UFI

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pornography: Endangering Matrimony

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2015 at 2:22 pm

pornBy Tashara Carnahan

The Story Has Become Commonplace

I couldn’t breathe. My world started to spin around me, frantically, closing me in at all sides. No, I thought, this can’t be happening. This can’t be real. My eyes burned from holding back the salty tears that threatened to fall at any second. How did I not know? How could I have been so blind? How could he do this to me? To our marriage? To our family? Fear and anger swelled within my being. I’ve been betrayed, I thought, bitterly, he cheated on me. He cheated on me without even leaving the house.

The façade had gone on long enough. I was tired of pretending that everything was fine, when it obviously was not. I was tired of feeling broken, not good enough, and unappealing. I was going to confront my husband about his addiction to pornography, and we were going to make things right. We were going to salvage our marriage.

My experience of having a husband with a pornography addiction isn’t uncommon. As much as I would love to say that it is, in reality, it’s getting more and more common everyday. The average age that a child is first exposed to pornography is age 11.[1] That’s a child who hasn’t even entered middle school! In addition to the shockingly low age, there are also a shockingly high number of viewers. There were roughly 14.7 billion visitors to Pornhub, the most popular pornography website, in 2013.2 With that kind of popularity two years ago, imagine where those numbers are at today! And that’s not even counting all the other pornography websites available!

Face the Facts

In 2000, a study was done to address the problem of compulsive internet pornography use, and to bring to light how that behavior affected the partner and children of the user. A survey was sent out to the partners of the addicts asking about the effects of pornography on their partners and their efforts in fixing the problems, either by themselves or as a couple. It also asked about the effects that they personally felt by the addict’s use of pornography.

17.6% of survey respondents reported that their partner’s pornography use had progressed to live encounters with other people, such as chat rooms, visits with prostitutes, and affairs. Many spouses said that their partners did not believe they had a problem or weren’t motivated to do anything about it if they did recognize it as a problem. Because of this refusal to recognize the problem or go to counseling, many spouses separated, divorced or were planning to leave. Many significant others described “some combinations of devastation, hurt, betrayal, loss of self-esteem, mistrust, suspicion, fear, and a lack of intimacy in their relationship…feeling sexually inadequate or feeling unattractive and even ugly, doubt one’s judgment and even sanity, severe depression, and, in two cases, hospitalization for suicidality.”

Another study was done to measure the correlation between pornography exposure and family values. By the end of the study, the researchers concluded that exposure to pornography made the subjects “more accepting of premarital, extramarital, and extracohabitational sexual engagements” compared to the controlled group. The exposed group also accepted the idea of nonexclusivity more than the control group, and compared to perceived notions regarding married couples held by the control group, the exposed group believed that married couples were less faithful and engaged in more affairs. After the consumption of pornography, “fewer persons considered marriage an essential institution” and 36% considered marriage to be obsolete and abandoned eventually compared to the 15% of participants in the control group. The desire to have children was also decreased after exposure to pornography (65% compared to 77.7% in the control group).4

Why Does It Matter?

family on hikeIf this is the kind of reaction pornography use is having on marriages (emotionally abusing partners, accepting the practices of marital affairs and premarital sex, as well as having a lesser desire to get married and have children because users don’t view it as important), then pornography is a huge threat to children and families. Marriage will become just a piece of paper instead of an institution based on love, mutual respect, and commitment, making it so children won’t be born into a home with married parents, if they’re even born at all.

What’s even more of a threat are those who speak up about the “good” effects that pornography can have for your relationships. These are they who claim pornography leaves couples happier and in better relationships with higher levels of satisfaction and lower levels of distress when their partner is honest about their pornography use and they view it together. They say that “couples who engage in watching porn together and have a mutual agreement on what’s considered to be acceptable pornography are more likely to have thriving relationships because of their level of honesty and communication.”5

Now What?

So, what can we do? How can we combat a $13.3 billion industry6 that continues to make the very videos that are sucking people into their addictive vices? How can we combat the claims that say pornography is actually healthy for marriages and relationships?

