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UGST SYMPOSIUM 2008

(Presented at UGST Symp. 2008 by Carol Clemans)

COUNSELING TRACK

SUBJECT:  SEXUALITY IN THE CHURCH

By:  Carol P. Clemans, Certified Pastoral Counselor

Life Enrichment Ministries Inc. (501c3)

Em: carol@carolclemans.org

Ph: (636) 448-0121

www.carolclemans.org (Teaching CD’s available)

For this setting, I will approach the subject of sexuality in the church from Biblical truths (that I have taught over forty years) and the sexual dysfunctions (sins) that I have had to address in counseling over the past sixteen years. The subject of sex within the church is close to being a taboo subject.  We seem to ‘pretend’ that since we have the Holy Ghost we are not sexual beings.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.

God created sex – not Hollywood.  Satan has taken the gift that God gave to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage and has destroyed the sanctity of sexuality.

Because of this, the church seems to shun away from sexual issues healthy or unhealthy.

In the following, I will attempt to address all the sexual issues that I deal with in my counseling ministry and share short responses to the God based solution to each.

PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING:

Because very few churches have a person on staff trained how to give in-depth pre-marital counseling, most couples marry without an understanding that how they were raised and the marriage or divorce of their parents (or non-marriage) will tremendously impact their conduct in their own marriage.

Most of the couple counseling I do stems from problems in childhood, pre-marital sex and dysfunctions in families of origin that are carried into the marital relationship. The lack of having God centered parents who love God first, then their spouse, and then the children in a Holy Ghost controlled manner leaves the child who is now the adult not having a clue what a God centered marriage should be.

If a person is a sexual abuse survivor from childhood and they never have dealt with this painful experience, they bring this emotional damage in to the marriage. Trying to ‘forget’ the past does not work. Saying, “I’ve forgiven my abuser” does not mean that the emotions connected to this experience have been processed and healed. This also brings a major distortion of sex into the marriage.

Another major issue is that 100% of couples pre-marital or married that I have asked, “Have you read a Bible based book on God’s gift of sex in marriage?” –  the answer, “No!” In this day of Bible based written material that is available, I have been surprised that the desire to seek knowledge about the most intimate part of marriage is not sought after.

In recent years, I also ask in pre-marital counseling, “Are you sexually active now?” It usually shocks them, but sadly I’m getting “Yes” answers.  I ask them to commit to God from that day forward until marriage to abstain from sex until their marriage. I also ask them to ask God and each other for forgiveness. Then they must set new boundaries within their relationship to prevent sexual activity.

I’ve counseled several young couples that had sex before marriage. Some of them got married because they became pregnant (this is not a good reason for marriage). Now, two to three years into the marriage there is much anger, guilt and they do not feel they love one another. Pre-marital sex always brings many problems in to the marriage. Couples who have pre-marital have a higher divorce rate.

SOLUTION:

One way to provide healthy pre-marital counseling is to have the pastor choose one or more older spiritually stable couples in the church that may have a desire to learn how to give pre-marital counseling. They can become certified by PREPARE/ENRICH to be a facilitator to provide an inventory for a couple on varied subjects to use as a tool in pre-marital counseling. This can be done through http://www.prepare-enrich.com.

The couples in training need to read books on pre-marital counseling:

SAVING YOUR MARRIAGE BEFORE IT STARTS by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, BEFORE YOU SAY ‘I DO’ by Dr. H. Norman Wright. Check out the most current books from a God-base at Focus on the Family (www.family.org) and www.christianbook.com

put in ‘pre-marital’ counseling.

This training couple should also read books like: HEALING FOR DAMAGED EMOTIONS by David Seamands, THE DOOR OF HOPE by Jan Frank (recovery from sexual abuse) and THE WOUNDED HEART by Dan Allender.

Pre-marital counseling should be a mandate in the church.  This was done in the majority of churches of all faiths in Modesto, CA several years ago and over a period of time it reduced the divorce statistics by over 50% of all new marriages in that city. The churches came into an agreement that no one could be married in their churches unless they had pre-marital counseling.

