Let Go of Your Watering Pot

Marie serves on the mission field and has quietly spoken truth to women about sexuality, one woman at a time. This year she discovered Awaken-Love and  has since become part of the Awaken-Love teaching team. She is learning to let go as she submits to God’s love and calling in her life. 


I have taught in many countries of Asia and in one country of Africa. Because homes often lack running water, women carry large pots to gather water from the community well. The water pot is such an essential household tool that no one would ever leave it unattended. A pot costs valuable money to replace. Without it one could not gather the water necessary for all aspects of daily life.

But in John 4:28, the Samaritan woman left behind her water pot at the well as she returns to tell her village about Jesus. Throughout the years, God has used this story from John to speak into my life and has asked me to lay down my own “water pot”. I need to let go of the things I rely on for my own preservation.

My journey with Awaken-Love

Earlier this year I took the Awaken-Love video class with another woman. God began to speak to me about incorporating the Awaken-Love class into my ministry to women here on the mission field.

For three weeks I struggled with the idea and wrestled with the Lord about it in prayer. How could I even imagine doing this here; in this country where the very word “sex” is barely mentioned in a whisper, if at all.  Tongues will wag for sure, if the townspeople catch wind that I am teaching this kind of class.

I tried to reason with God, citing that I am already pushing the envelope in this society. My firm stance on the equality of women and men impacts daily life and already puts me at risk. But God did not create women to just serve men and  simply acquiesce to whatever a man happens to say. How could God expect me to teach about sex?

God’s Truth

Once again God began to speak tenderly to me. “What emotion are you feeling right now?” “Fear,” I responded, “especially the fear of what others may think of me.” Once again God reminded me that fear is not from Him. God asked me to leave my “water pot” of safety, of doing what was accepted, at His feet.

God wants to send me into the villages to proclaim His truth about the beautiful gift of sex within marriage. He has filled me with His Living Water that heals and restores wherever it is given freedom to flow. And He wants His Life to flow out of me through Awaken-Love, to remove and replace the fear and the shame these ladies feel so deeply with His love and His honor. God wants to bring healing of the abuse some of these precious and beautiful ladies have endured and, in some cases, still experience.

Groundbreaking

For years I have quietly spoken to women about their sexuality, usually one-on-one. The only times I had a chance to speak deeply was when a lady approached me about abuse she had experienced.

God has begun to open new doors to speak about sexuality. God created sex for the wife to enjoy as well as the husband. Sex is a divine mystery of becoming “one” with our spouse and with God himself, and it has been truly groundbreaking. Women are slowly opening up about how they see themselves and how they think God sees them.

In the classes I can see the changes taking hold. Hope replaces shame. Joy replaces the fear of talking about sex openly among a group of Christian ladies. Body parts are still whispered about, even female body parts. Faces turn crimson from embarrassment, eyes turned down, because this subject is linked to so much fear and shame. But despite this, I can see God slowly knocking down barriers and bringing freedom to these ladies.

Humbled to Be Used

I am humbled that God is using me in this way – humbled and in awe that they trust me with such a sensitive subject in this country. Women’s reactions have varied. Some respond with tears, while others respond vocally, saying such things as, “I never knew my body could do that”, or “wow, I learned so many new things!” Once a lady approached me and said, “throughout the class I felt shame for speaking so openly here about this subject”. But she thanked me for addressing it and added that she only knew of a couple of other people in the whole country bold enough to talk about this subject.

Gradually these precious ladies are laying down their “water pots” of tradition and of shame, and replacing them with God’s powerful truth, His living water of freedom in Christ even in this area of sexual intimacy in marriage.

Beautiful at His feet

God is enough for you! And more, God says you are enough for Him! Our hearts are beautiful to Him. Our minds are precious and our entire being has been molded by Him out of His righteous love. What He called “very good” is just that. Awaken to the reality of His image of you as His Beloved!

As you read this, ask yourself: what am I “holding onto”?  Hurts, passions, grudges, or beautiful memories. Do you have a fear of being totally naked, physically or even spiritually? Maybe God has been telling you that you are truly beautiful, but you remain afraid to truly let go – to let go of things you are clutching tightly rather than allowing God to hold them for you. We all hold something. The question is, does God want us to hold that thing? Or does He want you to lay it down at His feet?

