The Covenant Eyes Podcast

The Deeper Heart Issues Keeping You From Sexual Wholeness, Special Guest Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley, Dr. Carol Ministries

March 24, 2022 Hosts: Karen Potter, MA Ed., Brandon Clark, and Sam Black, and Rob Stoddard from Covenant Eyes Season 1 Episode 221
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
The Deeper Heart Issues Keeping You From Sexual Wholeness, Special Guest Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley, Dr. Carol Ministries
Show Notes Transcript

Pornography ruins our capacity for intimacy, which ultimately hinders our capacity to love God. How do we leave the emptiness of porn behind to fill it with God’s unending love? In this episode, Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley explores the idea that the answer lies much deeper than simply stopping the behavior of looking at porn.

Key topics covered in this episode:

  • If we only talk about ending certain behaviors, we miss dealing with matters of the heart
  • Our wounds and distorted beliefs about sex and relationships must be healed
  • Finding healthy ways to fill the void in our heart instead of porn

More Information:

Free 30-day email devotional series, Toward Sexual Wholeness:

Sexpectations online course:

Contact Dr. Carol with a confidential message:

Guest Bio:

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is an expert on the integration of wholeness for the body, mind, and soul. She is an author, speaker, OB-GYN physician, and ordained Doctor of Ministry.

Dr. Carol interacts daily with readers, listeners, ministry leaders, students, and a worldwide online audience through her website,, and her podcast: Relationship Prescriptions. She makes her home near Austin, Texas, where she enjoys being “Grandma Carol” to four wonderful grandchildren.

Church, Podcast, Education, Accountability, Pastors, Ministry Leaders, Christianity, Pornography Addiction, Sexual Addiction Recovery, Marriages

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Karen Potter: hello, and welcome to this episode of the Covenant eyes podcast I am Karen potter and I am your host of today's podcast along with my partner in crime branding far.

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Karen Potter: We are so glad to have you joining us for this conversation today.

00:01:10.830 --> 00:01:13.050 yeah hey Karen how are you today.

00:01:14.400 --> 00:01:23.910 Good good hey for our listeners if you're just stumbling upon this podcast maybe you haven't listened to any episodes before just want to tell you a little bit about it.

00:01:24.240 --> 00:01:32.070 We talked about some tough topics here like pornography, but it goes beyond that we provide the experts in the professionals each week.

00:01:32.310 --> 00:01:45.540 to share must have resources and tools that we need to battle against this, so this is a very useful podcast as far as providing practical ideas and information for winning the battle against pornography Karen.

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Karen Potter: Absolutely, and before I introduce today's amazing guests, I do want to just let you know that all of our listeners out there, we love to hear from you, so please send us an email at podcast at covenant eyes COM.

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Karen Potter: Give us feedback, let us know how things are going, even just a shout out and let us know how we can better serve you in the future we just love hearing from our audience so make sure you like us unsubscribed as well.

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Karen Potter: And brandon i'm going to kick it back over to you to kind of walk us through some of our special offers for today as well.

00:02:15.360 --> 00:02:22.170 yeah absolutely well, we are in the business of accountability, you know and biblical accountability that it's so important, so.

00:02:22.440 --> 00:02:29.160 What we want to do today is offer our listeners a free 30 day trial of covenant eyes software that's just for them.

00:02:29.460 --> 00:02:40.500 To give it a try, you know we talked about accountability and how we just we need that you know iron sharpens iron brother sharpens rather mentality, you know from proverbs 27.

00:02:40.800 --> 00:02:57.630 And so, this is an opportunity to try it free for 30 days, no questions asked all our listeners have to do is visit our website covenant dies calm enter promo code free podcast at checkout that's covenant eyes calm and then at checkout just enter the promo code free podcast.

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Karen Potter: Well, thanks brandon but now for today's amazing episode we're going to jump right in we've got a really great topic lined up for today.

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Karen Potter: we're going to be talking about the deeper heart issues, keeping you from sexual wholeness I am so excited about this conversation is going to be powerful and we have an amazing guest with us, Dr Carol Peters.

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Karen Potter: tanksley is with us, and she is an expert on the integration of wholeness for the body mind and the soul, she is a speaker she's an author she's an Ob gyn position and an ordained doctor.

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Karen Potter: Of ministry, so we are just honored to have you, thank you, Dr Carol.

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Carol: read it, it is so great to be here live.

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Carol: So thrilled to help people with bad and watch and listen to the words that they say that you guys are two weeks, what a critically important thing for Austin in today's modern world to deal with this and you're right where it counts.

