinner’s ready.”

Then turn and walk away quietly. Even if he doesn’t move a muscle or say a word … or even come and eat … you can be sure your touch and soft voice registered in his brain.

There’s nothing more calming than making contact with the person you love.

  • So make physical contact as often as you can.
  • You don’t have to be dramatic about it. Start slow.
  • Remember, his brain will notice even if he doesn’t.
  • And if he’s in the mood for sex, take it as a positive indicator
    that he needs to be held … by you.

4. Your Appreciation

A simple “Thank You” goes a long, long way.

Enough said?
Yes, I believe it is.

5. Your Admiration

This need is way more important than you might believe. And it’s something you probably don’t think about giving to him nearly often enough. Men need a woman’s admiration. It’s not an ego thing. It’s an actual factual emotional need.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • If you’re a man, how does this list sound to you?
  • If you’re a woman, is this new information?
    How might you use it to bring you closer?

Just to See Her Smile

problem-solving pleasing Proverbs 30:19

A man is a wonderful Problem-solver. It’s how his brain is designed to work. Whenever his woman has a problem, he loves to be able to solve it for her because …

  • It gives his brain great satisfaction.
  • It enhances his masculine sense of self.
  • When she takes his advice, he feels needed.
    • If she asked for advice and doesn’t take it, he wonders why she asked.
    • If she didn’t ask, but he offered, he’ll wonder if she needs him at all.

The Pleaser

This is one that so many women don’t completely grasp. Most men I meet – even the ones who are coming to counseling to work through some very difficult relationship issues – simply want their wives to be happy.

  • They desperately want to please their wives,
  • but they just can’t seem to figure out how to do it.
  • Sadly, most men are willing to settle for an end to the arguing.

Men hate conflict.

Many shut down in an attempt to slow it down …or to avoid it altogether. We call that stonewalling, and it invariably has exactly the opposite effect than the one he’s hoping to achieve.

So a man often gives in to his woman just to bring an end to the argument. When he gives in to you, he gives up the Power he needs in order to be your Protector, Provider, and Problem-solver just for the sake of ending the argument. It’s emasculating.

Both People Matter

Although a man should never just do whatever his woman say just to make her happy, he shouldn’t tune her out either. A man in a successful relationship is open to his woman’s feedback. But when either person becomes a doormat, it creates different problems. Because both people matter.

Just to see her smile …
because her happiness makes him happy, too!

Ladies: Please believe me when I say he really wants to see you actively, joyously happy … especially with him. When that happens, you both win.

  • You win because you’re happy.
  • And he wins because he’s got you!

[callout]You won’t believe what this does for a man … to see his woman smile.
So always let him know when he gets it right … with your smile.
Smiles are contagious, you know![/callout]

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • If you’re a man, does this fit with your experience?
  • If you’re a woman, is this new information?
    How might you use it to bring you closer?

Undermining the Enemy

respect your husband

If you want to stop the enemy, you need to understand his strategies against men. The quickest and easiest ways for the enemy to attack a man is to convince him that he is inadequate. And he most often uses a woman to do the attacking for him.

We know that because women have no less than a bazillion ways of telling men they don’t measure up … and thereby unwittingly usurping their God-given power.

A few ways women communicate that a man is inadequate:

  • She smirks or rolls her eyes at him.
  • She gives him unsolicited advice or instructions, saying something like:
    • Why don’t you ____?
    • You should ____.
  • She talks about him to other people like he’s not there.
  • She laughs at him when he’s not trying to be funny.
  • She blames him for whatever has just gone wrong, making herself look better.
  • She corrects or criticizes him. This one is powerfully emasculating – especially when she does it in front of other people.

Example: A while back, I was waltzing with a friend at a very festive ball, when the couple ahead of us tripped, and the woman crashed onto the floor. Her partner, who was obviously concerned, responded immediately to help her to her feet.

Her response? She glared at him, shaming him by her facial expression as well as her words. I’m still not sure for whom I felt more empathy: her for falling … or him for being yelled at in front of a ballroom full of people.

[callout]Undermine – and even get your revenge on – the enemy
by showing unparalleled respect for Your Man![/callout]

Repair Disconnections as Quickly as Possible

If he shuts you out when you’re talking, stop and ask him what he heard you say.

If he’s honest with you, he’ll tell you that it felt like an attack, blame, or criticism.
And if he tells you that, BELIEVE HIM.

  • It does not mean that’s what you were trying to do.
  • It just means that what you said got lost in translation,
    and you can try again … using different words.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • If you’re a man, does this description fit with your own experience?
  • If you’re a woman, is this surprising information?
    How might you use it to bring you closer?

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:31-33)

Male Leadership

male leadership

Men are creatively designed by God to Protect. Provide. Problem-Solve. Please.

My Protector

Man protects instinctively. He protects the people he loves … and sometimes even people he doesn’t love … and sometimes even people he loves – or doesn’t love – who happen to be angry at him at the time.

Remember that he’s more sensitive than a woman.

And here’s where this characteristic comes beautifully into play. His radar is alert for danger.

  • he takes action …
  • or gives advice …
  • or tries to solve the problem … Which a woman often hates because she doesn’t understand his intent. She erroneously believes he’s trying to fix her or just shut her up.And instead of analyzing his emotions,

Although that last statement may be partially true (sorry for being so frank), it’s mostly that a man doesn’t like to see someone he loves suffering.

  • He wants her pain to stop … and to stop now.
  • So he gives advice. He’s trying to protect his woman from further hurt. She can appreciate how really sweet that is of him if she understands why he’s doing it.

However, his sensitivity can backfire in a heartbeat.

If he feels like he is being attacked, blamed, or criticized, he will go on the defensive … to protect himself rather than his woman.

And here is the really sad part …

Most of the time, women have absolutely no clue that they might be saying or doing anything
that could be even remotely related to attack, blame, or criticism.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS about Male Leadership

  • If you’re a man, does this description fit your own mindset?
  • If you’re a woman, is this new information?
    How might you use it to bring you closer to the love of your life?

Click here for Fast-Forward Learning