The Courage to Follow God

Awaken-Love started 6 years ago when I taught my first class to 8 friends out on my back porch. I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that if I didn’t share what God was teaching me about sex, I wasn’t sure I could face Him. How could I call myself a Christian, a Christ follower, when I just ignored what He wanted me to do? So when God called, I followed, but that has not always been the case.

Afraid to Fail

I’ve done things I wasn’t proud of. Where I chickened out, and afterwards I hid and pretended like I didn’t know anything about it.

I remember one summer during college, my pastor asked me if I would lead a Sunday school class at my small church. Shyly I accepted, but feeling totally inadequate, unprepared, and ill-equipped I just skipped out. I didn’t even show up or ask for help. Afraid to fail, I didn’t even try!

Another time more recently, God called me to pray over a woman  at church. I didn’t know her well, but I knew her well enough to know that she had criticized the sex classes I was teaching. At least 3 different times, God brought her to my attention and said, “Go pray for her”. The last time I told God, “ok, if she is alone, I will go talk to her.”The conditions had to be just right! I didn’t want to make a fool of myself!

I never prayed with her, because I chickened out, and God eventually stopped bugging me about it. I often wonder what would have happened if I had just been obedient. Maybe it wasn’t even about her. Maybe it was about me.

Windows of Opportunity

I don’t know if it is biblical, but it seems to be true for me.  God opens up windows of opportunity for me to walk through. If I don’t act soon, the window closes. He prompts me, I know it and it scares me to death. When I drag my feet long enough, pretty soon He stops bugging me. The window will close.

When God prompts us, or makes our heart feel like it is going to pound right out of our chest, we are at a crossroads. A point where we can let go, and say, “OK,  I am going to trust you.”

I am learning to embrace opportunities. From the simple prompts to share in a group, pray over someone, or pause and give someone a hug. To the bigger things like teaching sex classes, embracing speaking opportunities, or writing a book.

The other day I was listening to the worship song “Do It Again”, and all I could hear in my head was a sweet friend of mine singing. She is going through a really rough time with her family right now. Though I haven’t talked to her in months, I knew that God was prompting me to just send her a simple note that I care. Her reply when I obeyed said it all.

I don’t want to insinuate that I have it all together. I still run away from commitments because of fear. But I know that I always feel worse after running away then when I just try, even if all does not go as I planned.

The Challenge

If God is prompting you to work on your sex life, I pray that God would give you the courage to take a step. To listen to Him, trust Him and go for it.

If God is calling you to host an Awaken-Love class and share what you are learning about sex or minister to others, I pray that He would give you the courage to register and that He would make a way.

Take a peak at this video of a woman that never thought she would ever teach a sex class, but is so glad she did.

Introducing the Latest Awaken-Love Teacher – Beth in Ohio

When a woman wakes up to the importance of creating a great sex life with her husband, sharing that truth with friends doesn’t always goes smoothly. But real transformation is hard to keep to yourself. Beth became an Awaken-Love teacher because she did not give up when God called her to share how important sex is in marriage.

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Sex Advice For Engaged Couples

When Jim and I married we weren’t exactly clueless about sex. We had already crossed many lines. Even though we understood the physical aspects of sex, we knew little about God’s design. We had no idea how to talk about sex, or how lies would impact our marriage bed. I wish someone had sat us down and not only shared the truth, but modeled comfortable conversations. What if we didn’t wait until couples had years of bad habits and hurts? What advice would you give to engaged couples?

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Ministry on the Mission Field – One Woman at a Time

Marie serves on the mission field and for years has quietly spoken truth to women about sexuality, one woman at a time. This year she discovered Awaken-Love and  was able to take the class using the internet. She hopes to use the Awaken-Love videos to minister to other women on mission field. But I believe God smiles down at the quiet mentoring she does in her village. Here is a little glimpse into her world. 