We can fight for policies that crack down on explicit websites. We can fight for policies that will help addicts receive the necessary help to recovery. We can fight for policies that educate the public on the destructive nature of pornography from actual studies that have been done.

We can keep raising our voices for change. Because if we don’t, who will?

My husband and I ended up going through the process of recovery from his pornography addiction. It was hard and taxing, but so worth it. Are there still times when I feel those same hurt emotions I had after discovering my husband’s addiction? Yes, there are. But it’s not nearly as often as the relief and grateful feelings I feel for getting the help that we both needed in order to heal and rebuild our marriage. Recovery is possible for anyone and everyone, not just me.

Tashara CarnahanTashara Carnahan is a wife and mother of one, as well as a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho with a passion for family advocacy. She started to become more aware of family matters that are happening in our world once her own daughter was born and felt inspired to share her findings with others. She enjoys reading, writing, and defending the family, as well as encouraging those around her to do the same.

[1] http://unitedfamilies.org/default.asp?contentID=34

2 http://www.pornhub.com/insights/pornhub-2013-year-in-review

3 Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects of cybersex addiction on the family: Results of a survey. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 7(1-2): 31-58. doi: 10.1080/10720160008400206

4 http://search.proquest.com.byui.idm.oclc.org/docview/1300082250/citation/AF3F04FF735F4CFBPQ/1?accountid =9817

5 http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-couples-who-confess-watching-porn-are-happier-and-have-better-relationships-266505

6 http://www.covenanteyes.com/2012/06/01/how-big-is-the-pornography-industry-in-the-united-states/

 

Pornography Negatively Impacts All Ages

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

pornography harms 1By Natasha Rasaka

Growing Up

Babies grow up becoming terrible at two, leave for the very first day of school at five, and can read a book by age seven. Around 12 years of age the baby you used to have is really a young adult and could by now have developed a very dangerous and terrible disease. The symptoms of this disease are numerous, including greater acceptance of sexual permissiveness, sex at an earlier age, negative attitudes toward women, less commitment to family and school or careers, minimal social bonding, and sexual disorder and dysfunction. This disease is pornography. Pornography is a very serious, habit-forming, life-altering, and damaging disease.

Adulthood and Marriage

Sheila Hageman changed her name to Kyrie at the age of 18 when she became a stripper. She said that she become obsessed with her body at the age of 12 right after her parents divorced. It was at this time she came across a trunk-full of her father’s pornography hidden in the basement. The pictures showed women in erotic poses. To Sheila this showed her what she could do with her body to please men. She would go back to the basement often and kept looking to see more of what her body could do. She was hooked on pornography. Anorexia became her way of life wanting to be perfect and beautiful. She knew that there were more important things than her looks but she was obsessed because of the pornography. “I thought that [pretty looks] would bring me the love I longed for,” she said.

Not only is the person directly involved with viewing pornography affected but the effects spread to the whole family and to society. In the story about Sheila, her father’s use of pornography led her to be exposed to sexual images, leading her to become insecure, anorexic, and eventually making herself a play thing for the boys and men around her. Other teenagers who view pornography often have sex at an earlier age. This can lead to babies conceived and born to teenagers placing a heavy burden on the family and often on society. Pregnancy in a young mother causes health concerns both physically and emotionally for the mother and unborn baby.

Another symptom of viewing pornography is the negativity toward women. Women become an object to those who view pornography instead of a person with feelings and needs. Wives of men with pornography addictions have insecurities that they don’t measure up. One woman said after finding out about her husband’s addiction, “Sex was always warped; I felt fat, ugly, worthless.” Other women are so hurt by their husband’s pornography use they experience severe trauma and exhibit symptoms of anger, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and uncontrollable crying.

Danger

Focus on the Family outlines how pornography becomes addictive. Early and multiple exposure to pornography hook your child. Then escalation happens as viewing pornography becomes more frequently and is more graphic and violent until they become desensitized. At this point it becomes harder to get a peak physical experience that releases chemicals in the brain like drug addiction would. Becoming addicted to pornography happens from the same changes in the brain with all addictions. The brain rewires to accommodate the extra chemicals given and then needs even more chemicals to get the same high feeling as they first had. This leads to a dangerous situation where the child begins acting out what he has seen which is often violent, abnormal, and deviant sexual behavior.

