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Why Josh Butler’s Book Beautiful Union Matters

Why Josh Butler’s Book Beautiful Union Matters

If you pay attention to Christian Twitter, you are probably familiar with the online backlash a few weeks ago to the excerpt of Josh Butler’s forthcoming book called Beautiful Union. This short excerpt of a 288 -page book created a firestorm of criticism and dialogue...

Why We Don’t Experience Victory

Why We Don’t Experience Victory

I recently spoke with a young woman who despises herself because of her continual struggle with lust and pornography. She’s tried to obey God and run away from sin only to find herself falling into it once again. I’ve met other people who feel similar discouragement...

What Do I Do With My Sexual Desires?

What Do I Do With My Sexual Desires?

“What do I do with my sexual desire?” I’ve heard this question from men and women of every age, from those who have never married and from those who find themselves “single again.” I have also heard this question from married people who, for one reason or another, do...

Prioritize Sexual Intimacy by Getting Your Body Ready, Part 2

Prioritize Sexual Intimacy by Getting Your Body Ready, Part 2

Much of my work in helping people navigate sexual issues revolves around how we think about sex. Your thought life, and your understanding of God and sex, are very important to your sex life. However, the basic truth is this: you can’t have sex without a body.  Sex,...

How To Go From Demand and “Duty Sex” to True Sexual Intimacy

How To Go From Demand and “Duty Sex” to True Sexual Intimacy

As Roy and Stacy listened to their pastor teach on I Corinthians 7, they began to shift uncomfortably in their seats. “Paul is saying here that a wife is to meet her husband’s sexual needs. If she doesn’t, he may be tempted to seek sex outside of their relationship.”...

Reader’s Corner: “Single, Gay, Christian” by Gregory Coles

Reader’s Corner: “Single, Gay, Christian” by Gregory Coles

Single, Gay, Christian by Gregory Coles is a small, easy-to read book that packs a powerful punch. Coles is exceptionally articulate and does an excellent job of communicating his thoughts and feelings. Coles wrote the book as if he is sharing his ponderings and...

How To Help Little Ones Celebrate How God Made Their Bodies

How To Help Little Ones Celebrate How God Made Their Bodies

We're happy to welcome Francie Winslow back to the blog. You can learn more from Francie at her website. I was cuddled up with my youngest son on the couch when the well-known cartoon “Blues Clues” popped up on the screen. Along with flashy colors came a classic tune,...

4 Reasons to Join a Sexual Discipleship® Cohort

4 Reasons to Join a Sexual Discipleship® Cohort

Scripture is filled with examples of the importance of working with one another. We learn about iron sharpening iron in Proverbs, how two are better than one in Ecclesiastes, and the metaphor of the body of Christ throughout the New Testament. We need one another in...

Parenting Through Weakness

Parenting Through Weakness

Dear Juli, I’m the mom of two teenage girls. I know I need to talk to them about sex but honestly, I don’t know where to begin. My sex life is a mess. My husband and I have relied on porn in our marriage for years. I have abuse in my past that I’ve never dealt with. I...

Predictability and Passion Can Improve a Boring Sex Life

Predictability and Passion Can Improve a Boring Sex Life

If you are married, there is a very good chance that you and your spouse have different sexual appetites. This not only applies to how often you want to have sex, but also to how adventurous you would each like to be in the bedroom.  A healthy sex life has aspects of...

COVID-19 y pornografía: Una salida rápida, pero no una solución

COVID-19 y pornografía: Una salida rápida, pero no una solución

Desde el inicio de COVID-19, la industria de la pornografía ha experimentado un aumento masivo en el tráfico de sitios web. El 24 de marzo, un sitio importante anunció que su contenido premium sería gratuito para todos los visitantes, lo que resultó en un aumento...

Breaking Free from Sexual Addiction

Breaking Free from Sexual Addiction

Sometimes I joke about things I am "addicted" to. Coffee and dark chocolate are definitely on the list. Honestly, we are all addicted to something—there are things in life we just can't seem to get by without. You may be addicted to your husband's affection, a daily...

