Openly discussing masturbation and sexual fantasy with your teens will help them avoid the explosive damage sexual misbehavior can bring.
Today's teenagers face far greater risks and challenges in getting acquainted with the opposite sex than we did when we were teenagers.
Why? First, puberty is awakening a teenager's sexual desires from one to two years earlier than in previous generations. Teenagers' pituitary glands are cascading more sex hormones into their bloodstream than they will ever experience again in their lifetimes. As a result, they must deal with the emotional and physical changes accompanying secondary sexual characteristics while they are still children.
You may struggle with feelings of inadequacy regarding your fathering
abilities, but you have a God-given role to protect and provide for your family.
And you have great impact on developing character in your sons.
Fathering is at the heart of masculinity, of what it means to be a man. Godly fathers put others' needs before their own. If you're like me, you spend the majority of your conscious thought and effort on satisfying your own wants and needs. It's almost an unconscious response to life. But if we are to be authentic men and fathers, we need to rethink that attitude and consciously make sacrifices so others can benefit and prosper.
When fathers neglect this duty or are absent from the home, predators attack families. Young men, such as gang members, who are raised without the influence of older men often become marauding wolves themselves–predators preying on women and children for their own self-gratification.
You married an amazing person but has your Woman of the Year become a wall flower, frozen by fear? If her fire has cooled and her pizzazz has fizzled, then take her in your arms and lead her to dance again.
Maybe you wonder where she went—that woman you fell in love with so deeply that you asked her to marry you. Remember her? The one with lots of energy. The adventure girl who inspired you with her enthusiasm. The woman who lit up the room just by showing up. The passionate, alive, beautiful person who stole your heart and made you want to be a better man.
Maybe it's been years since you've felt like you've seen that woman. Maybe today you live with a version of her that reminds you there is more to that person than you're experiencing now.
In 1986, Patrick Morley discipled a handful of men who met together in an Orlando-area bar to study the Bible. Today, he challenges men in 80 countries to be Christ's disciples. New Man recognizes an icon of the modern men's movement.
The letter came from a New Jersey man who attended a conference sponsored by a Methodist men's group. The featured speaker: Patrick Morley.
"I truly believe [Pat's] presentation saved my marriage," the man wrote. "My wife and I had agreed to get a divorce the night before the gathering. I felt as though Pat were talking directly to me. Everything he said fit what I was going through and made perfect sense."
Making sense to men is what Morley, the founder of the Orlando, Fla.-based Man in the Mirror (MIM) ministry, has been doing now for 20 years.
He has the unenviable task of following in the tracks of a NASCAR legend-chasing records that may never be broken. But make no mistake, Kyle Petty is his own man … fueled by a desire to leave his mark on the racing world and to carry on the work of the son he lost five years ago.
For a moment, the ground is still. The toxic smell of burnt rubber and 110-octane leaded gasoline has yet to be released into the air. On this warm August day in Michigan, 43 drivers climb into race cars riddled with corporate logos, eagerly anticipating the famous call to start their engines.
The skies are clear, so comparing the pre-race atmosphere to the cliché “calm before the storm” doesn't exactly work out. In fact, once the speedway goes “hot,” it will feel a lot more like an earthquake than any meteorological phenomenon.
As crews make final preparations in pit road and the sold-out crowd of over 137,000 waits in anticipation, Tim Griffin takes a deliberate walk down the starting grid. As one of chaplains for Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), he has the unique privilege of praying with each driver individually.
Best-selling author Emerson Eggerichs has cracked the marriage communication code. He says the answer has been hidden in plain sight for 2,000 years.
Imagine Robin Williams in a manic appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. Now imagine his crazy energy focused on a singular topic, instead of the sampler platter of conversation that Williams usually totes with him. Now imagine that energy tempered by the cool intellectualism-but none of the fustiness-of David Hyde-Pierce (a.k.a. Niles Crane from Frasier). Now imagine that he speaks with the spiritual directness of the Apostle Paul.
Got it? Now, one more thing: Add some fashionable glasses.
