I have been recommending a wonderful book entitled, “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul” by Jason and Crystalina Evert. The Everts have literally travelled throughout the world speaking to young single people about finding love without having to settle for less. Besides authoring numerous books on the subjects of relationships and love, they run a website entitled Check out the book and their website.

Every woman knows when something is not right in a relationship; there is a lack of peace. Generally when faced with two options: fix the relationship or get out, a woman will attempt to remain emotionally married and postpone indefinitely getting out of an unhealthy relationship. They stay put and try to rehabilitate the relationship. The key in all of this is to avoid committing to such guys in the first place and to begin to recognize the difference between a “frog” and a “prince.” The question becomes when to pass on a potential boyfriend. The Everts identify “The Top Ten Guys to Avoid” and describe each type in florid detail.

Flip-Floppers are easy to detect because they will drag on a physical relationship without bothering to make a clear commitment. Women who fall for flip-floppers are masters of denial and often create excuses for why the guy won’t commit to them. Love thrives in the presence of commitment so a woman should not waste literally years dragging on a relationship that exists only in their imagination.

The “Problem Child” comes from a troubled family and has had trouble with the law, difficulties at school, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, a history of violence, or all of the above. Women who fall for such guys begin to feel sorry for them and to “see in him what nobody else does.” These women are hoping for a miracle makeover and are always thinking about how great he will be in the future. The best way to deal with a problem child is to let go of him and teach him the priceless lesson that poor behavior results in negative consequences.

The “Walking Hormone” has one thing in mind, self-gratification at the expense of women. He will often manipulate women with pressure or guilt. He won’t hesitate to make a woman feel like she is a cruel, heartless, and stingy prude for denying him his physical “needs.” If a woman has any self-respect, she should have no choice but to dump him. When a woman begins to doubt or ignore the voice of their own conscience, she becomes her own worst enemy. Walking hormones scan their environment for women who possess lower-than-average self-esteem. At the root is a fear of rejection and thus she is less likely to just say no to his desires. Generally such men make deadbeat dads, poor fathers, and are prone to view pornography on a continuing basis. Such a man has trained himself in selfishness and lust and is limited in his ability to make a gift of himself to a woman.

This is just a sampling of all the wonderful information contained in this book and it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for all who are serious about relationships.

Four Steps to Wisdom

The first step to wisdom is to get in touch with the negative feelings that you may not even be aware of. Gain an awareness of your negative feelings. Ask yourself if you are gloomy or moody. Do you feel self-hatred or guilt? Does life seem pointless or make no sense? How about looking at those hurt feelings! Get in touch with these very powerful and potentially destructive emotions. A whole lot of people are very depressed and lonely. It is only when making contact with joy that you may well understand just how depressed and lonely you are.

The second step is to understand that that feeling inside of you may not be reality. It is in you but it may not accurately reflect reality. Many people from all walks of life, even those one might consider very intelligent or very powerful, don’t understand this. As one man put it, “I got a pretty good education. It took me years to get over it.” Wisdom and spirituality go hand in hand and you may well have to “unlearn” a lot of what you have been taught especially by the secular society. We live in a society that is not spiritual, nor interested in what spirituality has to offer. This means you may have to stop trying to change other people including our spouses, your bosses, your friends, and even your enemies. You don’t have to change anything other than to recognize that negative feelings are in you. No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy. There is no event on earth that has the power to disturb or hurt you. We have been told the opposite so much that we create a lot of messes that are so difficult to clean up. Let us suppose you plan a picnic and a rain storm washes out the picnic. Who will feel negative? The rain, or you? What might be causing that negative feeling, the rain or your reaction? So step two says, the feeling is in the person, not in reality.

The third step is rather straitforward, never identify with that feeling. Do not define your essential self in terms of a feeling. If you want to say that depression or gloominess is there, that is fine but not, “I am depressed.” If depression or hurt feelings is there right now, let it be, leave it alone, and it will pass. Everything passes, everything. If you are a person who seeks kicks or thrills, then get ready for depression. Do you want your drug? Get ready for a hangover! If you try these first three steps many times (perhaps even thousands of times), you will get it. Many people have arrived at the conclusion that if they were just loved by somebody or belong to anybody or anything (such as a group) they will be completely fulfilled and happy. But the opposite is what is true, what you and all of us need to do is to love another. We are undeniably created in the Image of God and that means loving God and our neighbor first and foremost. Love, by its very nature, wants to give to another. Wanting to be desired, applauded by others, or attractive to others is a waste of time and energy. You can be blissfully happy without it. You do not have to do anything to acquire happiness. “God is not attained by a process of addition to anything in your soul, but by a process of subtraction.” If you want to be free, examine what needs to be dropped from your life.

