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How to Maintain a Soft Heart in a Hard-edged Society

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

Release Date: 04/30/2024

Your Desire to Belong: Finding Our Place in the World and in the Love of God show art Your Desire to Belong: Finding Our Place in the World and in the Love of God

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

The need to belong is deep in our human souls. We are almost always asking, "Am I on the inside? Or on the outside?" Loneliness has strong negative impacts on our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Dr. Carol's conversation with writer, speaker, and podcaster Sarah E. Westfall will help you navigate your need to belong, and how that comes more from who you are than something you achieve. And they offer insight into how to move closer to both God and others. More resources: - Connect with Sarah Westfall on , , , or .  - Get Sarah's book  My article How...

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Securely Attached to God: Experiencing Being WITH Jesus show art Securely Attached to God: Experiencing Being WITH Jesus

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

More religious stuff to do. So much performance leads to anxiety and exhaustion. When our attachment to God is insecure, or is based on our own activity and behavior, there's no life. Anglican priest and spiritual director Summer Joy Gross has walked the journey to become securely attached to God. She talks with Dr. Carol on this episode about how you can do the same. While offering practices that will help you, your biggest takeaway from this conversation is likely to be a deeper desire to be with Jesus.   More resources: - Connect with Summer Joy Gross and the...

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A Story of Pursuing Wholeness in a Marriage Harmed by Betrayal, Emotional Deprivation, and Autism show art A Story of Pursuing Wholeness in a Marriage Harmed by Betrayal, Emotional Deprivation, and Autism

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

Marriage is hard. And it can be really hard when you face betrayal, neurodiversity, old baggage, emotional deprivation, and more. Shawna Meek has faced all this, and has chosen to stay married. She talks with Dr. Carol about what helped her stay - and stay sane - in the middle of all the mess. You may or may not make the same choice Shawna has. But regardless, this conversation will help you feel validated and encouraged, and help you persevere regardless of what happens - or doesn't - with your marriage.  More resources: -  - Find Shawna Meek at , , or  - Get...

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Resilience: How to Stand Firm When Facing Spiritual Opposition show art Resilience: How to Stand Firm When Facing Spiritual Opposition

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

Your journey to wholeness - sexually and otherwise - will be opposed. That opposition comes from both inside you and from outside you. That opposition includes pressure from the kingdom of darkness. Not everything is spiritual warfare, but understanding this aspect of what you will face helps you be prepared and successful in facing the opposition.   Dr. Carol provides three specific strategies or things to do in facing spiritual opposition that will help you recognize when you're under spiritual attack, experience true freedom, and build a lifestyle that will maintain your...

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Is it a Good Thing When You Don’t Get What You Want? show art Is it a Good Thing When You Don’t Get What You Want?

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

We often don’t get what we want and that is often a good thing. Desire—including sexual desire—can often be in disorder.  Today’s follower of Jesus exist at a moment in history when our desires, longings, and wants are being weaponized against us by cultural, spiritual, and relational forces. “Follow your heart” and “You do you” has become our moment’s mantras. The result, for too many, is feeling torn asunder by the raging desires within. What do we do with our desire? What about our unwanted desires? And how do we cultivate desires which bring life and freedom and lead...

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Why It's Not Really Ever About Sex show art Why It's Not Really Ever About Sex

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

It’s never really about sex. Matters of the heart and a desire for intimacy are imbedded in humans since creation. But what does that mean if you are married? Or single? God gave us desire; he gave us this longing … the Greeks called it eros, passion, It’s the deepest desire of our heart. However, our world has hijacked eros, it just sees it as erotic. It has been taken over by a corrupt culture that only sees passion as something that is dirty, sullied, and sinful. Author and educator, Bill Donaghy, co-author of Rise and lecturer at Theology of the Body Institute joins the podcast to...

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What Healing from Trauma and Betrayal can Mean for Your Marriage Now show art What Healing from Trauma and Betrayal can Mean for Your Marriage Now

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

Your heart is shattered. How can you find healing when you've been wounded by trauma and betrayal? And that process is even more challenging when you brought your past complex trauma into the relationship to begin with. Trauma expert and counselor Stacey Sadler Smith has both experienced that herself, and now brings years of professional experience to helping both individuals and couples heal from trauma and betrayal. She talks with Dr. Carol on this episode about her own story, about broken attachments, and about the process of repair after trauma and betrayal - both for one's own heart and...

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Understanding the (False) Solution Porn Offers and Why it Matters show art Understanding the (False) Solution Porn Offers and Why it Matters

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

Many who use pornography struggle to quit when they try to, even if they deeply believe it's wrong and even while using various tricks and techniques and "praying more". Porn is often seen as the problem, and it is a problem. But what if porn is the (false) solution being offered to a different "problem".  On this vulnerable and raw episode, Dr. Carol talks with Drew Boa about how he came to see "porn as my pacifier". They unpack the often-unaddressed issues that lead to pornography use. Hear how Drew did the hard and successful work to heal and develop a truly intimate...

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A Survivor's Story of Freedom from Trafficking show art A Survivor's Story of Freedom from Trafficking

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

Most people know sex trafficking exists. But you might imagine that's something "out there" and could never affect anyone close to you. And why would someone ever get hooked into that lifestyle? Why don't they just leave? Dr. Carol's guest on this episode is Jasmine Grace Marino. As a former sex worker who now helps and advocates for others on the journey out of that lifestyle, she talks openly about the matters of the heart that are at play for those affected by sex trafficking, including the roles of addiction and pornography. And it's not hopeless; you'll hear the joy of working to help...

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The Best-Kept and Proven Secret for Improving Your Mental Health show art The Best-Kept and Proven Secret for Improving Your Mental Health

Relationship Prescriptions with Dr. Carol

May is mental health awareness month. It's no secret that mental health issues have become a pandemic in our culture. How can Christians navigate their own mental health in ways that are both effective and consistent with their faith? And what might the Christian church have to offer in the broader mental health arena? Joe Padilla, licensed and ordained minister, talks with Dr. Carol about the Mental Health Grace Alliance - validated in scientific journals, and perhaps the largest network of Christian mental health groups worldwide. Combining research-based best practices and Bible-centered...

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More Episodes

There are many reasons for and ways of becoming hard in our cruel world. You may think a hard heart is a good and protective thing. When harm or disappointment comes, a natural human response is to develop a tough and closed heart. But that also closes you off to the good things God intends for you and wants to work in you. Is there a way to cherish a soft heart in a tough world?

Mother, writer, and teacher Charaia Rush is Dr. Carol's guest on this encouraging episode. They talk about how shame and pain can harden our heart, what a hard heart is and isn't, and God's process for softening our heart which opens us up to all His good things.

Connect with Charaia Rush on her websiteFacebookTwitter, or Instagram
Find Charaia's book Courageously Soft: Daring to Keep a Tender Heart in a Tough World   

Check out Dr. Carol's new book Sexpectations: Reframing Your Good and Not-So-Good Stories About God, Love, and Relationships
And look around at all the supplementary resources at YourSexpectations.com.
Dr. Carol loves to hear from you. You can leave a confidential message here.