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Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Friday Rant: Sex Is Not a Chore

sex-not-chore-blog[Note: On Fridays we sometimes post new rants from one of our writers, edited only for typos and spelling. This new series is not for those easily offended or for those who only like to play nice. So read this before you start posting your comments.]

First, let me start by saying this post does not apply to anyone in an abusive relationship. If you are in one, please get the help you need in order to better your situation. This post is for the average, run of the mill marriage.

Second, I am a married woman that struggled with this issue. The more I learn my old way of thinking about sex is incorrect, the more I realize that sex is intended to intimately and wonderfully connect a husband and wife in a way nothing else can. (Aside from God of course!) I want you and your husband to experience the full, loving, gracious, joy-filled marriage that God intended.

Now, let’s talk about sex.

Ladies, this one is for you. Listen closely, sex is NOT a CHORE! Stop treating it that way.

So many times we have seen a married couple portrayed as the husband wanting sex and the wife continually acting annoyed because of it. Picture it, the husband and wife are laying down in bed and the husband tries to initiate sex with the wife. The wife turns to him, rolls her eyes and say “You’re kidding, right?”. That is not healthy. That is not funny. That is not marriage. STOP doing that.

Women, sex is for you too! Sex is not just for the men in our lives. Sex is supposed to be enjoyed by both male and female together. I’m pretty sure that is how God intended it from the beginning. Stop making excuses and start trying to get this right.

The most common excuse that I hear women say is they are tired. We are all tired. Get over it. Trust me on this one. I am a mother of three children under the age of eight. I AM TIRED. This is not an excuse. If you are too tired to be intimate with your husband, something else in your life needs to change. Ditch the T.V. show before bed, put the kids to bed earlier, find a way.

Here’s the truth, your marriage NEEDS to be the priority.

Listen, your children are wonderful. Your job is fantastic. Your hobbies are great and I love T.V. too. I get it. I am there sometimes too. So this is going to be hard to hear: your children, your job, your hobbies and especially television are not your first priority. Some of those are big ones, but not your first one.

x3-fighting-for-my-marriage-facebook-10If you’re a Christian, God is the first priority. Do you know what’s after God? Your husband is. Nothing else.

Chances are that your husband loves you. Even though it may not be what you want at the time, chances are that he shows that love through wanting to be with you physically. With that said, every time that you reject being with him, you are rejecting his love for you. You are rejecting his connection to you. You are crushing his self-esteem. You are rejecting him. When this happens one too many times, your marriage starts crumbling. You grow apart. And once it’s just you and your husband and you’re both retired after the kids leave, guess what, you have no real marriage.

This can all be avoided if you allow yourself to enjoy sex with your husband! I know, I know that many of you are thinking “He doesn’t help enough”, “He doesn’t say the right things”, “He isn’t emotionally available like I want him to be”. I get it. Here’s the thing though, YOU cannot change your husband. You can pray for your husband. However, YOU can only change YOU. Start by changing the way you think about sex. Start by allowing your husband to please you.

I used to be there. I used to reject my husband a lot. I have seen the difference in our marriage, friendship and life now that I have a better perspective on sex. I realized that my husband wants to connect with me and when I am receptive to him when it comes to sex, he is more available to connect emotionally. And let’s not forget that the sex is just flat out great!

Women, when you have sex with your husband and truly enjoy it, not treating it like a check on your list, you want to have more sex. Guess what happens after that? Sex gets better, your relationship with your husband gets better, your marriage gets better and then, before you know, your life gets better.

So stop asking how many times a man NEEDS to have sex. Stop treating sex like one more chore on your checklist. Start thinking about your husband. Start making your husband the priority. Start thinking about sex like an opportunity to make your marriage amazing! You will see miracles happen.

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

5 Ways to Build Integrity

xxxchurch - 5 Ways to Build IntegrityOne thing I find in short supply at times is, unfortunately, integrity. I think that’s part of the reason we value it so much when we find someone who actually displays it.

It’s a breath of fresh air.

However, it’s one thing to know you might lack integrity in certain areas (like your sex life), but something else entirely to learn how to develop it.

