Tag Archive: perfectly flawed

So i was nominated for this Spread Love Challenge by TheFabLetters which is this super interesting blog i stumbled on a short while ago where two women write letters to each other which become the premise of the blog posts. Some really good stuff there.

The Rules:

Write ten four word sentences about what love means to you.
Share your favorite quote on love.
Nominate ten other bloggers for the same.

Now normally i wouldn’t be down for this type of thing, but the opportunity of misdirecting with a classic Jack Handey quote:

loveAnd then writing some stuff on love and highlighting some bloggers i think you should check out [altho doubt i will come close to ten] makes it feel worthwhile…


Let’s be honest, that concept was clearly drawn up by someone in the bath reading a romance novel – can anyone come up with ten four word sentences that do love any justice at all?

i tried…

Love is messy. [Too few]

Love is a messy. [Too clunky]

Love requires work. [Too few]

Love is incredible. [Too few]

Love is really incredible. [Feels like the word ‘really’ got thrown in there just for word limit]

and so on…

The point being that you can’t adequately sum up love into sentences of four words or less. In this microwavic instant gratification culture and society most of us live in today, it is easy to be fooled by the idea that everything can be squeezed into 140 character or less Twitterial moments, but the truth is they can’t. Not adequately anyway. Which is the second time i have used the word ‘adequately’ in this paragraph, making it now three times too many…

Relationships cannot be jammed into tweets or even blog posts. They can’t be summed up in a song or even fully contained in a book. We can give hints and whiffs and ideas and metaphors and the audience can feel like they ‘get it’ but they never really do. Love has to be experienced and lived out and figured out and patched up and chased after and clung to and only those love-ing will ever really truly ‘get it’. Get it?

So we can make four words bumper stickers on the ‘Love is…’ theme but they will be completely and ridiculously inadequate.

‘Love is messy’, comes close but behind those three words lie ten thousand more. Experiences and moments and glances and sorrys and frustrations and make-ups and silences and ballads and bad movies and walks on the beach and sunsets and great meals and hard decisions and money issues and commitments and single tears and out of control laughter and… did i reach my word limit yet?

Jack Handey has it close enough. Love is liking someone a lot and choosing to do life with them in all its beautiful, painful and messy ways and not letting any of those categories be too much to continue on with the commitment you have made. Whether we are talking marriage or friendship or family. Love is saying, ‘i will see you again tomorrow.’

And so much more. [Ooh, ooh, four words]

There are a bunch of bloggers who i appreciate but the big ones like Sarah Bessey, Nate Pyle and Jamie the Very Worst Missionary are way too big and important to use their valuable time compiling Spread Love Challenge challenges…

But some lesser known types who i enjoy and would love to see tackle this [in a legitimate way, not in the cheatery way i did] are Bek Curtis whose blog Perfectly Flawed says it like it is… Lily Ellyn who, when she is not pushing out articles on Relevant magazine, has an eclectic collection of different thoughts and words called Such Small Hands… and of course my beautiful wife Val, aka tbV, who i would just love to see blog on anything as she is ridiculously talented, as you can see in On Afternoons and Coffeespoons, but rarely makes the time to do so… [there’s something worth starting a petition about] and also Candice Fourie and her most excellent Moments with a Mom is another one who writes powerfully but too infrequently…

i will finish this off with one of my favourite quotes about love in the guise of being a quote about being real and it is from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams:


[For a post titled ‘You Will Be Known by the Love’ click here]

[For a piece looking at Ten creative Ways to Love, click here]

pornarticle2 We met Bek Curtis last week and she has kindly agreed to let me post her follow-up to the post she shared with us  on her struggles with and victory over Pornography. So here is a repost of her unplanned part II, titled ‘The ‘How’ of Freedom’:

I find myself writing once again on the topic of pornography, and once again writing with reluctance, fueled this time by different motivators.
I had a few people express frustration with the original article I wrote, due to the fact I didn’t expand on the ‘how’ of gaining my freedom, a frustration I can empathise with.
I am more than happy to share how God intervened, as the glory belongs solely to Him.
My reluctance however, centers around individuals who are struggling with porn addiction and looking at my ‘how ‘ and trying to emulate it to become their ‘how ‘, without checking with God to discover His perfect plan for individual freedom.

