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Types of Sex All Couples Should Have

All Pro Dad | November 28, 2018

This post was written by one of our female writers on our iMOM platform. Use it to have an open and honest discussion with your wife to hopefully improve intimacy.

Early in our marriage, my husband and I didn’t give much thought to the types of sex all couples should have. Within a few years, though, he was assigned a work shift of 4 pm to midnight, which easily could have taken a huge toll on our intimacy. The odd work shift challenged us to get really good at planning sex. He eventually moved back to a day shift, but planned sex is still a vital aspect of our lovemaking.

There are types of sex all couples should have if they want to not only navigate the journey of marriage but also enjoy it. Here are 5 types of sex all couples should have.

Planned Sex

When it comes to the types of sex all couples should have, not too many people have a positive outlook on planned sex. We tend to think that if we schedule it, then it will lack the romance we associate with good lovemaking. That mindset, though, could be hurting sexual intimacy in your marriage.

A better truth to embrace is that many of the best moments in our lives are planned. Vacations. Lunch dates with friends. Birthday celebrations. Holiday gatherings. Maybe a better word would be intentional. When you and your wife intentionally set aside time to make love, you are saying with your words and actions sex is a priority. With the chaotic schedules many of us face on any given day, if we aren’t planning at least some of our sexual encounters, we’re probably not having much sex.

With the chaotic schedules many of us face on any given day, if we aren’t planning at least some of our sexual encounters, we’re probably not having much sex.
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Spontaneous Sex

Yes, I just was singing the praises of planned sex, but couples also should be having spontaneous sex! When you and your wife make the most of the sexual opportunity windows that open with little notice, you keep the passion alive. Spontaneous sex is unscripted, sometimes quick and sometimes drawn out, but always powerful in reminding a couple of the freedom and fun found in sexual pleasure.

As for the types of sex all couples should have, spontaneous sex possibly is the one we should pursue the most. Doing so sets in place a healthy pattern of sexual oneness, the effects of which are profound to your overall relationship.

Stress-Relief Sex

I remember an evening when I pulled into the driveway after picking up my son from basketball practice, only to see two people trying to break in our basement door. They ran away, of course, and never did gain entry. Both my husband and I were shaken by the experience as we reflected on it later that night. Do you know what I wanted to do more than anything else in that moment of angst and uncertainty? I wanted to make love. Why? I needed the comfort and assurance of being in my husband’s arms to quell my anxious heart.

I’ve talked with enough couples to know that stress-relief sex is uniquely reassuring. It is a type of comfort only the two of you can give each other, which makes it even more tender and intimate. When life’s unpredictability and tragedy throw you off course, consider connecting sexually with your wife. Lovemaking releases endorphins and hormones that naturally help us sleep better and give us a better outlook on life. Often, the best thing you can do after a stressful day is have sex.

Selfless Sex

Sometimes you have to take one for the team. Calling this team sex seemed inappropriate, so let’s go with selfless sex. There are times when you don’t feel like having sex, but you should consider it because you and your wife are a team. It’s not that you can’t say “no,” because marriage should be a place of grace where you can decline sex for legitimate reasons. Is your desire to say “no” rooted in a legitimate reason? If not, then consider how beneficial it could be to make love to your wife. The key to this is to respond to her initiation kindly, rather than begrudgingly. Ask her to do the same when you want to have sex, but she isn’t in the mood.

Adventurous Sex

All couples should have sex that is occasionally adventurous. Adventurous can mean anything from trying a new position or touch to drawing out foreplay to having sex someplace other than your bed. As long as you are maintaining exclusivity and privacy, you have tremendous freedom to find new ways to sexually please each other.

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4 Ways to Overcome Wounds from Your Father

Joe Martin | November 27, 2018

I have a confession. Most of my adult life, I hated men. Why? Because growing up in the projects of Miami as the son of a teenage mother, I lived in a community where I never saw one boy with his dad. I know that sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. How is that possible? Look no further than my own home. My own father left us when I was only 2 years old, so I became part of a dysfunctional community picture that didn’t make any sense to me as a boy. My father’s absence didn’t just leave a space in our home, it left a hole in my heart that all of my friends, unfortunately, could relate to. Most of us tried to fill our dad-sized holes with anything we could find to hide the pain; but I didn’t know we would carry those “man holes” into manhood.