How Do We Tell Good From Evil?

How Do We Tell Good From Evil?

Is it wrong to live together before marriage? Does gender really matter? Is it wrong to support gay marriage?  These are the types of questions that we often get asked at Authentic Intimacy. Perhaps more than ever, many Christians are confused about right and wrong....

How We Love Each Other

How We Love Each Other

I grew up in a family of six kids, all very close in age. My position as “number five” out of six is probably a huge part of why I became a psychologist. My earliest pictures are often of me in a playpen observing family life. As teenagers, my sisters and I became...

How to Choose a Wise Counselor

How to Choose a Wise Counselor

(Presione aquí para leer en español)  All your own efforts and gumption, your prayers and advice-seeking, your reading and research—you've tried it all, and still your struggle persists. You've reached it: the point at which you know you need help. You need a...

How Do I Know He’s “The One”?

How Do I Know He’s “The One”?

Q: Is there one person I'm meant to marry, or should I just choose a good man? A: This question isn't simply a contemplative exercise; it impacts how you approach dating and marriage. However, I think it is the wrong question to be asking. The question of "Is there...

Prioritize Sexual Intimacy by Getting Your Bedroom Ready, Part 3

Prioritize Sexual Intimacy by Getting Your Bedroom Ready, Part 3

One very practical and creative way to work on sexual intimacy in your marriage is to put thought and intention into the physical space of your bedroom. Whether or not you are aware of it, the environment of your bedroom impacts your sexual intimacy. Here is a quick...

Prioritize Sexual Intimacy by Getting Your Mind Ready, Part 1

Prioritize Sexual Intimacy by Getting Your Mind Ready, Part 1

“Your most important sex organ is your brain.” I remember when I first heard this statement as a young married woman. Enjoying sex is practically impossible without thinking about it.   Both men and women can struggle to know how to think about sex in a way that is...

Sex and the Great Commission

Sex and the Great Commission

Several years ago, I shared with a friend the vision of Authentic Intimacy. My friend listened patiently and then shared her honest opinion, “Why is it important to help people have better sex lives? Shouldn’t we be spending our time feeding the poor and sharing the...

A Road Map to Sexual Integrity in the Midst of Sexual Brokenness

A Road Map to Sexual Integrity in the Midst of Sexual Brokenness

Do you want to know the question that keeps me up at night? It’s this: How can I honor God with my sexuality in the face of my sexual brokenness and unmet desires?  At Authentic Intimacy, we often use words like sexual wholeness or sexual integrity instead of sexual...

Are You a Good Friend? 7 Keys to Building Healthy Friendship

Are You a Good Friend? 7 Keys to Building Healthy Friendship

Several months ago, a friend invited me to coffee. After catching up on kids and ministry, I noticed her countenance shift. She obviously was struggling to share something difficult with me. After a few deep breaths, my friend explained how several years ago I had...

What To Wear in the Bedroom?

What To Wear in the Bedroom?

Do you need to change what you wear in the bedroom? Like me, maybe you choose your sleepwear based on comfort and not to entice. I much prefer Life is Good to Victoria Secret in the bedroom, but we will save that conversation for another day. Even though I sometimes...

Reader’s Corner: “Understanding Sexual Abuse” by Tim Hein

Reader’s Corner: “Understanding Sexual Abuse” by Tim Hein

My first response after reading this book was,“This guy doesn’t waste a word!” In 182 pages, Tim Hein addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues related to childhood sexual abuse, while also sharing from his own journey. Tim's official role is that of...

Reader’s Corner: “Embodied” by Dr. Preston Sprinkle

Reader’s Corner: “Embodied” by Dr. Preston Sprinkle

I remember standing in the grocery store checkout line not more than five years ago while listening to a podcast. The host of the podcast suggested that within just a few years, gender would be considered a fluid concept, simply a social construct, by mainstream...

