How Far Is Too Far When Dating?

Is there a place to draw the line? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I host a men’s group on Facebook for Christian men who are married, engaged, dating, or hoping to date and marry called “As Christ Loved The Church.” I had someone last night ask about oral sex. Is that going too far if someone has oral sex with their girlfriend?

Fortunately, the consensus seems to be yes. Naturally, that is one that I agree with. A good rule of thumb I gave the person in private conversation is to not share anything that would go beyond what a swimsuit would cover. Some people might want even less and I respect that decision if that’s what you think. I definitely think that you should be careful if you’re not doing something like swimming together.

If you ask where I draw the line, it’s with kissing. I think it’s good for a dating couple to kiss. There are some who want to save that for the altar, but I think doing that can make it too difficult to move straight from being able to kiss to being able to have total sex together.

One reason to stop there is because temptation beyond that is way too powerful. Once clothes start coming off, it’s really hard to put the brakes on at that point. (That’s another reason if you have a swim date together, make sure it’s a public place, like your local YMCA) If you spend time alone, make sure it’s a place that anyone can walk in. When I was dating Allie, while we were in the basement area of her parents’ house for the most part where her bedroom was, we also knew the door was open and anyone could come down at any time. This helps put the brakes on temptation.

Ideally, as I told this guy, it should be the first time you see your girlfriend naked, or any woman naked for that matter, is on your wedding night. For the latter part of any woman, few guys will be able to say that that will be them even if they avoided watching pornography. It can pop up in a movie or anything these days and even those who make it a practice to avoid porn can still get pop-ups from time to time.

There is nothing like seeing the body of the person you love and when you are married, there will be times you see that body and don’t get to do the deed as it were. That’s when you have to practice self-control. Generally, you’ll have to have it in marriage because there are other things you’ll be doing in married life besides having sex together. Some couples are surprised that there are other things you’re doing on the honeymoon besides having sex together but, yes, yes there are.

So what happens if you make a mistake? Well, you made a mistake. It doesn’t mean you have to end the relationship, but it does mean you need to agree together to not repeat this mistake again. Falling in mud is an accident, but if you stay in it and roll around in it, that’s another problem. It’s not to say you won’t be tempted. Actually, if you’re not tempted with sexual sin with the person you’re with, you could say there’s a problem. You are going to want to be with them. Anticipation is very sweet.

Overall, remember it’s possible to love the person you’re with in a dating relationship without having sex or doing anything remotely sexual. If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to not do it until you check and talk to some wiser people who have been there. You want to go into your marriage with as little regret as possible, but if you make a mistake, have grace, since God has that for you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Jimmy Carter on Homosexuality

Should we take what Jimmy Carter said seriously? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have seen this meme going around the past few months or so and saw it again yesterday on Facebook. Chances are, you have as well. I always give the same reply. As far as I know, the quote is authentically from Jimmy Carter, but even if it isn’t, the message is still one that many Christians will find difficult to respond to and many others will treat as an unassailable argument.

Maybe you’re a Christian wondering how you should respond to that. After all, Jesus never said anything explicitly about homosexuality in the Bible. Also, it was very well known in the ancient world and this long before Jesus was born. Is it time to surrender this point? No.

Here’s what I initially post every time I see this.

Pederasty was well-known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born, and Jesus never said a word about pederasty. In all of his teachings about multiple things, he never said that pederasts should be condemned.

For those who don’t know, this was a practice where an older man would take a younger boy in and mentor him. That mentoring would often involve making the younger boy a lover. The boy would traditionally play the female role. This was a common practice in the ancient world at the time of Jesus and Jesus never said a word about it.

Now if the person posting this meme is going to be consistent, then they will need to approve of a practice that most of us would call child abuse or sexual abuse today. If they don’t, then they are just cherry picking. This shows the problem with the argument because if you just submit another term in that can apply equally, the argument doesn’t work.

If anything, Jesus’s silence should be seen as tacit approval of what the Torah said about homosexual practice. Jesus had no problem dealing with interpretations of the Law that He found to be problematic. On this one, He is incredibly silent on the matter. Could it because like pederasty, this wasn’t an issue in ancient Israel?

As for Jesus’s stance on sex and marriage, it was much harder than those around Him. Jesus looked at both of the schools of His day on divorce and at the Essenes in Matthew 19 and went beyond both of them. His response many Christians today might think perfectly natural, but His own disciples were shocked by it.

Jesus also spoke hard on lust, something that many of us guys would probably love to have taken out of the Bible. Committing adultery was wrong, but it is definitely just as bad to even look at a woman with the desire to fornicate with her. Why? Because on a cost-benefit analysis, if you can get away with doing it, you will do it.

Don’t let someone fool you with this kind of argumentation from Carter. Regardless of what I think of his politics, I can say he does not know what he’s talking about with the Bible. Contrary to what the meme says, the Bible is something I think real Christians should stand up for.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Sacredness Of The Human Body

What is it about the body that is sacred? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I found myself on Facebook in a discussion about pornography. Why was I against it? Talking to atheists in this one, I decided to not just quote Scripture left and right, but to accept real evidence that I thought would be more convincing.