Be a Protector

You must find the right way to protect your children from this disease of pornography. Do not allow the use of it by anyone in your home. Put blocks on your computer and devices with internet always keeping them in public, high traffic areas. Do not allow your child to take this poison into their bedrooms or bathrooms. Check history and pay attention to missing time on the history in all the internet browsers. Use passwords for the computer and internet if necessary. Make specific rules everyone in the house knows, understands, and follows. Do not make exceptions.

There really is a problem

Maybe you believe your kid would never be susceptible to this disease. Consider thefollowing:

  • 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls are exposed to internet pornography before the age of 18.
  • 83 percent of boys have seen group sex on the internet.
  • 79 percent of accidental exposures to internet porn among kids take place in the home.
  • Only three percent of pornographic websites require age verification.
  • The average age a child first sees internet pornography is 11.

No matter what is done, pornography can still enter your homes. The Youth Pornography Addiction Center gives some behaviors of teenager with an addiction problem: a tendency to isolate self and stay up late at night on the internet, depression, irritability, anger and over protectiveness of their technology. It is possible that teens can keep their addiction a secret. It may be only when repeated attempts to stop viewing pornography have failed that they start to show these behaviors more obviously. Pay attention to these warning signs from your child.

Do something

Remember that moment you first held your little one in your arms. Any disease so debilitating as an addiction to pornography is something to keep far away from any loved one, but there is no sure way to keep pornography out of the home and still have the conveniences of today’s society. Family Lives gives advice about helping children with an addiction to this poison.  Children do want to talk about their problems. They must be taught the difference between realistic sex and sensational sex. Ask your children what they think about pornography. Get a conversation started and then listen. You probably don’t want to start a conversation by saying, “when I was your age…” because children will stop listening. Try not to over-react if you find your kids viewing pornography, even if your religious principles are offended. A car ride can sometimes help to keep both parents and children to stay calm as they talk. Being calm is better when trying to help our children because it shows love and concern instead of anger.

Be Proactive!

Imagine if your 12-year-old broke his leg. Putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg is not going to help it or change anything. But a cast will keep those bones set in place and not moving so the bone can heal effectively. Use a figurative cast to fix this problem.  Parents need to be educated on the problem; recognize the signs, then actively engage and assist in the healing process. Wishful thinking won’t make a porn problem go away.

Most beneficial for your children and family would be never to allow the poison to enter your lives. If it is too late and not possible for dear little ones never to start, it is the responsibility of parents to help them stop. Talk to your children and then listen and then listen some more. Counsel and be attentive to your little ones at every step. Remember pornography is a horrible, engulfing, addictive, life-altering, dangerous disease and remember to do your part to keep it out or get it out of your child’s and family’s lives.

Natasha RasakaNatasha Rasaka is a student at Brigham Young University – Idaho.  She and her husband, Brandon, are the parents of two young children.  Natasha is interested in family advocacy – helping to make the family safe, healthy, and helpful for the children involved.

TECHNOLOGY TAKEOVER TIME

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2015 at 4:21 pm

norman rockwell paintingby Vanessa Duersch

Early settlers to the American continent were not privileged to have the high quality telephones, paper printing methods, medicine, transportation, or even the fancy internet abilities to watch HD movies on Youtube. The best conveniences that they could speak for was the switchboard, horse and wagons, hand-sewn clothing, alcohol as a painkiller, and the printing press; just to project an overall image. We glance back at all the museums that seek to preserve and recreate what our ancestors had. No doubt that they may find themselves jealous at what conveniences we can enjoy today. No more days of harvesting, butchering, and trapping your own sustenance. There were many things that made life different than what it is today. Families had to work hard together to obtain so many things that technology has replaced for us today. It seems that while technology has come as a blessing in our lives to take care of us, it is hard to imagine that a quality of life was lost and forgotten with the changing culture of technological toys.