After a porn addiction, a divorce, and multiple affairs, I realize now that I could never fully grasp God’s love as a Father until I was willing to let go of the old wounds of my own father. And with the help of my faith, family, and friends, I was able to overcome those wounds in 4 simple, but not easy steps.

1. Acknowledge the wound

In addition to my father’s abandonment, another man in my family sexually abused me as a child. So, I had to be honest with myself about the wounds these men caused.

In my twenties, I lived in a state of denial. I didn’t want to admit the wounds even existed. And like most men, when we refuse to acknowledge our old wounds, we suppress our emotions by either isolating, sedating, or overcompensating; I did all three. It wasn’t until I acknowledged the wound that I began to heal from it.

2. Express the wound

It’s one thing to acknowledge your feelings of hurt, anger, fear, or shame; it’s another to verbally express it.

I didn’t express the anger from my father’s abandonment and the shame of a family member’s abuse until I was in my thirties. I didn’t know that two decades of silence would cost me more than the abandonment and the abuse ever did. But when I was finally able to put my emotions into words, that’s when my old wounds started to heal.

3. Share the wound

It took me until I was in my forties to realize that a man is only as strong as the number of stronger men he has on his team.

As I was watching a football game this past weekend, I noticed that whenever a player got injured on the field, a teammate would immediately come alongside him to either help him stand up or ask another teammate to help carry him to the sideline. We’ve wounded at one time or another, but no man should ever hurt alone. I started to heal once I expressed my wound, but I got stronger when I started sharing my old wounds with other men.

4. Release the wound

How do you forget the wounds of a father who may have abandoned, abused, angered, rejected, ignored, discouraged, or failed to affirm you? You don’t. You don’t have to forget it; you just have to forgive them and release it.

You don’t have to forget it; you just have to forgive them and release it.
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Forgiving my father and the man who abused me was one of the toughest things I ever had to do until I realized that forgiveness is not something you give to others, it’s a gift from God that you give to yourself. By forgiving my offenders, I no longer had to live in my self-manufactured prison of anger, bitterness, resentment, and distrust (of men). Forgiving them was me choosing to release myself to love others freely.

Acknowledging, expressing, sharing, and releasing my wound allowed me to receive God’s love to heal from it.

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7 Manly Qualities Your Son Won’t Learn Playing Video Games or Watching News

Derek Maul | November 26, 2018

The latest data suggests that teenage boys are spending more time than ever playing video games. A corollary truth is that every hour spent gaming is one less hour engaged in relationship building with real people in real time. When it comes to learning manly definition and qualities, dads seriously need to be deep in the conversation.

Dads may not be able to follow their kids to school every day or turn into an avatar to stalk them online. But we can be more intentional about investing the time we do have to teach what it really means to be “manly” and to counter the destructive messages perpetuated on screen and in the incessant news cycle. Here are 7 “manly” qualities your son won’t learn playing video games or watching the news.

But we can be more intentional about investing the time we do have to teach what it really means to be manly.
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1. Dependability

Whatever your son’s age, help him pick a responsibility that requires daily attention. Not for himself but for the family, or someone else (walks dog… takes out the garbage… make coffee… lock the doors…) Then, teach him how to follow through. “This is what men do, son. Men keep their commitments.”

2. Kindness

Show this via constant example and deliberate practice. Teach him to be the kid who demonstrates compassion and treats others tenderly. Tell him, “Kindness is a special quality of tough. It takes a real man to be kind.”

3. Courage

The courage to do what is right. Stand between the victim and the bully; speak the truth even when it is unpopular. Talk with your son about injustices that concern him and then help him develop some kind of an action plan.