I spoke about how pornography ultimately treats women as objects. (I know there is porn the other way, so just alter the figures as needed) They are there to fulfill a sexual need and that is it. There is no more beyond that. Such a position is degrading to the female and if you degrade one woman, you have degraded all of them.

Later last night, I read about a resort called Temptation that is pretty much a millennial sex orgy. While there is supposed to be no public sex there and no is supposed to mean no, I’m quite sure that at least the first rule is violated several times. The sad thing is, this article was written by a married woman who said while she wasn’t going to be sleeping with other guys, she was happily letting it all go there.

I found it ultimately saddening, as if the human body is simply a display object. For myself, I like knowing that there is something of the body that is reserved for me only by my wife and vice-versa. This isn’t talking about you just going to the gym and if you’re with other men or other women, being undressed around them. After all, unless they’re gay, that’s not an issue for them. This is about things reserved for you and your spouse alone.

I really do think this is something that women especially have to face. After all, even most women would say the female body is objectively far more beautiful than the male is, and that’s even if they’re fully straight women. Women were just made to be beautiful and many women are constantly comparing themselves with other women to see if they have that beauty.

By the way women, just a little tip. What you are so obsessed with, we are not obsessed with. If you are married to a good man, he has no objections to you doing things to beautify yourself more, but he also loves you just the way you are. If anything, he wants you to live like you believe that.

Which gets me back to my objection to pornography. I object to the female body being put on display as an object just to arouse men. Now let me be straight forward and say the human female body does arouse men. I was listening to a news story about Notre Dame burning and how it was the building as it was before the fire was the most beautiful sight someone had ever seen. My thought was, “I am sure it is a beautiful sight, but it sure can’t compare to Allie.”

I definitely mean that. Why? Well, Notre Dame, as beautiful as it was, and hopefully will be again, was still built by man. It can’t compare with a design that was originally made by God. As I sit here typing, I see a picture of my wife here next to me and I look over with amazement. I never truly knew what beauty was until I saw her.

If I am sitting on the couch minding my own business and she tells me she’s going to go take a shower, my ears perk up immediately. If there’s anything that can get me to stop what I’m doing, it’s the affection of my wife. It has been a huge motivator for me to get me to stop doing things I shouldn’t be doing and start doing things that I should be doing.

So yes, I am not at all about to deny that the human female body has that function on us men.

The difference is that we who are happily married men should know that that is not just a human female body. That is a person. There’s an adage for married men that says sex begins at breakfast. No. It doesn’t mean you hoist her on to the breakfast table and get your game on. (Not that many of us would object if she was willing) It means that you start being romantic in the morning and that will increase the odds of her being romantic in the evening.

Pornography removes all of that. There is no romance truly in porn. The story of a movie might have some romance, but the man watching to get his stimulation needs to make no requirement. He does not have to romance a woman. He does not have to treat her with dignity. He’s just seeing a body. That’s all that matters.

Not only that, there are likely some in the porn industry who are there because of sex trafficking. Someone watching porn could unknowingly be supporting sex trafficking then. This is especially relevant for those in the atheistic crowd who want to decry slavery in the Bible so much.

There’s also the case that if you watch movies and TV, most of us know that any sex that takes place there is nothing like it is in real life. Porn will go way beyond that to even more unrealistic ideas. That’s why many women today can struggle with their lovers wanting more and more extreme behavior. I’m also convinced this is why many young men struggle with conditions like erectile dysfunction. They have got so used to fake women that a real woman can’t turn them on anymore.

Guys. If you are struggling with this habit, I really encourage you to go and get help immediately. You are not preparing yourself for a future sex life if you’re still a virgin. You’re doing great damage to your future sex life. If you are not planning to marry, you’re still lowering women everywhere. If you are married, find pleasure in your own wife. You don’t need to look elsewhere for sexual fulfillment.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Sexual State

What do I think of Jennifer Roback Morse’s book published by TAN Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to thank Dr. J, as she prefers to be called, for sending me a review copy of this book. Dr. J’s book is about the sexual revolution and the damage that it has done. The book is definitely written from a Catholic perspective, but Protestant readers like myself will still benefit from it.

Dr. J starts with talking about many of the victims of the sexual revolution that have been silent. These are people who have been hurt by the tearing apart of the family, including the divorce culture. This isn’t to say that divorce should absolutely never happen, but when divorce is way too easy, it has led to people with their own fallen natures seeking to end a marriage easily. Even when Allie and I were still in our seventh year of marriage I was told by some people we had a “long marriage.” Very sad.

Dr. J contends also that all of this required the necessary involvement of the state. The government has been pushing much of this, which is definitely the case when we realize that Planned Parenthood is government funded. Many of our elites also have a great interest in the sexual revolution. Think about how many people got ousted in Hollywood and media by the MeToo movement.

Dr. J sees this built on three pillars. The first is the contraceptive ideology. This is the one that tries to separate sex and babies. As a Protestant, I didn’t agree with this one as much as the others. After all, even devout Catholics practice Natural Family Planning to be able to have sex without having babies.