Each pre-marital couple needs to be required to read books and do the workbooks on the pre-marital issues. This is the basis of the pre-marital counseling.  They bring their workbooks to each counseling session (recommend six to eight sessions minimum) and discuss what they are learning about themselves and marriage. When I do pre-marital counseling, I go through the family history and help them understand how relationship patterns can be repeated whether they are healthy or unhealthy. I also stress their individual personal relationship with God.  Do they have daily time with God?  God does need to be the most important partner in their marriage. Sadly, it’s not the common example to find in the church.

All pre-marital couples should read INTENDED FOR PLEASURE by Dr. Ed Wheat about one week before the marriage. It explains God’s design for sexual intimacy within marriage and answers all physiological questions that any couple would have. It gives honor to the sacred gift of sex from God within the boundaries of marriage.

MARITAL SEXUAL INTIMACY (PASSION):

Marital sexual intimacy (passion) may not be fulfilling within marriage. Sexual abuse, pre-marital sexual experiences, dysfunctional upbringing and not being knowledgeable how a husband and wife relate to sex differently are some of the problems that interfere with healthy sexual intimacy in marriage.

For most husbands, the definition of intimacy is to have sex. As soon as he ‘thinks’ about sex, he is ready to enjoy it. Intimacy to most wives is defined by being spiritually and emotionally connected to her husband. When the wife feels spiritually and emotionally connected, she is much more open to full enjoyment of sexual intimacy.

All the pieces of the wife’s ‘marital pie’ must be healthy and then she is willing to respond to passion in the marriage.  Dr. Kevin Leaman says, “Husbands are like microwave ovens (instant) and wives are like crock pots (need to be warmed up).” If a couple does not understand how they are mentally wired so differently (the brain being the largest sex organ), they will definitely have problems in the passion department. I recommend  Dr. Kevin Leaman’s book SEX BEGINS IN THE KITCHEN.

SOLUTION:

I teach marriage seminars nationwide. One of the first issues I teach is about the healthy marital triangle:

The bottom line of the triangle is COMMITMENT = To God and to each other.

The left upward line of triangle is: INTIMACY = Spiritually/Emotionally.

The right upward line of triangle is: PASSION = Physical intimacy – sacred in the sight of God.

As we look at the triangle we recognize that COMMITMENT has to be the foundation of a marriage.  We totally commit our lives to God so He can be in total control of every aspect of our relationship.  We also must totally commit to our spouse – allowing the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5: 22 – 23 to be active in our lives. If we want love, joy and peace, we must commit to being longsuffering, kind, good, faithful, gentle and have self-control.

The left side of the triangle is learning how SPIRITUAL and EMOTIONAL intimacy makes PASSION (the right side of the triangle) happen to complete the most sacred experience within the marriage. SPIRITUAL INTIMACY is a couple spending time reading scripture together and praying – sharing Godly insights with each other. Even being involved in a ministry together creates intimacy between a husband and wife.

EMOTIONAL INTIMACY is absolutely imperative to draw couples closer in every way. A wife needs to feel reassured that her husband wants to know what she is thinking and feeling. This translates to ‘love’ for her. She needs to know that he desires to help her become all that she can be. A husband needs to feel respected. This will only happen when spouses sit down together and share their feelings with each other about God, family and what is important to each of them.

The husband needs to understand that he is the ‘god-like’ representative in the home to his wife and children. He is to be the pastor/priest of the home. Not as a dictator, but as a servant-leader.

There needs to be an understanding that submission is a willingness on both spouses to ‘submit one to another in the fear of the Lord.’ (Ephs. 5:21).  (I’m writing my book on marriage now including the Biblical mandate of submission and servanthood for both husband and wife – yes, they have different roles – but both spouses must be willing to be submissive to God first and to each other).

When the truths of this triangle are put in place it makes the right side of the triangle – PASSION – flow beautifully within marriage.  I also recommend that all married couples read INTENDED FOR PLEASURE by Dr. Ed Wheat.

