Creating Community at Awaken-Love

When I first found Christian sex blogs, I quickly realized that I learned as much from reading the comments as from the articles. The information authentically shared by individuals gave me a window into the struggles and triumphs of men and women just like me and my husband. But this window didn’t just inform me, it spurred me on towards growth. As I heard the testimonies of others I began to believe that God could change me too. Community creates growth, whether in person during an Awaken-Love class or anonymously on the Awaken-Love blog.

Meeting with a group of women during an Awaken-Love class helps us to not feel so alone. As we laugh and cry, we support each other. When one of us has a break through it fills us with hope. As we share our baggage and pray over each other, God changes us. I would love for every woman to experience the community at an Awaken-Love class but that’s not always possible.

Recently a woman living in South America contacted me about taking an Awaken-Love video class. Unfortunately, no English-speaking people live near, so I suggested she take the class on her own or with her husband. A few weeks later another woman living in Europe emailed wondering if some kind of online community existed for the video class.  God has amazing timing and I immediately thought about the woman in South America. So, this winter two women will watch the videos in two different countries, and then skype or email afterwards to process what they learn. The internet is an amazing tool to create community.

I want to work towards creating more of a community on the Awaken-Love blog. This Fall I wrote a blog post titled, Do We Want to Know – Even About Pornography. The article focused on equipping wives to create a safe place for their husband to come clean. Several men felt led to comment about the battle they faced. As they shared their journeys and encouraged each other, I have no doubt that other men reading were ministered to. Their advice to each other was probably far more valuable then mine. I loved how the community on the Awaken-Love blog strengthened each other.

One of my goals in 2018 is to nurture and create community on the Awaken-Love blog. I want the blog to be a safe place to comment about your experiences, ask real questions and hear from others. When you share your testimonies, you minister to readers all over. If you don’t want anyone to know who you are, then make up your name or use “anonymous”. Use your story to encourage others and to spur them on towards growth.

To help me create community on the Awaken-Love blog will you answer a few questions?

What  topics would you find helpful?

What do you wish other people understood?

What do you wish you understood?

What can I do better to foster community on Awaken-Love?

Comments 13

  1. Thank you again for your ministry!
    1) connection between sex and intimacy – not new for your blog, just need all I can get on this topic!
    2) encouragement and help in learning how to share myself vulnerably while believing that my Self is not welcome or acceptable. But without such sharing I can’t be known.
    3) connection between being “differentiated” as defined by Schnarch and having a secure identity in Christ. And what that means in marriage.
    4) parallels between intimacy with my wife and intimacy with Jesus so that I can learn how to grow in intimacy with both.
    5) the great need to have a healthy and robust view of Self rather than to “die to myself” and the difference between that and being “selfish”. That is, did Jesus go to the cross out of his healthy, secure sense of self or because he had died to himself? And what does that mean for me as a husband.
    6) what does mutuality look like in a Christian marriage and in intimacy and in the marriage bed.
    7) the difference between intimate connection and co-dependency and how it affects the marriage bed.
    8) encouragement and help in learning how to attune to my wife’s emotions and to have empathy for her whether it is reciprocated or not so that there is a hope of intimacy someday.

    • We are getting closer. Jim and I are testing out a 6 week class that will parallel the women’s class in March. After that we will have a better idea of what the class should look like. These next couple of months as I prepare and expand the current 4 week curriculum I will be seeking input from different men and seeking God’s will. There are a lot of things to consider. Would you be interested in reading through the men’s curriculum notes and giving some input? Send me an email

  2. Great way to get topics for the rest of the year! 🙂
    Here’s mine:
    -Creating healthy eroticism in marriage.

    As Hopeful already mentioned the concept of “Differentiation”, Dr. Schnarch also talks about THIS (eroticism) in his book “Passionate Marriage”. There is allot of good talk on Christian sex blogs about technique and many practical ways, physically, how to achieve physical arousal and orgasm, even to the point of promoting all kinds of sex toys to get there. But I find that all to often people are not willing to engage emotionally in a way to create sexual tension (eroticism) in order to become also emotionally turned on. I wonder if that is one of the reasons why many women struggle with orgasm? This seems to be a somewhat natural occurrence in the early stage of a relationship but requires allot more know-how and intentionallity later on in marriage.
    I would love to learn more about it!

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I agree about the importance of creating healthy eroticism in marriage rather than just depending on physical technique. Always a challenge to put such intangible concepts into words.

  3. Topic suggestion:

    When I was a teenager, my father would tell me that my mom was going through metapause and I had to behave for her. Later, I found out that she was much too young at the time, and he was probably just trying to get me to tow the line.

    Now, I can barely spell metapause, let alone know much about it, other then the mood swings, lack of lubrication, and hot flashes.

    What and when can we expect it and how can I support my wife through this.
    Any upsides to this time of life?

    Yes, I can probably google this information or talk to friends, but I like your perspective.

  4. What topics would you find helpful? I like the topics you’ve already done. I think every time I get an email saying there is a new blog post it is something I’ve been interested in or has been helpful in some way. No wasted words! Keep them coming.

    What do you wish you understood? How to interact and create community with conversational writing online. I do learn some things from blogs and comments, but I usually hold them at a distance because I assume many of the words were written emotionally rather than thoughtfully or objectively. To give some context, It takes me a while to process information. If I’m asked a question, it takes me 30 min before someone would start to hear my real answer, whether I’m thinking in my head or whether I’m thinking out loud. Anything I said before the 30 min has been reached is emotional or a part of a messy thinking process. I have a history of trusting ‘people who speak confidently’ too much and then get let down later. Well, there are lots of ‘confident speakers or writers’ in social media communities. I want to know how to get past the ’emotional writing’ barrier so I can be in community with others. In person, words are not a big deal. There is no transcript of our words when we are in person or on the phone with one another. It’s when words are written down and accessible forever that I get nervous about relationship.

    What can I do better to foster community on Awaken-Love? It sounds like in this entire journey for you, you’ve had to keep an open mind. Whether you’ve wanted to or not. I encourage you to keep your mind open to possibilities of what fostering community could look like. It may look like something that has been done before, or it may look vastly different. Be a good listener, like you were in my class. Be a good listener to the Lord, like you have been. And let’s see what comes of it all!

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