Reader’s Corner: “Pure” by Linda Kay Klein

Reader’s Corner: “Pure” by Linda Kay Klein

I recently read a very sad book, Pure by Linda Kay Klein. This book keeps popping up in my newsfeed, which tells me that people want to talk about it. The subtitle of the book hits precisely why this book caused my heart to ache: “Inside the evangelical movement that...

Why I Went to a Marriage Intensive

Why I Went to a Marriage Intensive

In November, I took my first sabbatical since starting Authentic Intimacy in 2012. What a gift! The sabbatical was for rest and refreshment but also for personal reflection. For the past year, Mike and I have tossed around the idea of going through a marriage...

Why the Church Needs to Address Porn for Women

Why the Church Needs to Address Porn for Women

Pornography impacts men and women, yet when was the last time you heard a sermon on porn in your church? When was the last time you heard it specifically address women? Most female porn addicts feel alone and often feel left out of the conversation. Instead of finding...

Taming the Tongue on Groundhog Day

Taming the Tongue on Groundhog Day

I’ve heard a lot of people comment that life right now feels like the movie “Groundhog Day”—the same thing over and over again with no end in sight. While there are blessings in having our lives slow down, there are also tensions and frustrations that overflow out of...

Spice Up Your Sex Life

Spice Up Your Sex Life

Are you feeling stuck in your home and in your sex life? Think back to the last time you left your house: It could possibly have been four or five weeks! And most likely it has been even longer since you and your spouse went out for a date night. When my husband and I...

COVID-19 and Porn: A Quick Fix But No Solution

COVID-19 and Porn: A Quick Fix But No Solution

(Presione aquí para leer en español). Since COVID-19 the pornography industry has seen a massive increase in website traffic. On March 24th, one major site announced that their premium content would be free to all visitors resulting in a massive increase of 18.5%. The...

Don’t Waste the Pain

Don’t Waste the Pain

Practically every conversation I’ve had in the last week has contained a phrase like, “These are strange times.” Strange times, indeed. Never in our lives have we walked through so much uncertainty. Our health, careers, and security all seem to be dangling on a...

Stop Trying So Hard!

Stop Trying So Hard!

Several years ago, I met with a spiritual mentor with whom I shared an ongoing battle with a particular sin. We had been meeting every month for over a year, yet I was still tempted by the same sin. I didn’t feel like I was making any spiritual progress! I asked her,...

When Christians Disagree About Sex

When Christians Disagree About Sex

When the Nashville statement was released, it brought conservative Christianity’s relationship with sexual issues front and center into the mainstream media. USA Today described the Nashville statement this way, “A coalition of conservative evangelical leaders laid...

Learning To Be a Promise-Breaker

Learning To Be a Promise-Breaker

Has anyone ever told you that it may be healthy to break your promises? No, I’m not talking about going back on your word or taking your wedding vows lightly. I’m referring to a different category of vows … the kind of promises that people rarely acknowledge.  Our...

A Hopeless New Year?

A Hopeless New Year?

Turning my calendar to January 1 is usually refreshing for me. It represents a new year with a clean slate and excitement ahead. So why does ushering in 2020 feel so heavy and discouraging? There are many indications that our culture is quickly moving in a dangerous...

The World Has a Lot To Say About Sex

The World Has a Lot To Say About Sex

If you haven’t noticed, our views on sexuality have changed quite a bit over the past 20 years. Americans are far more accepting of behaviors they once considered to be sexually immoral. Cohabitation, having sex outside of marriage, no-fault divorce, viewing...

What’s the Purpose of Your Sexuality, Really?

What’s the Purpose of Your Sexuality, Really?

(Presione aquí para leer en español). If someone asks you, “What are your thoughts on cohabitation?” or “Do you believe God is ok with gay marriage?” how would you respond? To answer those questions, you will (without even realizing it) tap into your underlying...