MARITAL INFIDELITY:

Marital infidelity happens when the triangle described above either never existed in the marriage or was allowed to disintegrate.  If a spouse feels intimate spiritually, emotionally and physically (passionately) with their husband or wife, there will not be marital infidelity.

Marital infidelity’s root cause is SELFISHNESS (the same sin that caused Lucifer to be cast out of heaven). First, there will be a loss of God centeredness within the individual and then in the marriage. All the couples that I have counseled that ended with infidelity happened because of the selfishness of the offending spouse. The person who chooses to commit adultery does it for his or her own selfishness that includes ego – “It makes me feel good”.  It is not to benefit their spouse.

A very repented adulterous husband that I have counseled said to me after I shared the triangle of intimacy and the importance of keeping God the center of the marriage,   “Now I can see what led up to my affair. About five years previously, we both pulled away from God in doing things that we knew were not good. That does not excuse my affair. But now I can see how it opened the door for me to commit adultery when the temptation came. We had lost our spiritual and emotional intimacy.”

Affairs also happen by a spouse being attracted to someone outside of the marriage who starts showing special attention to them. This can happen on the job, in the church or in the neighborhood. Many adulterous affairs start through Internet connection with a new person or with an old childhood schoolmate. Usually when this happens, you can look at the offending spouse’s life previous to the affair and find there is a strain of selfishness in that spouse throughout their entire marriage.

SOLUTION:

Teaching God’s design for marriage can strengthen marriages. God must be the center of everything. The husband must understand his role as priest/pastor of his marriage and family.  According to Ephesians 5, the husband is to love as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Women are responders. When her own husband treats a wife with love, kindness and concern for her welfare, she can’t resist that kind of man.

There must be a hedge of protection placed around the marriage. Both spouses must be sure that they never have emotional intimacy with anyone of the opposite sex other than their spouse. Personal emailing, phone calling, having lunch with or being alone with the opposite sex are total taboos. Being willing to set these standards of protective conduct within the ministry and or business is necessary. Refuse to be in a closed door meeting with a person of the opposite sex. Do not ride to a meeting, etc. with someone from the opposite sex. It is highly recommended that every man (including in ministry) needs an accountable person who can ask the tough questions about conduct.

Adultery is breaking trust in the worst possible way with a spouse.  When you take the most private sacred part of marriage and share it with another person, the emotional pain is indescribable. Even if there is true repentance and asking forgiveness by the offending spouse, the broken trust factor can take two years or longer with consistent loving, caring conduct before trust starts to be rebuilt in the marriage. The church needs to understand that restoring an adulterous marriage does not happen overnight. We must be careful not to quickly judge others in how they ‘must’ accept the offending spouse back into the relationship.  There needs to be accountability and healthy counseling.

To prevent adultery, marriage is work, work, and more work.  Keeping a marriage alive and growing takes time and energy.  God must be first and spouse second. The couple must be willing to continue to learn and grow. Reading God-based books on marriage is a must. Having dates should be a priority. Showing appreciation even in the small things spells love.

It would be wonderful for a pastor to assign books to couples in the church to read. Have discussion groups. I recommend the book, BENEATH THE SURFACE by Bob Reccord and MARRIAGE ON THE ROCK by Jimmy Evans.

SEXUAL PURITY FOR ALL AGES:  (2 pk CD available – a two hour discussion between Carol Clemans and Todd Gaddy)

Teens, older singles and adults in the church are having sex outside the boundaries of marriage. They are having oral sex that is the new ‘Christian sex.’  Casual sex is called ‘friends benefits.’ Now it’s OK to ‘hook-up’ with someone without emotional attachment – that is what a couple agrees too – but it is not true.  Yes, this is happening in the church (or I should say by people who attend our churches). It is creating a generation of church attendees who are hypocrites. This is also destroying the testimony of being a Christian.  As a pastoral counselor, I deal with these issues.