The fourth step to wisdom is to understand that we always want someone else to change so that we will feel better or good. What does that do to you? Well what happens when someone close to you does change? What does that do to you? Well very little as you are still vulnerable to your feelings and whims. You are the one who needs to change, not your spouse or your boss or a friend. When we are hard at work on ourselves and our spiritual journey then we will barely notice what we think might be wrong with others or the world. “The world is right because I feel good.” Anthony De Mello

Our Pornified Culture-Just Turn It Off?

Media executives are making a lot of money churning out trashy films, downright stupid television programs, music that speaks of hate toward women, sleazy magazines, and pornography-laden material that proliferates on the Web. While these media types are partly to blame for generating this stuff, someone is indeed buying this junk. This is not only dumb, it is also destructive. We are literally poisoning ourselves and future generations.

Culture is defined as the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time. Somehow we must confront the supreme ugly and sad nature of current trends and celebrate that which is good and right. If someone arrived from a remote culture where there was little or no contact with the “modern world” of America, how would they react to all of this sleazy material? For example how do you react when a pop-up ad for “XXXHot Young ThingsXXX” flashes on your computer screen when showing guests family vacation photos? Would you want your children to look at a website like that or for that matter any child to see that? I hope that your answer is a resounding “NO!”

One typical defense raised to those who would voice a complaint against such filth is that everything under the sun is protected by the First Amendment and that any attempt to regulate content is “censorship.” The second defense is “just turn it off”, no one is forcing you to listen to those musical lyrics or watch that particular TV show. This is nothing more than an insincere defense and really, it is quite pathetic. Afterall would some of these media types want their own children exposed to this trash or go a step further, would they want their own grown children to be in a pornographic movie or be the object of someone’s hate-filled musical lyrics? I would hope not.

First and foremost we should demand more from our entertainment, media, and adverstising industries. We should be able to watch a sporting event such as the Super Bowl or World Series and not have to keep a tight hold on the remote for fear of what might fall out, pop out, or stick out next. No one should have to drive down a highway looking at billboards advertising strip clubs. The intelligence and values of the vast mainstream of American culture is constantly being insulted by a “freakish fringe” promoted by the media and politicians. How can anyone in their right mind watch or listen to someone like Howard Stern or Hugh Hefner and yet these men are held up as some kind of role models and are placed in postions of high esteem as if they had something to offer us and our children. They don’t and they do nothing but appeal to those facets of human nature that can in fact destroy families and even whole cultures (not to mention one’s soul as well!).

Those who promote this stuff are also insincere because they do not like it at all when they are insulted by someone’s elses “hate speech.” There is a double standard in place and those who promote filth cannot have it both ways by hiding behind the First Amendment or the “just turn it off” defense when it only suits their purpose. The culture has become polluted with negative stereotypes, sexualized content, and very rough and inappropriate language. When individuals are bombarded by sexual imagery the “just turn it off” defense does not work because this imagery is everywhere. Our culture is toxic and it is damaging relationships that matter, especially in the family.

The Eye is the Lamp of the Body

The single biggest money maker on the internet is pornography. The profits of pornography are larger than ABC, CBS, NBC, and ESPN combined! Pornography makes more money than all the studios in the American film business. The “adult entertainment” industry generates more than $12 billion in revenue per year. In 2006, of the $1.6 billion that Americans spent on pay-per-view or video-on-demand, about a third went to “sex-related entertainment.” Strip clubs, exotic “sex toys,” porn DVDs, and Internet porn have grown steadily, and with that growth has come acceptance and tolerance. There is even a porn trade show that takes place each year in Las Vegas (no surprise there!) organized by the AVN Media Network. It is a multi-day event featuring panel discussions, screenings, open forums, booths, and workshops. The tobacco industry has been attacked (and rightly so) for marketing cigarettes to young people. So where are the protests against the porn dealers and the entertainment industry for trying to get kids addicted to these very harmful cultural pollutants? While our culture seems to be more than willing to embrace porn stars like Jenna Jameson (ClubJenna, her adult entertainment empire, had revenue of $30 million in 2005), there is little mention of the “dark side” of the industry. An example of the damage done by the industry is when fathers and husbands become addicted to this garbage. There is also little mention in the mainstream media of the sheer degradation that pornography causes to everyone involved – the participants and the viewers, whose minds, expectations, and proclivities become contaminated by pornography.