Why Promise Rings and Purity Talks Fall Short

Why Promise Rings and Purity Talks Fall Short

True Love Waits. I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Promise rings. These are the touchstones of predominant teaching on sexual purity promoted by the Christian community throughout the past several decades. Yet, the word purity among today’s Christian adults can elicit feelings...

Why Does Sex Matter in Marriage? Pt. 2

Why Does Sex Matter in Marriage? Pt. 2

For the past decade, my full-time job has been to address sexual issues from a Christian perspective. Knowing that, you can imagine the kind of emails I regularly receive in my inbox! What I’ve learned is that sexuality represents pain in a lot of lives and marriages....

Why Does Sex Matter in Marriage? Pt. 1

Why Does Sex Matter in Marriage? Pt. 1

Most of us have been told that sex in marriage is important. But why does it matter? For many of us, sex may just be “meh” or tend to cause more division in our relationships than unity. The reality is that sexual issues are always among the top reasons for marital...

Escaping the Web of Pride

Escaping the Web of Pride

My dear friend Christine and I were recently talking over a cup of coffee about the battle of pride—how difficult it is to detect and how impossible to conquer. She told me a story that perfectly symbolized the problem: Juli, every morning I go out to my garden and...

Forgiveness is Hard, Grace is Harder

Forgiveness is Hard, Grace is Harder

We spend a lot of time as Christ-followers talking about forgiving one another.  After all, Jesus taught the importance of forgiveness, saying that our Heavenly Father will not forgive us if we fail to forgive each other. That’s pretty heavy! While forgiveness is a...

Shame Doesn’t Have the Final Word

Shame Doesn’t Have the Final Word

Most women bask in the comment “You look so young!” but not Jeni. Why? Because she is young … too young to be the mom of a six-year-old girl. When Jeni goes to her daughter’s kindergarten class, she feels out of place with every other mom, many of whom are more than a...

Joshua Harris, Sexuality, and “Deconstructing” Christianity

Joshua Harris, Sexuality, and “Deconstructing” Christianity

Recently, the evangelical world has been rocked by the news of Joshua Harris’s decision to leave his marriage and Christian beliefs. Joshua is the bestselling author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and was a well-known spokesperson for the purity movement of the 1990s. A...

How to Have Tough Conversations

How to Have Tough Conversations

(Presione aquí para leer en español)  If you listen to our podcast, Java with Juli, you know that I don’t like small talk. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been able to acutely sense unspoken tension in a room. I’m anxious when I have a conflict with a friend or...

Where Do You Run When Marriage Gets Lonely?

Where Do You Run When Marriage Gets Lonely?

It’s one thing to be lonely when you are single, wondering if and when God will ever bring the right guy. It’s another matter for your heart to ache with loneliness when the “right guy” is living in your home and sleeping in your bed. If this is your reality, please...

Beyond a Happy Marriage

Beyond a Happy Marriage

Within the past month, I’ve been accused of two things that seem to be mutually exclusive. A few women have made comments like, “Why don’t you ever challenge the men? Why is it always the woman’s responsibility to build a healthy marriage?” And men have written me...

Your Sexual Differences Can Make You Better Lovers

Your Sexual Differences Can Make You Better Lovers

Have you ever wondered why God made you and your husband so different? For many years, I thought that might be my first question to God when I got to heaven. The differences between me and my husband, particularly in the bedroom, were driving us both crazy. Sexual...

When Your Child Has Been Sexually Abused

When Your Child Has Been Sexually Abused

The headlines are filled with horrific accounts of childhood sexual abuse. Behind every headline are children and their parents, families grasping for help and hope through devastating news. We have received many emails from parents who recently discovered that their...

Your Husband Needs You Too

Your Husband Needs You Too

I vividly remember life as it was about 15 years ago. A newborn, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, all boys. Most mornings, I woke up to someone crying or pleading for breakfast. From the time my feet hit the ground until I went to bed, someone needed me. I was acutely...