Integrity is about more than just doing the right thing. 

It’s about building the kind of character that can survive a crisis intact. In the same way that a building with integrity can survive a storm, a life that has integrity can do the same.

So how do you build integrity?

1. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Of all the lies we tell, the ones we tell ourselves are the most deadly. Question your motives. Stop justifying what you know to be wrong. Stop excusing yourself. For example, if you click a link with a picture of a beautiful woman, ask yourself, “Did I really want to read that article that badly, or was it just an excuse to get an extra helping of eye candy into my diet?”

2. Seek wise counsel. We all have blind spots. It’s one thing to be honest with yourself, but sometimes we are simply blind to faults others can see. Find three or four people who believe in you and ask them for feedback on your life.

3. Decide to honor God, not please people. Doing the right thing is not always easy, and sometimes it’s not the popular thing. Honoring God is not the same as believing you are always right and everyone else is wrong – it simply means you are going to live with a long view of what to do, informed by scripture. It means enduring short-term pain for longer-term gain. To avoid becoming arrogant or deluded, make sure you test what obedience looks like for you, not only against Scripture and prayer but also with your circle of wise counsel (see point #2). They will see things you can’t see.

4. Be appropriately transparent. We’d all like to be something we’re not. Admit your shortcomings. You don’t have to tell everyone what you’re struggling with, but you need to tell someone. Part of being honest with yourself is being honest with and accountable to others. And as much as you might be afraid that everyone will think less of you, living transparently and not pretending to be someone you aren’t actually makes people think more of you. It’s counter-intuitive. It’s also transformative.

5. Put yourself first when it comes to personal growth. I know that sounds selfish, even unbiblical, but I’m not sure it is. Jesus prepared for thirty years before ministering for three. And during those three years, he often disappeared to pray. You can only give from what you’ve received, and he spent whole seasons of his life receiving from God what he needed to give to the world. Cancel some appointments. Get up earlier. You need to build a solid spiritual, emotional and relational foundation for your life. Pray. Open the Bible (for you – not for anyone else, pastors). Go for a run. Eat something healthy. Go for dinner with a friend who gives you life. If your cup is empty, how are you going to fill anyone else’s?

These are five practices I’ve found helpful in my life.

What have you discovered that helps you build integrity?

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Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

5 Reasons to Keep It Buttoned Up Until You Are Married

buttonedupMy friend Shellie R. Warren wrote a post talking about the advantages and/or disadvantages of having sex before marriage. It’s definitely worth checking out.

But let’s be honest, most people are having sex in some version before marriage (yes, even Christians). To deny that is to live in a bubble.

And I want to be transparent with you. I’m a pastor, a Christian, and a guy who had sex before he got married. And I wish I had heard more on this topic when I was younger because maybe it would have spared me some hard life lessons.

Don’t get me wrong. When I was growing up I DID hear a lot of religious reasons not to have sex (mostly from people who looked like they never had or would have sex).

I also heard all the standards.
You might get someone pregnant.
You might catch an STD, etc.

And with all of these reasons my response was usually one of two.
1: Rules don’t feel good. Orgasms do.
2: I’ll roll the dice. It probably won’t happen to me.

I never heard practical reasons to NOT have sex before marriage.
I never heard good explanations as to the actual purpose of sex.
I never heard or read anything that really mattered for the “here and now.”

And there’s the rub as they say (no pun intended).

Sex is all about the here and now … right?

I know that’s hard to hear when you are a 17-year-old boy who gets a boner whenever the wind blows, but it’s true. Sex is not about the here and now, and the reasons NOT to have sex before you get married aren’t either.

So, all that being said, here are 5 practical reasons to keep buttoned up and hold off having sex until marriage. Reasons that might not seem super important NOW but will be HUGE down the road.

1. You will save yourself a lot of regretful moments.
If you talk to anyone who had a variety of sexual encounters before they got married, inevitably you’ll find they have at least one – but probably many – they wish they could take back.

Sex that’s in the moment is often sex where consequences aren’t considered.

Which leads to mistakes.

