“You will never change the way a man behaves until you change the way he sees himself”
Robert King, Jr.
I’m often asked who or what made the difference in my life that enable me to break free from years of sexual dependency. There have been many men and women who’ve influence my life through loving me, teaching me, guiding me and challenging me. It would take 100 blogs to share how they have impacted my life. But one thing they all have in common is that they are lifelong learners. Now so am I.
The key isn’t how great a book is, or how timely of topic it is. They key was recognizing that if I truly wanted to break free, I had to be willing to learn. Not just to get me through this I struggled, but a willingness to be teachable all the time. Becoming a lifelong learner is both a belief and a lifestyle. Lifelong learners intentionally cultivate their curiosity. A curiosity that goes way beyond healthy manhood or overcoming sexual addiction. A deep desire to learn as much as I can about everything; life, love, relationships, history, faith, and art. Over the years I come to love learning from successful, influential leaders, but in their own words. Not just what they said, but how they lived.
So each month I’m going to share a few of the memorable books that have influenced my beliefs, my thoughts, my feeling and my behavior. These are some of what I call “mentor authors”. Men and women who words and wisdom have made and are making a significant difference in my life.
The 5 Love Languages: Men’s Edition
By Gary Chapman
When a man reads a book about love languages, it helps when the book speaks his language. Dr. Gary Chapman gears this edition of his multi-million seller to the needs, challenges, and interests of husbands. How do you learn her language? How can you let her know what you’re feeling? What are the secrets to making sex more meaningful and pleasurable for both of you? Every chapter features ten practical ways you can express each love language to the woman in your life, and a simple quiz will help you see what her love language is. Men enjoy the straightforward approach, and couples enjoy the transformation in the relationship.
The Five Love Languages Minute Devotional
By Gary Chapman
If you’re dating, married, or engaged, this one-year devotional will help you identify and learn to speak your loved one’s language. As you progress through the readings, you’ll begin building the foundation of any good marriage – communication, respect, unconditional love, and forgiveness. Each day’s devotion has a selection from Scripture, an insightful message about communicating love, and a prayer.
Learning About Love and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Together
What does it take to build a marriage that will last? Tony and Lauren Dungy have together known the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They fell in love, built a family, and made sports history when Tony became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl. Yet they’ve also gone through difficult, relationship-testing setbacks, including job loss and devastating personal tragedy. In a culture where it seems harder and harder to make marriage last, what has kept the Dungys strong through it all? In Uncommon Marriage, Tony and Lauren share the secrets that hold them together, revealing what they’ve learned so far about being a good husband or wife; getting through times of loss, grief, or change; staying connected despite busy schedules; supporting each other’s dreams and goals; and helping each other grow spiritually. They offer encouragement and practical advice to equip your marriage to survive tough issues and flourish with joy, purpose, and partnership—in other words, to be a marriage that is truly uncommon.
For Men Only
Finally—You Can Understand Her!
Women: complicated and impossible to understand? Do you love and want to please the woman in your life, but just can’t seem to figure her out? That was before For Men Only. Now at your fingertips is the tool that will unlock the secret to her mysterious ways. Through hundreds of interviews and the results of a scientific national survey of women, this book demonstrates that women are actually not random and that they really can be systematized and “mapped.” In fact, much to men’s delight, this book shows that women are actually quite easy to understand and please—as long as you know what it is they need. This simple map will guide you to loving your wife or girlfriend in the way she needs to be loved.
Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood
by Dennis Rainey
Each of us face decisions and stages in life that demand courage. Big or little, complex or straightforward, these
choices let’s call them battles matter a great deal.
In the new book Stepping Up by Dennis Rainey, he identifies five stages of a man’s journey through life boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mentor, and patriarch and examines a man’s responsibilities at each step.
Each of us face decisions and stages in life that demand courage. Big or little, complex or straightforward, these choices let’s call them battles matter a great deal.
In the new book Stepping Up by Dennis Rainey, he identifies five stages of a man’s journey through life boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mentor, and patriarch and examines a man’s responsibilities at each step. He calls men to seize the moment and take action, stepping up to responsibility and inspiring others in the process. It’s about embracing courage, rejecting both passivity and cowardice.
Breaking the Cycle
by George N. Collins
Sex addicts live with a compulsion they just can’t shake—an inner voice that compels them to seek pornography, pursue sexual encounters with strangers, and do everything they can to gratify the sexual urges that won’t go away. But people with sex addictions can learn to enjoy lives of productivity and purpose and develop true intimate connections with others. Breaking the Cycle helps readers learn to identify the triggers and compulsive thoughts that keep them trapped in the cycle of addiction and offers skills for countering those thoughts instead of simply caving to them. By drawing on their deepest values and ideals, readers find the strength to separate their true selves from their obsessive thoughts. Gradually, using proven techniques, readers develop resistance to their former triggers and have sex addict behavior, and then the addictive thoughts themselves, a thing of the past.
HIGH FIVE: Love Never Fails
By Ron, Catherine & Brandon Tijerina
High Five: Love Never Fails is both an engaging narrative and a blueprint for family success. The book begins with the Tijerina family sharing how they beat impossible odds to not only survive but thrive. Next, the authors- Ron, Catherine, and Brandon Tijerina- compellingly share the 5 principles that enabled them to overcome these unimaginable obstacles in order to help their readers build strong, resilient families like theirs
When to say YES, When to say NO; to take control of your life.
Boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, addresses specific issues that confront today’s families. Issues such as:
– Living a life out of control
– Having people take advantage of us
– Having trouble saying no
A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. They impact all areas of our lives:
Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances.
Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions.
Emotional boundaries help us deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle, isn’t it? Often, we focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations.
Changes That Heal
By Henry Cloud
Changes That Heal How to understand your past to ensure a healthier future.
Christians are suffering from a whole range of emotional problems: anxiety, loneliness, grief over broken relationships, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.
Often they have been struggling with those problems for years. They are people in ‘Changes That Heal’ teaches that there are biblical solutions for your struggles with depression, anxiety, panic, addictions, and guilt, and that these solutions lie in your understanding certain basic developmental tasks. These tasks involve growing up into the ‘likeness’ of the one who created you.
Dr. Cloud in this book has identified four aspects of the personality of God that, if we would cultivate them, would greatly improve our day-to-day functioning. God is able to do four things that we, his children, have difficulty doing:
-Bond with others.
-Separate from others.
-Sort out issues of good and bad
-Take charge as an adult.
Dr. Cloud goes on to say that because we live in a fallen world, we all have deficits in all four areas. Transforming the effects of the fall and growing in the image of God is not an easy task. But God has promised that the ‘good work’ he began in us, He will carry ‘on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 1:6).
I hope today’s blog has encouraged you. Make sure you sign up to receive blogs posted every Tuesday and Thursday. TransformingFamilies.org resources are designed to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the man God created you to be.
I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed man.