There’s also the case of situations where the motive is entirely right to avoid childbirth. I know someone once whose wife had a serious bone condition. If she got pregnant, she could die. They have measures taken to make sure this doesn’t happen. Is that wrong? I don’t think so.

For this, I largely think it depends on the circumstances. I would definitely agree that anyone wanting to use contraception in order to have easy sex outside of marriage is in the wrong, but notice that in this case, it is the activity itself of sex outside of marriage that is wrong. Were we to live in a culture where sex was kept within the bounds of marriage, I don’t think this would be as much of a problem.

Of course, I definitely agree that abortion is an evil. The only possible exception could be if it is required to save the life of the mother and the baby would die anyway. Abortion is one of the greatest evils of our time and I find it repulsive to think that even many so-called faith leaders are accepting it.

From there, we move on to the divorce ideology. This one destroys the permanence of marriage. Again, there are times I think everyone agrees that divorce is a sad necessity, such as a highly abusive relationship, but even then, it is a tragedy because it means someone broke their promise before God and men.

On the other hand, I do know of some women who favor no-fault divorce because it allowed them to get away from abusive husbands where if things had gone wrong, they would have stayed in that situation and been punished by the husband. I am not a legal scholar at all, so I can’t answer what can and can’t be done, but I would definitely agree that divorce is too often done and too many couples go into marriage saying that if things don’t work, they can get a divorce.

Sadly, this can also lead to people assuming that moving in together before marriage to test out a relationship will work. In reality, this is something that increases your odds of divorce and puts you in a more dangerous situation and allows men and women to treat each other as test subjects. It’s especially bad for the woman. After all, the man gets all the rewards he wants, namely free sex, and he doesn’t even have to commit to the woman!

Finally, there’s the gender ideology. It first started with the goal to remove the gender requirement for marriage, but now it seeks to eliminate gender altogether. If we looked at how the feminist movement went down the path, it’s quite a development.

The first step was saying that women are equal to men. This wasn’t in an ontological sense but saying women can vote, drive cars, own property, hold a job, etc. Most of us today would have no problem with this perspective.

The second was saying that women are superior to men. This has led to men often being just sperm donors and having it be easy to cry out rape at any event. Women have tried to show they don’t need a man in anything. I often thought Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 could have just been “Vote for me because I’m a woman!”

But then the third step went somewhere most feminists didn’t expect and some have argued against. Now, thanks to the transgender movement, women are men. This has also led to some amusement from many of us men. Now men are able to compete in women’s’ sports. When they win, now men are no longer just superior at being men, but at being women apparently. Of course, there’s no risk also that many young men won’t use the new laws on transgenderism to be allowed to shower with the girls. Nope. After all, we’ve learned men have no interest in looking at female bodies.

Each of these chapters is followed with the Catholic response. Again, Protestants can get something out of this. I don’t agree with the Catholic Church on many issues, but they do some of the best work in moral philosophy today.

A final section also has Dr. J talking about the gift of grace and such. This is also how she ended her book Smart Sex and Dr. J I think is truly at her best when writing about the gift. She does not write as a highly sophisticated theologian or Biblical exegete. I would contend it is the simplicity of how she writes that makes it special and many of us who are Protestant Christians can stand up and cheer at this point.

While many people will have different levels of commitment, I think most of us in the Christian camp will agree the sexual revolution has been a disaster. If we could return to saving sex for the person you are married to it would help us out so much. (Just think of how much we would not have to spend in researching and treating STDs) No laws will ever give us utopia as long as we are fallen human beings, but we can say that some ideas make it worse, and that includes the sexual revolution.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Wife And Emotional Commitment

What does it mean to connect? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hate to tell you all this, but I am not the husband I should be being. If you watched on Facebook and wondered why I stopped posting to my wife, it’s not because my love died for her one bit, but it’s because it seemed to be more of a show to her and the substance behind the scenes wasn’t all I thought it should be. As it turns out, she hasn’t felt emotionally connected for years and it has been heartbreaking to realize this.

Allie had a hard day yesterday and when we went to bed, we prayed and then we just started talking. Allie takes medications at night and one purpose of one medication is to help her sleep. Because of that, we don’t do anything that will go against that, so that means that once she takes her medicine, nothing sexual will happen. That is then off the table.

So what did we do? We found ourselves just talking. Allie goes to bed early and we went to bed at 8:30. I normally stay up and do some work after that. While I do value that time, tonight, I got a lot more.

As a man, I can too often be pushing for sexual fulfillment way too much. Allie insists I need to wait and let her come to me, but I sadly have a tendency to be boneheaded and not listen. When it was off the table, I found I got something incredibly fulfilling in just talking together. That doesn’t mean I didn’t from time to time give a hug or a kiss, but it was something simple, something that could have been done while we were just dating.

I found my wife amazing in so many ways. She is really one of the strongest women I know if not the strongest. She recently shared on her Instagram a picture called Healer’s Journey. Take a look for yourself.

