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Becoming One: Emotionally, Spiritually, Sexually Paperback – November 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Beam is an internationally known inspirational speaker and author. He founded Beam Research Center and serves as its chairman. He has spoken to millions of people worldwide in personal appearances as well as appearances on TV and radio, including ABC’s Good Morning America, Focus on the Family, the Montel Williams Show, NBC's Today Show, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and magazines such as People and Better Homes and Gardens.

After earning his bachelor's degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Southern Christian University, Joe did graduate studies in clinical psychology at the University of Evansville. He is currently involved in research to complete his PhD in biomedical science at the University of Sydney, consistently rated one of the top fifty universities in the world. The emphasis of his research is in sexology.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

    He walked into my hotel room with a mumbled "hello." 

    Though my life's work is helping people and though I enjoy it very much, I employ a policy that never allows people to come to my hotel room. Never. But Sam had seen an ad in his local newspaper advertising that the president of Family Dynamics was speaking at a local church. Hoping that I might deliver him from the demon tormenting him, he found my lodging and implored a meeting until I yielded.

    Now he stood silently before me, head hanging and shoulders drooping, until I directed him to the worn sofa situated in the middle of the room. I took the only other chair the proprietor had thought to furnish. Without looking up, Sam started into his story. It was the same story I've heard from countless others who, by their own actions, have caused the walls of their lives to crash in on themselves and everyone they love.

    He'd been married twenty years, but for some time now, his relationship with his wife had barely existed. They'd drifted apart, taken up separate interests, and spent little time together -- except during social functions, like church. They weren't sure they loved each other anymore. At least that was Sam's perspective.

    Just two weeks before -- on a whim -- he had wheeled into a strip bar. Strip bars weren't a part of his lifestyle, and under normal circumstances they held no temptation for him. But on that particular night, he was feeling empty, alone. He was looking for something; he just wasn't sure what it was. Without any acknowledged thought process, he walked through the door into a world that had never existed for him before, unaware that he was leaving a world to which he might never return.

    It was quite an eventful night.

    By the time the sun groggily crawled over the horizon to reveal its own bloated, flushed face, Sam was recovering from his drinking binge while finishing breakfast at an all-night greasy spoon with a stripper half his age. They'd talked about life, dreams, and the futures they wished for but feared might never be. He told me how they'd instantly hit it off on some deep level, how she understood him like no one ever had, and how he had always longed for this kind of friendship with a woman.

    Within a week he'd left his wife, rented an apartment, and moved in with this twenty-something whose trade in life was erotically enticing drunken men to give her their money.

    Quite a rapid change for a churchgoing, pillar-in-the-community businessman and father.

    Too much change. He couldn't live with it.

    After just a few days with his newfound "soul mate," Sam had awakened to the realization that he didn't want to spend another night with this stripper. Guilt consumed him, and he surprised himself by discovering that he missed his wife -- the woman he had convinced himself he had no affection for whatsoever.     Bewildered and disoriented, he told the stripper to leave and spent the rest of the day wandering about in dazed confusion until he noticed the ad in the newspaper. That's when he tracked me down -- the stranger he hoped could fix all this.

    All my religious and moral values were offended by his actions, but I felt no anger toward him. What he had done was wrong -- very wrong -- but I was more interested in saving him than chastising him. Besides, I don't think I could have awakened any more guilt in him than he already felt.

    As he finished telling me about the events of the last two weeks, he looked at me and asked the question I knew was coming. Not only did I anticipate the question, I knew the answer.

    "Why?" he begged. "Why would I do a thing like that? It's so foreign to everything that I believe, everything that I am. Can you tell me why I'm doing what I'm doing?"

    I paused just for a moment as an involuntary sigh escaped, then replied gently, "Sam, more of us have struggled with that question than you can ever know. I think I know exactly what is driving you -- the same thing that drives so many people to misguided actions. It's the search for intimacy.