We are all unique, any addictions or self-control struggles we face are fed by a multitude of factors that vary from person to person. What drove me, may not be what drives you, and so the process of, and journey toward your freedom may look different to mine.
There are things I won’t write about, things I didn’t do in my journey, but things that may work for you. Tools such as mentoring, household/mobile internet filtering, counselling, accountability partnerships, and countless online support groups and resources.

Our God is a unique God. He is a God of relationship, not religion.
A formula created to unlock freedom is not what He is requiring of you. Instead He extends an invitation for you to have intimacy with Him.
When Jesus healed, He did not use the same ‘method’ each time. Some received healing through prayer, for another it came via a physical anointing of saliva mud, and for one courageous woman, an act of faith, just a touch of His robe was enough to bring about her healing.

When we rely on formulaic prayers and procedures, focusing only on our desired outcome, we miss the relationship, we miss the very key that unlocks our chains.

My freedom journey began with a distinct moment when watching a particular porn video (this is not a reason to keep watching until you have an ‘Ah HA’ moment!) there was a girl positioned in front of the camera, lying on a couch and whilst I truly cannot remember the sexual acts she was engaged in, I do remember her eyes.
Everything else in that moment faded away as I looked into this young woman’s eyes, into the eyes of a women who was clearly under the influence of heavy drugs.
I saw within those eyes a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of abuse and rejection. Her eyes held the burden of a lifetime’s striving for approval, acceptance, attention, love.

The eyes are the window to the soul, and hers was broken, crushed.

I wish that I could say that was it, the glimpse of this woman’s troubled life had changed me so profoundly that I never struggled again, but to say so would be a lie.
What did occur, was a shift in my thinking toward these women, a recognition that beneath the bravado were young women who longed to be loved.

I wanted to help these women.
I suddenly saw in front of me a harvest of souls waiting to be shown the love of Jesus. But how could I ever hope to make a difference, to reach them if I was sowing into their pain?
Each minute I viewed their outward cries for approval, I tightened the chains that bound them, that bound me.

I began to desire to be part of a solution.
I began to desire God and His will in my life above all else.

When I wrote the words: ‘My God is the God of freedom, for those who truly desire it’, in my initial article, I was sharing with you my ‘secret’ my ‘how’.
I desired God above ALL else. Above porn.

I resolved to stop making excuses and justifications for why I was drawn to viewing porn.
We humans are experts in defending our poor behaviour. We can make impassioned pleas and excuses for all manner of dodgy deeds.
I’ve raised three children through toddler-hood, I have witnessed my fair share of self-justification-tantrums!

Sometimes we don’t grow out of these tantrums, we just change the way we allow them to manifest.
But in order to face addiction head on you have to coach yourself to an excuse-free place. A place where self-awareness, self-examination, and recognition of self-responsibility is not only embraced, but practiced.
Whilst ever you are seeking to blame all or part of your behaviour on someone else’s actions or lack of actions as the case may be, you make a marked choice; to remain in addiction.

You may have a partner who doesn’t fulfill your sexual desires or appetite, you may be genuinely frustrated, angry, hurt or lonely, but while you allow resentment or rejection to dictate your behaviour you are choosing to give away much needed power that could instead be harnessed and used for self-responsibility and self-control.

I set about putting restrictions on my phone, as that was where I had easiest access to porn.

This made it a very conscious and rebellious decision if I chose to go in search of content I shouldn’t.

I embraced God’s invitation into intimacy, and I started talking openly with Him.

When I felt temptation coming on, I would tell Him. I would explain what was happening, and I would focus on Him, begin to thank Him, begin to worship Him.
Let me tell you, it’s hard to maintain sexual arousal, and a desire to view pornography when you are speaking, or in my case singing to the Creator of the universe!

Condemnation is an insidious thing and I believe it’s one of Satan’s greatest tools.
How many times have you felt as though you’re trapped aboard the ‘I’m sorry God, I did it again. Help me’, carousel?
Condemnation says, ‘Okay, you can’t keep saying sorry, this is a joke, just stop talking to Him’.
But God says: ‘It’s okay, come to me, I want to help you, let’s walk through this again, I’m here for as long as it takes.’

Brutally honest discussion with God is the key.
What’s stopping you? It’s not like He’s going to be shocked, He knows what you’re thinking anyway! But He is the perfect gentlemen, He will not force you to open up, He allows you to exercise free will and bring your thoughts to Him.