 Statistics reveal that an alarming 40 million adults in the United States regularly use pornography and that the average age of first exposure is at 11 years of age. This is made worse by the fact that indulging in pornography is no longer considered as being problematic or taboo in our society, and has thus become mainstream and acceptable. Pornography is readily accessible on the Internet with unrestricted access. Our youth are being subjected to evils unheard of 15 years ago.  Why hasn’t our government – which seems to be aggressively interested in regulating most everything else – taken steps to protect its citizens through some sort of filter on the World Wide Web? While this may not happen in the immediate future given the economic driving force of the pornographic industry and those who would cite “freedom of speech”, this is where voices need to be heard in order to force a change. The citizens need to be protected and there should be a better understanding of what “freedom of speech” actually means.

 Individuals understand that various things that are readily available to them, such as food, are safe and not (for example) poisonous. The abuse of illegal drugs (such as cocaine) leads to disaster in interpersonal relationships. Yet the most potent and addictive drug available today is pornography! Porn creates a physiological addiction resulting from the firing of certain neural pathways in the human brain. IT IS NOT HARMLESS ENTERTAINMENT! Pornography should be avoided at all costs because it can enslave an individual for a lifetime.

 As a counselor for the last decade or so, I have witnessed the role pornography plays in the devastation of the lives of many individuals. This includes the sexual abuse of children, broken marriages, relationships beyond repair, men in prison for the possession of child pornography and other sexual offenses, women treated with great disrespect and as mere objects, and the social landscape littered with broken families. I have also been privileged to be a part of some remarkable stories of healing and deliverance from the jaws of this evil. This comes about because of a reordering of one’s life that is directed to God and His Revelation in His Son Jesus Christ.  However, there is now a sense of urgency because of the escalation of this mind-numbing evil. Because I am so convicted in my heart to do something about it, I have decided to set aside my counseling practice and join in this cultural war for the soul of our country and the souls of our children (mine and yours). Make no mistake – there is a spiritual battle going on against evils such as abortion and pornography. Prayer must be our constant companion and weapon against pornography. But there are specific things we can all do to take this evil down and stand up to pornography.  

This website will be taken down for a short period of time soon so that it may be refashioned into a site to serve as a resource for those who want ideas on how to battle pornography. There is much one can do to protect one’s family, but the problem of pornography is of such magnitude that it permeates our entire culture. It is time for leaders to rise up and call for an end to the poisoning of our society, our children, and ultimately our way of life. It is time to “Stand Up To Porn” and fight back. God be with us.

A Marital Check-up

While it is true in marriage that opposites attract, couples do need to share core morals and values. A couple has to be headed down the same path with the same goals. Very often discussions about money turn into major conflicts because couples do not share the same core values regarding spending and saving habits. If a couple is not like-minded there could be serious trouble ahead in the marital relationship. Another area for potential conflict is artificial contraception and how to regulate the birth of children in a marriage. One of the major purposes of marriage besides building your spouse’s self-esteem and helping each other achieve eternity with God, is the procreation and education of children. Very often it is the woman who is asked to sacrifice her health and well-being because she is expected to take birth control pills. However birth control pills have a demonstrably detrimental side effects to the overall health of a woman. A couple should share the core morality of regulating births through Natural Family Planning (NFP). A man who genuinely loves his spouse would never ask her to go on birth control pills and deal with the very real consequences to her body, mind, and soul. This continues to be visibly demonstrated by study after study, so much so that even a non-Christian would draw the same conclusions.

Psychologists all the way back to the ancient philosophers of Greece have studied and categorized a variety of human temperaments, meaning an individual’s “thumbprint” as to how they are wired. Typically a simple way to look at it is that a so-called “Type A” temperament fits better with a laid back temperament. So in marriage, temperaments should balance out with one another. Two “Type A” temperaments generally will not work well for a marital relationship nor will two laid back people have much success either.