Which leads to regret.

Having sex is so personal and permanent. It can never be undone, so it shouldn’t be something you regret.

2. It will keep relationships simpler and easier to evaluate.
Shellie touched on this in her post, but nothing complicates a relationship like hopping into bed. 

It’s much harder to recognize a broken relationship when you are having sex with someone. Want to know if the relationship you have is actually worth having or continuing? Try not having sex and see if you still want to be around the person.

I’m convinced that “hot sex” before marriage is a main contributor to broken marriages. Why? Because those marriages most likely would have never happened if the sex wasn’t keeping them together in the first place.

3. It’s difficult going ‘a la carte’ when you are used to a buffet.
Let’s be honest: if you are used to having sex with whomever and have “sampled all the varieties” then monogamous sex with one partner may be a hard pill to swallow.

It doesn’t matter if the food quality is way better at the a la carte restaurant. Buffet people are buffet people because they convince themselves that variety is always best, even if the food quality is crap.

I know this may sound counter-intuitive in a day and age where consumption rules, but if your only frame of reference for sex is with your spouse (sex that’s special and intimate), then it’s going to be pretty great and you are not going to be worrying about what else you may be missing out on.

4. Sexual history is not something JUST you have to contend with.
When you bring a sexual history into your marriage, you are affecting both people. You have to deal with your flames of old, and so does your spouse. A relationship that is threatened by comparisons is one that lacks security, and security is super important in the bedroom. 

5. Sex Affects Your Brain
One of the most interesting aspects of the brain (to me) is how its rewards system works. Simply put, the brain is designed to seek out and recreate those experiences that make it feel good. For more in depth explanation on that watch this video.

This is of course why porn addiction can be so difficult to beat.

Here’s the thing. While our brain’s rewards system can serve to our own destruction (like in the case of addiction) it can also serve to our betterment. As a fitness junkie I can tell you that over time I have wired my brain to want exercise. I know … sounds crazy. But it’s true. My brain has wired itself to seek out exercise as a pleasure source and that greatly benefits my health.

Take this one step further.

Imagine if your only frame of reference for sex or an orgasm was your spouse. What type of effect do you think that would have on your brain? On your relationship?

That type of chemical bond is a powerful one and compliments the emotional and spiritual bonds you already have making the marriage stronger.

Yes, the Biblical reasons are important.
Yes, not having sex before marriage because “God said so” is important.

But, realize that God didn’t tell us these things because he wants to rob us of pleasure. He doesn’t want to withhold the best. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

God’s design for sex is meant to give us the best.

His ways are not just spiritual. Sometimes they are also tremendously practical and always beneficial. And sometimes those ways may not seem important in the HERE and NOW but they will make perfect sense down the road.

On a side note, this post might imply that once you had premarital sex you’ve blown it.

Not true.

My wife and I have worked through all these things and have come out stronger and better for it. But truth be told, there are those moments when I look back and say, if only had been a little more forward-thinking.


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Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

3 Ways Pornography Distorts Your View of Yourself

xxxchurch - 3 Ways Pornography Distorts Your View of YourselfMy wife is currently watching the TV show Once Upon a Time on Netflix. I haven’t watched a whole lot, but she explained one very interesting thing about the show’s story to me.

The show’s characters are, for the most part, characters from fairy tales, Disney movies and other fantasy stories that are plopped in the modern world in a town called “Storybrooke.” But they have also lived in their fairytale worlds. Somehow they made it to Storybooke. If they stay within the town limits, they remember what happened and who they were in their fairytale worlds. But if they cross the city limits, they forget everything about their old world.

One of the most important things for anyone to remember is who they are, what they came from and what they’re about. And just like the characters in Once Upon a Time crossing the town line can make them forget who they are, developing a pornography habit or addiction can do the same for us.

Chemically, porn alters our brain and the way we think.

Study after study has shown the biological effects of a pornography addiction and how it alters brain chemistry. William M. Struthers, a professor of psychology at Wheaton College, wrote an article for the Christian Research Institute about the effects of pornography on the male brain. He compared consuming pornography to consuming food.