One unlicensed youth pastor has a reputation of having more than one young woman at a time talked in to (even ridiculed in to) giving him oral sex and saying there is nothing wrong with it because it is not intercourse!  I state firmly that doing anything with the sexual parts of the body is having sex! After sharing this with me in a counseling session, these two young women (who overheard each other talking about the same man) decided they did not want him confronted because they were ashamed of what they had done. He calls the women on his cell phone and asks them to take pictures of themselves partially clothed and send them to him! (It’s called sexting!) This minister is in his 30’s and is leading singles conferences! This is called SIN! It is also called sexual addiction!

The emotional damage that fornication is causing including oral sex is devastating.  Every person who has sex is having sex with every person his or her partner has had sex with.  This is a medical fact. God said when two come together they are ‘one flesh.’ There is a greater dimension to this than what we first may think.  Every time a person has sex with another, then separates and goes to another person, they are leaving a part of themselves – fragmenting themselves piece by piece – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Especially for females, there cannot be continual sex partners without having emotional attachment problems. Every time a couple becomes sexually involved at any level before marriage and then split up, they have set the stage for the rest of their life for divorce and unhappiness because they have practiced ‘mini’ divorces through multiple sexual unions and breakups.

We are not even addressing the physical problems such as cervical cancer being at a much higher rate for women who have multiple sex partners, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, etc. – all in the church.

SOLUTION:

“THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE.”  There needs to be teaching of the Word of God. Where is the preaching of the cross?  Where is the preaching of how God loved us so much that He died a horrible painful death on a cruel cross for our salvation?  Where is the teaching that we have value as a child of God and must FLEE sexual temptation? Where is the preaching of Romans 12: 1 & 2 about presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service and being transformed by the renewing of our mind? Where is the teaching that my body does not belong to me, but belongs to the Lord – I Cor. 6th chapter? We are to glorify God in our BODIES!

Young people DO NOT need more programs and entertainment.  They need to be taught the Word of God and be taught how to study the Word of God. I’ve read articles in Christian magazines over this past year that say young people want the Word.  They want to know there is absolute truth and want role models who live a life of purity!

As a church, we must start talking about SEX in a healthy way. Our parents need to be involved in education and training so they can talk about all aspects of sex without embarrassment. We need to teach our young people to respect themselves – they are a holy vessel filled with the Holy Ghost that is the temple (house) of God!!! If they really believe they are the house of God – He lives inside, would they strip naked and allow oral sex??????????  Sexual purity has to start in the heart! We are to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength!! We cannot turn our bodies over to prostitution!!!!!

It’s not enough to have a one-time sexual purity meeting.  It needs to be a continual teaching and setting up accountability among our people.  Satan has landed with ‘all fours’ into the church with every sexual sin and he is laughing at us.

Check out www.family.org and www.christianbook.com. Both sights have several books on teaching children about sex at all age levels. Please do not allow the ‘outward’ holy look or actions keep us from understanding that the sexual sins are happening in the church. Paul talked very straightforward in his letters to the Corinthian church about their sexual activity.  We need to do the same. When young people deeply understand how valuable they are in the sight of God and how much He loves them, it will strengthen them to make right choices.  I advocate the saying, ‘NO TOUCH FROM THE NECK TO THE KNEES!” Young people need to be encouraged to set dating standards before they start dating.  It should be a subject that is talked about in the church with parents and teens. When a couple exclusively date before they are ready to marry and spend much time alone, sexual activity is inevitable! Couples involved in dating sex tell me that once they started having sex, then the relationship started to disintegrate because everything centered on when and where they would have sex next instead of developing the relationship with a God-centeredness. Suggested reading: I’VE KISSED DATING GOODBYE by Joshua Harris, SEXUAL REVOLUTION at www.edyoung.com & TEACHING TRUE LOVE TO A SEX-AT-13 GENERATION The Ultimate Guide for Parents by Eric & Leslie Ludy.

Dr. Tony Evans shares in his book TONY EVANS SPEAKS OUT ON SEXUAL PURITY that when he first asked his ‘wife-to-be’ out on a date, she let him know immediately that there would be no sexual activity of any kind.  He says that right then is when he decided he wanted her to be his future wife.