My experience with addiction (and trust me, ’tis plentiful, as addiction and I have been buddies in various forms for many years), is that it is not so much a case of trying to talk oneself out of addiction, but rather into it!

There was always a voice that started out as a suggestion, a mere offering of an idea to view porn or whatever current addiction I was flirting with. *Cue the internal to and fro dialogue:
No, that’s not a great idea, I don’t really want to do that. Sure you do, it’s fine, it’s just this once. No it’s not just once, I won’t stop. Sure you’ll stop! This is the perfect way to prove it, just do it today and you won’t have to do it tomorrow. Hmmmm. You can stop whenever you want, you’re not addicted to this, you’re just choosing to do it. This isn’t addiction anyway, it’s just a habit, you can break a habit whenever you want’.
Repeated daily.

So my next step was learning to take every thought captive.
There is a reason these verses are in the bible (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

When you stop a thought in its track and acknowledge it, instead of allowing it to run with reckless abandon through your mind, you take it captive. That means it not longer masters you, but you master it.
Yes, it takes practice, this is a discipline that can feel like a full-time job. But it is a job that pays well! It even comes with a dental plan… (I may have just made that bit up. But you never know?).

When you take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, you are commanding them to fall into submission under the Lordship of Christ! That is no small deal!
It is here that Jesus takes over. It is in this moment that you are choosing to give Him control, to work and weave and mend and heal.

5. WORD!
I found it really helpful to read through the New Testament when I was struggling. And not just reading for reading’s sake, but asking The Holy Spirit to allow the words to come alive in my heart and mind as I read them.
Again, it becomes very difficult to choose poor behaviours when you have chapter after chapter, verse after verse challenging you, giving you step by step encouragement and promptings on how to live well, abundantly.

I don’t believe that shame and guilt are good motivators toward effective change. I believe instead that they lead to condemnation.
But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, turn them toward Him, just like the old hymn says, the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace!
Glory and Grace, not condemnation and disapproval.

In the 2012 film, Father of Lights directed by Darren Wilson, there is a brief interview with Banning Liebscher of Jesus Culture, where he says:

“….there’s a generation that is experiencing more options than any generation in all of history.
So the tendency to materialism or distraction, is so available….ability, instant access to entertainment and social networks and internet and travel. There are so many options and choices in this generation. generation.

What excites me is that choices are powerful in the midst of options, not in the midst of no options.
And I think we’re going to see the most powerful generation the world has ever seen, come out of an environment that gives them options, and a generation’s going to rise that their “Yes” in their spirit will be so loud, it will drown out everything else.”

His words immediately resonated in my spirit, they told my story.

For me, Banning’s words were more than a prophetic declaration, they were a testimony of what was and is already taking place, for this is exactly what had happened to me during my journey. The ‘YES‘ to God in my spirit, became louder than any ‘NO‘ I would ever have to speak to the world.

That had been my revelation. That “YES” had been my key.

Let me finish by saying, there is hope. There is freedom. There is a light that shines bright in the darkest of places.
There is love, one who is love itself, waiting to enrapture you and lead you in grace.
He who is love, is able to transform you by the renewing of you mind.

Did you catch that? He is not just able, but willing to clear away the garbage in your mind, erasing the memory of all destructive and tempting images, and renew it to it’s created design! Ponder that!
May this be your testimony, because what He has done for one, He will surely do for another.
-Bek Curtis


You can hear more from BekCurtis by following her on the Twitterer  or by checking out and subscribing to her blog ‘Perfectly Flawed’

[To read part I of this post, click here]

[For some more stories about people struggling with and overcoming Pornography, click here]



This is a repost of a blog by permission which was originally posted on her blog, ‘Perfectly Flawed’ – meet Bek Curtis:


Lust. Sex. Porn.
If those words made you squirm, you may not want to read ahead. Likewise, if you’re of the prudish variety, because here I openly, albeit reluctantly, share with you my experience of, and thoughts on, pornography.

Reluctant, because people can be jerks. Some people refuse to see the transformational work of Jesus in the lives of others, and sadly these are often the same people who preach it.
Reluctant because I have children who need not be shamed or shunned on my behalf.
And reluctant, well, because I’m a woman, and women don’t struggle with porn….right?