00:04:01.560 --> 00:04:03.990 Can we can we stop I think we're I think we're having.

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Karen Potter: Go ahead and take two.

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Carol: Well Karen brandon I am so thrilled to be with you here today, I love what covenant eyes is doing the place where you are touching people is so important, I have been telling people about covenant eyes and just am so thrilled at the.

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Carol: Freedom you help people experience.

00:04:28.260 --> 00:04:36.810 Here we're so glad to have you on the podcast today, you yourself have a podcast called relationship prescriptions so you're not podcasts are not foreign to you.

00:04:37.320 --> 00:04:49.350 So we're excited to have you I do want to point out that you make your home near Austin Texas, where you enjoy being grandma Carol to four wonderful grandchildren how amazing is that Dr Carol.

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Carol: Well, I was very blessed my husband had two boys they had families they've made me grandma Carol in the.

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Carol: Family there's there's nothing greater.

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Karen Potter: Well, Dr Carol we are just so grateful that you joined us and let's go ahead and begin with today's conversation and let's start with Why is sex and sexuality about more than behavior and why do we need to address matters of the heart Would you mind opening us up on that topic.

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Carol: yeah well I think many people if you pause for a moment will understand that sex is about sex here's one of the things i've observed often.

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Carol: In culture, the common message as well anything goes, do whatever feels good whether that's porn or hookups or cereal affairs or whatever it is.

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Carol: In the Christian church often the biggest difference is just what behaviors are okay, but it's still focused externally.

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Carol: it's still focused on the external what's right or not, what sin or not sin and I absolutely believe God has a lot to say, and that there is a sin factor here.

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Carol: But when we only focus on external behaviors it turns into something where you're just white knuckling it you're you're gritting your teeth and clenching your fest trying usually not to do something.

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Carol: And for the vast majority of people that doesn't work long term when, God created us he created our sexual nature as very close to the core of who we are, you are much more than your sexuality, however.

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Carol: Our sexuality is meant to say something about who God is is a relational being and the way he created us as relational beings he created us with the need desire and capacity for intimacy.

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Carol: sex and intimacy are close they're not the same, we can talk a bit about that more if needed, but when we only talk about behaviors and sometimes fight about what is on the sin list or not on this list.

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Carol: we're not dealing with the matters of the heart and Jesus came to change it from the inside out so if we really want to address the matter of sexuality and god's way we got to get to those matters of the heart.

00:07:15.540 --> 00:07:28.020 yeah absolutely so we have a program called strive for men with matt Fred and in one of the days, he talks about he starts to the video with okay here's what I want you to do I want you to not think about a.

00:07:29.130 --> 00:07:46.890 purple elephant just don't think about dawn right so it's it's this idea of you know, not being able to you know just refrain from sexual bad sexual behavior but but really go towards that sexual wholeness, I think, is what you're getting at can you can you speak to that a little bit.

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Carol: Sexual wholeness is an idea I don't think we talked about often enough.

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Carol: God does not only want you.

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Carol: Not to watch porn or do other bad sexual stuff he wants you to experience the wholeness of what he designed you to have as a sexual person whether you're married or not married whether you're young or old.

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Carol: And the behavior just doesn't it focusing on the behavior doesn't get to that I think anyone who has struggled with Ford.

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Carol: understands that there are drives deep inside that if you only try and cover that up without dealing with the thirst, that you have in healthy ways it's just not going to get very far.

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Carol: The drives that we have God put there for a reason and it's not that you're supposed to turn off your sexuality until you say I do on your wedding night and then you turn it on I have seen and heard from.

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Carol: Too many people where that ends up actually creating a problem they may white knuckle it and turn off porn and.

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Carol: try not to be sexual until they get married, but the distorted ideas about sex and relationships and intimacy.

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Carol: Really mess up their their life afterwards so we've got to get beyond the behavior you cannot experience intimacy by just taking the clothes off your body, and I know you covenant eyes talk a lot about.

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Carol: You know, poor and being a distortion of what God designed sexuality, to be it distorts our a person's ability to relate to another human being heart to heart.

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Carol: And God designed sexuality, to be this connection of body soul and spirit, not just taking the clothes off your body for a solo experience he designed it to be.

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Carol: A authentic connection between others, and I think the Christian church, by and large, has not done an adequate job of addressing that especially for unmarried people.

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Carol: But, but the sexual wholeness is the ability to experience that kind of intimacy with all aspects.