Psalm 119: 9, 11, 16 (NLT) says, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules. – I have hidden your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – I will delight in your principles and not forget your word.”

Josh McDowell says, “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.”  Many people who are coming to church do not have a vital alive relationship with God. It’s called a God consciousness in everything that we do!

PORNOGRAPHY (SEXUAL ADDICTION):

Focus on the Family says that approximately 60% of pastors across America view on occasion or are addicted to pornography. Several pastors have told me that they feel many men in their churches are viewing pornography. In the past two years, calls for counseling to receive help from pornography addiction have increased greatly.

The experts say that it is the most destructive addiction even above any drug that is available. Porn degrades and devalues women making them objects instead of real people. It creates a false expectation as to how the average woman looks and performs sexually. For some to become addicted to porn, it will take only one 20 minute exposure. Many men became addicted in their childhood when they discovered someone’s porn magazine.  Now the Internet delivers it in to the home, the pastor’s office, etc.

Someone who spends time viewing porn usually begins to act out on self and destroys his/her ability to have healthy emotional relationships with those close to them. Porn addiction destroys marriages. The addiction can lead to self-exposing to others (one young man did and was arrested). Porn addiction can lead to sexual abuse, fornication and adultery. What is viewed, especially while having ‘sex with self’, is branded or implanted on the visual part of the brain. There is a ‘chemically’ induced high that takes place in the brain. The images then invade the person’s thoughts almost constantly.  They do not even need to view new porn to be ‘driven’ to act out. The desire for this chemical high (self-induced drug addiction) becomes greater and greater.

One young man addicted since 11 years old viewing same-sex porn on the computer, at 19 years old (has received the Holy Ghost) and still living at home, called a stranger and invited him into his parents’ home while they were at work and had his first same-sex experience. After being caught, he then calls another person and meets this total stranger in a hotel room for sex. He never considered his personal safety or his family’s personal boundaries.

SOLUTION:

The American Association of Christian Counselors (aacc.net) has a DVD counseling course on SEXUAL ADDICTION RECOVERY. I’ve completed this course and I have recommended it to pastors to purchase and share with the church.

Because we are sexual beings, sexual addiction recovery is a life-long process. Everyone I’ve counseled tells me that the temptation is as close as a thought, or closing the eyes and seeing all the images implanted in the brain. There has to be a ‘deep-down’ commitment and determination that this sexual addiction will no longer control personal actions.

A total repentance and a ‘turning around’ in their conduct and every area of their life must take place.  There has to be an accountable person in their life and a total openness regarding their conduct. There has to be discipline and taking ownership of renewing their relationship with God at a much deeper level. Again the Word of God, prayer, being transformed by the renewing of the mind and receiving Bible-based counseling are all a part of the recovery process. Cultivate strong spiritual friends.

Drastic changes need to be made in the ‘routine’ of what leads them to viewing pornography. They may have to get rid of a computer or have it available only when someone else is in the room for accountability. A cell phone can be the culprit. Driving a certain route to work, etc. Make a covenant with your eyes – why should I look upon porn? – Job 31:1.  Verse four – “Does not He (GOD) see my ways, and count all my steps?”

I’ve challenged counselees about the time they have spent with their sexual addiction per day. Some have shared they viewed pornography up to four or more hours per day. I know if they put that same time and effort in the recovery process they will maintain victory over sinful thoughts and actions.

Recommended reading: BREAKING FREE Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus by Russell Willingham. Find additional current Bible-based recovery books at www.family.org, www.christianbook.com & www.pureintimancy.org.

HOMOSEXUALITY:

This is a ‘touchy’ subject in the church. I know from my counseling experience that many people sitting on our pews have these tendencies and are ‘scared to death’ to reveal the struggle they have. Unfortunately, the church seems to make some sins greater than others. We seem to ‘fear’ homosexuality.