The internet was not an accessible thing when I was a teenager. It hadn’t yet infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives.
Mobile phones weren’t capable of sending or receiving texts, let alone photos and videos. In fact, back then, mobile phones were black bricks with aerials that required manual extension for each and every conversation.
I had no access to, nor any real knowledge of pornography, and so it was not a part my formative years.

I developed a curiosity toward porn when Jordan and I were a few years into our marriage.
We’d stopped going to church, our relationship with God was practically non-existent, and the circle of friends we were keeping saw porn as no big deal, just something ‘everyone’ does.

I knew pornography had been a big part of Jordan’s life before we were together, and this knowledge made me irrationally angry, and jealous. I felt as though I was missing out on something, and I really do hate to miss out.

I decided, in my great wisdom, that it would be a fabulous idea to introduce pornography into our marriage.
Jordan and I were solid, our sex life active, it could only add to the passion, what was the harm?

Surprisingly, Jordan was not keen, not keen at all.
I think his reluctance was mainly due to the fact that he thought it must be a trap. I mean, what wife encourages her husband to view porn with her?

However, he was also concerned that it would create marital tension, he felt as though porn was just something that was not needed in our relationship.

I disagreed. I won.

Porn was not exactly what I had expected.
I knew it would be graphic, but this, this was beyond graphic.
This was not like the sex scenes in a movie.
This sex wasn’t just sex.
Porn sex was different.
The bodies were ‘perfect’, the positions, acrobatic.
No one had a single hair follicle visible anywhere on their perfect bodies. And visible their bodies were. Microscopically so.
Everything was up close and zoomed in. Nothing left to the imagination.

There was no kissing, no intimacy, no love, just animalistic, self-gratifying acts of sex.

And yet, I took the bait… I was hooked.

Jordan would beg me to come to bed, asking if it could be, “just us tonight“, instead of us and whatever random couple had piqued my interest on screen.

But I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop.
Frustrated, Jordan would storm off to bed whilst I sat glued to a computer screen, searching, waiting for the perfect body, the perfect couple, the perfect image. An image I could never find.
The searching became a drug.
I would search while Jordan was at work, I wanted to find the perfect woman to present to him. A woman who wasn’t overweight, a women whose body was not marred by stretch marks, and the not-so-flattering effects of gravity. He deserved her. Not me. This searching had become a bizarre act of self-loathing and self-punishment.

I found myself looking at women on the street, wondering what they were like in the bedroom, passive or dominant? What were they okay with, what weren’t they okay with? Did they have secret body piercings, tattoos? Pubic hair?

It was disgusting. I was violating them with my mind.
And no, I’m not sexually attracted to women, the images I had been viewing had warped my thinking, been seared into my memory.

I no longer struggle with porn addiction or a desire to view it.
I no longer have pornographic images haunting my mind.
My God is the God of freedom, for those who truly desire it.

I still have to make the choice not to let my mind wander. I still have to choose not to click on Internet articles, links or videos that may contain questionable material.
I still have to make a choice to disengage from sexually explicit conversations.
I still have to make a choice to view each and every person I encounter; male or female, as God sees them. To honour and value them as fellow human beings, created in His image.

I long for the day when I can read a dessert menu, and not be aware that half the names on the list carry innuendo in porn speak.

I still have major body hang-ups and a ridiculously poor body image, something that didn’t exist to this degree before I invited pornography into my life.
There is a reason why the comparison game is a dangerous one to play.
I have freedom, but some consequences remain.

I recently had a discussion with a close friend of mine. She has teenage daughters, and we were talking around the topic of this crazy world of porn and sexting that our kids are not only exposed to, but immersed in. Yes our kids. Our sheltered kids. The ones we watch and monitor, the ones in youth group, the ones being raised in Christian households, the ones attending Christian schools- Our kids!

As we talked, my friend told me of a blog she’d come across, written by a young man who was imploring women to show some self-respect by removing any and all hair from their pubic and genital region, making sure that all women heard his message loud and clear, that they should be sporting a Brazilian. He wrote that pubic hair is ‘disgusting’ and he was physically incapable of maintaining an erection, if a girl had any hair, ‘down there’.

Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously?

This, this is the world our kids are living in.
This is why we need open, and I specify: age appropriate dialogue with our kids!

Our daughters do not need to grow up believing that there is something wrong with their body because it does what it was designed to do, believing that they are worthless, unattractive and disgusting unless they remove all their body hair.
They do not need to grow up believing that they have to perform all manner of sexual acts in order to deserve and receive love.
Our girls need to know that someone who would seek to bully, pester or coerce them into doing anything they are uncomfortable with, does not truly love them, and does not need to be indulged.