This is a pretty good picture of Dr. Emerson Eggerichs as he stalks the sanctuary stage of a Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma City, energetically delivering a lecture he's given many times before … and getting a reaction he's also gotten many times before.
A look inside the mind of Islamic terrorists reveals why they are willing to give up their lives-and why they can't be stopped by weapons made by man.
Indoctrinated since childhood and trained in secret camps across the Middle East, they are dominated by an aggressive religion and fueled by a belief that they are doing God's will. Ultimately, they can't be stopped with weapons made by man.
“Why we are fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple: Because you attacked us and continue to attack us. … The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for over 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. … It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. … The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged.”
From Osama bin Laden's 2002 “Letter to America”
Mark Gabriel knows the spirit of hatred and revenge. Back in Egypt, the teachers in his Muslim-run school taught him to hate Christians and Jews-hate them for the crime of stealing Palestine, for occupying sacred land and for opposing the one true religion of Islam.
QUESTION: Sometimes I want sex with my wife because I'm seeking pleasure, not romance. I feel guilty. Should I?
ANSWER: Well, an honest man! Not every guy is motivated by a deep longing for an emotional encounter every single time he wants sex. The good news is, not every woman is either. Sometimes she just wants to feel the rush of the orgasm you produce for her. God created us to enjoy sex, so that's just being human.
Bono and Bush, Jakes and Jennings. The Men of the Year for 2005 have dug wells of inspiration from which others who aspire to the exceptional might drink.
There is little more beautiful to behold in the world than a man in the grasp of an idea. Women, of course, are also thrilling when they passionately give themselves to belief, but since men are the more easily distracted and the more commonly willing to settle for less than they might be, it is a man possessed of an idea who most often holds the fascination of the world.
Our 2005 Men of the Year are just such men. Except for one of them, they are not particularly exceptional apart from the ideas they serve. Yet, because they have chosen to preserve the heritage of a people or to loose the grip of poverty upon nations or to lead a tradition-bound church into cultural relevance, among other causes, they are living exceptional lives. They are also digging wells of inspiration from which others who aspire to the exceptional might drink.
Like the father whose name he bears, Duane Lee Chapman is a bounty hunter. When he puts on his badge, the does it with the blessing of law enforcement...and the blessing of Jesus. Although he may lurk in the darkness outside your back door, and although he may pounce on you as you exit, hurl you to the ground and scream in your face as you pee your pants in raw fear, he tries to do it in a compassionate, Christian sort of way.
He is Duane Lee Chapman II, and like the father whose name he bears, he is a bounty hunter. When he puts on his badge, he does it with the blessing of law enforcement. He is confident that he also does it with the blessing of Jesus.
He sees his job as a ministry, albeit a ministry that involves considerably more pepper spray, yelling and threats than your average ministry (unless you include a particularly rambunctious Sunday school class of sixth-grade boys).
You've tried it your way and failed. Don't give up! Choose to stay in the game and see how God even takes our mistakes and builds them into our greatest victories.
How many times have we heard this one: “It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game that counts.” Some of us realized winning meant a lot when we noticed that the guys who got the girls were the ones who won the starting positions on the team. Even if how they played the game was anything but nice, they still won and got the girls.
Go out in life thinking that winning does not matter and you will be very disappointed. Winning matters a lot.
Clay Crosse's battle with pornography almost ruined his marriage and career. But he found total restoration after honest confession.
CLAY CROSSE LIVED THE GOOD LIFE. He made big money as a Christian recording artist and climbed the charts with his signature song, “I Surrender All.” He had a beautiful family, a nice house, money to spend and a reputation as a stand-up guy. Plus, he had tens of thousands of adoring fans. He also had a dark secret-he struggled with porn.
He talks candidly about this struggle in his book, co-authored with his wife, Renee, I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography (Navpress).
Crosse was first exposed to pornography in the fourth grade. By the time he was in high school, he had a few magazines hidden in his room.
Do you have what it takes to be your own boss? Before you say no, consider this: Your quest for 'security' may be keeping you from seeing new and better opportunities.