This is my wife. No matter what pain she is going through, she has care for so many people who come to her, much more than I do. The reality is many of you don’t know what goes on with her. Inside her head every day it is a battle. Every day she has the hardest voices tearing her apart. She resists temptations so much that you and I never really can think about.

Sadly, she takes upon herself the weight of the world often and when she sees people around her in pain, she feels personally responsible. She feels used to being neglected and abandoned and alone and sadly, I fear I have treated her the same way at times unintentionally. Many of you don’t really know what is going on inside of her, but rest assured when she is giving to you, she is often in a place of pain herself.

She lives with a constant perfectionism for instance inside of her and never thinks she’s good enough. This can affect her Christian walk as every sin seems to be unacceptable. In a sense it is, but she does have a struggle with grace. Still, when I see her hungering for God so much and praying for more of Him, I can often think there is something missing in me. It’s easy for me to just come to God with my list of the things I want. Allie is different. She truly wants to come to the table just for the one seated at the table.

This is causing me to look at my own prayer life differently and my own Christian walk. Seeing the way I have unintentionally mistreated her over the years is causing me to look at how others are and have more grace and mercy. Some things Allie has said to me lately would normally get me in anger immediately, but they haven’t been. I’ve had to look at myself a lot more.

I’ve told her that lately, she has given me a great gift. She has given me the opportunity to humble myself. I stress the opportunity aspect because she can’t humble me like that. Humility has to be an act on my own part. I can assure any reader that I take no delight in any sort of self-humiliation on my part here, but I do take delight in getting to tell you more about her.

The thing about her is she really cares. I am convinced that one day she will be a beacon of hope to so many people. I have apologetics and it’s good to answer questions and they need to be answered, but she has a story and I think a story will connect a whole lot more for many other people. She has a story that it will be very hard to argue against.

So today, I want to give this as a tribute to the woman I love so much, my Princess Allie Peters. This is a woman who is giving me an opportunity to have a deeper walk with Christ and take a look at myself and sacrifice my own pride for a greater cause. This is a woman who makes me want to be a better Christian just by being herself. This is a woman who still loves me for some odd reason though I have done much to not deserve it. Her love is a gift that I could never earn, but like I plan to do with God’s love, may I spend the rest of my life showing how much it means to me.

Love you, Princess. Thank God for what you are being used to do in my life and thank you for your willingness to be used by God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Faithful, A Theology Of Sex

What do I think of Beth Felker Jones’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This book was recently for sale on Kindle and I decided to get it since as a married man, sex and theology are both great areas of interest for me. Jones’s book is short, but it is profound. There’s a lot of good material in here.

One thing she says at the start is that all of us should be theologians. In reality, we all are. The question is not if we will be theologians, but what kind of theologians will we be?

When she gets to the topic of sex, she asks what if it is not about us so much as it is about God and His intentions for creation. We don’t connect it with reality the way we should. As a married man, my having sex says something about the way I see God and reality. My friends who are single abstain (Or they should) which also shows how they view sex and reality.

Jones also says to imagine what if we said about food what we said about sex. “Eating has nothing to do with your health.” “Nothing you eat can hurt you.” “Food should always make you happy. Pleasure is the only purpose in eating.” It’s a wonderful analogy.

This also connects to the idea that sex matters to God because bodies matter and Christianity is a religion of the body. People will sometimes say what you do with your genitals is your business, but then change the rules when it comes to rape. If we say bodily actions matter from the get-go, we have no problem.

Sex in marriage is not a sin whatsoever, which some people in the Corinthian church would have thought. If anything, Paul says not only is it not a sin in marriage, it is a sin for couples to deprive one another of sex unless its by mutual consent and then only for a short time. Paul would not have had any patience for the idea of being married and purposefully abstaining from sex as if it’s the unforgivable sin.

Sex is really a gift. How many of us would like to be in the situation in the garden where the man and woman were both naked and felt no shame? Sex is a real gift from God and it is a good gift.

Part of the reason we see sex go wrong is because we don’t understand the body. Pornography is a symptom of this, but so also can many romance movies be. Porn can often give guys an unrealistic idea about how women should be, but romance movies and books can often give women an unrealistic idea of how men should behave.

Sex should be reserved for marriage and has the characteristics of fidelity, faithfulness, and an analogy of the relationship between God and His people. Sex properly understood in marriage is not for the self. It is for the other person seeking to please the other and express love to the other.

One line I really enjoyed in the book was about how sex is private, but there is something public as well. When you look around for instance, any person you see you know is there because of sex. (Barring some exceptions from IVF these days.) When we get married, part of what we say is “See this person up here? I’m having sex with them tonight.”

If there was something more I would like to see in this book, it would be more about sex itself. What is the symbolism in sex? A lot of the material is about ethics and the good of the body, but I would like future editions of this book to include more on the act itself. Overall though, I found this book quite helpful and encourage others to read it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Married Guy’s Guide To Great Sex

What do I think of Penner and Penner’s book published by Focus on the Family? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some people might be shocked to find out that a book with this title is written by two Christians. Others might be even more shocked to find out it’s published by Focus on the Family. Yet it has to be asked why should anyone be shocked. Our holy book as Christians contains the Song of Songs, a very sexual text indeed, and our God is the God who made the whole system of sex.

