Pursuit of Marriage 3 Day Retreats are Texas Bound!! Join us in March 2019

You asked, we responded. Texas…Here we come!!

Yes, we are taking our Marriage Retreat to Athens, Texas: Caplin Ranch

Caplin Ranch Logo

This is a Three-Day Marriage Retreat facilitated by Joe and Kerry Vivian.

Come and spend the weekend at Caplin Ranch in Athens, Texas for our ” 3 Facets of Intimacy in Marriage” retreat.

Caplin Ranch Living Room

During that weekend you will spend time as Husband & Wife and learn to apply the three facets of Intimacy in a Marriage: Emotional-Spiritual-Physical. Take time to invest into your marriage what God originally designed for  intimacy in your marriage.

This “3 Facets of Intimacy in Marriage” retreat is scheduled for March 15-17, 2019 in Athens, Texas. Early Registration is $425 per couple before December 1st, 2018, only requiring a $200 non-refundable deposit. The total remaining balance due on February 8th. Standard Registration is from December 1st thru January 31st. That cost will increases to $450 per couple. Also including a $200 non-refundable deposit and total remaining balance due by the 8th of February also.

The cost includes a private room with private bath, all meals and all materials and reading resources for each couple.

This retreat is limited to the first 7 couples who register.  We truly believe it will sell out quickly, so don’t delay.

This is an intimate retreat so couples can listen, share, and glean from God’s word as well as the experiences from other couples.

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Check-In opens at 4pm. The Retreat begins at 4:30pm.
Check-out is 11am on the final day.
Register by using our online registration.

Early Bird Registration POM Marriage Retreat March 15-17, 2019

Don’t forget, registration is limited, so don’t delay.

For more information, please email Joe and Kerry at pomarriage@gmail.com

Adulterous Affairs Don’t Begin with Sex; They Begin with Inappropriate Friendships

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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It seems that far too often when  a spouse becomes close to a member of the opposite sex, other than their spouse, it begins to place them on a slippery slope.  In our years of counseling we have seen the results of what occurs when it was initially shared to a spouse, “We are just friends, that’s all.”  An adulterous affair, whether it be physical or emotional, begins with allowing a friendship to be inappropriate.  These friendships will grow an emotional attachment with people of the opposite sex. When this begins to grow it can spell danger and sometimes disaster for a marriage.

Here are three things to Avoid…Beware of the following:

Beware of private communications and intimate conversations with people of the opposite sex: The only person to share an intimate conversation with is your spouse, no one else.  Communication between a husband and wife is crucial.  If you feel it necessary to discuss private, personal matters about your relationship with your spouse to someone other than your spouse, especially a member of the opposite sex, then you are emotionally connecting with them instead of your spouse. By doing this, you are purposely causing the relationship with your spouse to atrophy. Which leads to the next one.

Beware of workmates who seem too concerned with your personal private life: Those are the ones that tell you “let me know if you need anything.” They are more interested in having you focus on them and relying on them instead of your spouse. These are dangerous people. They shroud themselves with the cloak of being a “good friend” and “one that will always be there for you.”  The key things to remember is just that, your personal private life is that-personal and private.

Beware of those that give you exaggerated and suggestive compliments about the way you look: Regardless of what is happening in your marriage don’t give the Devil a foothold in your marriage by falling victim to this trap. Let your workmates know there are things you won’t tolerate.  Suggestive comments are a pathway to flirting and there is no such thing as “harmless flirting” between members of the opposite sex.  It is especially harmful to have spouses engage in this activity outside of their marriage.

Remember this, keep a healthy physical, social and emotional distance between you and people of the opposite sex.  This is a safeguard for your marriage.  If necessary, seek marriage counseling to avoid these pitfalls in your marriage.

Again, adulterous affairs do not just happen overnight.  They are a slow and deliberate process that involves the choice of both individuals.

Stay connected emotionally, physically and spiritually to the one God has ordained for you…your spouse!