There is so much to learn from the elder family generations that led up to your existence. They may not have been the early pioneers, but they teach so much about how modern technology has boomed since they were growing up. When discussing how life differs to now, it becomes clear that they loved their lives of hard work and accomplishment and they were very sure of themselves on what the most important things in life were. Aunts, uncles and grandparents love telling their fascinating stories about being farmers during The Great Depression and how things were when they were lucky to have a radio. For them, that was enough for their childhood. Families worked hard and became closely bonded beyond what families seem to have today. After work, there was always playtime. They would play games like CAT, Annie Annie Over, Spoons or just go swim in the creek on a hot day. During the winter seasons, they would gather around a fire and read stories, listen to the radio, or just play music and dance. Couples would enjoy a nice walk and a picnic, or go on sleigh rides in the winter under a starry sky.  Everyone was involved and working together, bonding or reflecting on what is important to them-without the modern technologies squelching any chance of them shutting out one another.

You don’t have to throw out all modern technology and live in a cave for the rest of your life; but be able to know what your top priorities are in your life without the distractions of technology. Do your children know how to bake a sheet of cookies? Who is the best local family doctor when your kids get sick? Does your spouse know how to change the oil, change a diaper or soothe a crying baby? Do you know when your child is being bullied at school? How about what unique traits are hidden behind each special, strange, wonderful and quirky member of your family? What makes them happy? What makes them tick? How do they feel about their lives? Who are they? Do they know that you love them and think they are important to you? If you can’t answer the questions that show you care, then it is not too late to become your family’s hero. Get off the couch, turn off the smartphones, tvs and computers and take them somewhere beautiful, full of fresh air, water and trees. Be patient, and you might be amazed at what you learn.

Words from the Recently Engaged

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2015 at 8:18 am

happy couple 3by Tashica Jacobson

Two months ago I said “yes” to the biggest decisions of my life, and now both my fiancé and I are extremely happy. But with this one “yes” the wedding planning piñata blew up in my face, and now I’m wading through endless wedding planning, coordinating around everyone’s schedules, and counting down the days. There are many times, amid the stress, I have to stop and remind myself that this “yes” was also the start of us building our future family together and me personally living the things for which I’ve been advocating.

I’ve been told the benefits of marriage over and over again, and could list several of them, but as I look towards my own marriage things take on a different meaning. It’s not an accumulation of research papers any more, it’s life. I will be the one exemplifying what a marriage looks like for my friends and family, and what I accomplish with my marriage will influence many of them more than what anyone else will say.

When I review the progression of our relationship a study from the National Marriage Project comes to mind. They reported that premarital relationships influence marriage quality. In other words the patterns that a couple sets before marriage will continue to affect their relationship once married. One of the items listed is “sliding vs. deciding.” Sliding is when the development of a relationship happens without any real definite decisions. It may seem old fashion, but our relationship progressed with definite decisions. We have clear dates for the stages of our relationship. He announced his interest, we started officially dating, and we got engaged. Each step happened because we both decided to move to the next, the lines were not blurred.

All this has allowed me to look at the patterns that we have set for ourselves and what it is I hope to accomplish with our marriage. As we have started to make our plans I am realizing how important it is to be upfront with each other and create a strong foundation for the family we are going to have in the future.

A commitment to the community

One study discussed the importance of the wedding. Those with a larger public wedding report higher levels of marriage quality. While many factors play into this, one being that a public marriage shows a clear public commitment to one another. In The Case for Marriage, Maggie Gallagher argues that marriage is more than a private decision. She states “when you marry, the public commitment you make changes the way you think about yourself and your beloved; it changes the way you act and think about the future; and it changes how other people and other institutions treat you as well” (p. 43)

John Gottman’s quote “happy marriages are based on a deep friendship,” (p 19), makes me realize the foundation couples need to be developing. Friendship is what keeps couples together as they deal with the stress of daily challenges, and I like to think that this is what we have for each other and what we will continue to develop.  For example, he is the first person I want to tell when something silly happens at work. I find myself caring about things I never thought I would, simply because he cares about them. We were friends before we even started dating, and he’s someone I have always thought the world of.