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Carol: of our being and just focusing on behavior we don't heal the wounds that keep us from experiencing that I might just share a little brief personal story years before I was married I found myself alone in a hotel room with a married man.

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Carol: I had determined I would never do that, and in that moment kind of rocked my world, how could I have ended up in a place that I said I would never be.

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Carol: I had to after that experience get under the surface of my own heart, thankfully, I heard words come out of my mouth I can't do this, my clothes did not come off he left.

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Carol: But I had to deal with the stuff in my heart, I had to get under the surface get beyond the behavior questions and deal with the matters in my heart the wounds I had accumulated.

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Carol: The distorted beliefs, I had come to think about sex and intimacy and relationships and the empty places I still had in my soul, I had to deal with those things if I was going to become a sexually whole person.

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Karen Potter: Why that's a really great segue into the question I wanted to ask you, which is really what difference does it, you know, does it make to someone having them address their sexual story on you know and to make that journey about that sexual wholeness yeah and.

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Carol: It makes.

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Carol: I believe a world of difference, and I think this is what Jesus was doing regularly when he dealt with people.

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Carol: I think Jesus coming to the woman at the well and john for the woman of Samaria and we know the story.

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Carol: He offers her living water and she says, I want some give me this living water Jesus said to her go call your husband and.

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Carol: The woman says, I don't have a husband Jesus says you're right you've had five and the person you're now with is not your husband.

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Carol: Often, that has been interpreted as a kind of you know condemnation Jesus wasn't pointing out sin.

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Carol: He was saying, I see you, I see your story let's deal with your story let's deal with what brought you here, there is, I don't believe a human being listening or watching to us right now.

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Carol: Who you woke up one day and said I think today i'll get hooked on porn i'll mess up my heart my body my mind my future marriage my relationship with God yep that's what i'm going to do today, no.

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Carol: You came to where you are from somewhere, what did you come to believe about sexuality and intimacy and maleness femaleness relationships.

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Carol: All of this, you learn those things before you knew, you were learning about them.

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Carol: And then, of course, as you got a little older you make choices, sometimes that were harmful sometimes that may be less so.

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Carol: You were harmed by other people, you may have ended up harming other people yourself all that goes into who you became and who you are now.

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Carol: Without dealing with those aspects of your sexual story it can't get to the matters of the heart.

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Carol: For people who are unmarried when I first took a group of people through some of our material and we were addressing sexual story and how you came to be where you are, I remember.

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Carol: One young man who just was broken down because of the betrayal and harm and abuse he'd had from his father and that had just morphed into so much destructiveness for him.

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Carol: And I remember a young lady who would never had sex, but who, in her mind, she was just.

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Carol: repulsed by so many things from men in the idea of marriage and and and whatever and it's getting to those under the surface aspects of a person's sexual story that gives God access so that we can walk towards actual wholeness.

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Karen Potter: Oh.

00:14:05.280 --> 00:14:12.120 yeah no I was just gonna, I just wanted to build off that idea of intimacy So when I was going through pre marriage with my wife.

00:14:12.690 --> 00:14:20.340 We were we were going through and working through intimacy specifically and the definition that was used just really.

00:14:20.640 --> 00:14:29.340 struck me and is still profound to meet today, it was intimacy isn't so much sexual intimacy right that's a part of it, the physical intimacy.

00:14:29.730 --> 00:14:35.220 But it's more a longing to be known and to be loved and so the definition was actually breaking it down into.

00:14:35.610 --> 00:14:48.450 intimacy been into me see and I wonder if this just speaks to that that longing that we have in our hearts, to be known to be loved obviously by people around us, but ultimately God Dr Carol.

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Carol: amen brother absolutely and I love that into me see that I think that's a great way of.

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Carol: doing it and it reminds me again that you can't experience intimacy by taking the clothes off your body.

00:15:02.100 --> 00:15:14.640
Carol: Your clothes have to come off your mind your heart your soul as well, if you are really going to experience what you are desiring to experience God created us with that need desire and capacity for intimacy.

00:15:14.970 --> 00:15:27.120
Carol: As part of the way we are created in his image, he is relational within himself God himself is experiencing intimacy Father son and Holy Spirit.

00:15:27.840 --> 00:15:40.170
Carol: Three persons that we speak of as the godhead that we are also told to think of them as one God and he is so intimate that the three of them are one.

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Carol: Our desire to be intimate our capacity for intimacy is part of how we are made in the image of God, he is relational he is experiencing intimacy so he created us with that need and capacity ourselves.

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Carol: And so there is no place the enemy likes greater to mess up then in that part of our being and experience that you're so close to who God is himself.