Sexual Pleasure Isn’t Shameful

Sexual Pleasure Isn’t Shameful

God cares about your sex life. It may seem weird to see the words God and sex in the same sentence. Sometimes when I teach women on this topic, they have a visceral reaction to the concept of God knowing about their sex lives. Psalm 139 tells us that God is always...

Parenting as a Team

Parenting as a Team

When I look at the home my husband grew up in and compare it to how I was raised, it’s a wonder we ended up together. Our backgrounds are so completely opposite that no marriage counselor in her right mind would have suggested that we marry. Once we said, “I do,” Mike...

The Great Danger: He Can Have My Body, But…

The Great Danger: He Can Have My Body, But…

Jerusha Clark wrote the following guest blog as a follow up to her and Juli's conversation on Java with Juli. Jerusha and her husband Jeramy have been sharing their journey of marriage and parenting for many years, encouraging others with what God is teaching them.You...

How Do I Rebuild Trust After Betrayal?

How Do I Rebuild Trust After Betrayal?

There is no pain like discovering that your husband has been unfaithful. It’s as if your whole world has been shattered. You doubt your instincts because you have been fooled. You make vows to never trust again because old vows have been broken. Based on God’s Word,...

Masturbation: Is It Wrong?

Masturbation: Is It Wrong?

Because my job is to talk to women about sex, there are few questions I haven't heard and haven't answered. However, there is one common question that I don't like to answer. Is it ok to masturbate? (Presione aquí para leer en español.)  This question is a bit...

I’m Single & Have No Sexual Desire

I’m Single & Have No Sexual Desire

“I don’t feel sexual desire toward my boyfriend/fiancé. Should I stay single?” Let me introduce you to three different women who have asked me this question for very different reasons: Chelsey has been dating Drew for two years. They have a deep affection for each...

Healing After #metoo

Healing After #metoo

As you watch a flood of #MeToo tags come through your social media feed, what is your reaction? Maybe you feel sick to your stomach, need some time to let the grief wash over you, or experience a rush of anger. Me too. How does something that is so hidden and...

Help! My Husband Is The One With The Headache

Help! My Husband Is The One With The Headache

Watch a movie or flip through some TV sitcoms and you will hear men always want sex. Men are portrayed as constantly turned on and trying to get their wives into bed while the women are typically shown rolling their eyes. Ask a group “What do men think about most...

How to say “Yes, Yes, Yes!” after “No, No, No!”

How to say “Yes, Yes, Yes!” after “No, No, No!”

As we round the corner into late spring, it’s wedding season. Although every new marriage has its unique struggles, some questions newlyweds ask are somewhat predictable. One of them is represented by the title of this blog. This question is not just asked by the...

God’s Healing Stinks

God’s Healing Stinks

(Presione aquí para leer en español.)  Have you ever had the experience of God “unfolding” the meaning of a Scripture passage in your heart? Recently, He’s been doing that in my heart with John 11. This is the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Over the...

Help! I’m in a Sexless Marriage!

Help! I’m in a Sexless Marriage!

My husband and I haven’t had sex in two years. The drought began after I had our third child. I’ve never really enjoyed sex. I was always tired, and I just didn’t think it was worth the effort anymore. Now, we don’t even talk about it.  My wife and I got married about...

When Cancel Culture Invades the Church

When Cancel Culture Invades the Church

Your social media feed is probably filled with examples of the latest person who has been “cancelled” because of something they said years ago or an unpopular position they recently expressed. Being cancelled is a weapon powerful enough to prompt teens to take their...

Words Have Consequences

Words Have Consequences

We live in a day and age in which there is a lot of debate about words. What’s okay to say? What is politically correct? How can we speak in ways that are not offensive? As we discuss issues like politics, racial justice, and sexuality with others, we can feel as if...

Did He Pass the Test?

Did He Pass the Test?

This morning, I met with a group of friends to encourage each other in our marriages. As we talked, one of the women described her discouragement when her husband failed to text her during the day about something that was important to her. “He knew my sister was going...