 

Joe & Kerry

 

 

 

Getting Back to Holy Sex: Visually Aroused by Our Wives

woman seduces her boyfriend in the bedroom, he lying on bed and looking at her

Husbands, when were you last aroused by the sight of someone other than your wife? If you’re normal and honest the answer if probably sometime in the last 24 hour to 72 hours. Understand this, I don’t mean the 13-year-old put-a-pillow-in-your-lap like when we were thirteen, but aroused none-the-less.

God created us to be aroused by the female body. Any hint of the soft round parts we don’t have gets our attention, and more than a hint gets us aroused.  It is what it is. However, husbands, God blessed you with a wife to maintain that arousal of her body.

“She is a loving dear, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated be her love.” Proverbs 5:19 NLT

The HCSB translation says to “be lost in her love forever.”

Yet, some men love the constant sexual tweak they get living in a world of women who either don’t know or don’t care how their attire affects men. Others hate it, feeling it’s an invasion on their mind and/or their marriage. Some men know their wife is always watching them, ready to be upset if he gives any hint he’s aware of whenever and wherever it’s put on display near him.

Being turned on by what you see is part of God’s plan for your sexuality. Satan and a world that denies God have turned that into a problem, but this was not God’s intention. Giving in and running with lust is certainly a risk, but there’s another more insidious danger here. In an attempt to avoid sin we will start to believe the lie that God made us wrong. We are nothing but lustful, out of control animals. So, we begin to suppress those feelings of arousal.  We can suppress our natural reaction to visual sexual stimuli of the sight of our wife because we are afraid of what those images and urges may force us to do outside of the walls of our home.

Your wife may add to the temptation to suppress your natural visual arousal. If she gets upset about your comments, or your eyes following her around the room when she’s half naked, you may decide it’s safer to hide this part of yourself. The problem is this is a mini-castration, removing a part of your God-given sexuality you are to have towards your wife. The blessing of arousal should not be withheld as it pertains to her.

“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.”  Proverbs 5:18 NLT

The truth is God intended your wife to be blessed by the way you react to any hint of her sexy body. The world has messed this up, but it’s what God intended and it’s worth trying to get it back. I realize convincing her that her body is sexy is an uphill battle. The world has set a standard no real woman can meet. I think there are only two kinds of women in this world who feel good about how they look: narcissists and those who understand who they are in Christ. Kerry wrote about this in her post “Ladies, Here is the Perfect Body”  Hopefully, your wife is not the first and is on her way to being the second.

You may or may not be able to discuss this with your wife at this time, but you can settle it in your own mind. You are aroused by the female body because God created you to be aroused by it. Living in a fallen world makes this gift a problem at times, but it doesn’t make the gift wrong or bad. Learn to embrace and enjoy the way you react to your wife’s body, and pray she can hear the truth from you about your pleasure.

Joe

Pulling Back the Curtain on Physical Intimacy

Looking through red curtains

The past several Monday’s have gone very fast and have, for a better word, exposed some of the honest truth about physical intimacy in a marriage. Comments we have received runs the spectrum: “Thank you for discussing a topic on marriage that churches seem to shy away from.”  “Appreciate your honesty and candor. This is an important issue that seems to be brushed aside and avoided by most pastors.”  “You are wrong to be spreading these ideas. Sex is strictly for procreation in a marriage, nothing else.”  “Thank you for allowing me to feel sexy and giving me permission to enjoy sex.”  “Keep your comments to yourself, you will only increase promiscuity by your posts!” “By sleeping naked this past week, my husband and I for the first time in our marriage have enjoyed our time between the sheets like never before.”

So, you see, we are causing a stir and making people think again about physical intimacy in a marriage.  Whether it be good, bad, or just convicting…people are thinking. That’s good.

This now leads us into this day’s post. Communication is key when it comes to fully enjoying each other’s bodies as well as enjoying an active sex life as husband and wife.  However, too often we shy away from asking the key questions that will allow us to grow in our physical, sexual intimacy with one another. We are too embarrassed to ask and very embarrassed to respond truthfully. To those reactions, I say “STOP!”

