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When the World Seems Ugly
"The more I see of the world, the more dissatisfied I am with it."
Elizabeth Bennett, Pride & Prejudice

I remember thinking that sentence, over and over, this week.

When we live in our own little bubble it's easy to think the world is a beautiful place. We're with our children, and as annoying as they may sometimes be, we know that they are gifts from God and that they are precious. They make our lives richer.

We live in our hometown where we may know good people, and sense people's kindness.

But sometimes, when you travel, all those illusions are taken away and you come face to face with the world we really live in.

I've been traveling a little bit this week, and I've just felt this strong malaise. It's not that where I am is worse than my hometown; it's just that when you drive by things day after day you stop seeing them. But when everything is new, you see the ugliness in all its glory.

What do you see when you walk through an airport lounge? I saw magazine after magazine of women in bathing suits, or barely any clothing at all. I saw headlines about lifestyles that are truly gross.

I saw novels displayed called things like "The Skinny B****" , and a bunch of other things that were quite ugly.

The people who were waiting for the airport shuttle "entertained" us with stories of trying to find drugs in Europe, and watching a movie about quite disgusting sex acts (which they explained). Both husband and wife were in their mid 50s and looked quite respectable on the outside.

I saw people talking on cell phones about how to make more money (not that there's anything wrong with money, but in the context it just seemed like everybody was greedy). I saw ad after ad for how vacations and money and cars will make you happy. The news was on every TV around me, and I heard about the subway shooting in Toronto, and about the glee that many Americans were expressing because abortion restrictions would finally be lifted.

And I saw young people in their late teens and early twenties getting away south, obviously prepared for a rather inebriated week.

I know I sound like a prude as I write this, but I just wanted to see two married people with their arms around each other, or someone having fun with their children. None of that.

Sleaze is everywhere. It is the norm. And whether we like it or not, we start internalizing the messages about sex, about fun, about happiness. Even if we are Christians, this is the culture in which we live. The messages are everywhere. And unless you fight against it, it's going to permeate your consciousness, too.

One of the comments left this week on one of my posts about sex was went something like this. A woman was abused when she was a child, and became promiscuous because of it. Now she's married, but she finds she doesn't enjoy sex. It was more fun when it was anonymous. What does she do?

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Our society teaches that it's anonymous sex that is fun. It says that what is sexy is having everybody that you can. And when you combine that with actually acting it out, you rewire parts of your brain that respond sexually. Your body starts to associate the wrong things with arousal. And now what are you going to do?

One of the problems that men have when they're trying to break a pornography addiction is that while they may have stopped looking at porn, and while they may even have stopped focusing on the images in their heads, it's still hard to make love to their wives because that's not what arouses them anymore. So they've banished the bad, but they can't bring the good in. They're stuck in no-man's land.

And we women can face the same thing, though for a slightly different reason. The arousal function in our brain doesn't work.

I talk about this at length in Chapter 4 of Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight: Help for women who want to get more in the mood. But the essential problem is that you need to reawaken proper sexuality.

It's there. It really is. It's just been buried. So here's how to attack the problem:

1. Pray about it. I know it sounds weird to pray about sex, but God knows what you're doing anyway, and He wants you to enjoy it!

2. Banish anything that tells you lies about sex. Stop watching television that promotes anonymous sex, like Friends or How I Met Your Mother.

3. Keep trying to enhance the intimacy in your marriage. This post on How to Awaken Love describes it in more detail, but what you need to do is make the spiritual connection that we feel when we make love with our spouse sexy again. That's at such a deep level, and nothing else can compare to it. So we need to start truly experiencing that kind of intimacy. So do what I said in this post. And take your time making love so that your body can respond properly. It may mean drawing it out for a long time until you start responding. But don't give up!

This isn't a problem that it going to be solved overnight. Think of it like physical therapy after an accident. You have to work at it consistently for a long time to retrain your body to act properly. That's what we need to: retrain our bodies to act properly, to the signals from our brains. It's going to take a while. But don't give up!

We live in an ugly world, and that world can wreak havoc with our emotions, our goals, our dreams, and even our sexuality. We have to fight it. Fill your homes with beautiful things. Make the messages in your life beautiful. And pray. You just may find that life really is beautiful again!Bookmark and Share

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 11:58 AM , Blogger Sommer said…

As much as I may feel awkward by reading your posts..I really appreciate them.



At 10:43 AM , Blogger BarbaraLee said…

The world does have this wrong picture of what families are about. T.v. shows that I grew up w/aren't the same. My children get embrassed when they see things like that but they are getting use to it. We try and keep the t.v. off.

I'll turn a mag. around if I see something indecent on it.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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