A Conversation for Men About the Human Body

Authentic Man Program
May 26, 2015

How can we learn to appreciate the elegance and beauty of the human form? Often nudity is framed as sexual, and sexuality is presented as objectifying and degrading.

As David Bollt (Model Society) has aptly stated,

You can see nudity or sex as a celebration of something beautiful, or you can see it as a product…removed from the underlying humanity.

And Casey Capshaw (Authentic Man Program – AMP) goes on to say,

As a society, we can’t seem to turn away from violence, and welcome in film, television, games, and literature.

Nudity, on the other hand, is most often relegated to the profane, reduced to the pornographic and hidden in shame.

How can we create space to honor the dignity of our humanity more than the depravity?

The conversation linked above between David and Casey Capshaw tackles some of these issues.

It is encouraging to discover I am not alone in seeking to “bring some sanity and beauty into (what often seems like) an insane, unloving world.” I only wish that one day this will be a conversation we can have in the church as well.

Let’s support a holy vision of human beauty and sexuality!

Note: A version of the podcast is also posted here on YouTube with some examples from David Bollt’s Model Society

 

Beauty Hunting

Become Good Soil
January 28, 2014

A professor once reminded me of the need to be intentional about seeking beauty, especially when counseling in the area of abuse and trauma. During each class break she would post pictures from Cute Overload, a blog featuring various cute animals. While the fury animals didn’t always stir my soul, the point was still well taken. We need regular reminders that beauty exists.

Even in a world of indescribable pain, suffering, and brokenness, profound beauty remains. And beauty reminds us of God’s infinite goodness.

To be sure, in the midst of terrorist attacks and the death of love ones it is easy to have our attention arrested by such overwhelming negative events, not to mention cancer, sex trafficking, past due bills, and that gnawing sense we have to prove our worth by staying busy.

Even still, beauty and joy are available if we have the eyes to see.

And so, beauty hunting is an apt description. We need beauty to heal and restore our souls, but we must often hunt for it.

Spend some time beauty hunting today. Where will you look? How will you open yourself up to beauty around you? Check out the linked article above for some ideas to get you started.

‘Only two things pierce the human soul,’ Simone Weil wrote, ‘One is beauty. The other is affliction.’ She was right.  Beauty is unique in its power. Not only to pierce the human soul, but even more to unlock it so that Love can come in and hope can win.

Beauty Hunting - Dr. Corey Carlisle

What does the Bible say about Lust?

Biblical Gender Roles
April 18, 2014

For many Christian men, the sin of lust has been defined as merely finding a woman attractive, and certainly if he becomes sexually aroused by her beauty. To avoid this sin, men have told me, for example, about their attempts to keep their eyes on the floor when they walk through a store. This was their heroic effort to prevent the possibility of even seeing an attractive woman, and thus lusting after her.

While part of me applauds their efforts to avoid sin at all cost, another deeper part of me wonders if this represents the abundant and free life Christ came to offer us (and modeled for us).

As mentioned in Affected by Beauty, I believe we can celebrate the beauty of the human form and allow it to affect us without sinning.

The article linked above seeks to understand lust Biblically and not simply how the modern Christian community has interpreted it. It is a thoughtful reflection that is worth considering.

In short, the case is made that Lust = Covetousness

Covetousness is defined as “the strong desire to possess something that belongs to another.”

The article concludes that,

The sin [of lust] only comes when your sexual attraction…turns into a covetous desire to possess her sexually outside of marriage.

As such, it is not sin to simply be attracted to the beauty in another or even to be aroused by that beauty.

While we are called to fight against sin, it is not beneficial to fight against how God has designed us. God has designed us to be attracted to and affected by beauty. This is not an excuse to be rude, gawk, or otherwise make women feel uncomfortable. However, there is also no need for shame when you get feelings of pleasure from being in the presence of beauty.

 

Why Sometimes The Best Thing to Do With Relationships is Let Them Go

Story Line Blog

We should have a direction in life, we should become people who are more and more sanctified, and we should be inviting others to join us. And if they won’t come, we grieve. But we move on all the same. Some relationships simply aren’t good for us. -Donald Miller

The in movie the Wiz, the crows were not a good relationship for the scarecrow. He needed to let them go. We also need to identify the crows in our life and let them go so that we can ease on down the road toward God’s best for us.

The Crow Anthem - The Wiz

(follow the link to watch the clip)

How does your personality type factor into your marriage?

Truity Psychometrics LLC
May 3, 2016

Many communication problems in marriage can be cleared up by understanding personality differences. If you find yourself constantly frustrated by your spouse’s habits, behaviors, and styles of communication, consider taking a personality test. With better understanding we can better communicate and better love each other.

image

INFJoe Cartoons

 

Be Curious: A Key To Marital Intimacy

Tips for the Christian Marriage - Dr. Jessica McCleese
May 6, 2016

Many couples believe they have “fallen out of love,” but the challenge is to actually take love deeper. This requires us to become curious again.

I was invited to do this is a guest post by my friend and colleague Dr. Jessica McCleese. You can check out more of her work at her work at Better Than the Honeymoon.

Be Curious - Christian, Marriage, Intimacy