Monday, December 9, 2013

God & Sex

God designed sex.  He made it to be something enjoyable and pleasurable between a man and woman joined together in a holy matrimony. 
So, why is it so hard for us to talk about sex?  Why do pastors avoid the topic like the H1N1 flu bug?  Why do churches offer help only after men and women get into trouble.  Why are churches failing to teach about healthy human sexuality?
One word; FEAR!  What percentage of today’s adults do you think have had the “sex talk?”  What percentage of today’s adults had a clue about sex after the “sex talk” with one or both of their parents?  Most of the men and women I meet didn’t have a “sex talk” at all.  Why are parents so afraid to talk about sex with their children?
Most parents aren’t comfortable talking about sex because their parent’s weren’t comfortable talking about sex.  Many parents inherited their parent’s belief that sex is not to be talked about.  Sex is an embarrassing, uncomfortable topic for most parents.  They think, “what if little Johnnie asks me a tough question?”

Here’s one theory (it’s my theory, so take it for what it’s worth).  Our society has moved away from an agriculturally based economy to a city-based economy.  The vast majority of people do not live on farms anymore.  In past generations, nearly everyone was raised on a farm or worked on a farm.  I hate to get graphic here, but... when you grow up on a farm there are a lot of animals procreating all of the time.  Little eyes growing up around animals figure out what sex is pretty fast.  It was not uncommon for the family to talk around the dinner table about bringing in a bull to fertilize a heifer, or multiply the herd.  It wasn’t perverted; it was natural and part of the process of life.  Life continued because of sex.  Babies or little calves were born because of what the boy bull did with the girl cow.  Animals provided an easy way for children to naturally learn about reproduction.  Children’s natural curiosity led them to ask questions.  Parents could answer their questions using the examples the children saw during a normal day.
Fast forward to today’s world.  Parents avoid the “sex talk” entirely.  It’s not uncommon to hear a father say, “he’ll learn on the street just like I did.”  If you don’t teach your children, then who will?  What examples do our children see to learn about sex?  Stew on that answer for a little while.  “Reality” television teaches that sex is fun, acceptable, risk free, safe, and requires that everyone feel good all of the time.  What is shown today in movies, television, and pornography rarely teaches about the natural tensions in real relationships that are an integral part of healthy human sexuality.
Church is probably the worst place to learn about human sexuality, because the church is almost completely silent on the topic.  The Bible is not silent about sex, but its instructions about sex are pretty general.  There is a lot that God wanted the husband and wife to figure out on their own.
God designed marriage.  The first marriage occurred when God created Adam and provided a helpmate for him, Eve.  This union, or marriage, was approved, designed, and ordained by God.  This was our first example of marriage.  Together, Adam and Eve sinned and were separated from God.  However, they were not separated from each other.  God’s plan to multiply the earth with offspring began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. 

God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Genesis 1:28, NIV 

            As far as we know God didn’t leave an instruction manual behind.  Adam and Eve had to figure out this “be fruitful and multiply” thing.
Commitment in marriage is a result of making a holy covenant with God.  Each marriage partner vows before God to remain faithful to his or her partner.  Women are to submit to their husbands. 
“For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,” (1 Peter 3:5, NIV). 
Husbands are to treat their wives with respect so that their prayers will not be hindered. 

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Peter 3:7, NIV

            The scriptures are clear that sexual infidelity is wrong.  Jesus even said that any form of thought related to unfaithfulness is a sin. 
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”  (Matthew 5:28, NIV). 
The Bible is relatively silent about what are acceptable practices in the area of sexual relations between a husband and wife.  However, Paul writes to the church in Corinth:
Now for the matters you wrote about: 

It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”  But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.  Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.  Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Corinthians 7:1-5, NIV

Self-control was a problem in Paul’s time too.  Not too different from today is it?
The husband and wife are to fulfill their sexual marital duties to each other.  The attitude each should take is that they do not have authority over their own bodies.  Depriving a wife or husband, except for a time of prayer, is not wise.  Self-control will become an issue at some point.  Sexual intimacy is left to the husband and the wife’s discretion.  The specifics of sexual intimacy in a marriage should honor each person, be edifying to God, and show respect for the other partner’s comfort.
I’m not a bible scholar, but it seems clear to me that God intentionally challenged the man and woman who were united in marriage to discover what is acceptable and pleasing to God and each other.  That can be very different from couple to couple.  This idea requires and shouts out to us that constant open communication must happen in a marriage, all of the time.  No exceptions, no hesitation, no reading the latest “seven steps to a fulfilling sexual relationship” book with your spouse.  The best guide is sitting down, or lying down in this case, and figuring it all out.  After all, isn’t that the best part of discovering your mates wants and desires?  Practice, practice, practice!
Okay, after that last paragraph, if you are ready to tie me to a cross and crucify me for blasphemy, you might be one of the people in church who hold back others in understanding and enjoying the gift of sex that God has provided.  Again, it was designed to be enjoyed in a spirit-filled marital union between a man and a woman. 
Sex is a beautiful, God-designed experience that creates a unique bond between two committed married adults.  Marriage without healthy mutually satisfying sex is not marriage, it is cohabitation.  Marriage without faithfulness is not marriage; it is a sea of land mines waiting to be detonated.  Marriage without healthy, mutually satisfying sex is a marriage without intimacy, trust, and satisfaction and is headed for trouble.