So now let’s get down to the details. This book is written for men and presumably, men in a Christian marriage. The book starts off with dealing with one of the great myths about men and marriage and sex. It is a great myth that most every guy will want to deny, but any married man will know is true.

We men are not sexperts.

Okay? Unless you’ve spent a lot if time in studying this area, you’re really not. We as men think that we have to automatically know everything about sex. We don’t. We grow up and get amazed by the women around us and our culture tells us that men are the people who know how to love a lady and that includes sexually.

Most of us who are married know that movies and TV shows are a sham in how they present sex. The man and the woman get together and it all just flows naturally. (Most men also know it’s a joke to think the woman is just as eager for the sex as the man is constantly.) You never see a movie or a TV show, at least I haven’t, where they say “We should put down a towel first.” You don’t see scenes of reaching for the lubricant. In movies, everything seems to flow perfectly and easily. That’s Hollywood fake sex. It’s not real sex.

So once we get past that idea, we can get to the work of learning about what it is we’re supposed to do. The Penners work on what kind of lover a man is. A great mistake that can be easily made is asking your wife how she likes a certain touch or activity. Stop it. It turns you into a spectator and makes you focus on a performance instead of an activity. If you talk, talk about what you yourself are feeling in touching and experiencing your wife and she will take the praise and enjoy it.

Ultimately, men need to let the woman lead. She is the star of the show. We’re just the supporting actors. Let her guide and don’t rush things which will make it even better because then, it’s not what you’re wanting but what she’s wanting. The women in our lives already know we want them. Let us show them how they want us to want them.

Remember also, your goal is to give her a good time. Give her a good experience and you will have a good experience. If you don’t think so, then you are just doing things wrong. By the way, ladies reading this. Want to make your husband really happy? Let him know if he does a really good job in the bedroom. (Or whatever room you happen to be in)

Also guys, remember sex doesn’t just take place in that room. Sex is an all-day thing. No. Not the way you’re thinking. It’s in romancing your wife constantly. If I go to the grocery store and Allie is just waiting in the parking lot while I shop, I’m busy sending her text messages and love songs on YouTube. Too many guys come home, show no affection to their wives, ask for dinner and a TV remote, and then expect their wives to be ready for a romantic evening.

Not happening.

Definitely included is to get rid of any pornography. Pornography will not enhance your marriage. Any benefits that are gained will be short-term. The long-term costs are far more serious.

Overall, the Penners would want you to remember that this is God’s gift for you. Sex should be enjoyable, but it will take work. You’re not naturally a sexpert, but you can learn.

And ladies, there’s a chapter at the end for you. This is a little not and guys can be benefitted by reading it. If you ladies want to read this book with your husbands, go ahead. You can say what you agree with and don’t agree with and if you desire, put it into practice, perhaps immediately.

This is a good book for married guys to read and not too long to read. The chapters are short and the lessons are easily learned. It could also be a good book for guys about to get married so they can learn what mistakes to not make ahead of time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Loving Him Well

What do I think of Gary Thomas’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Sometimes when you read marriage books, it’s good to read books written for the opposite sex. You can actually learn about yourself by doing that. Gary Thomas’s book in this category is not an exception, though I would encourage men also to read Cherish, which I have reviewed here, to learn about cherishing wives, and wives can learn how to cherish husbands.

Thomas writes starting off that marriage does not define a woman. The image of God does. Marriage is great and you should want to be loved by your husband and have a great marriage, but if you’re not, that doesn’t change your worth and value as a human being. That’s a really good message to those of us who are husbands who don’t always do the best as well!

He also tells women that if they want to influence their husbands (You can’t change him. You can only influence him.), they must be connected to God first. The relationship with Him is always primary. If a husband puts a wife above God or a wife puts her husband above God, it will only damage the marriage.

Thomas also shares in the book the main saying behind his Sacred Marriage. What if God didn’t create marriage to make us happy, but to make us holy? It’s too easy to look at the relationship and say you’re not happy anymore so it’s time to get out. Thomas encourages women to fill their heads with Scripture and be just as eager to be supportive wives of their husbands as they were on day one.

Thomas also shares a statistic that should surprise many wives. In a survey done, husbands said they love their wives more than their wives love them. While we can consider many men might exaggerate in a survey and how the question was asked, many men I know could say the same kind of thing. Husbands can often feel like we don’t matter.

Thomas encourages wives to realize as James 3 says, that we all stumble in many ways. No husband is perfect, and I fully confess that that includes me. Have grace for him. You are not going to find a husband who is perfect in every way. He’s going to make mistakes.

It could be tempting to look at his weaknesses and compare them to someone else’s strengths. This would be unfair to him. It undermines your husband’s strengths and the other man’s weaknesses. Let your husband be himself and have grace when he falls.

Also, we want you to be happy when you see us, as Thomas says. Thomas tells about a bus driver who the people are so happy when he shows up and they can finally get to their destination. The driver says in his account that he wishes his wife would look at him with such joy when he got home.