    "You crave a warm, intimate, close relationship with another human being, and you were trying desperately to find something, someone, who promised to give it to you. Even though you didn't know what to call it, you knew that you wanted someone to share your very self with -- your hopes, your dreams, your fears.     That's what you thought you'd found in your stripper.

    "But somehow, you've managed to discover what so many haven't yet figured out: Sex and intimacy aren't the same thing. That's why you told the stripper to leave. You longed for intimacy, but all you got was sex.

    "If you ever had intimacy with your wife, you lost it long ago. But you don't want it lost. You want it so badly that your misguided search has cost you what little intimacy you had left. Sadly, your search is taking you farther from the treasure you seek."

    I talked longer, fleshing out the thoughts above, until he interrupted my soliloquy by beginning to cry. Not the gentle, quiet weeping of tender moments. No, it was the bitter, angry expression of grief that accompanies a crushing discovery. With wonderment washing his eyes, he nearly shouted, "You're right! Oh, my     God, you're right!"

    Ultimately, I convinced Sam to call his minister. I sat listening as he laid out the skeleton of the story over the line, asking if the minister would go with him to tell his wife. They worked out a time to meet, talk in more detail, and pray before visiting with her. When Sam finished the conversation, I prayed with him and sent him on his way. 

    He left with a mixture of horror and hope.

    I didn't know which of those emotions would find its fulfillment.

    I knew that by the grace of God I'd started Sam on the right path, but I also knew that his own sinful actions had strewn that path with danger, pitfalls, and seemingly insurmountable obstructions. I watched through the curtains as he drove away, praying again for God's will to be done for Sam and his wife. I wanted to have hope for them. Maybe his wife would forgive him and, despite what he had done, work toward intimacy. Maybe he could focus on his relationship with her, find forgiveness, and find what he was seeking.



My Own Story

    The reason I was able to so easily identify what Sam really wanted is that I, too, had to discover my intense need for intimacy the hard way. I have been in situations and done things of which I'm terribly ashamed. Many times in my life I've had to face overwhelming guilt, trying to figure out how I got into some situation or why I did some sinful act. I vainly tried to understand myself by analyzing environment, childhood events, potential genetic flaws, satanic traps, and even the possibility that at heart I am fatally morally flawed.

    At one time or another I blamed each of those causes, but my understanding of my struggles wasn't to come through self-analysis. God decided to teach me a different way.

    Because God sees me in a different light than I see myself -- the light of grace -- He continually gives me the ministry of helping people who struggle and fail as much as I do. He's done it for as long as I can remember. Not only does He graciously use me to help them, He often uses them to explain me to me.

    It was during one of those times when I was helping another struggling Christian that I suddenly realized what God had been revealing to me through others for years. I finally understood that very often it is a person's drive for intimacy that misguides him or her into sin. As soon as that awareness blossomed, I immediately understood my own struggles and, better yet, the final solution to them.

    I'd been seeking intimacy with God and a good marriage with Alice but had never seen the two goals as more than indirectly related. Instantly I knew that the only way to develop the godliness and wholeness I craved was to seek intimacy with God and with Alice as a unified goal. Unless I could accomplish that, I would struggle spiritually for the remainder of my life.

    As soon as I experienced that "aha!" I realized that because intimacy was missing in our marriage, Satan's forces had been able to lead me astray. For the first time, I finally saw the truth that I would later share with Sam. Intimacy is the key. We seek it from the moment we are conscious that we are alive and continue until the moment we have our last conscious thought on this planet. Only when we live in an intimate relationship with another person and an intimate relationship with God do we have the very treasure we live our lives to find.

    God made us that way.