It’s time to take a risk and step out of your comfort zone. It’s time to become transparent with one another. Genesis 2:25 says it clearly, “The two were naked and not ashamed.” They were completely vulnerable before one another. They were transparent and had no shame for being so.  As husband and wife, we should be the same. The questions will be difficult at times but our hope is that they will first encourage each of you to open up emotionally which in turn will allow you to open up physically. Treat these as conversation starters, modify them to suit your marriage, pick and choose what you wish to discuss; however, please don’t try to rush through all of them in one sitting. That’s not what they are for. It’s important to ask these questions so as to learn more about your spouse. These will help you be a student of your spouse.  Don’t get upset and try to “readjust” their answers, instead, explore the answers, listen to your spouse and grow! Also, final instruction, answer in complete and clear sentences, don’t give vague answers because you are embarrassed of the answer as well as give specific answers.

So here are 30 Sex Questions to Ask Your Spouse:

  1. Where is your favorite place to be touched that isn’t sexual to you?
  2. When I initiate sex, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
  3. What is your favorite way for me to initiate sex?
  4. How do you usually try to let me know you are in the mood for sex?
  5. What does sex mean to you?
  6. Describe your favorite memory of us having sex.
  7. Where and how do you like to be touched the most during sex? Why?
  8. Where do you not like to be touched during sex and why not?
  9. Describe something you’d like to try, regarding sex, which we haven’t tried together.
  10. Describe something we have tried before, regarding sex, which you’d like more of.
  11. How often would you like to have sex, ideally?
  12. What do you think about during sex?
  13. What’s your favorite position? Why?
  14. Would you rather have sex with the lights on or off? Are you afraid of having sex with the lights on?
  15. Does being naked in front of me make you uncomfortable? What can I do to make you more comfortable?
  16. Are you happy with how long we spend on foreplay? Would you like more or less?
  17. Are you happy with how long we spend having sex? Would you like more or less?
  18. What is your favorite foreplay activity?
  19. If there was one thing you’d like to improve about our sex life, what would it be?
  20. What is your favorite thing for me to say during sex?
  21. What activity gives you the strongest, or longest, orgasms?
  22. Describe what an orgasm feels like to you.
  23. Describe what it feels like to you when I have an orgasm (physically or emotionally).
  24. What is the most important part of sex to you? Why?
  25. Is there someplace you’d like to have sex that we haven’t already?
  26. Would you rather have sex in the morning or in the evening?
  27. Would you rather give oral sex, receive it, or neither? Why?
  28. What do we do in bed that you never thought you’d participate in?
  29. Which one of my body parts are you favorite? Which one of your body parts are your favorite?
  30. Name one thing that really turns you on.

 

There you have it. Here is our list of 30 questions. You may have additional ones and you may think that these are 29 too many. Either way, the key here is to communicate with your spouse. Talk to them and begin to open up to one another.  Be transparent with one another and don’t be ashamed of the answers.

 