The thing that I’m most in awe about is that this is the start of our own family. The other day I brought up a fear of having a child, and my concern that we get pregnant before we were planning for it. His response to this was, “That wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’m marrying you because I want to someday have a family with you, and if that happens sooner rather than later we will survive and it will be a good thing.” It is marvelous to see that as much as I love him now, I know that part of the love for him comes because I know we are going to grow together. Marriage is more than just the couple, it will extend for generations and the pattern that we establish now, will influence them.

It was once told to me that marriage was just doubling all of your problems, and that may be true. We are going to have to deal with my stubbornness and his forgetfulness; the fact I typically can’t stand movies, but he can name all the new releases for the year; his spending habits and my being a tight wad. We’re going to have to deal with groceries, insurance, children, health care, extended family, pets, dental visits, employment, and the lists goes on and on. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want to plan my life with someone who has just as much invested in those plans as I do.

Marriage is the basis for everything that I care about and advocate for, and now it’s becoming real for me. While I realize that I’m naive when it comes to the challenges and problems that we are going to face, I know that it is all going to be worth it; and that marriage will make us better, just as it makes society better.

References:

Gallagher, M., & Waite, L. J. (2000). The case for marriage. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Rhoades, G. K., & Stanley, S. M. (2014) Before I do: what do premarital experiences have to do with marital quality among today’s young adults. The National Marriage Project.

The Best Moral Code!

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2015 at 7:42 am

Dennis PragerThe following is an interview with Dennis Prager, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, conductor, and public speaker. His insights on the importance of living our lives by the Ten Commandments makes this well worth the read…

http://ldsmag.com/dennis-prager-why-the-10-commandments-are-still-the-best-moral-code/

How Honest Are You?

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2015 at 8:44 am
mother and daughter talkingby Rebecca Mallory
 “Honesty is the best policy” is a famous proverb written by Benjamin Franklin. Even Wikipedia says that “Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc.” Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyal, fair.” It’s so much easier to just be honest in the first place rather than having to back track, recall what you said to whom in what situation, and then possibly get caught anyway. People don’t trust you then.  Trust is very fragile and fickle and hard to regain.
If this is true, why do we see such a void of honesty today? Perhaps because often, honesty is the hardest policy. We’ve all heard stories, or experienced ourselves, being caught in a web of deceit or lies that made us feel uncomfortable or got us in even bigger trouble. What’s the big deal with honesty? In today’s world where so many high-profile celebrities and politicians are anything but honest, how do we protect our children and teach them right from wrong?
Back in the 50’s and 60’s, children were taught right and wrong which was then reinforced at church and at school. Children were punished for treating each other unkindly, taking things that were not their own, or punished for cheating on tests and other assignments. Fast forward to today where churches are losing members because of the persecution of religious beliefs and dishonesty is often rewarded or ignored because “we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or single them out by embarrassing them.” This is a destructive and backward policy. People, old and young, need to be held accountable for their actions. Embarrassment and shame are natural consequences of bad behavior. That’s how they learn, that’s how they progress and become valuable members of a successful and well-functioning society. Everyone makes mistakes but we need to learn from those mistakes, however painful. Honesty should be a basic principle that parents and teachers revere and hold in high priority. If you love your children, teach them honesty. Today’s public schools have reverted from teaching values and morals. Ridiculous. It makes no sense to me.
I recently read a story about a large family growing up in the mid-west. They had little money. The father, in order to keep his children safe in the yard, strung a large rope around the perimeter and made each child promise that they would not cross that rope for any reason without permission, which they all did. One day they were playing with a ball which flew over that rope and landed well beyond. Later, their uncle came to visit and saw the children lined up looking longingly at that ball. They had never considered breaking their promise to their father to retrieve the ball. Their uncle was impressed to say the least!