In the next chapter we will look at the research on the Internet and addiction and how the risks have increased with its use.  Don’t think your family will be the only one who resists temptation.  Don’t simply believe that you are strong enough to resist temptation on your own.  The research shows that anyone is vulnerable.  Christians are especially at risk!

Contributed by:  Jerry Wright author of My Father's Stash

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Power of Lust

There are many powerful struggles that can distract or destroy men. The most powerful of them all is sexual lust. Why is it such a struggle for men to remain pure and holy if we are made in God’s image?
The core of the struggle has to do with the God-given desires within our hearts, mixed with a self-centered demand for satisfaction, apart from God.
Did God give us sexual desires? The short answer is “yes.” God is the one who invented sex. God invented sex to create a unifying bond between a husband and wife. If practiced in holy union and according to God’s plan, sex between a husband and wife creates an intimate connection that is beautiful and leaves each partner feeling completely fulfilled. If practiced outside of God’s plan, this natural, God-designed, intimate act can leave one or both partners feeling frustrated, empty and alone.
Often a man, will act out in completely self-centered and destructive ways, either physically or through an elaborate and intense fantasy world. Many men turn to pornography as a way to sooth their souls, without realizing how damaging and addictive this behavior can become. In today’s world we demand immediate satisfaction. With the accessibility and pervasiveness of provocative images, the Internet, and increased sexualization of our culture, it is all too easy to simply act upon this self-centered desire. “I will have what I want and I want it now.” The more a man turns to “false intimacy,” or pixels on a screen, the more his partner is deprived of the true intimacy that God intended for her. Over time, men become desensitized and unable to experience the rewards of a God-designed, truly intimate marriage. Frustration grows, tensions rise, and pretty soon you have two people living together who are not connected at the heart. Do you know couples like this? Is your marriage like this?
What can you do if your life has been taken over by lust and sexual desires? The first step is to find someone to share your story with. Keeping this deep, dark secret only adds to the power of the struggle. Find someone you trust and tell them what your struggles are. You might be surprised how many men have the same struggles. Once you bring your struggles into the light, find a small group of men and meet on a regular basis. You will need accountability to win this battle. This is one of the most powerful challenges that you will ever face. You cannot do this alone. Being alone is one of the main reasons men struggle.
Are you addicted to something? The definition of addiction is; the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
If you believe you are addicted, get professional help. There are professionally trained counselors who specialize in this area of addiction. They can help you with a plan and assist you in understanding all of the dynamics of your addiction. If you could have fixed this yourself, you would have already done so.
Controlling lust is one of the most challenging things that a man will ever tackle. As men, we are taught that we can fix anything. This is one thing that most of us will never be able to fix on our own. Left unchecked, sexual addiction is a direct path to destruction, chaos, and self-destruction. Becoming pure in heart, soul, and mind is possible if you seek it with a group of supportive, loving, and accepting Christian brothers. Becoming pure requires confession to the Lord and confession to another brother in Christ. “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other that you may be healed.” James 5:16
Healing starts with confession. Recovery starts with being transparent. Purity is a journey. God is willing, able, and ready to help you fight and win this battle. Are you ready to start?
by Jerry Wright

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Couples therapy by nature involves both partners. In some instances the therapeutic model will require joint sessions with both partners and some individual sessions with one partner or the other. We are here to help you improve your relationship before it falls apart. If your relationship is already crumbling (or perhaps nearly dead), we also work at helping you restore or rebuild your relationship.

Counseling is confidential. Clients should feel comfortable that any information disclosed in therapy is limited to only that purpose unless other arrangements are made in advance by the client (for example disclosure to an attorney, court or employer but only at the client's direction). 
Visit our Oklahoma City office for your couples therapy.  We help those who are married,  getting married, or getting divorced and those with non-traditional relationships.  Our clients come from all over Oklahoma and some from Texas.  For intensive recovery, some travel from foreign countries for our services.
Dr. Vicki Harris Wyatt, is an Oklahoma Licensed Professional Counselor, who has been providing couples therapy in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations and institutional settings for more than 20 years. Dr. Wyatt’s degree is a doctorate in Family Relations. In addition to hands-on therapy, she has taught family relations and other courses at Northwestern State (NWOSU), Langston University and Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), as well as four years at the OU Health Sciences Center. In her private practice, she focuses on
    • relationship issues (intimacy, trust, betrayal, etc)
    • communication
    • family counseling (children, in-laws, etc)
    • parenting
    • domestic violence
    • addiction issues (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc)
    • sex addiction therapy (compulsive sex, internet porn, prostitution, etc.)
    • anger management
    • grief counseling
    • infertility counseling
    • divorce counseling
    • custody counseling
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our followers.  We pray that you and your family will be blessed.  Remember those who are less fortunate by serving somewhere this holiday season.  You will be blessed more than those who receive the blessing.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Individual Therapy
Dr. Wyatt, a Licensed Professional Counselor, has been providing counseling therapy in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations and institutional settings for more than 20 years, with professional leave for continuing education and faculty positions at regional and comprehensive universities. She completed a four-year stint as an assistant research professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, before returning to her private therapy practice and consultancy. Dr. Wyatt routinely provides individual therapy for:
    • individual therapy (one-on-one)
    • adults
    • geriatric
    • couples
    • anger management
    • grief counseling
    • sexual abuse/rape counseling
    • addiction therapy (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
    • sex addiction therapy (compulsive sex, internet porn, prostitution, etc.)
    • employment counseling