Joe & Kerry

Top 10 Items for Your Bedroom

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We received some very interesting comments from last Monday’s blog post-Sleep Naked with Your Spouse.  As an overall response, most felt that sleeping naked was too awkward and uncomfortable. O.K, Kerry and I agree that initially it can be uncomfortable and maybe, even make matters worse in your marriage. So, instead, we decided to invest this time into a Top 10 list for your bedroom.
Through the past 2 ½ decades as husband and wife, Kerry and I have attempted to make our bedroom our personal, private oasis of intimacy.This not only includes physical intimacy, but emotional and spiritual too. We have experienced some amazing times of sexual encounters as well as times of deepened purposeful communication and growth in our bedroom. We also have shared on many occasions how God is working in our lives and what we are doing to apply it into our marriage and family. So once again, your bedroom should be well taken care of and as husband and wife, there are some items you should invest in to keep and use in your bedroom.  Kerry and I would at least like to share with you our Top 10 list of the items in our bedroom that we feel increases the Intimacy in our marriage. Also note, this is a broking list and for all we know, item can change by next week, but at least this is a start.
  1. Black Dry Erase Marker: We use this to write messages of encouragement, scripture that God spoke to us directly or that we are applying in our lives, as well as flirty messages on our bedroom dresser mirror and our bathroom mirror. Again, make sure it is Dry Erase and Black.
  2. Essential Oil Diffuser and Oils: This is a great addition to the bedroom. We will run Peppermint Oil or Eucalyptus in the mornings we are getting ready for work. In the evening either a Lavender or Sandalwood Oil as we are going to bed. The aroma and atmosphere is very relaxing and just helps to enhance the special oasis you are trying to create.
  3. Ecotones Sound +Sleep Machine: We have always had a sound machine since the girls were born. It helps to create a background noise that will block out other noises and allow us to sleep without distractions. However, this sound machine has a unique feature that we find invaluable. The louder the room gets the louder the sound machine volume will increase. In other words, for those of you that may be inhibited in having sex because the kids may hear, this is your sound machine. It works like a charm,it will drown out the bedroom intimacy noise and the anxiety you may feel will reduce greatly.  Great investment!
  4. Rock Salt Bowl Lamp with Wood Base: This simple lamp not only supposedly “purifies” the air, it creates a romantic glow throughout the bedroom.
  5. Q & A Book:  This great 3 year journal will ask a simple question for every day of the year that you both will give either a one word or one sentence answer.  During the next three years, you will gain insight and share experiences as a couple. It gets fun when you begin to loop around into the next year and read the previous year’s answers.
  6. Liberator Pillow/Wedge:  If you are not aware of what this is, click on the link to find out. Yes, it is a sex pillow but for most couples that struggle to experience a vaginal orgasm, this pillow is so helpful. You may not think the investment is worth it; however, it is. Just adjusting the angle by those few inches can make all the difference in the world for her.
  7. Set of Soft, Luxurious Bed Sheets:  If you think you need silk bed sheets to be romantic, you’ve been watching too many B-Class movies. Instead, take time to get a good set of soft, cotton bed sheets. They do not need to be expensive or made from Hand Woven Egyptian Cotton. Instead, make sure your bed sheets are comfortable and breathable.
  8.  Love Talk Devotional:  We each have our own copy and will share with each other how that day’s devotion spoke to us individually and into our marriage. We may not hit each day, every day, but we do try to be as consistent as possible with our time together to share where God is taking us in our marriage.
  9.  Lubricant with Applicator:  Seriously, this is so essential as well towards sexual intimacy.  Most women, especially as they get older, suffer with vaginal dryness. This will inhibit physical intimacy due to the pain and friction that can occur. Having a good water based lubricant and also investing in an applicator, can make sex more pleasurable for both wife and husband.
  10.  An Adult Toy/A Vibrator: This may be a taboo or uncomfortable last item for some of you. A vibrator may mean that it is now a focus of self and takes away the intimacy between a husband and wife. That will only occur if the vibrator becomes the only focus of intimacy.  It is a tool for the husband and wife to explore and understand each other’s bodies. The husband will have the opportunity to learn from his wife as she shares with him the places to touch and massage, both vaginally and with her breasts.  The woman can use it to stimulate her husbands penis and increase his arousal as well.  Many women struggle with a vaginal orgasm, so with a vibrator, the husband can bring her to an initial orgasm, then enter her while she uses it to build to multiple ones during intercourse, or she may not need it at all.  Again, it is a tool to learn and have fun with as a husband and wife.  It will bring a sense of oneness.
Finally, there is one item that is not on the list but it is the priority of the intimacy in your bedroom. It’s a question that should be asked everyday before you leave your bedroom as husband and wife. Either right before bed or as you are getting up and getting ready for the day. Daily ask each other, “How can I pray for you ?”  That’s it. Once you do, listen, share and do it for each other. That one question will tie up the three facets of Intimacy: Physical-Emotional-Spiritual.
You may have another list or feel that you could add to this list. So please share. We would love to hear from you!
Joe & Kerry

Sleep Naked with Your Spouse!