This gets us to Thomas’s first rule. Stop taking your husband for granted. Yes. We husbands can do this too. Marry the girl and then sit on the couch watching TV and don’t romance them. Yes. And you know what many husbands also say? Their wives could hardly keep their hands off of them when they were dating and they were fully excited about them, but after that ring comes on, they lose interest. Keep in mind, neither side is right in treating the other like that. Both of them changed. Thomas encourages women to love, accept, and honor their imperfect husband.

Btw, a little caveat here. In all of this, Thomas says he is assuming you are married to a good man who is really trying hard to please you. He is not talking about someone who is abusive to you or someone who is watching pornography and being unrepentant.

Thomas also says guys rise to praise. You build a man up by praising him. You tear him down by criticizing him. This isn’t just husbands and wives. This is also mothers and sons and other relationships between males and females.

Wives can also often stew privately with themselves asking why their men don’t do XYZ. Why don’t we? Simple. We don’t know what to do. Romance does not come naturally to a man and too many women have the Disney Princess or fairy tale fantasy of their guy being perfect. He’s not. We men just don’t know what do and we honestly hate that. Women. Please stop trying to hint to us what you want. Just tell us directly.

Sheila Wray Gregoire has written as an example on ten ways to indicate to your husband he’s going to be getting lucky this evening. The tenth way is to just say it. This way works the best. As an example of how hints don’t work, my own wife has told me about times when she’s been in the mood and I missed it and….

*Steps away from writing to go and mourn*

Okay. Where was I? Oh. Yeah. Don’t hint.

Thomas does say it’s a myth that the more your husband loves you, the more he’ll be able to read your mind. It’s a very sweet myth. It’s also total nonsense. It just doesn’t work.

Thomas also says husbands work hard to please their wives because we respond to praise and our wives adore us. Be disappointed around us and let down and we lose motivation. If we think we’re not impressing you, it kills our motivation to try. Should we try anyway? Yes. Still, women can make it far easier on their husbands.

He also tells about Laura Doyle who wrote The Surrendered Wife. Doyle went and asked husbands what they wanted from their wives. She figured her husband wanted the same things then. What did she do? Stopped nagging, cut out complaints and criticisms, let him lead in major decisions, and here comes the really controversial one, sex whenever he wanted it. Believe it or not, she got a fabulous husband out of the deal! Does it always work that way? No. Is it more likely that things will work that way? Yes.

Thomas also encourages women to not talk to their husbands the way they talk to their mother, sisters, girl friends, etc. If you want him to turn off the TV and just talk, good luck. At the end of the day, men can often want to turn their minds off. (Not an ironclad rule. I can do some great work at night, but usually if I’m watching TV, I don’t want serious discussion then.)

Bottom line here. Your husband won’t think or act like a woman. Don’t expect him to. Ironically, I also think we husbands tend to expect our wives to think and act like men. (Hey. Sex is free fun and bonding and we both like it, so why wouldn’t she want to? She doesn’t? Well, I guess she doesn’t really care about me. It really is amazing to read advice for wives and realize we husbands have our own counterparts.)

Thomas also says men don’t like to talk about painful feelings and emotions. Women like to work them out. Men don’t because the discussion themselves actually hurts them. They need time to process things. If you see your husband in pain over an emotion, just listen for the time being and give him a few hours to process things. Push and he will just react negatively. Why do men stonewall and such then? It’s self-defense. We avoid the talk because it is painful.

It’s also said that men when asked what they want, after sex and affirmation, said they want to have fun without feeling guilty. If a man asks for excessive time out, that’s one thing, but if he just wants one night a week to go hang out with the guys or just wants to watch a football game or play a video game some, let him. Don’t guilt him. I have actually said something I like is when my wife watches me plays video games and is supportive.

Sometime ago we had a friend over and he was working on my wife’s bass so I decided to play some Mega Man 11. Unfortunately, I kept having a hard time on a level and my wife loved to point it out. She asked why I was getting upset and my friend, a single guy, said, “Because you’re hurting his manhood.” Does that sound silly? Perhaps, but it’s also true. The message a man gets is “You’re incapable.” Men hate that message.

Thomas also has some sections on common concerns. The first is a husband who is angry. Now every husband has some anger and not all anger is wrong. Insult my wife on Facebook and watch that anger come out of me. When we do get angry with our wives, including me, we regret it. We’re ashamed. Help us out of that and you do a tremendous service.

One situation described is one my wife and I dealt with. My wife likes to go out to eat. I don’t care for it. Then sometime recently, my wife said “I like to do that because it’s something we do together.” That changes it. For me, I am not a food person and it’s kind of a necessary evil. My Princess had thought I saw this the same way. I don’t. Now that gives us something to work on. The example given in the book is shopping. A guy will normally not want to just go shopping, especially if he likes to make sure the money is secure. Instead, tell him you want to go out just because you want to be with him and you don’t have to buy anything. He’ll be much more open.

Thomas also says to properly challenge. Stand up to your husband not in disrespect, but in respect. “Honey. You’re better than this.  You’re hurting yourself and us. Be the man I want you to be here.” That will work so much better.