 Ruth

Held

The other day the word “held” and the variations of that word made me pause and think. One simple word and yet so profound. Welcome to my corner of the world where I am held by God to bring His life to a country where villages are nestled high up on mountain sides or lie sleepily in the valleys below. Where people quickly welcome you into their family.

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What’s Cookin’ at Awaken-Love

I feel like I have a dozen pans in the oven, and I am not quite sure how to keep track of them. The last few months have been super busy for Awaken-Love and I don’t see things settling down anytime soon.  I have meetings with churches, a book to publish, administrative tasks for classes, development of the men’s curriculum  for videos, dreams of making a video for pre-marital counseling, another book running around in my head, missionaries developing online communities for skype video classes, a list of articles to write, and a dream of someday selling Awaken-Love t-shirts. My list seems to constantly grow and I find myself struggling to focus.

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Beth – The Latest Addition to Awaken-Love Teachers

Meet Beth, the most recent addition to the Awaken-Love teaching team. Beth will teach in Plymouth Minnesota at her church Wayzata Free.

I first heard Beth’s name several years ago when a student in class mentioned that her counselor had suggested she take an Awaken-Love class. Unbeknownst to me Beth was a huge fan of Awaken-Love and already spreading the word to women that needed help.

About a year later I got an email from Beth saying that she had been following my blog and so appreciated my stance on sexuality in marriage. Her words were kind, affirming and quite honestly, humbling. Here was this pastoral counselor thinking that I had something of value to say about marriage and sex.

A Lifeline

About a year later, Beth signed up for a class at just right the time. That winter I struggled with depression like I never had before and Beth became part of my lifeline. She tenderly created a safe place to grieve the loss of a ministry partner. Our times were steeped in prayer and asking God for answers.

In order to better understand my strengths and weaknesses Beth suggested I take some personality assessments. When she viewed the results, she immediately understood how hard ministry has been. Everything that I do –  teaching, speaking, writing, and stepping into emotional situations – does not come naturally for me. God called me to a ministry that requires dependence on Him instead of relying on my own abilities.

Beth also helped me to, shall we say, “Get my house in order.” I had started letting my emotions rule my life. The Holy Spirit needed to guide my spirit, my spirit to guide my emotions, and my emotions to guide my body. God gave me emotions to help me understand life, but they aren’t always an accurate guide, unless they are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Beth was such a gift from God during that very hard time in my life.

Beth will make an amazing Awaken-Love teacher.

She has a powerful story of God’s redemption in her own marriage that has encouraged countless couples. Her sweet, gentle spirit constantly asks for wisdom and answers from the Father. Beth understands the importance of staying connected with her husband and continues to strive towards more freedom in her own marriage bed. But most importantly, I have met few women with as intimate a relationship with Jesus as Beth.

I am excited to watch God work through Beth as she joins the team of Awaken-Love teachers bringing God’s truth to women about sex.

Straight Talk on Female Ejaculation

A woman from class shared that a friend confided recent episodes of urinary incontinence during sex. Even though bladder control wasn’t an issue at other times, she was concerned enough to make an appointment at the doctor. I immediately suspected the real source of the fluid as Female Ejaculation. Just like this woman, few of us understand our bodies and the responses it is capable of during sex.

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Don’t Wait Until a Marriage is in Crisis

” I’m learning so much and hope to be able to use what I’ve learned one day. I will pass the information on to my daughters to hopefully prevent them from making the same mistakes I have made. Thank you so very much for your class. I wish I had found it earlier in my marriage, or even a couple of years ago. We would be in a different place I am sure.” former student

Women in Crisis

Sometimes women whose marriage is in crisis sign up for an Awaken-Love class on the advice of their marriage counselor. Years of neglect and damage lead them to a desperate attempt to salvage their marriage. With nothing left to lose, they sit through six weeks of discovering God’s desire for their marriage bed. All the while wishing they had known the truth earlier or done something sooner.

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Webinar – Claiming the Gift of Sex with Dr. Jessica McCleese

I had the pleasure of joining Dr. Jessica McCleese for a webinar called Claiming the Gift of Sex. We talked about some of the differences between men and women as well as God’s Design for Sex. Check it out.