“The human body consumes and digests food. In a similar way, we can think about the brain as a consumer of stimuli and information,” Strutters writes. “…The brain’s job is to consume and digest information. This information is taken in through the eyes and other sense and digested and stored with meaning and memories…Sexual images are inherently powerful and have emotional content. As such, pornography forces itself on the brain. Whether one consents or not, pornography becomes a part of the fabric of the mind.”

Ask anyone who has struggled with pornography addiction, and they will tell you it alters how they think and what they think about. It becomes not just a craving that needs a fix like a drug, but images force their way into your mind and stay there, nearly impossible to get out.

Because of this chemical alteration, you can begin to define yourself by how you think about women and sex due to pornography. Much more than just an emotional mis-definition, it’s something that is chemically true of your brain, and has a major effect.

We often define ourselves by what we do.

When you introduce yourself to someone knew, you usually start with your name and your profession. You’re a teacher or a writer or an engineer or fill-in-the-blank-here. Our profession is often the first thing we go to, besides our name, to define ourselves.

It’s also a human thing that we often define others in our sphere of influence and celebrities by their weaknesses. That guy is a drug addict, those girls are sluts, so on and so forth.

Since pornography is not just something we do occasionally but often becomes an addictive pursuit, it becomes something we identify ourselves by. We may not say it to others, but it’s how we view ourselves. I can think of many times in my despair over my struggle with pornography defining myself to myself as the guy who dealt with porn more than anyone I knew.

This tendency to define ourselves by what we do misses the point of what identity is really about. Identity is really about who you are, not what you do. We all make mistakes. We all do things – intentionally and not – that we wish we didn’t, that we would give almost anything to erase that those things ever happened.

We feel like Paul, the author of the book of Romans in the Bible, who writes, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19).

Paul did not define himself by what he did, but he was well aware of his shortcomings. He was aware of what he wanted to do, but knew the struggle to do that on a consistent basis. But he defined himself more by what God thought of him.

Porn addiction can lead to depression and stress.

In my case, struggling with pornography led to most of my depression and anxiety.

I already struggled with a lot of depression and anxiety day-to-day, but struggling with porn and knowing that at the very least it was not helpful for me just piled on to the stress that had kept building and building. And I’m not alone.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Kevin B. Skinner did an informal poll-like study on the connection between depression and porn use. He shared his findings on his Psychology Today  blog:

“Clearly, individuals who consume porn daily are dealing with more than just porn. They are apt to be experiencing depression. I am wondering if depressed people are more prone to view porn to combat the depression or if daily use of porn triggers individuals into a depression? Either way, my research with more than 400 people who voluntarily took my assessment indicates that people who regularly view pornography are experiencing more depression than the general population.”

Yes, that’s only a little over 400 people, but it’s clearly a human issue. And depression is something that we know greatly alters how you view yourself. Your definition of yourself often strays from an objective evaluation to believing untrue things – “I’m not worth much/anything” or “I suck at life” or “God must hate me.” Depression causes thoughts and feelings like that to become primary in the minds of porn addicts and greatly affects how they define themselves.

So what are we to do?

We need to be constantly reminding ourselves of what is true about ourselves.

In my bedroom at home sits a canvas painting I did. It used to be in my office at work. Half of it is a blank résumé. The other half quotes a spoken word piece by this guy named Jon Jorgensen. It says: “Not qualified is where He starts.” On the bottom is written/painted “2 Corinthians 12:9.”

In that verse, God tells Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It reminds me that God can use me despite my lack of qualification, and many reasons to be disqualified. When porn addiction enters our life, we can view ourselves that way, that we have nothing to offer, that we are useless.

My friends, it is not so. Fight back against these ways that porn distorts your view of yourself. Remember what is true. It’s vital.

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Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

8 Reasons My Wife Won’t Have Sex With Me!

8-reasons-husband-sexFor some reason, we live in a world where it seems like the stereotype for married people and sex is that men need it and women don’t want to cough it up. I don’t know how that happened, but in my marriage, sex is a two-way street. It takes both of you to make it work and it is mutually beneficial for both parities.