4. Action

Why spend so many hours a day playing on devices when those hours could be used to actually “do” something? Teach him to take apart an engine and put it together, how to fix an appliance, how to build shelving… the options are endless.

5. Make a Difference

Channel that action into being a change agent. Manly means effecting positive change in this world. Manly means being a leader who makes the world around him better for everyone.

6. Selflessness

Stop on the highway to help change a tire – together. Hold the door for people (men and women both). Encourage him to do odd jobs for an elderly neighbor. Teach him to always put others first.

7. Generosity

From day one encourage/require regular giving from both allowance and earnings. Donating (good) toys and (new) clothes. Teach generosity of time, teach generosity of spirit. The lesson here is that it is manly to actually have something to give. It is manly to be the person who can make things better for someone else.

The post 7 Manly Qualities Your Son Won’t Learn Playing Video Games or Watching News appeared first on All Pro Dad.

The 6 Worst Things to Say to Someone Who has Experienced Loss

Derek Maul | November 22, 2018

This past year, two families at our church experienced loss when their teens died in tragic circumstances and a young man lost his wife to cancer. Love poured out and covered all three homes. The support has been deep and ongoing. People have been wonderfully kind. The families have been gracious. Yet, despite good teaching and ongoing work, men still find themselves emotionally ill-equipped when it comes to grief and support and – generally – “handling it.” Sometimes we say the worst things to someone who has experienced loss.

Yet, despite good teaching and ongoing work, men still find themselves emotionally ill-equipped when it comes to grief and support and - generally - handling it.
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It’s okay, we all struggle with this. But grief is real and we can do better. We lose parents, we lose wives, and sometimes, we even lose our children. No judgment here, just some encouragement to be there for our brothers, and to swap out fear and distance for some grace and compassion. Take a few moments to think about the following list – along with some positive suggestions – of the six worst things to say to someone who has experienced loss:

1. Nothing

Saying nothing won’t work, because it’s important to acknowledge the loss, and it’s important to be there. If there’s nothing else to say, simply say, “I’m sorry.”

2. “God needed him/her up in heaven more than you needed him/her here.”

Please don’t say that. Instead, say, “I don’t want you to walk through this alone.” Say, “I know you miss her like crazy.” Say, “I know this has to hurt so badly, let me be with you.” Then follow through.

3. “He/she died too young. It’s too bad he/she didn’t get to live a full life.”

How can you measure a life? There is no measuring rod for the right amount of time. Every life is a complete one. Instead, say, “Your child made me smile.” Then tell your friend how.

4. “One day you will understand what the universe was trying to teach you through this.”

No. That’s patronizing. Nobody needs to hear that. Try saying, “I don’t understand either, but I do know how much you are loved and how much your family has always meant to me.”

5. “Think of all the good that will come from this!”

What’s a lot better to say is “Let me buy you lunch next week.” Then listen. Then repeat the invitation. Then do it again and again. Say, “Text me any time you want to talk.” Then check in on a regular basis. Be persistent.

6. “I guess it was just his/her time. His/her number came up.”

Not helpful. Your friend doesn’t want you to explain this; he wants you to be there. Try, “It’s never easy to say goodbye.” Say, “I am so sorry for your loss.”

The post The 6 Worst Things to Say to Someone Who has Experienced Loss appeared first on All Pro Dad.

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3 Ways Boys Love to Connect with Their Dads

Andrew Linder | October 29, 2018

Boys and dads have a special relationship. Sons cherish the emotional and physical affection that their fathers give. And statistically, children who are shown regular affection from their dads do better in life, because they not only crave that connection, they need it.

In the mind of a child, LOVE is a four letter word spelled TIME. If you want to show your kids that you love them, spend time with them. And if you have boys, they are counting on you to invest in them, to guide them through the process of becoming a man, and to simply be there for them. Every boy needs an engaged father or father figure in their life. Here are three ways that boys generally love to spend time connecting with their dads.