Our sons do not need to have their thinking warped by loveless, lust-filled images of sex-ploits. Images that are edited and produced to create and fulfil a need that can never be satisfied by just one viewing.
They do not need to have unrealistic expectations of women, relationships, sex and all sexual acts.
Our sons need not suffer sexual dysfunction because the images that are on repeat in their mind, have formed a new and flawed perception of ‘normal’.

We need to tell our kids not to avoid porn just because it’s wrong, but why it is so wrong.
We need to explain exactly how it devalues both sexes, and damages soul and spirit.

If I, as an adult woman over the age of 25, whose brain had finished developing, could have had her thinking rewired by viewing pornography, how much more susceptible are our adolescent kids to damage from pornographic material?

We need to educate our children about exactly what it is that the porn industry is feeding into: sex slavery, human trafficking, child exploitation.
I literally had no idea that this sex crazed industry was fuelling a hellish existence for so many young women, men too.

I wonder, had I known back then, what I know now, would porn have been any kind of turn on at all?

We shouldn’t educate our children in order to guilt them, but rather to equip them, to empower them to make choices that benefit not only themselves, but others also.

We need to teach our kids not that sex is dirty or wrong, but that it is quite the opposite.

Sex is beautiful, it’s fun, it can be messy, it can be awkward, it can end in, or be interrupted by fits of laughter as you both tumble off whatever piece of furniture it was that you were experimenting on.
It can be mind-blowing-ly amazing, and it can be a complete disaster. Sometimes things will go smoothly, other times things will most definitely not, but that all of it is good when expressed within the safety, sanctity, stability and mutual respect and equality of marriage.

Sometimes marriage sucks! It’s not all white picket fences and fields of flowers. Sometimes it’s just tumbleweeds and barbed wire. But to have the privileged of becoming one flesh with someone who totally gets you and is committed to you during the hard times, is a gift that should not be undervalued by images of lust, undervalued by a world that trades in old for new, and is hell-bent on instant gratification.

We need to tell our kids that we understand and remember what it is like to have raging hormones, to tell them we understand what it is like to be sexually curious, to be sexually aroused.
We need to teach them healthy ways to deal with that arousal, and the sexual frustration that those raging hormones bring.

We need to ask our kids how we can support them, and if they’re not really sure how, we need to suggest ways. We need to suggest mentors or trusted adults that they can talk openly with and journey with.

We need to teach our kids that God designed sex, not just as a means for procreation, but enjoyment, discovery. He’s not up in the sky sitting on a cloud with a cup of tea, muttering to Himself, ‘Oh dear, that’s a new one, didn’t think of that. Filthy humans.’

We need to teach our kids that God not only created sex, but the whole biological system responsible for switching on sexual desire.

We need to teach them that our God is an approachable God, that He is more than happy to provide a way to deal with whatever struggles we face in life, including sexual struggle.

And above all that, we need to believe that of our God! We need to experience that of Him! We need to share with our kids, how and when God has stepped in to provide a way out for us. That means inviting Him into our difficult situations, so He can do just that.

I am the mother of a teenage son.
We can protect and shelter him all we like, but eventually he will discover the world, as he is supposed to.
He will grow and mature, and set his own boundaries and parameters.
He will decide what paths he takes and what lines he’ll cross.
And we will love him and support him all the way.
But while he is still under our roof, within our grasp, and accountable to us, we will have the difficult conversations.

We will tell him where we’ve failed.
We will tell him the outcomes of our failure and where we wish we’d taken different paths.
We will be real, we will be unedited.
But most of all, we will emphasise grace.

Grace for failure.
Grace for poor decisions.
Grace for outright rebellion.
Grace for a journey, and not just a quick fix.
Grace for forgiveness.
Grace for redemption.
Grace for transformation.

Grace for us as parents to recognise transformation, as we chose to forget indiscretion.
Bek Curtis

You can hear more from BekCurtis by following her on the Twitterer  or by checking out and subscribing to her blog ‘Perfectly Flawed’

[For Part II where Bek speaks of some of the ‘How’ of overcoming her struggles with Porn, click here]

[For more stories on struggles (and triumphs) with Pornography, click here] 

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