I hear women hold sex over a lot of men’s head and I just laugh. Just because women aren’t as visual as men doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy sex as much as men.

Sex is a gift to be enjoyed. The Bible pretty much says that married folks should be having sex and lots of it. (No, really it says that the only time to refrain from sex is for a period of time for fasting and praying and that is only for a period of time, otherwise the devil will use that to keep you apart.)

The reality? Out of everyone I know, the married people have the suckiest sex lives. Why are the single people having all the good sex? Doesn’t that go against what the Bible says?

The reason: Sex takes work. Sex is complicated. Sex takes both of you.

Most men can get over things pretty quickly. If Jeanette and I fight, I can get over it and make up in minutes and be totally fine to have sex that night. Women aren’t so quick. Their emotions are involved and they tend to put up some more walls then most men. If those walls stay up, then guys, there is no way it’s happening tonight.

So, let’s answer this question: Why doesn’t my wife want to have sex with me?

Here are a few reasons I’ve seen. I don’t know your spouse and your situation, but if I had to guess, it’s one or two of the following things.

1. She’s had a bad experience with sex in the past that she’s never worked through. This could be how she lost her virginity. This could be a situation involving abuse or rape at a younger age. She thought marriage would solve this, but these issues have never been addressed thoroughly and have caused her to just not be interested. My gut is that if you could help her process some of these things or encourage some counseling, then that could be a great start to help her find the healing she needs.

2. She feels guilty. I was taught growing up that sex was bad. We couldn’t do it and it was off limits. Then one day at 22 I got married and it went from a lifelong RED light to a GREEN light in one day. That’s a tough mental switch to make, and a lot of women still feel that sex is dirty and a bad thing not understanding it is a gift from God. Talk through this stuff. Talk about sex being a great thing. Something to celebrate.

3. She doesn’t enjoy it. Sorry guys… Let’s just be honest. I’m not saying you have a small penis. Most women don’t care about the size. Its more than that. We live in a world where sex with your self (masturbation) has become the norm, and most men bring this into their marriage. Masturbation has taught you one thing: how you like it. It leaves something out: her.

You get off in your favorite position and think sex is all about what you like. If you approach sex like that? Guess what: she won’t enjoy it. She wants you on top not just behind her all the time. I met a guy whose wife hadn’t had an orgasm in 10 years of having sex. That’s a problem! My suggestion was to communicate. Listen to her. Let her be involved in what she likes, how she likes it, and let her reach orgasm. Don’t believe the lie that says women don’t need to have an orgasm every time. Really work to achieve this together and if not at the same time make sure both of you have the option. (Oh, and one last bit of advice: quit trying to stick it in her butt.)

4. You only touch her when you want sex. I am not going to bore you with the crock pot vs. the microwave analogy, because I think you’ve probably already heard that. Women need to be touched, kissed, and hugged all the time, not just when you want action. This will go far. Trust me.

5. She’s too tired. My wife loves to have sex and I think we have a great sex life. I am going to recommend trying to have sex every other day. I have been married 15 years and that is an expectation and goal we both have set. I love 9pm-1am. They’re my best, most productive hours of the day because no one is awake in my house and my phone or email are not getting blown up. My wife is done after about 9pm. So, we put our kids down early so we make sure we have time to connect but I know even though she would like to have sex, if we get too late into the evening, it’s not going to happen. Guys, you might have to get on her schedule.

x3-fighting-for-my-marriage-facebook-106. Her walls are up. These are the walls I talked about earlier. Some of them might not have anything to do with you, but some of them sure do. Guys, we’re stupid. We have no clue that something we said this morning pissed off our wives and they are still upset, or how you’ve been treating her all week or all month or your whole marriage has forced her to build up walls between you. Pay attention to her. Look for signals and ask. Don’t avoid conflict because it is tough. Run towards resolution and get in the sack. The devil is laughing when us married folks sleep in separate beds.