Helping Your Husband Grow UP

Helping Your Husband Grow UP

We’ve written before about the growing trend of husbands who would rather play their Xbox or Nintendo Switch—or spend hours glued to ESPN, oblivious of your screaming child and leaking roof—than step into adult responsibilities. Whatever the scenario, the burden of...

Drowning in Shallow Christianity

Drowning in Shallow Christianity

I recently met with a friend who shared openly with me about her struggles in marriage. “It’s like living with a robot! He doesn’t seem to know how to connect emotionally. Am I supposed to live the next thirty years with this man? Does God really want me to be so...

A Perfect Marriage

A Perfect Marriage

Mike and I recently attended a wedding. The bride was stunning, and the groom gleamed with pride. Not a dry eye in the place. Weddings are beautiful—not just because of the music, flowers, dresses, and tuxes, but also because they represent young, unblemished love....

A Secret for the Guys

A Secret for the Guys

Every day we hear from men who desperately want help and encouragement for their wives. Most commonly, they complain that their wives are not interested in sexual intimacy. Many of these messages end with pleas like “Help me! What can I do to help her understand my...

Is There Really a 7-Year Itch?

Is There Really a 7-Year Itch?

My husband and I are leading a Bible study with mostly newlywed couples. After a few weeks, we noticed how often we referred to the seven-year-something . . . itch? pit? slump? The other couples in the group started nervously teasing about what terrible blockade may...

Have You Forgotten Who God Is?

Have You Forgotten Who God Is?

In the process of teaching about biblical sexuality, I have at times taken a critical look at traditions Christians have long held as truth. For example, you may have heard a recent Java with Juli episode exploring the missteps and harmful messages of the conservative...

I Don’t Trust Myself

I Don’t Trust Myself

A few days ago, I rushed to see Toni (the lady who cuts my hair) in the middle of the work day. I got there with just a few minutes to spare after getting off a conference call. Someone else was sitting in Toni’s chair. “I’ll just wait in the lobby until you’re done,”...

Pure Sadness and a Better Way Forward

Pure Sadness and a Better Way Forward

I recently read a very sad book, Pure by Linda Kay Klein. This book keeps popping up in my newsfeed which tells me that people want to talk about it. The subtitle of the book hits precisely why this book caused my heart to ache: “Inside the evangelical movement that...

Your Spouse Doesn’t Complete You

Your Spouse Doesn’t Complete You

When is the last time you felt disappointed by your marriage? Notice that I asked when, not if. Disappointment is a normal part of any relationship, but it hits us particularly hard in marriage. We live in a day and time when marriage is presented as an answer for...

Loving a Broken Man (Or Woman)

Loving a Broken Man (Or Woman)

Gary Thomas has been a guest on Java with Juli multiple times and also joined us for our webinar "Having a Mission-Focused Marriage." He is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry brings people closer to Christ and closer to others. He unites the...

The “Why” for Every Question About Sexuality

The “Why” for Every Question About Sexuality

When children reach the age of two, they begin asking a question they never stop asking. Why? If you are parenting a young child, you are faced with endless why questions. Why do I have to go to bed so early? Why do I have to eat brussel sprouts? Why do you have to go...

Does Your Husband Need Sex?

Does Your Husband Need Sex?

Until recently, it has been part of the Christian marriage narrative that men need sex. Christian marriage books over the decades have repeatedly claimed that sex is a primary need for guys in marriage. In many marriages (but not all), husbands would eagerly nod their...

Learning to Say “I Was Wrong”

Learning to Say “I Was Wrong”

If you are old enough to recall the sitcom Happy Days, you’ll remember “The Fonz.” Henry Winkler played the character of Arthur Fonzarelli, the coolest guy in town. The Fonz in his leather jacket and perfect hair could get all the ladies with the snap of his fingers....

When Your Kids Look At Porn

When Your Kids Look At Porn

As the mom of three sons, there are days I wish I could be parenting in a different era… one in which cell phones did not exist and comic books were more common than pornography. Yet we do not choose the time and place which God inserts us into history. Pornography...