Jobs, children and other time demands can challenge intimacy in any marriage, but none can be more toxic to emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy than unresolved issues of sexual trauma. On June 2 and 3 Smarter Families 2006, Canada's leading marriage ministry conference, will discuss issues of “Sex, Intimacy and God: Building Smarter Marriages in a Sexually Broken World” at ACTS Seminaries on the Trinity Western University campus. Featuring plenary speaker Doug Weiss, PhD, former Oprah guest and the author of “Sex, Men and God,” this year's conference will provide the tools for growth and recovery in all levels of marital intimacy, from time management to sexual trauma.
“All couples have intimacy needs whether they recognize it or not,” says John Auxier, PhD, Dean of Trinity Western Seminary and Chair of Smarter Families Canada (SFC). “Over time, intimacy gets eaten away by life's demands. But in today's world, more and more Christians struggle with wounds from sexual brokenness due to trauma, past relationships and struggles with sexual addictions.”
In the winter of 2005, an international survey of pastors reported that the top five sexual issues damaging to their congregation are: 57% pornography addiction, 34% sexually active never-married adults, 30% adultery of married adults, 28% sexually active teenagers, and 16% sexual dissatisfaction (More Sex, Please, Christianity Today International, Winter 2005.)
Auxier explains that unresolved sexual issues erode healthy marriages into less happy and less functional relationships. “Wives of pornography addicts experience depression, rejection and anger,” he says. “Couples often struggle silently with issues of sexuality with few sources to turn to. Pastors aren't typically trained to help in this area of ministry. Even Christian professional counsellors often have minimal background in this topic.”
SFC aims to restore marital intimacy holistically focussing on the emotional, spiritual and physical aspects intimacy. This year's conference offers specific tracks in couple enrichment, parenting resources, marriage ministry and recovery ministry.
“There are practical, Godly answers to most of these issues,” says speaker Doug Weiss, PhD, a Licensed Professional Counsellor for 17 years. An author on the topic, Weiss brings a storehouse of knowledge on the process of recovering from sexual trauma. His expertise has not only been sought after by Oprah, but by Sally Jesse Raphael, Leeza and Fox Files.
“In two days, conference participants will walk away with a much happier and biblical perspective on God's gift of sex,” says Weiss who's also the executive director of Heart to Heart Conselling Center in Colorado. “They'll discover that God doesn't have sexual hang-ups. They'll also learn how to be free from worldly ideas about sexuality that limit them. They'll learn how to have the best sex of their life.”
Event: Smarter Families Canada Conference 2006
“Sex, Intimacy and God: Building Smarter Marriages in a Sexually Broken World”
Date: Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3, 2006
Location: ACTS Seminaries at Trinity Western University
7600 Glover Rd, Langley, BC
Cost: Program schedule and registration information are available at www.smarterfamiliescanada.ca
Contact: Cher Jonasson, event coordinator: (604) 513-2044 ext. 3830 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SFC also offers pre- and post-conference sessions. On June 1 and 2, “Prepare to Enrich Inventory Training,” the most widely used assessment tool for premarital counselling in North America, will be offered by Kurt Lundberg, Director of Student Counselling Services at TWU. From June 5 to 8, ACTS offers PREP (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) instructor training. PREP is one of the most comprehensive and well respected divorce-prevention and marriage-enhancing programs in the world.
Last Updated: 2007-10-11