What about helping your husband become more involved at home? How many guys seem married to their work. Here’s one tip that comes to my mind immediately. Men tend to go where the respect is. If he thinks work gives him more respect than you, well guess where he will more often go. Again, that doesn’t make it right, but it does explain it. The same happens with hobbies. If a man feels a greater sense of accomplishment beating a boss on Final Fantasy than he gets with his wife, guess where he will more likely go to.

In this case, the wife changed herself and learned to be supportive and asked the husband what he wanted. One simple request was to prepare meals the kids like. Why? He wanted to come home to a peaceful home. The wife would just insist the kids eat what she gave them and that caused friction. A husband wants to come home to peace and not to more friction.

The wife also worked on being in a good mood around her husband. He also wanted her to be more fun. Go on fishing and hunting trips with him. I remember one story being told elsewhere about a guy who wanted his wife to join him on a hunting trip. They sat all day in one spot waiting for ducks to come. Nothing happened. Nothing. The wife considered it a waste. On the way back, the husband remarked how awesome it was. Why? They were doing something together he enjoyed and she wasn’t complaining. And no wives, they weren’t there having sex when the ducks weren’t coming. You can do things with your husband he will enjoy and appreciate besides sex.

All of this also came from a new commitment to Christ by the wife. What happened? Her husband wanted to come home. A husband will also change for a wife who shows commitment to him. If he thinks her commitment is growing lax, his tendency is to change his as well. Men want to know their wives will be with them in everything. If they don’t think that, it’s like a betrayal to them.

Also, if a man loves a woman and he realizes his actions hurt her, it causes him pain. Recently, a therapist told me that Allie and I weren’t emotionally connecting. It was hurting Allie. Allie told me the same thing when I asked her. I can assure you there was deep repentance for me. The last thing a good husband wants to do is to hurt his wife.

The third scenario is about pornography. Many men out there do not have this struggle, such as myself, but most all husband struggle with sex in some way. One simple statement made at the start is we are hooked and helpless in the face of female beauty. If I’m sitting on the couch minding my own business reading a book or watching TV, my wife can say “I’m going to get a shower” and my ears perk up immediately. If there is any beauty I will do most anything to pursue, it is my wife’s.

If you are a wife who has a husband who takes sexual integrity seriously, strives to avoid porn and compromising situations, and is faithful, be grateful. Don’t take him for granted. He really is trying and he may seem like a sex pervert still, but that part of his brain is really larger than yours and so it comes to his mind much much more often.

He also stresses that if a wife wants more of an emotional connection, she MUST supply the sexual. This is not an option. A man finds it hard to focus in many other areas if his sexual needs aren’t being met. It’s like cutting him off from his energy source and expecting him to perform still.

There are other benefits. Sex is a number one time that men release that oxytocin in their bodies, which is the bonding chemical. It will also make him see you more attractive and other women less attractive. Sexual coasting in a relationship and ignoring this part will ALWAYS damage the relationship. Shut a man down sexually and he will have a hard time being emotionally close to you.

Also, this is not just a physical need for a man. It may feel that way to a wife, but to him, it’s emotional and even spiritual. A man being told no to sex is not being told no to sex in his mind, but no to him as a person. He is rejected as a person every time. In our minds, our wives are irresistible and we would jump at most any chance to have sex. When we are told no, our minds tell us we’re not seen the same way. Wives. If you want your husbands to treat you differently, and they should want that on your own, do your part. Make sex a priority. For your husband, if sex is not a priority, HE is not a priority.

Also with this, do this with joy. A man doesn’t want pity sex. His pride can work in your favor. If you can work and enjoy the act, your husband will be delighted to see your pleasure and think to himself, “I did that.” If you’re exhausted and smiling, that is a huge boost to our honor. Just try and see if this makes a difference. A husband wants to be sexually satisfied, but he also wants to sexually satisfy his wife.

To go back to Sheila Wray Gregoire, she actually says that sex wards off many illnesses, including mental illnesses and cancers, can help relieve stress, and can help women sleep better. The question is not, “Do I owe my husband sex?” It’s “If God created something this great, why would I want to miss out on it?”

Thomas asks a question of wives. “How much are you helping your husband walk in sexual holiness?” If you are shutting him down regularly and blocking him off and not enjoying him, it is a battle for him. Do otherwise, and you will reap great rewards.

Pornography interferes with this and should never be an option. A wife needs to be graceful but firm. Realize that this is a struggle for your husband, but make it clear he can’t have both. This could be a rare case where sexual abstinence could be good. If your husband is watching porn, you fear he will be thinking of that actress instead of you and you won’t have it. You want to be the only woman on his mind.

And husbands, please understand this. Wives are devastated when they find out that you’ve been watching porn. They start questioning their sexual desirability and ability and then their own identities as women. If you are watching this stuff, please stop now. Even if you are single, please stop now. If you marry, it will be that much harder on her. If you are not, porn is still a dishonorable activity that dishonors all women.