The third area where couples need to take a more reflective look is, “Are both committed to saving and/or creating a healthy relationship?” The assumption that marriage is forever and that your partner is going along just for the ride is quite dangerous. Marriages must grow and stretch and the couple has to be “all-in.” Wanting to stay married is the best predictor of being able to work through and compromise in areas of disagreement that at first glance seem daunting or irreconcilable. The assumption that a partner will go along just to get along is faulty and a real danger area for marriages. It is a simple but true axiom, “don’t take your spouse for granted.”

Now beyond avoiding taking your partner for granted is a huge one, do you speak your partner’s love language? This can mean simply things like, “What does he like?” or “What makes her feel special?” The answer to these questions are not panaceas meaning fixed formulas to calm an unstable relationship. These are things that bring true meaning and sincerity to the marital relationship. If your spouse’s love language is quality time then are you present with him/her in a genuine and thoughtful manner. Spouses do not like to be a “third wheel” whether it is to work or a leisure activity. A spouse should be able to say to themselves, “No matter what we do, I want to be with you.” Yes guys that may mean a trip to the mall.

Even very good marital relationships have conflicts and it is during these conflicts where spouses have an opportunity to really hurt each other and damage the relationship deeply. Instead of working against each other (oftentimes for the same goal!) couples need to be able to work together to resolve problems. Marriage can be thought of as a pair of shoes and from time to time these shoes need to be cleaned and polished. This means both shoes! Marriages can always benefit from a good “brushing up.”

Not surprisingly couples who stay invested in their marriages are attracted to each other physically and they genuinely like each other. Ask yourself if you like the sight of him in his boxers or her in her “nightie.” Most marriages are based on a solid friendship but if that has been lost then get it back. This can be done through going on dates or talking and listening to each other without the distractions of media (or children!). “Liking” each other again can mean everything for a marriage to continue growing and being all that it can be. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review

Last week my wife and I went to see a movie called, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” starring a slew of well-known English actors and set in India. As the movie opens the viewer is introduced to various characters experiencing specific life events that are going to place them in the same location, a start-up retirement community in India run by an ambitious young man who is the youngest of three sons. I did not read a review of the movie beforehand but had seen a preview of it. Years ago I had read a book called “Howard’s End” by E.M. Forester and remembered the fine movie I had seen made from the book, so I was expecting something similar. Forester’s book is about three families and does address class and gender struggle among other things. The “expectations” of my mind floated to an exotic location with an understated plot full of subtle twists and turns with plenty of psychological nuances and tensions. Boy were we disappointed. Movies have tremendous power to convey messages and Hollywood rarely disappoints when it comes to furthering an agenda that is not only misguided but very dangerous. We have a generation of brainwashed individuals both young and old falling for this balderdash like no other. It was actually embarrassing to see well-known seasoned actors play parts beneath their true talents. What a waste!

In the movie we see the word or concept of “love” linked throughout to the following: a thirty-year marriage portrayed as miserable, overbearing, and on the verge of breaking up; an elderly man focused on finding a woman to have a “mountaintop” sexual experience with; a recently widowed woman whose husband of forty years hid their finances from her throughout their marriage, thus leaving her broke and having to find work to support herself; an older woman with a reputation of multiple past marriages; a recently retired lawyer with health concerns who is returning to find a man he had a brief sexual fling with in their late teens (he is a confirmed lifelong “gay” man); a bitter old maid with deep prejudices (and no ability to hold her tongue about it) who has taken care of someone else’s children her whole life; and lastly a young couple who are attracted to each other (it is implied that they are having sex) but of course their attraction is counter to their stations in life (i.e. clearly a reference to the caste system). While we do get a very brief glimpse of these people’s lives before they leave for India, the move seems impulsive because they just up and leave family and friends. This is clearly an attack on the family and the stability it provides. Where are these people’s roots? Do their life experiences count for anything? What we see in their behavior is just not realistic. In short there is nothing that reflects a traditional view of what real love is as stated by Paul in the Bible. “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong; but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7). Upon reflection, the movie bashed marriage and quite frankly why would the young couple in the movie want to persevere given what they witness going on around them in the so-called “older and wiser” generation. It was as if these people never learned anything from their own personal life experiences. Human beings are not just reactive animals. We can reflect on our experiences and grow emotionally and spiritually from them.