In the mind of a child, LOVE is a four letter word spelled TIME.
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1. Physical activity

Boys are naturally wired to love physical activity. This often includes things like wrestling together, playing outside, running, and climbing trees, etc. My boys love to play baseball or football in the backyard or go disc golfing. The #1 thing I find that my boys ask of me is requests for my time, and more times than not, it’s to do something physical. Because doing fun, physical things is a great way for dads to connect with their sons. While boys are engaging in less and less physical activity as time passes (due to technology, apathy, etc.), it is important for dads to encourage and engage their boys in physical activities to boost both their physical and relational health.

2. Sports

Boys and sports, they’re made for each other. Even if your child isn’t athletically inclined, most boys still have some leaning towards a certain sport(s). We have three boys, all with different sports preferences and strengths, but they all three love it when dad connects with them about the sports they love. Sometimes this is through playing sports with them, watching sports with them, or simply talking sports with them. Sports is a great connection point for fathers and sons.

3. Entertainment

Entertainment is such a huge part of many families lives nowadays. So why shouldn’t we as dads be using it to our advantage to connect with our sons? I’ve found that my sons absolutely love it when I will sit down and watch a football game with them, or take them to see that new super-hero movie or play their favorite video game with them. Finding out your son’s entertainment preferences and leaning into them is a great way to connect with him because this is not only an area where he needs your time, but he also needs your guidance.

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7 Ways to Equip Your Son for Manhood

Mark Merrill | September 20, 2018

As fathers, it is important that we keep a close watch on the ways we speak and behave, especially when teaching our sons how to be a man. Without realizing it, we are role models for our kids. Their minds are trained to observe behaviors, especially the behaviors of those closest to them. They notice the way you treat and talk to their mother, your involvement in your community, how you handle a personal crisis, and how you deal with professional problems. It is said that children learn more what is caught rather than what is taught. Keeping that in mind, here are 7 behaviors you need to teach your sons to equip them for manhood.

 1. Be a Gentleman

It is important for fathers to teach their sons to be gentlemen. This means teaching your son to have good manners. You can do this by: teaching him to give people their full attention, teaching the importance of writing thank you notes when someone does something nice, teaching him to open doors for others, teaching him to always walk on the street side when he is with a lady, and lastly, teaching him to have a firm handshake while making eye contact.

2. Be Respectful

It is important for fathers to teach their sons to respect others. This can be hard for sons to do because let’s be honest, your sons are not going to like every person they meet. However, this still doesn’t give them an excuse to be disrespectful. Sons need to be taught to respect those who are in authority of them not because of what they do, but because of their positions.

3. Be Responsible

It is important for fathers to teach their sons to be responsible and own up to their actions. We, as parents, do not always have to come to our son’s rescue. It is okay for fathers to let their kids fail because failure teaches them to take responsibility for their actions and consequences.

 4. Be Selfless

It is important for fathers to teach their sons to serve others because it is said that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Fathers can do this by encouraging their sons to help around the house, their neighborhood, and community. Give your sons chores around the house, encourage them to be blessings to their neighbors, and have them volunteer at community service projects.

 5. Be Generous

It is important for fathers to teach their sons the importance of being givers. Givers are value adders and what father doesn’t want their sons to add value to those around them? You can do this by creating three mason jars and writing on them: Saving, Spending, and Sharing. At the end of the week when your sons receive their allowances, have them distribute the money into these three jars. This will help them focus on giving while also teaching them the importance of handling finances.

 6. Be Different

It is important to teach our sons to be different. Most kids want to fit in and there is nothing wrong with having this desire. However, if you want your son to become a great leader one day, you need to teach him that it is good to be different. To do this, he needs to feel accepted by those closest to him. Let your son know that you love him not because of his performance, but because of who he is as a man.

 7. Be Honest

It is important for you to teach your sons to be honest. Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. So many parents are quick to punish and scold their kids when they lie, but few are quick to reward honesty. We need to change this because when honesty is rewarded, your son’s confidence to always speak the truth will increase.

It is important for fathers to teach their sons to be responsible and own up to their actions.
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