We as ‘helpers’ need to become as educated as possible from a Christian perspective. There is not one underlining cause for these tendencies. As shared above, same-sex porn caused a 19 year old to make sinful decisions to have this sexual experience. That does not make him a homosexual. Because of his eight years of viewing the same-sex porn, he is mentally addicted to that thought pattern and desires to experience it.

Unhealthy same-sex parenting, sexual abuse in childhood and addiction to pornography are a few of the reasons some experts feel that creates the desire for the homosexual lifestyle. I’ve been told that ‘it’s not about sex’ meaning it’s the feeling of being understood emotionally. I’ve also been told it was strictly ‘by choice’ finding enjoyment in other activities with similar interests. The bottom line is that acting out, as a homosexual is the SEXUAL SIN.

SOLUTION:

The first step to healing and recovery is to stop acting out in the sexual sin. If there is never an attraction to the opposite sex, this does not give a believer permission to be actively ‘gay.’ I’ve told more than one person, “We must have air, food and water to remain alive, but we do not have to have sex.”  Come out from among them and be ye separate.

With any sexual sin or addiction, the missing link is that God is not the center of the person’s life and/or there are emotional wounds that need healing. These are some of the reasons that the sexual sin or addiction started in the first place. There is usually a major distortion of the person’s thinking about their life’s experiences. They go to the ‘crutch’ instead of the Cross.

We do not just live with the facts of our lives, but we live with our own interpretation about those facts.  The healing process happens when a person looks at the facts of their life through God’s interpretation. Negative self-thoughts are usually a major hurdle to overcome. If there was sexual abuse or unhealthy parenting in childhood, the negative degrading self-talk (fed by Satan) will have been active for many years. It takes the application of the Word of God – ‘here a little, there a little, line upon line and precept upon precept’ – that must be applied with love, mercy and compassion to the person who feels so condemned that they lose hope for change.

Focus on the Family has a program “Love Won Out” – www.lovewonout.com. We need knowledge from a God-base to help heal, restore and create an atmosphere of safety for those struggling with same-sex attraction. Pornography and sexual abuse can also create sexual identity confusion.

SEXUAL ABUSE:

Today, one in three females and one in four males have been sexually abused (that’s reported cases). I would ‘guess-timate’ that 80 – 85% of people that I have counseled had sexual abuse in their past – that is in the church. Sexual abuse emotional damage can range from severe to less severe. Sexual abuse robs the innocence of a child. It creates total confusion emotionally and relationally. Usually the perpetrator is a family member – often the father, stepfather, older sibling, grandfather or family friend.  The child (now adult) has no concept of the ability for personal boundaries. Every personal right of the child has been stripped away. They usually sense that something is wrong with this conduct, but it may create pleasant bodily sensations they do not begin to understand or it could be extremely painful.

One of the first cases I counseled was a woman who was saved in her mid-forties. Between the ages of five to eight years old, her grandfather took her to a remote barn in their community. Along with about 20 other little girls and their abusers, she was sexually abused in satanic rituals. She even remembered the death of a little girl and confirmed this by contacting the authorities in that city while I was counseling with her. She had been in secular counseling for eight years mandated by court. After she counseled with me for six months (under the supervision in my practicum), her secular counselor asked about that ‘counselor at the church’ because she observed a great improvement in the counselee. The counselee and I both knew it was because she was learning what God’s truth was about her life and she was in the process of being set free!

Another sexual abuse counselee (now in mid-thirties) had been abused by her father who was a board member in a church. The abuse took place from the time she could remember until she told a friend at age 16. The friend told the Christian schoolteacher. The girl was asked if her father had touched her inappropriately. She responded yes and her father was taken off the church board, but the case was not reported. Now in her mid-thirties, her father had attempted to expose himself to her young daughter. She also found out that her father had sexually abused her niece and others. This time he was reported to the law, but no one pressed charges.

Both of these women had suffered tremendous emotional and physical trauma. They both had unhealthy adult relationships that were abusive. Sexual abuse creates a distorted God-concept. Where was God?  Why did God allow me to be abused? Even though both had a salvation experience, they felt distant from the Lord.