Mary Eberstadt author of “Adam and Eve After the Pill” (a book everyone should read) states that, “Christian teaching in these intensely controversial matters (such as premarital sex, cohabitation, homosexuality, and birth control) is actually being vindicated by secular social science and secular evidence from elsewhere, including the popular culture.” Even an atheist would draw the same conclusions. Most of what is portrayed in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” strikes at the dignity of the human person. There is not love but the “use” of another human being for one’s own personal gratification (selfishness). The evidence is in: must we as a nation collapse due to a lack of moral clarity or can we begin to teach virtue and strive for the happiness that authentic and genuine relationships provide? Happily, ticket sale revenues for “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” are low and I am sorry I saw it. However I am grateful to point out to readers how movies can associate truly beautiful God-given capacities like love with such hurtful, immature and destructive behavior. This association is deceitful and will ruin lives! There was nothing charming about this film and in fact, it made me angry and miserable on the inside.

The book, “50 Shades of Grey” by E L James, is being billed as an “erotic best seller” and is sweeping through neighborhood book clubs at an alarming rate. How can anyone in their right mind proclaim anything redeeming about a book that portrays “rape” as some form of “romance.” St. Paul said “flee immorality” and we should all do the same. I briefly glanced at a blog about the book and was simply shocked by the nonsense that I read. St. Augustine said, “Sin diminishes sight” meaning the more we separate ourselves from God’s self-revelation through his Son, Jesus Christ, we don’t think or do things in a right mind. We become senseless. Where has common sense gone? The book is just another example of the “pornification” of our culture.

Studies clearly demonstrate that premarital sex, cohabitation, and the use of birth control lead to markedly higher levels of marital/relational dissatisfaction and ultimately divorce. Social science confirms what faith and reason already tell us. Spread the Word! If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at

The Tokugawa Shogunate

The “Tokugawa Shogunate” ruled in Japan from 1603 until 1868. This feudal regime, established by an individual named Tokugawa Leyasu, was ruled subsequently by the “shoguns” of the Tokugawa family. Now a shogun was a “hereditary” military commander while the Emperor was more of a figurehead during the long rule of the shoguns in Japan (1192-1867). One may remember a TV miniseries called “Shogun” based on the novel by James Clavell. Clavell also wrote “To Sir With Love” that was turned into a wonderful movie starring Sidney Poitier, the first African-American to win an academy award for his role in “Lilies of the Field.”

The Tokugawa Shogunate ruled from Edo Castle which was changed to the name “Tokyo” in 1868 after the abolishment of the Tokugawa shogunate (and thus the rule of all shoguns) during the Meiji Restoration. Shogun rule was based on a strict class hierarchy that was inflexible. It was a military style rule where there were lords, warriors (samurai), farmers, artisans, and traders. The movie, “The Last Samurai” (2003) starring Tom Cruise, is set in 19th-century Japan where after centuries of hiring samurai for the national defense, Emperor Meiji has made it clear he wants to do away with the samurai warriors. Tom Cruise plays a Civil War veteran hired to train an army to wipe out the samurai. However he is captured by the samurai and becomes conflicted once he learns of their history. Before the drama depicted in “The Last Samurai”  and during the early rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Christianity was banned or being stomped out because of one man’s two year visit to Japan starting in 1549.

St. Francis Xavier (a Jesuit priest) was the first Christian to go to Japan as a missionary and at first he was met with tremendous resistance, but after working for more than two years he was able to establish, along with help from many others, three congregations within Japan’s feudal society. St. Francis struggled to learn the Japanese language but he was able to use artwork to teach the Christian faith. Christianity began to grow in Japan, albeit slowly, and things came to a head in 1637-38 in the Shimabara Rebellion where 40,000 Christian peasants were confronted and the Christian religion was banned under the penalty of death. Whenever someone was suspected of being a Christian, regime officials from the Tokugawa Shogunate would place pictures of Jesus and Mary before the “suspects” and order them to stomp on them. Refusal to do so, if persisted in, would end in execution.

The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Timothy Dolan said on May 9th, 2012, “In our own country we are seeing the growth of a movement just as antithetical in theory to Catholicism and traditional Christianity as the Tokugawa shogunate, and it finds its home in the Democratic Party. What we have seen over the last few decades is the evolution of the Democratic Party into an overtly anti-Catholic party. The Obama administration is the culmination of this trend. This, of course, is deeply ironic because the Democratic party is a major party in this country with the help of the votes of tens of millions of purported Catholics.” Cardinal Dolan goes on to point out how Democrats, with some notable honorable exceptions, have championed things like abortion rights, the embrace of homosexuality including driving the Catholic Church out of the adoption business because it refuses to embrace adoption for same-sex couples and mandating homosexual indoctrination in public schools that masquerades as education and finally mandating that Catholic Institutions offer “free” contraception coverage for its employees. Now more recently the President has endorsed same-sex marriage which is an attempt to “redefine” marriage.