    Our God-Given Craving for Intimacy 

    God Himself placed the desire for intimacy within each one of us. He made us with two powerful carvings that permeate or motivate nearly everything we do: 

    1. Every human craves intimacy with another human.

    2. Every human craves intimacy with God.

    Understanding those two under girding drives within human nature gives great insight into many of our actions, both logical and illogical, holy and sinful. They explain a lot about why we do what we do. Sound simple? Maybe it should be, but it gets complicated because of the difference in men an... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582293627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582293622
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Beam is a nationally-best selling author who has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Montel Williams Show, The James Dobson Show and other appearances on TV and radio. He is a marriage educator who writes about relationships and life. Joe founded Beam Research Center, an organization that provides marriage help to hurting couples.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Landreth on December 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book should be required reading for every couple (married or engaged to be married).
Mr. Beam does a masterful job of explaining how God must be at the core of a loving, intimate relationship.
This book is not the typical, "We don't communicate anymore."
Mr. Beam shares very specific tools that one can employ to grow closer to God, and in turn, grow closer to his/her spouse.
I've told everyone I know about this book. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book has done just what it promised--brought me closer to my husband spiritually, emotionally, and sexually.
It is very easy to read and understand. The "real life" stories help to apply what Beam is teaching.
Becoming One is not another "do these things and your marriage will be perfect" sort of books. It gives you real strategies that will not only help you live with another person, but share your lives and be happy with them!
I can't recommend it enough. After reading it, we were even inspired to find a local class with the same principles. In my opinion, it's great for all couples--from those just having trouble talking to those at the verge of ending their marriage to those with near-perfect relationships!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Warren T. Baldwin on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an exceptionally well written book about three important aspects of marriage: emotions, spirit and body (sexuality). Joe demonstrates how important it is for a husband and wife to practice and grow in their emotional, spiritual and sexual connections. He also provides clear and easy-to-practice exercises in communicating and connecting with each other.

A very important feature of the book is on overcoming hindrances in our relationship with our spouse. Guilt, fear, shame, low self-esteem or any other negative attitude does not need to hinder or disrupt our "oneness" with our husband or wife. Joe has a very good section on forgiveness.

This book is excellent for individual or class study and is also great for wedding gifts. Give a young couple a gift they will continue to benefit from for many years.

One more thing - Joe provides ample scriptural witness to the points and discussion in makes in his book. "Becoming One" is one of the best books on marriage I have read. If you liked "Love & Respect" and "His Needs Her Needs" (see my reviews) you will like this book as well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Murphin on June 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is like no other book and changed my life. It provides a framework of how to communicate with your spouse that creates true intimacy. I've been happily married for 16 years, but just now feel more in love with my wife than ever before, just by reading this book and applying the principles. Imagine being able to trust your wife enough to tell her everything and anything no matter what and she would not punish you for it, but probably love you more for it. This is very powerful stuff that every couple should know about. I recommend this book to any married couple no matter what your situation, but be prepared to never be the same again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Lytle on March 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was recently given this book by a pastor friend when my marriage was a step away from being completely over. it has helped us TREMENDOUSLY. when i first started reading this book i was first impressed with the way that the author wrote. he explains things very well and has a way of bringing light to certain problems without ever coming off as judgemental or condescending. the next thing that impressed me is the way he uses the experiences of others (anonimously) to bring issues to life. it reminded me that my wife and i were not the only ones with these issues and that they could be overcome.

the book itself centers on the innate need for intimacy and overall fullfillment in a marriage. this isnt some "how-to" book for living a great life, but a read and discuss manual for couples. at the end of every chapter there is a "workout" designed to get the couples discussing key issues of the relationship. there is also a companion workbook with more in depth "workouts" that have been tremendous in opening dialogue between us and allowing us to ponder certain important topics.

i have recommended this book to others i know who have marital problems. i would recommend it to just about anyone who is married, regardless of happy you may be, or to any couple who is considering marriage.
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By janell on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I worked through this book with a group at our church and loved it! This book is great if you are newly married or have been married for years!! Use the workbook along with the book and you will be able to strengthen your marriage and become closer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew P. Mcmillan on February 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for married couples/newly married couples, that will bring couples closer together, and will build a relationship that will last.
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