Most sexual abuse victims feel like they are ‘damaged goods.’ They feel worthless, helpless, hopeless, etc. Their negative self-talk is one of their biggest obstacles in emotional healing.

SOLUTION: (Recovery Process)

Emotional healing is a process.  There are some in the church who believe that we just need to pray a prayer of forgiveness and all the pain will be gone, but this is not true. Yes, forgiveness is a major part of the healing, but it does not happen in an instant.

Every person is unique in the recovery process. I encourage ‘homework’ of reading Bible based recovery books (listed above in the ‘solution’ part of the ‘pre-marital’ section). I encourage the counselee to ‘clean out their VAT’ – the ‘invisible organ’ we have within us that contains everything that has ever happened to us healthy or unhealthy. I encourage journaling as part of the healing process – be gut honest with God.

We do not just live with the facts of our lives, but we live with our own interpretation about those facts. Emotional healing happens when we are able to take ownership of God’s interpretation about the facts of our lives.  When we KNOW the truth, God’s truth will set us free. John 8:31 – 32 (AMP), says, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed.  And you shall KNOW (to perceive, understand, recognize, gain knowledge, realize, come to know.  This knowledge has inception, a progress, and an attainment. It is the recognition of truth by personal experience) the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Helping a person understand that through the power of forgiveness they no longer have to allow the pain of their past to define who they are today or control their emotions today is a wonderful emotional and spiritual journey.

Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. We can only forgive the pain that others cause us – only God can forgive the sin.  This approach to forgiveness is much easier to process. Forgiveness is not about excusing the abuser. Forgiveness is about giving the pain of the past into the hands of the Lord and being set free from the bondage of unforgiveness. God is our avenger. If the perpetrator of the pain refuses to admit their guilt, healing is still possible through the power of forgiveness and allowing God to be the avenger.

IN CONCLUSION:

Even though this is a lengthy presentation, it’s impossible to cover each subject thoroughly. These are the sexual issues that I have had to counsel in the church with a short solution synopsis for each.

© Carol Clemans – November 2008

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WALKING IN THE WORD!

Carol Clemans

Would you be interested in a website that would offer ‘live’ teaching from the Word of God on marriage, family, parenting, healing from abuse, sexual purity, spiritual growth, etc.? If so, email me at carol@carolclemans.org.

We have recently moved to Colorado and are part of the Johnstown church Pastored by Dieter Skowron.  They asked me to teach a six-week series on Marriage & Family. The pastor’s wife, Kim, came to the first two classes and was deeply touched by the Godly wisdom I was sharing from my lifetime of experience in God and education.  Pastor Skowron emailed me and said, “Your class so moved my wife that she has made all our children promise to come as well as myself.  She was moved to tears at your wisdom.”  As I read his note, it moved me to tears. They have two married children and a teen at home. Pastor Skowron is a Word preacher you can hear on www.altonline.org.

God blessed me with a godly heritage of parents baptized in the Holy Ghost in 1925 and lived the Word as well as taught it. I’ve been teaching the Word for over 40 years. After graduating from the Institute of Christian Counseling in 1992 (a 2-year college accredited program), I was a pastoral counselor for Pastor Kenneth Haney in Stockton, CA for 10 years and taught six years at Christian Life College. I’ve taught seminars and counseled for pastors nationwide for total of 17 years. I’ve posted many of my articles on www.carolclemans.org. It’s a blessing to see God bring healing into people’s lives by His Truth. If you want to know when the ‘live’ website teaching is available, please send me an email. Let’s keep learning and growing in God together.

Note: Carol Clemans is founder of Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. (501c3). Pastors Dan Batchelor and Todd Gaddy are on LEM Bd of Dirs. Carol teaches seminars for churches nationwide and provides phone & web cam counseling nationwide (636) 448-0121. Go to: www.carolclemans.org for bio and teaching CD’s.

© Carol Clemans – October 2009

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Our ministry exists to help others grow spiritually, emotionally and relationally by teaching, counseling and writing the truth from God’s Word. When we know His truth we can be set free!
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