At the heart of any significant relationship is a desire to belong to another perhaps in friendship or as life-long married partners sharing all of life’s joys and sorrows. So why is a marriage between two people of the “same-sex” not the same as marriage between a man and a woman? Pope Benedict provides us with the most clear voice on this matter when he states that “the Church in the United States is called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to human happiness and social prospering.” The Holy Father connects unchanging moral truths as a key to human happiness and social prospering and neither cultural trends, scientific rationality, suppression through government action or majority rule should deter the truth from being offered to all men. Pope Benedict says that nothing should get in the way of man’s ultimate vocation, a relationship with God. Closing the doors to “transcendent” truth leads to impoverishment and to a reductionist and totalitarian understanding of the human person and the nature of society. “The cosmos is possessed of an inner logic accessible to human reasoning.” The Holy Father goes on to state that, “this moral reasoning, based on the natural law, is grounded on the Church’s conviction that this law is not a threat to human freedom.” The moral message of Christianity is not a message of constraint but one of liberation, of true freedom. Christians cannot be silent on “certain issues.” There is a tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience. “There is no realm of worldly affairs which can be withdrawn from the Creator and His Dominion.” Christians, especially Catholics, have a sacred obligation to be a consistent witness of their deepest convictions and contribute to the renewal of society as a whole.

Homosexuality is not a lifestyle that is conducive to the dignity of the human person. It eats away at true human joy and happiness and it is not a good for society. This is no different from the sexual struggles found by others in pornography, masturbation, and sex outside of the marriage covenant between a man and woman. These (and many other sexual sins) are all outside of God’s plan for all men and women. When I was getting my counseling degree I was privileged to hear a young man speak about his struggle with homosexuality and his eventual “escape” by the Grace of God from that lifestyle. One thing he always said has stuck with me. He said that he wanted to fight this sin in his life much like a recovering alcoholic wants to fight against the addiction of alcohol. Thus he needed a support group, a willingness to surrender, and personal accountability. Just like for all sinners we need each other, we need to surrender our wills to God’s will, and when we fall, to take responsibility for our actions and continue to fight against our individual vices and bad habits by the Grace of God. After all, He wants us all to be joyful and to go to Heaven. Don’t be fearful of the struggle for God is on your side!

“Here the subliminal influence of Marxist philosophy surfaces: the notion that it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness. It is a moral problem, not a problem of morale.”

“Material security and human relationships unconstrained by any kind of necessity does not set mankind free.”

“Only if the veil of self-deception is torn from their eyes can anyone improve the quality of their lives.”

“Experience has taught me that it is wrong and cruel to suspend judgment, that non-judgmentalism is at best indifference to the suffering of others, at worst a disguised form of sadism.”

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, British Psychiatrist

Relationship Foundation

I have spent a lot of time discussing some possible pitfalls in building a solid foundation in a relationship. Now I wish to turn to enumerating 9 tasks that individuals/couples can do to help build strong foundations. The first task is to strive for balance. This means take the time to find out who you are and don’t ignore the need for “relating to people.” If you ignore this need you become incomplete. So often we become a human who is just “doing things” rather than a human who is relating to others (i.e. a human doing vs. a human being). Gain a sense of who you are. What do you want from this life? What are your interpersonal and emotional needs? What do you need from others and what are you capable of offering to others? How much are you willing to exert yourself to attain what you are looking for? How do close, long-term relationships fit into your life? Relationships are not a luxury, they are a necessity. Task number 2 is to slow down the process of getting to know another person. Don’t rush into physical intimacy. Proceed thoughtfully, carefully, and slowly! Human beings are born with the “power of reflection” meaning you can take the time to reflect on your life and the big picture. However many people do not do this. They live a sort of “unconscious” life. Become more intentional. What are your goals? If your goal is to become a successful professional, it will affect your personal life. If you goal is to make a lot of money, it will affect your relationships. This is also true regarding material things like the ideal home, car, or vacations. These things get in the way of genuine relationships. When a person is young it is so hard to take in the big picture and see life as one big journey. There is a nearsightedness about how much energy you will have for all of this stuff. As you go along on this big journey in life you won’t want to expend all of this energy acquiring material possessions or achieving accolades at work. What will life be like when you lose your youth, or energy, or even health? Size up your priorities and drop what you don’t need now. Ask yourself these questions. Do you feel you are loved sufficiently now to meet your emotional needs? Are you able to love someone in return? Do you have a meaningful person to share your life with? Are you putting as much emphasis on the personal/emotional aspects of your life as opposed to the work/leisure aspects your of life? Where should be directing your energy, your gifts, your talents, and your time? Clarify your fundamental goals and work toward them at a clearheaded pace. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at

Are You Looking Back?