Counseling is confidential by nature. Clients should feel comfortable that any information disclosed in therapy is limited to only that purpose unless other arrangements are made in advance by the client (for example disclosure to an attorney, court or employer but only at the client's direction).
Our clients from from all over the United States for routine therapy sessions.  Others come from around the globe for intensive recovery sessions. 
Visit us at our Oklahoma City office for individual therapy and counseling by a qualified Licensed Professional Counselor.  Dr. Wyatt offers intensive recovery as well as traditional talk-therapy and other models designed for your specific issues. Call us at 405.232.1000 for an appointment.

Monday, November 25, 2013

3 Day Intensive Recovery Marriage Counseling

Three-Day Intensives are not for everyone. Intensives are not a three-day cure. There is no such thing. They are designed to be three days of hard work that will help you get to the root of your addiction, strip away barriers to recovery, and put your life and relationship on the road to recovery. These three days of concentrated and demanding work address issues that may otherwise take a year or more of therapy for equivalent results.
This program is very rigorous. In fact, it may be the most rigorous short-term treatment program of its kind. We are very selective in accepting couples into this program because we want to make sure a Three-Day Intensive is the appropriate treatment choice.
If you are looking for an easy fix to a problem that you have developed over many years, keep looking. This program is not for you. We work only with highly motivated individuals and couples who are ready to do whatever is necessary to put an end to all acting out behaviors once-and-for-all and engage in the difficult but rewarding process of rebuilding their relationship.
Intensives consist of a combination of individual sessions and couples sessions. We have sessions each morning and each afternoon. Assignments are given to work on each evening. Additionally, there are mandatory 12-step meetings that the couple attends each evening. As the name implies, the three days you spend in Intensive Recovery will be intense.

What Can I Expect?

Three-Day Intensives are psychotherapy sessions that are designed to get to the heart of the issues at hand quickly, receive concentrated focus, and push for resolution that is both achievable and lasting. You can expect an intensive to be—well—intensive! As the name implies, intensives are designed to dig deeply into issues that have contributed to your present situation. Revelations of additional sexual behavior, long-held secrets, trauma from childhood, and other issues are common during intensives. Strong emotions are often the result.
For this reason, you can expect to experience a wide range of emotions during the intensive. You may find yourself reconnecting with past wounds and trauma that bring a flood of emotion to the present. When couples are doing work together, they sometimes become aware of deep-seated emotions that make it very difficult to be in the same room with their partner during the three days.
Our goal is to help you to process the pain and emotions in a safe and healthy way.

Preparing for an Intensive

As client get ready to come to an intensive, they are encouraged to make adaquate preparations to help ensure the success of their concentrated work. First, clients are encouraged to spend time thinking about the events that have contributed to the need for the intensive. In the case of someone who is a sex addict, it is important to make a complete, detailed, but confidential list of all acting out behaviors. The more detailed and complete this list, the more effective the intensive.
Clients who participate in a Three-Day Intensive are encouraged to take care of all business and family matters before coming to the intensive and then not conduct any business during the intensive. Frankly, we have found that clients who conduct “business as usual” during an intensive get only limited benefit from the experience. For this reason, we strongly encourage clients to wait and schedule an intensive when they are able to devote their full concentration to therapy for three days.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of this time, we make the following suggestions.
    1. Leave cell phones, pagers, Blackberries, PDAs, iPods, laptops, and other electronic devices at home.
    2. Refrain from conducting business during the duration of the intensive.
    3. Limit phone calls to one per day to check in with family.
    4. Do not drink alcohol for the thirty days preceding the intensive.
    5. Refrain from all alcohol use during the intensive
    6. Do not watch television during the intensive. Some clients even request the hotel to remove their television set during their stay.

We have also found it beneficial for clients to stay an extra day or so after the intensive to process with their partner what they have learned and accomplished during the preceding three days. This is a good time to spend a few days sightseeing or just walking. This time can be important as couples make plans to reenter life and consider how their relationship may be different in the future.
You don't have to be from Oklahoma
Because the intensive recovery process is covered in three consecutive days, we can see clients from all over the United States or anywhere in the world. Call now for your introduction to intensive recovery.