What would you have done? What would I have done? After all, either you’re honest, or your not. There is no in between. It is sobering when you look at it as a black and white issue especially in a society where “50 shades of grey” is the disappointing norm. Seemingly small stories like this one absolutely pale in comparison to the horrific displays of criminal dishonesty that we have all witnessed from NFL stars and politicians vying for the nation’s top office. “Winning at all cost” is cried from the rooftops of almost all venues. It doesn’t matter if you cheat, lie, steal, or even cause pain or death to others as long as you win and, of course, have a great team of lawyers who can get you off just in case you get caught.

We all watched in horror at the events in Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore as criminals were allowed and almost encouraged to loot and destroy property because of their supposed disadvantaged lot in life. What a horrible way to treat people! To expect despicable behavior from anyone should be condemned by every living person. Why not do our best to lift them up and give them hope and encouragement? Expect honesty! Yet the “go to” band-aid is to throw more money at impoverished communities. Here again, dishonesty prevails as much of these funds never make it to the streets to help those who need it most. Google for yourself where the billions of dollars that we’re allocated to Baltimore from the stimulus in 2008 actually ended up.
It’s criminal.
So here’s your only chance for survival, America. Be honest in all you do. If you see that the paper towels at the bottom of your grocery cart were not paid for, take your children back in to the store and let them watch you pay for it. If not, you’re stealing it. (Plus the look on the clerk’s face will be priceless!) Teach your children to be honest in everything they do. Teaching by example is a most powerful tool, as they watch and mimic your every move. The temptation to take the easy road of cheating, lying, and stealing is alluring. Especially when they see celebrities and even their own peers getting away with it. Teach them that what’s even more alluring is being respected and revered by all because they can be trusted. Just weigh the results of each.  Which will help them most in the long run? Our world is starving for honest and forthright men and women. Let’s you and I be those people. Let’s consciously raise the next generation to rise above a dishonest and depraved society. Hey! I guess honesty is the best policy!

Could the Supreme Court End Religious Freedom

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2015 at 10:31 am

supreme court in rainbow colorsby Gary Boyd

For many years, large numbers of Christians have put their religious belief to work through countless humanitarian projects at home as well as abroad. Though believers in Christianity, they have, to this point, taken the role of pacifism in the culture war.

John Inazu, associate professor of law and political science at Washington University School of Law, opines that Christians who have involved themselves in good works, but have not taken a clear stand on societal issues that effect religious freedom, may well be pulled into the fight. The catalyzing event would be the Supreme Court’s anticipated June ruling on same-sex marriage, depending both on the decision, and how the decision is written.

Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, while arguing in favor of same-sex marriage, also expressed concern in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court about the ramifications that would certainly surface if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The broad effect would leave no aspect of daily business involving Christian nonprofits and church’s untouched. Mr. Laycock’s brief makes concise summary of the potential situation:

Must pastors, priests, and rabbis provide religious marriage counseling to same-sex couples? Must religious colleges provide married student housing to same-sex couples? Must churches and synagogues employ spouses in same-sex marriages, even though such employees would be persistently and publicly flouting the religious teachings they would be hired to promote? Must religious organizations provide spousal fringe benefits to the same-sex spouses of any such employees they do hire? Must religious social-service agencies place children for adoption with same-sex couples? Already, Catholic Charities in Illinois, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia have closed their adoption units because of this issue.

“Religious colleges, summer camps, day care centers, retreat houses, counseling centers, meeting halls, and adoption agencies may be sued under public accommodations laws for refusing to offer their facilities or services to same-sex couples. Or they may be penalized by loss of licensing, accreditation, government contracts, access to public facilities, or tax exemption.

While June is still a month away, and no decision has yet been made, those concerned about religious freedom should be concerned, particularly organizations that could potentially be sued out of existence, and should start considering what services they will still continue to provide, and what measures they will take to maintain the integrity between their beliefs and practices.

Free Speech no More

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2015 at 6:20 am

First Amendment on Trialby Diane Robertson

Two hundred forty years ago, there were tens of thousands ready to give their very lives for freedom. With God on their side, and a sacrifice of blood, they were able to bring freedom to the world. Today on the very land hallowed by their sacrifice, millions upon millions of people cower at being called names, and those freedoms that men bled and died for will be taken away without a single shot fired.