People who feel they have been damaged or hurt by how they were treated in the past, either by family or by others, often live in isolation and try to keep other people at an arm’s length distance emotionally. They are reluctant to share their fears, hopes, dreams, wishes, and vulnerabilities with others. In other words, to share that most sacred part of themselves. The opposite can also be quite true by opening up and sharing far too much, far too soon in a relationship. There is a balance between relating and over-relating. If you have been hurt there is a crucial need for emotional and spiritual healing especially if this occurred in your fundamental relationships. If you don’t face the demons from your past, you cannot live in an emotionally healthy way in the present and future. No matter your faith, tradition, or culture there is a higher power and if you believe in the ability of God to intervene in your life, you will experience healing and be comforted. Many people live with the burden of their past and they just don’t know how to let go of it. They literally need someone to come in and cut that rope and say, “Let go of it.” Moving on with God’s help means you can begin to make a big difference in learning to be open to others again. In Scripture the story of Lot is somewhat instructive in dealing with the past. Lot was Abram’s nephew (Abram’s name was not changed to Abraham until God made the second covenant with him regarding becoming the father of a host of nations) and Abram took Lot with him as he set out for the land of Canaan. As they were traveling in stages toward Bethel it became clear that the land they were on could not support both Lot and Abraham’s possessions and there were quarrels between the herdsman of Abram’s livestock and those of Lot’s. Lot then was offered to go either right or left and Abram said he would choose the opposite direction. Lot ultimately settled among the cities on the plain of Jordan, pitching his tents near the city of Sodom. Lot and his family were surrounded by evil and two angels protected him and his daughters from the evil intentions of the townspeople. Lot was urged immediately to take his wife and daughters and leave Sodom. Lot’s son-in-laws thought he was joking. Lot fled but his wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. What is instructive in all of this is that we can spend a lot of energy looking back in life and if we are not careful we will miss what is happening in the moment and miss out on the future. If you need psychological and spiritual healing, the first step is to admit that need and let someone wise into the most sacred part of yourself where you will share your fears, hopes, dreams, wishes, and vulnerabilities. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at

Marriage and Sex

Marriage is about so much more than a sexual relationship. It is a relationship between two thoughtful and intelligent human beings united by a special friendship. It is in marriage where new lives are conceived and find the human and material resources necessary to grow to maturity. This explicitly tells us that the family, a married couple plus children, is an institution of vital importance for society. Thus sexuality affects man very deeply and is the nucleus of social life. This is why “sexual discipline” has always been an imperative for any healthy society and this includes even non-Christians. A lack of sexual discipline is a significant symptom of social collapse. Now Christian teaching is very clear that a sexual life is a married life and sexual pleasure is only permitted in marriage and must be open to the generation of new lives. Sadly our culture trivializes sex to the point that sex is reduced to just another item for consumption. This trivialization of sex leads directly to a trivialization of love. Thus to trivialize love, the most noble of personal human relationships, makes it impossible to enjoy the happiness that it can produce. This is the love between spouses, the love found in family life, and of course the love found in friendships. When trivialized, love is reduced to the satisfaction of an instinct. Many aspects of literary and artistic productions exist based on exploiting a certain kind of physical pleasure. None of us are beyond temptation and we need to take the words of the Bible seriously when it speaks about our sexual behavior. Human happiness and the Kingdom of Heaven, the here and the now and the afterlife, are such serious matters that it is worth the effort to live well. There is an assault taking place on our “intimate selves” delivered through media and advertising and we have to react mainly because we are predisposed “to give in.” The central issue is about love and the nature of love. True love gives one the strength to live sexuality in an ordered manner. “Love, when it is genuine, is all-embracing, stable and lasting, an irresistible spur to all forms of heroism.” (Pope Paul VI) When love is great, pure, and generous, it has the strength to combat our lower desires, which can often be cruel and self-centered. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at