We often refer to the workplace as “being in the rat race,” but this is probably unfair. It's actually demeaning to the rats. Rats won't stay in a race when it's obvious there's no cheese.
Research shows that even average rats quickly look for new territory when the cheese is gone. Humans, on the other hand, seem to often get themselves into career traps from which they never escape.
Many people regard the story of Adam and Eve as a myth. But scientific evidence is mounting in support of a single shared ancestor, indicating not only that Adam existed, but that he was also a pretty amazing guy.
With the crack of his whip, the anthropologist snagged an overhanging branch, swung his khaki-clad body over the ravine, then hacked his way through the jungle growth before reaching the clearing. There he greeted a tall, well-muscled man who was wearing only a fig leaf. “Adam, I presume?”
Of course, this Indiana Jones fantasy isn't going to happen. The Bible tells us that Adam lived for 930 years, but that was still a long time ago. And, yet, in a very real sense, modern-day explorers are closing in on mankind's ultimate ancestor. They're more likely to wear white lab coats than khaki, and they use microscopes rather than machetes. But in laboratories around the world, scientists are finding clues that point to Adam-the original “new man.”
People were surprised when actor Stephen Baldwin became a born-again Christian and started preaching the gospel. And that's exactly what God had in mind.
Michael McManus is lying face down on the bed ... shirtless. Rousing from a deep sleep, he squints at the flood of blinding white light coming from the police flashlights. More annoyed than frightened, he cusses as the black-gloved hands grab at him and pull him out of bed to take him downtown for a meeting that will change the course of his life... (The Usual Suspects DVD).
Stephen Baldwin is lying face up on the table … shirtless. The tattoo artist is working on his right arm. Ryan Dobson-whose father, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, probably wouldn't be caught dead at Sid's Tattoo Parlor-is sitting in the corner, recording a Podcast for ryan dobson.com.
Question: How concerned should I be if I start to think about other women while my wife and I are having sex?
Answer: An intrusive thought every now and then isn't cause for alarm. During sex, it's possible for you to have thoughts about nonsexual things as well as thoughts about people. But if these thoughts regularly invade your lovemaking and include beautiful women who talk dirty to you, then you may have a problem.
When baseball was on life support, it took an epic home run race to resurrect the enthusiasm of its fans. With some of the game's biggest hitters implicated in the continuing steroids saga, how should the league, its players and the rest of us respond?
What would you do? Sure, it's a rhetorical question, but it still needs to be asked.
What would you do if, say, on your job, you could take a magic pill that gave you an edge over your co-workers? What if you could use a special scalp treatment every morning that seeped into your brain, and increased your intelligence and aptitude? It's safe to assume that the average working man would quickly head to their neighborhood pharmacy to order a lifetime supply.
But wait a minute ... what if it was against the law to use those substances and the penalty included a pocket-emptying fine and potentially the loss of your job? And, what if the substances were linked to serious health risks such as heart and liver damage, high cholesterol, strokes, aggressive behavior and sexual dysfunction? Would you do it then?
"No" would be the immediate and proper response. But what if it meant a pay increase to the tune of thousands per year? Would that make a difference?
With enough promise of reward or threat of punishment, most children can exercise self-control for a time. But a deeper problem exists. We're controlling our children's behavior, but neglecting the beliefs of their hearts.
My son is getting straight As," boasted John's dad. "He's a starter on the football team, and, best of all, he isn't into earrings, tattoos and all that weirdness. He's not like so many kids today."
What's wrong with this picture? Maybe nothing, but maybe a lot.
Predictability. Control. Safety. Comfort. Jesus said that God's men can throw all these words out the window. In the end, all the energy we spend trying to eliminate risk from our lives actually works against us when it comes to our faith.
"If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life."
Mark 8:35 (NLT)
He knew their tendencies. He studied their film. He recognized their ability to compartmentalize commitment--to live an 80/20 life. Faced with the gauntlet of His own commitment to His mission, Jesus asked for His disciples' dying breath.