On May 9th, Alliance Defending Freedom, posted a warning to the American people on their Facebook page. They wrote:

“Americans need to prepare for the same sort of surveillance-society if the Supreme Court rules to ban marriage as a male-female institution. It means that no matter what you believe, the government will be free to regulate your speech, your writing, your associations, and whether or not you may express your conscience.

Americans also need to understand that the endgame for some in the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.”

This prefaced an article making its way around the web. Canadian citizen, Dawn Stefanowicz, wrote about the changes gay marriage has initially made in the Canadian government and society. She wrote it as a warning to the American people who may be facing a sweeping ruling from the US Supreme Court ordering the nation to legalize gay marriage. I summarized this in an earlier article titled: 3 Ways Gay Marriage Has Changed Canada. Since gay marriage became legalized in Canada, the citizens can no longer speak freely about homosexuality without legal consequences. They may no longer write blogs, newspaper articles, or anything that speaks against gay marriage, homosexuality, or the laws governing marriage and family. Parental rights are trampled upon and the government justifies intervening in how parents teach their children about religion and sexuality. Churches are loosely monitored for any public teachings that include the common religious beliefs on homosexuality and marriage. Canada is now under a surveillance-society. There is no right to conscience and there is no freedom that allows Canadian citizens to disagree with gay marriage or homosexuality.

To keep the United States government from ever making laws that would trample upon the natural rights of the people and destroy all that the soldiers fought for in the Revelutionary War, James Madison penned these words:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

After more than two hundred years of freedoms guaranteed by the sacrifice of blood given freely by our founding fathers, we have come to a point where these freedoms may be done away. And why? Because too many people, too many American citizens, cowered and watched silently, as they eroded. Guns did not need to be pointed, too many have given up their freedom simply because they could not stand up against words.

The Power of Marital Intimacy

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2015 at 8:41 am

feet in bedby Nathalie Bowman

Sexual intimacy in marriage has the potential to make or break a relationship. For many married couples, sexual intimacy takes a back burner to children, work, and all the demands of the modern lifestyle. However, if taken seriously and given conscientious effort, marital intimacy can be a couple’s greatest asset towards their marriage fulfillment.

Although there may be a few lucky couples who have never had issues with intimacy in marriage, it is common to experience difficulties in the bedroom. There are as many reasons for this as there are struggling couples, but there are some common issues that many couples experience: lack of communication about intimacy, not knowing what to expect, fear, emotional or physical pain, and misunderstanding. In some circumstances (and from my experience working with clients, it’s not uncommon), negative childhood experiences such as abuse, shame, neglect, or even parental divorce, can contribute to negative sexual experiences within marriage.

Sexual fulfillment within marriage is the greatest opportunity to strengthen marriage on all levels. It takes a conscious effort of openness and communication to create a satisfying sexual relationship within marriage, and it is worth every bit of that effort. Not only is intimacy much more fun and fulfilling, but it’s amazing what happens to the marriage relationship in all other aspects as well. As our intimate relationship has improved over the years, my husband and I have found that there is more mutual respect, more willingness to forgive, more physical touch, more fun, more understanding, and greater enjoyment of just being in one another’s company. Mutually fulfilling marital intimacy has the potential to change and even heal marriages on all levels.

Marriage intimacy expert Laura Brotherson gives an interesting view in her article, “When Husband’s Aren’t Interested”. Although many times women struggle with gearing up for sexual activity within marriage, Laura discusses how to help men who struggle:

“One woman had an “ah-ha” moment one night regarding the dynamics of sexual desire in her marriage. She wrote the following:

“I remember one evening seeing in my husband’s eyes that he was not exactly in the mood.’ The cares of the day and the weight of work pressures were heavy on his mind, not to mention the fact that he was just plain tired. All of a sudden it dawned on me that I was seeing my husband the way he usually sees me, in a ‘not-interested-in-sex’ state of mind.

It was a strange sensation to be on the other side of the coin, because I was interested in sex that night. To imagine my husband not being automatically interested in lovemaking was a new concept.”

Men Need Foreplay Too

Given the many stressors of life and especially as husbands age, men may need a little more foreplay too. Foreplay is something that helps relax and prepare the mind and body for sex.

