“The Greatest Challenge Facing the Christian Church in the 21st Century” – A. Hart, Ph.D

IMG_1975In our last post, Is Your Husband Depressed?, Archibald Hart (Ph.D., FPPR., Senior Professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary) explains testosterone induced depression in men and its remedy. He says that Christian men in particular are susceptible to this malady because of an over-sensitive conscience and the absence of adequate teaching in the church.

Dr. Hart goes on to state, “The greatest challenge facing the Christian church in this twenty first century lies in the realm of sexuality. And it is men, especially ‘good’, Christian men, who face the greatest challenge.”

It’s worth repeating, “The greatest challenge facing the Christian church in this twenty first century lies in the realm of sexuality.”

We tend to agree and that’s why we wrote our books. It’s time for the church to take on this challenge.

Why?

  • 68 percent of church-going men and over 50 percent of pastors view porn on a regular basis.
  • Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76 percent actively search for porn.
  • 59 percent of pastors said that married men seek their help for porn use.
  • Only 13 percent of self-identified Christian women say they never watch porn – 87 percent of Christian women have watched porn.
  • 57 percent of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue in their congregation.
  • 69 percent of pastors say porn has adversely impacted the church.
  • Only 7 percent of pastors say their church has a program to help people struggling with pornography.1

How can we address the church’s greatest challenge of the 21st Century? Dr. Hart gives us some guidelines (our editorial summary in parentheses).

• To begin with, we need to acknowledge our need for divine intervention. (Pray)

• We must help the church at large to break the veil of silence that shrouds sexuality. (Teach)

• Couples need help in addressing sexual problems as early as possible in their marriages. (Sex Counseling and Therapy)

Pray – Teach – Counsel

Praying, teaching, and counseling is the work of the church. Our greatest challenge is sexuality; therefore, it makes sense that the church should major on praying, teaching, and counseling about sex to singles and marrieds alike. As Paul says in Ephesians 5:13,14

But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

There’s no time like the present to shed light on this dark silence in the church. You can help. Talk to your church leadership about praying, teaching and, counseling on sexuality from the Bible.

There is hope but only as we illuminate the darkness with the truth.

Blessings, René and Gloria

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Is your Husband Depressed?
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  1. https://www.charismanews.com/us/73208-15-statistics-about-the-church-and-pornography-that-will-blow-your-mind

Is Your Husband Depressed?

IMG_2011

Archibald Hart, a leading Christian expert on male depression, says, “When a sexual outlet is denied, and by this I mean a reduced frequency of orgasm, such males become irritable and aggressive and develop a set of behaviors that can best be described as ‘sulking’ or ‘moodiness’. This unique form of depression sets in fairly quickly whenever sexual activity diminishes.”1

Dr. Hart explains, in another article, why Christian men intentionally avoid intimacy and thereby, ironically, bring on their own depression.

Good men have difficulty differentiating between ordinary, healthy sexuality and what is abnormal. Many men fear that just because they have a strong sex drive they are in some way deviant. “I must be something of a freak” a pretty normal pastor told me once. Some even fear that they may be “perverted” or addicted to some sexual aberration.

Men with strong sex drives can easily develop a pervasive sense of shame and self-rejection, even though a strong drive, in and of itself, is NOT abnormal. (Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., FPPR., Senior Professor of Psychology and Dean Emeritus Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary)2

The Bible is clear that the primary way to successfully control sexual urges is in a healthy marriage with frequent and reciprocal sex. A biblical marriage goes a long way in mitigating “testosterone induced depression” (Dr. Hart’s term) in Christian men.

Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverb 5:18,19 ESV)

Our book, Radical, addresses the topics of frequency and reciprocity in a Christian marriage from the Bible. We’re not telling you this to sell books but to help marriages and relieve your husband’s depression. Granted, there are many forms of depression but this is one that has a practical remedy.

The opposite of depression is delight.

Delight yourself in the Lord first and then delight in the wife or husband of your youth. God’s Word is so practical.

Blessings, René and Gloria

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  1. Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship & Life Together; Mark and Grace Driscoll; p 163 quoting Archibald Hart.
  2. http://www.ncachurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Sexuality_pornography_christians.pdf

Marriage Made Simple

IMG_1906A successful marriage is all about unity. Peace is about unity. Love is about unity. Unity more often than not leads to fruitfulness and success in the corporate world, politics, sports, and marriage. It’s not unity at all costs but seek unity with others as best you can.

The Super Bowl is today and the team that works together, in all phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams – will most likely win. The Patriots are probably the best example of a team united for a single purpose – winning. I am writing this just before the big game so I don’t know the outcome but I’m not going to bet against the Patriots.

There are three areas of unity in a marriage that give a couple a chance at longterm success.

  1. Unity of vision and purpose. This is sharing core values, and as Christians, having Jesus and his glory front and center in your marriage. This also speaks to moving in the same direction in spousal roles, parenting, finances, and careers.
  2. Emotional unity and maturity. Maturity is key but it takes some time to get there! In the meantime, practice giving thanks in all things, praying without ceasing, and forgiving one another quickly and thoroughly that you may grow together in love.
  3. Physical unity. Sex is the antidote to failure in the first two areas of unity; that is, when we aren’t on the same page and when our anger and disappointment get the better of us, then it smooths out the rough areas with physical unity. Sex is like hitting the reset button on your computer. It clears the cache and memory and then all the processes have room to flourish.

Marriage is simple but not easy.

The evil one hates unity and will undermine unity in a marriage every chance he gets. Conflict is the currency of darkness and unity is the currency of the Kingdom. Fight for unity in your marriage because you will have opposition. Fight the good fight of faith for you marriage. Stay united in all areas.

Blessings, René and Gloria

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