00:16:08.550 --> 00:16:18.930
Carol: And so, when we get past the behavior deal with these matters of the heart find healing from the wounds bring these parts of ourselves to God for wholeness.

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Carol: Then we become capable of experiencing intimacy with another human being, if that's in marriage that includes sex with your spouse if you're not married I believe single people need intimacy just as much as married people Jesus.

00:16:36.960 --> 00:16:51.660
Carol: A fully alive human male be a human being, and I believe his is an example, just as much for me as a woman, as for a man, he was here on earth with all the hormones and sex drive and.

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Carol: experiences that that we all experience scripture tells us that, but he never had sex he never was married do any of us want to say.

00:17:01.860 --> 00:17:19.470
Carol: The Jesus would have been more fully alive, if he had had sex or was married I certainly don't I don't believe any you know Christian would would want to say that So what does that say about the distortions that we have come to believe about the role of sex in our human experience.

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Carol: One of the big I believe lies in our culture contemporary world is that you have to have a sexual sexually fulfilling life to be fully alive.

00:17:34.320 --> 00:17:46.470
Carol: That that has to include a happy sex life well do we want to say that Jesus was less fully alive, then we can be then we desire to be so it's not that it's unimportant.

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Carol: It is important, and I believe we need a fuller I might say more robust understanding of Theology of who we are, as humans and our need for intimacy that goes beyond the physical.

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Karen Potter: That is so good, and I, you know I just think about.

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Karen Potter: A lot of our younger couples come to the table with you know different expectations, and you know, maybe different different understanding of this this whole miss you know I mean, some are.

00:18:16.920 --> 00:18:25.020
Karen Potter: are just not as knowledgeable about that, how can pastors and leaders incorporate some of these ideas into their ministry and.

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Karen Potter: i'm thinking specifically, I have two college age kids and so you know I just know for them like this is this is important stuff to talk about pre marriage.

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Karen Potter: Early in marriage, you know and then throughout the marriage, I think it continues, but how can I pastors and leaders really integrate this into some of their ministry work yeah I think.

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Carol: First of all.

00:18:47.760 --> 00:19:05.550
Carol: Talking about sexuality as a reflection of who God is and get away from only behaviors yes behaviors have consequences watching porn has consequences for the person if they get married for their spouse, yes, there are consequences.

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Carol: But it's much beyond that and I think pastors and leaders, I know many of them are watching us right now, first of all wrestle with how did you as a leader learn about sexuality and how are you reflecting God who God is and his nature and how you live that out yourself.

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Carol: You know, some pastors and leaders porn is a struggle for them, we know and so be walking this journey yourself.

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Carol: and address some of those matters of the heart, there is one aspect of looking for love in all the wrong places yes that's certainly a part of it, it goes beyond that so acknowledging that.

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Carol: going to these distorted sexual act behaviors is there for a reason.

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Carol: it's more than just deciding today i'm not going to watch porn anymore as critically important as that is it's about.

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Carol: Your sexual story, as we as we've alluded to there's plenty of scriptures that are stories in the Bible, like the Bible is very open about these things we don't we don't as Christians need to.

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Carol: need to hold back if God can talk about this in the Bible, we can talk about it so that that's that's part of it.

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Carol: And then help people understand the process that God is inviting us into and hold a sexually add in all the the healing of wounds from the past.

00:20:41.610 --> 00:20:50.550
Carol: The finding healthy ways to fill up the empty places in your soul that is an incredibly important spiritual principle learning to feed ourselves.

00:20:51.450 --> 00:21:00.150
Carol: Our bodies need food every day, our souls need food and for significant numbers of people it's not the only factor, but for a lot of them.

00:21:00.450 --> 00:21:09.750
Carol: porn is a way to try and fill that emptiness, how do you fill that emptiness up in good ways talk about that talk about these matters of the heart and then.

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Carol: I would encourage leaders and pastors to encourage people in the process.

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Carol: I have here, I hear from so many people who are struggling with porn and related challenges, who they white knuckle it for a while they do okay for a few days, maybe a few weeks, could even be a few months.

00:21:29.940 --> 00:21:39.990
Carol: And then they fall apart their stress gets higher or they're triggered in some way from something from the past or there's an unusual temptation.

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Carol: How do you deal with those and what do you do with slips if you do slip What do you do about that God has so much to say about those things talk about those things, make church, a place where these kinds of questions can be challenged and perhaps my last point in in this momentary rant.

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Carol: Be authentic that doesn't mean you air your dirty laundry in a church service necessarily but.

