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Open the pages of this book and learn how to experience exciting intensity in your "sexual" relationship, deeper levels of closeness on an "emotional" level, and the most fulfilling intimacy of all -- "spiritual" ONEness. ^ With God's help you can make your marriage all it should be and all you crave it to be -- no matter what it's like now. (page 24) ^ Men want action. Women want feeling. From day one they're set up to misunderstand each other. (page 12) ^ Sometimes you "must" tell your mate the things you've done wrong, and sometimes you are much better off not to tell. The secret of a strong and intimate marriage is knowing what to share and what to leave buried. (page 108) ^ If you're in conflict over sexual desires--one wants to do something other doesn't -- there is a logical and spiritual way to satisfy you both. (page 168) ^ As you grow closer to God, you "will" grow closer to each other. (page 225) ^
Chapter One He walked into my hotel room with a mumbled "hello." Though my life's work is helping people and though I enjoy it very much, I employ a policy that never allows people to come to my hotel room. Never. But Sam had seen an ad in his local newspaper advertising that the president of Family Dynamics was speaking at a local church. Hoping that I might deliver him from the demon tormenting him, he found my lodging and implored a meeting until I yielded. Now he stood silently before me, head hanging and shoulders drooping, until I directed him to the worn sofa situated in the middle of the room. I took the only other chair the proprietor had thought to furnish. Without looking up, Sam started into his story. It was the same story I've heard from countless others who, by their own actions, have caused the walls of their lives to crash in on themselves and everyone they love. He'd been married twenty years, but for some time now, his relationship with his wife had barely existed. They'd drifted apart, taken up separate interests, and spent little time together -- except during social functions, like church. They weren't sure they loved each other anymore. At least that was Sam's perspective. Just two weeks before -- on a whim -- he had wheeled into a strip bar. Strip bars weren't a part of his lifestyle, and under normal circumstances they held no temptation for him. But on that particular night, he was feeling empty, alone. He was looking for something; he just wasn't sure what it was. Without any acknowledged thought process, he walked through the door into a world that had never existed for him before, unaware that he was leaving a world to which he might never return. It was quite an eventful night. By the time the sun groggily crawled over the horizon to reveal its own bloated, flushed face, Sam was recovering from his drinking binge while finishing breakfast at an all-night greasy spoon with a stripper half his age. They'd talked about life, dreams, and the futures they wished for but feared might never be. He told me how they'd instantly hit it off on some deep level, how she understood him like no one ever had, and how he had always longed for this kind of friendship with a woman. Within a week he'd left his wife, rented an apartment, and moved in with this twenty-something whose trade in life was erotically enticing drunken men to give her their money. Quite a rapid change for a churchgoing, pillar-in-the-community businessman and father. Too much change. He couldn't live with it. After just a few days with his newfound "soul mate," Sam had awakened to the realization that he didn't want to spend another night with this stripper. Guilt consumed him, and he surprised himself by discovering that he missed his wife -- the woman he had convinced himself he had no affection for whatsoever. Bewildered and disoriented, he told the stripper to leave and spent the rest of the day wandering about in dazed confusion until he noticed the ad in the newspaper. That's when he tracked me down -- the stranger he hoped could fix all this. All my religious and moral values were offended by his actions, but I felt no anger toward him. What he had done was wrong -- very wrong -- but I was more interested in saving him than chastising him. Besides, I don't think I could have awakened any more guilt in him than he already felt. As he finished telling me about the events of the last two weeks, he looked at me and asked the question I knew was coming. Not only did I anticipate the question, I knew the answer.
JOE BEAM has served as minister for growing churches in Georgia, Indiana, and Alabama. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Family Dynamics Institute, a nonprofit organization that uses the latest scientific and most creative methods to strengthen families. Since 1970, Joe has spoken to more than two million people worldwide. He is the author of Seeing the Unseen and Becoming One and coauthor of Fantastic Families.