Sometimes women like to think that they have the corner on the market when it comes to needing some help to shift from daily cares to more sensual activities.

But men, too, like to be touched and kissed and caressed both verbally and physically. As we can see from the scenario above, it was the husband who particularly needed some connecting foreplay to get him headed in a more sensual direction.

We sometimes forget that it isn’t just women who long for connection and want to feel loved, appreciated and wanted. And don’t think that men don’t also need the same courtesies outside the bedroom and throughout the day that women do.

Couples may need to be a little more intentional with their lovemaking and understand that sex does begin at breakfast for both husband and wife.

When the Husband’s Not Interested……Read more

I’m Sorry; I Just Never Learned How to Fail

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2015 at 9:03 am

child discouragedby Kelsi Shipley

It’s loud and cold, but you don’t notice. Your son is playing in the state football championship game. He has worked relentlessly to be ready for this game. He’s been hitting the gym, attending practices, and has even missed hanging out with friends to be ready for tonight.

You know how much he wants to win, and he’s not the only one who has put effort into this game. You have taken him to practices, watched every game, and have been his support system since he was a small boy. You have literally seen the blood, sweat, and tears.

It’s the end of the game, and the other team is ahead by one touch down. Your team has the ball. The quarterback makes an exceptional pass. Your son is standing in the end zone. He jumps! You and the rest of the crowd simultaneously jump to your feet with him.

He’s going to catch it! Your son is about to be a small town hero! His hard work is about to pay off!

You see the ball spiraling towards him. He’s made this catch a million times. You can’t wait to see the excitement on his face. The ball goes right into his hands, but something happens.

He can’t quite seem to grab it. He drops the ball. The crowd goes silent. That’s the end of the game.

Now what? What do you say to him later tonight? Your son gave this game everything he had, and didn’t win. He will probably feel like he “failed.”

Failure is an interesting concept. In our society everyone gets a trophy, a participation medal, or a certificate. No one fails. No one looses. It’s what we consider to be fair. Is it fair to teach children that they won’t fail?

We go to great lengths to protect our children from failing. We don’t want their feelings to be hurt. We don’t want them to feel disappointed. We even sometimes go out of our way to blame others for our children’s failures. Why?

Teaching your child how to fail, and that it is okay to do so, is one of the kindest lessons you can teach them. Life is not fair. They will not always make the team, they will not always get the girl, and they will not always get their dream job. However, they will be okay.

As a society, we are so engrained in improving self-esteem; we are forgetting to teach how to cope with disappointments.

We can teach children how to cope with failure while also helping improve their self-esteem. Children, just like adults, feel more validated when they earn what they have worked for. Children can be taught how to handle failure, and how to motivate themselves afterwards.

The following are suggestions on how to do this:

Be a guide. It is important to remember that your child will have heartache’s when you are not around. Children need to be asked how they think they can solve their own problems. Allowing them to come up with their own solutions gives them a sense of control.

Children are smarter than we sometimes think. They can solve their own problems, but they may need your help and guidance. They will feel empowered when they make their own decisions.

 Avoid setting unrealistic expectations. If your child is struggling in a subject at school, encourage them to strive for a goal that is within reach. After they have reached that goal, encourage them to work harder. Your child will feel successful as they accomplish reasonable goals.

Be a good role model for your child. When you fail, allow your children to see you do so. Let them see how you handle the situation. Talk through it with them. Let them see that you are hopeful, even after failing.

You know your child better than anyone else. You know what will motivate them, and what will disappoint them. I am not suggesting that you allow your children to put themselves in a position where they could be seriously hurt. I am suggesting that as adults, parents, and teachers we look for ways children can learn how to fail safely.

When children fail in a safe environment, they are more prepared for failures elsewhere. They will know that they can move forward. Children do not stay young forever, and their disappointments in life will only become harder.

Let us teach our children that there is life after failures. Let us teach them that they can pick themselves up when they get knocked down. Let us be kind, and teach our children how to handle failure with dignity and hope.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 156 other followers