00:22:09.270 --> 00:22:10.080
Carol: be real.

00:22:12.150 --> 00:22:25.650
Carol: I hear from people who are so discouraged that they prayed for deliverance they fasted and prayed to God would deliver them from porn and they're still struggling and they feel like God has left them be authentic about the process it's not excusing bad behavior.

00:22:26.940 --> 00:22:39.780
Carol: But be real and help people in those steps along the journey know that it's not over and what do you do when you face one of those trips.

00:22:41.550 --> 00:22:55.410 Those are some great ideas, Dr Carol so if people listening, you know whether they're a pastor whether a lay person who were whatever state of life they're in currently they want to learn more about this topic, they want to dive deeper into this.

00:22:55.830 --> 00:22:58.830 Where would you recommend they go what resources, would you recommend for them.

00:22:59.490 --> 00:23:04.200
Carol: Oh thanks brandon you can come to our website, first of all, Dr Carol ministries COM.

00:23:04.590 --> 00:23:10.170
Carol: We also have a 30 day email devotional series towards sexual homeless.

00:23:10.530 --> 00:23:15.750
Carol: And it's free and I believe you are going to have the link in the in the show notes to this podcast.

00:23:16.140 --> 00:23:22.800
Carol: That allows in your inbox every day for 30 days every scripture commentary and a prayer you can pray out loud.

00:23:23.190 --> 00:23:32.190
Carol: That put some of these ideas in very small bite sized pieces that you can grow in your own journey of sexual wholeness.

00:23:32.580 --> 00:23:43.470
Carol: And then we have an online course to help people get deeper into their sexual story to unpack what happened to them where they are now invite Jesus into their story.

00:23:43.800 --> 00:23:52.350
Carol: And then walk with him into writing a new chapter of their sexual story growing into sexual wholeness that's our expectations course.

00:23:52.920 --> 00:23:59.430
Carol: The website is your expectations calm and I just want to invite our covenant eyes podcast.

00:24:00.360 --> 00:24:12.750
Carol: People, we do have a coupon code if, when you go and get that course you enter the code covenant covenant eyes, but the word covenant in the promo code you'll get 15 15% off.

00:24:13.200 --> 00:24:22.680
Carol: The the cost of that course and here's an offer that I would encourage if you are a pastor or a leader, maybe even just a small group leader or you know other people around you.

00:24:23.100 --> 00:24:34.110
Carol: are challenged with this, we do have some leader resources if you are interested in taking a group of your people through this material, we have some special resources for leaders.

00:24:34.500 --> 00:24:40.200
Carol: That can help you use this expectations course in in a group setting and i'd encourage you to.

00:24:40.740 --> 00:24:50.460
Carol: When you go to your expectations calm, at the very bottom is a link that will encourage you to reach out to us for some of those leader resources, and we would love to work with you in that way.

00:24:52.140 --> 00:25:04.170
Karen Potter: wow Thank you Dr Carol I think you have given everyone listening a little bit of homework to get started on whether you're a pastor or a leader, a churchgoer or just somebody that happened to stumble on this which wasn't by accident but.

00:25:04.770 --> 00:25:16.440
Karen Potter: Of course, the Holy Spirit drives us into things um let's let's definitely check those resources now I know personally I get your daily emails and they are such a blessing each day to open and to read and.

00:25:16.800 --> 00:25:25.680
Karen Potter: I would just encourage all of you to engage with the content there, it is amazing stuff and Dr Carol it has just been so much fun learning with you we'd love to have you back again.

00:25:26.100 --> 00:25:39.210
Karen Potter: and make sure everyone listening to this podcast share with your friends check out the resources from Dr Carol and of course send us your feedback at covenant I or i'm sorry podcast at covenant we'd love to hear from you.

00:25:40.500 --> 00:25:43.650
Carol: It has been such a delight here and brandon Thank you.

00:25:43.860 --> 00:25:45.480
Carol: And God bless you all.

00:25:45.930 --> 00:25:49.770 God bless you as well, and a reminder to for our listeners if you haven't.

00:25:50.190 --> 00:25:56.580 Already, yet you get another opportunity here to take advantage of that free 30 day trial of covenant eyes software.

00:25:56.880 --> 00:26:08.010 we're offering for you today, so please just visit our website covenant enter promo code free podcast all one word no spaces at checkout.

00:26:08.370 --> 00:26:16.590 Thanks everyone again for joining us today for this wonderful conversation and we'll see you again next time on the Covenant eyes church podcast.