7. She’s insecure about her body. We live in a world of porn, swimsuit issues, and Victoria’s secret. Most women know they can’t compete with the images of the women we have in our visual hard drive. Have you told her you loved her? Have you told her she is beautiful? Have you told her she is sexy and you still get excited when she steps out of the shower naked? Show her, tell her, and keep the lights on once in a while during sex so you can remind her that you love looking at her.

8.  You don’t initiate it. Call me old school, but the Bible says it’s a husband’s responsibility to lead their wives, and this area is no different. It’s worth it. Stop playing games and seeing how many times you initiate sex compared to how many times she does or doesn’t. You start looking at porn to get what you need and then your sex life is non-existent. If you’re not having sex, then you’re probably masturbating and looking at porn and she probably knows it. Just so you know, the longer men go without sex, the more they desire it, and the longer women go without sex, the more they don’t need it. So you see the problem there. That is getting you nowhere. You lead. You initiate. And when she does initiate, never turn her down.

Okay, that’s all I have right now. There might be more, but my plane is landing and I have to turn off my computer. If you and you wife aren’t having sex and nothing on this list resonates with you, then talk together about what’s going on. Don’t be afraid of that conversation. Don’t avoid it either.

Now get in bed.


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Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Only 48 Hours Left

48-hoursI started X3watch in 2004, back when we had Gateway, Compaq, and huge bulky PC computers. A lot has changed since then, but one thing still is true. People need other people.

That is the core belief and thought behind X3watch and why it was needed in 2004, and is still needed in 2017. The way we all interact with the Internet and access the web has changed, but when it comes to life, from the very beginning of humanity, we were meant to be in relationship with one another. To help one another. To take care of one another.

It’s ingrained in our very being; we need each other.

We see this every time we go to the movies or crack open a new novel. No matter how much of a loner the protagonist of that story may be, it just isn’t a satisfying story with only one character.


People all over the world can relate to pain, to questions and to struggle. So many people feel alone and live alone when it comes to these things.

Why? A lot of reasons, but it seems we’re afraid of being labeled, judged, misunderstood or even abandoned. Plus, it’s easy to buy the lie that suggests our friends have enough on their plates – they have problems of their own and don’t need ours on top of them.

The truth is we were all made to be loved and made to be known, to find ourselves in honest relationships where our stuff, both the tragedies and the triumphs, can be reciprocated and exchanged. It’s one thing to have hundreds of friends on Facebook or a phone overflowing with contacts; it’s quite another to really let a few people know you, to have some friends who meet you in your questions, in your pain, and in your coping.


X3watch is a software and an app that is the easiest way to stay safe and accountable with those you trust while online. We know that your experience with X3watch propels a new life, both online and offline.


It’s a different sort of life, and it’s one we have to choose.

It will involve some phone calls and surprising invitations.
It will mean some awkward email reports from your partners on the other end.

It will mean leaving your comfort zone, and it may inspire face-to-face meetings instead of text messages and voicemails.

It will take some showing up and some letting people into your mess.

It will strengthen your relationships.

It will improve your life.

We believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


If you purchase X3watch for $64.99 you will receive:

  • A year subscription to X3watch Premium.
  • Open digital download book by Craig Gross.
  • Open Video series with Craig Gross and Ryan Russell.
  • X3pure Video Workshop (This workshop is for both single and married men. If you are struggling with pornography or sexual addictions, the X3pure workshop is perfect for you. Private, online and effective, the X3pure program can help you end the downward spiral of shame and alienation.)

X3pure sells for $199 on, but for the next 48 hours, it will be included in your X3watch annual subscription. As soon as you checkout you will receive a link to the Open video series and inside that video dashboard, you will see the X3pure video course.

IMPORTANT: You will see an option to purchase X3pure when checking out. DO NOT PURCHASE. You will receive the X3pure workshop automatically.

This deal won’t last and the reason we are doing this is because we know software won’t change your life, but allowing other people to speak into your life and giving them access to your life, will.

The X3watch software will help and encourage you to do that. The bonus video workshops and book will give you some added insight and direction in these areas of your life.

We hope you take advantage of this over the next 48 hours.



*Portions of this blog come from the book Get Open by Craig Gross and the foreword by Jamie Tworkowski

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