Ya know another plus of being married…you get to have a slumber party with your best friend…EVERY NIGHT!!

Sometimes it is the simplest things that can really amp up your marriage, sleeping naked is one of those simple things you can do to improve your marriage.

Before you start throwing up objections and protests, read chapter 4 in Song of Solomon. Trust me, this is a beautiful expression of physical, sexual love between a husband and his wife.  How about these verses from Proverbs.

“Let your fountain be blessed,

And rejoice in the wife of your youth.

As a loving hind and a graceful doe,

Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;

Be exhilarated always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:18-19

Do you get where we are going here? Sleeping Naked is ok and very beneficial as well. Let me expand…
For the first 8 years of our marriage we rarely slept naked except for the occasional time when we, or me, was wanting to initiate sex. Yes, we had little ones and many a late night child excursion to attempt. Because of that, naked sleeping was not viable.

However, in the past 15 years Kerry and I have made it a point to come to bed naked every night. The exception is when we are at a Youth or Children Camp or Mission Trip, or if we are at a relatives home on vacation. Other than that, we crawl into bed sans clothing. 

First off, sleeping naked is quite freeing: Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually. It really is. Baring yourself while you sleep with your spouse builds trust physically. Think of it this way, your body will produce higher levels of oxytocin. This hormone is also dubbed the “Love Hormone.” The more it is produced while with your spouse, the closer you will become physically. Next, baring all between the sheets will draw you together emotionally. Be presenting yourself naked on a daily basis will allow you to not be ashamed of your body, as well as your spouse’s body, and instead you will be drawn closer together. Finally, this will draw you both together spiritually. Your marriage is the shadow of what’s to come in heaven. This includes oneness physically. God intends you to be joined to your spouse physically and no one else. I already shared scripture that supports this as well.

Now let’s be truly honest with one another…The act of sleeping naked is simply sexy and appealing to your husband and/or wife! That skin to skin feeling also makes you feel sexy. Like I stated before, skin on skin contact releases the hormone oxytocin which increases the feelings of comfort, oneness and intimacy. Oxytocin has other benefits as well like making you feel more aroused, increasing feelings of trust, lowers heart rate, reduces blood pressure and simply makes you more ready for sexual interaction. 

So, sleeping naked may just even put you in the mood for SEX. Yes, I finally went there…this will possibly lead to sex.  
So here are three advantages, or better yet, three benefits to sleeping naked!

Health Benefits 

Of course healthy spouses are happy spouses. Sleeping naked has been scientifically proven to improve health. 

Being close to your spouse and cuddling with your spouse is actually beneficial your health. 

Your skin can absorb more nutrients. 

Your metabolism will also improve because your body will have to work while you sleep to maintain that healthy body temperature of 98.6. 

For both men and women sleeping naked allows their genitals to “air out”. Your genitals are covered up all day, everyday which makes it an ideal environment for the overgrowth of yeast and bacteria which can lead to infection and discomfort. 

Sleep Benefits

More sound sleep equals less overall stress. 

Feeling less stressed means less arguing and nit picking in marriages. 

You may not believe it, but having a lower body temperature while you sleep actually helps you to rest better.

This is also an ideal environment for the anti-aging hormones to do their job. 

Sexual Benefits

Sleeping naked is also fun. What better way to end the day than to be skin to skin with your spouse.

It is an intimate way to sleep and will make you feel closer to your spouse. 

The skin to skin contact is a great way to get that intimate alone time that you cannot get anywhere else.

There have been nights when we go to bed exhausted and yet we are naked. Through out the night we are touching a feeling each other.

As a new day arrives and the house is quiet we find the perfect time to enjoy one another sexual and start our day off on the right track.

So here is our “Encouragement” for all you husbands and wives out there…

Free yourself from wearing clothes at night! Sleeping naked is a empowering situation for both of you!

Joe & Kerry