Remember this can be a battle for men because we are visually oriented and just the sight of our wives’ bodies and we’re ready to go. If I walk into the bedroom sometime and my wife is changing and I didn’t realize it, I just stand transfixed for some time normally. I can totally forget why I came in there to begin with. It’s just like that. I am in awe of the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.

Thomas also says that if you are married, part of your responsibilities as a wife is regular sex. You don’t get married and then say you’re going to choose celibacy. That would be like your husband marrying you and then saying “I’m going to cut out all this romance stuff. I don’t need it and it doesn’t do anything for me.”

The next problem dealt with is an internet affair. The solution to this is similar to the porn situation. Take interest in what your husband is taking interest in and be there for him. People go after other relationships because they’re not getting what they want elsewhere. It’s not justified still, but we can make it easier. Never put your spouse on the shelf and leave them feeling ignored. Wives can make their husbands feel sexually ignored and husbands can make their wives feel emotionally ignored. Growint together is by degrees. So is growing apart.

The final scenario is a husband who is an unbeliever. In this case, the wife realized she was often needed and many husbands just aren’t emotionally expressive. The wife had to be patient and couldn’t do what I call Mission Impossible Christianity where she had to get her husband to Jesus then and there. Give him time. Amusingly, she once hated his obsession with fly-fishing until she went with him one time. Now she thoroughly enjoys it. Also, your husband can never meet all your needs, just like no wife can meet all of her husband’s needs. Go to God first.

This is an excellent book, but I do wish one thing had been added. That would be a message to wives about female beauty. So many wives can beat themselves up so much over how they look and we men are just standing there thinking “What are you talking about?” Wives. Please do not criticize your appearance. We adore how you look regardless of what you think. Just trust us with that. Try the risk. See if you share yourselves with us regularly what happens.

I do encourage wives to get this to learn about loving their husbands, but husbands like myself can benefit from it too. I found out many things about the way that I think. It seems that a good rule is most anything that Gary Thomas writes about marriage is good and this is no exception.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is Pornography Beautiful?

If the human body is beautiful, why isn’t porn? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week was my debate. While I am pleased with it, I will leave it up to you to decide what you think about it whenever I get a link to it. Yesterday at church, someone who was there mentioned an atheist couple he was sitting near during the debate and when I made a remark about the problems of pornography one person of the couple said to the other, “That shows he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Pornography is beautiful.”

It might be easy to make a connection. The human body is a beautiful thing. Pornography is a display of the human body. Therefore, pornography would be beautiful. This makes sense. Right?

It does, but there are some distinctions to make.

Let’s start with the first point. The human body is a beautiful thing. Yes, indeed. I am married to my wife of nearly nine years and I can assure any guy out there that I am amazed by the beauty of the female body and think God did an excellent job when He fashioned the human female form.

So surely, if I am a great lover of the female body, wouldn’t I want more of that body? Wouldn’t I want to see more women like that? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to see more women like that?

That’s where we get to the differences.

For you guys out there who struggle with pornography (And I know women struggle, but I can’t speak from the experience of a woman), you’re really robbing yourself. To click a button on your mouse and bring up an image really requires nothing of yourself. There is no work in wooing a woman and winning her heart and earning her trust.

In a marriage relationship though, there is work. If one wants to have intimacy with the Mrs., one needs to be on good terms. This requires that you rise up and actually be the man and treat her the way she deserves to be treated as your one and only spouse. When that woman then shares her glory with you, there is really nothing like it. It is a message to her of not just showing you her body, but showing you her body is showing you how much she loves and trusts you and desires you.

Porn will also show you lies about sexuality. When I talk to guys who aren’t married and are about to marry and the question of sex comes up, I tell them to think to what they have seen in movies and television. Then forget every bit of it, because it just isn’t accurate. Most of the time, sex won’t take place like it will on the big screen. There will be mistakes and confusion and you can often put down a towel first. Watch a TV show and the only point of the dating relationship of a couple seems to be that they can have sex. Sex is a hugely important part of a married couple connecting, but it is not the only part.

It also won’t show you what a woman really wants because every woman is different. What will excite a woman one day might not excite her the next. Learning to love a woman involves adapting to change and coming to know each other better. In porn, there is no love involved.

You just see a girl on a screen. You don’t have to know her name. My concern for many men is it can instill cowardice in them in that they think that this is the best way they can get a woman and won’t go out there and do the work of getting a real woman. It will also instill in them a tendency to treat women like objects in their only purpose is giving them sexual gratification.

The human body is beautiful, but porn takes that sacredness of the human body and reduces them from being a person to being a body. Sexuality is something beautiful and it’s meant for a marriage union where the passion it has can be properly harnessed and used for the good of the couple together. Keep in mind also guys that if you are married and you do use porn, many times you could devastate the woman you’re with if she finds out. No woman likes to get the message that she’s insufficient to please you in the bedroom and you need to go and look at other women. I also suspect that many reasons I hear commercials around here for ED is so many men have got that way because porn has changed their body’s natural response system.

The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful in a marriage covenant. Porn is never beautiful. It is treating the human person like an object and degrading to the user and the performer both.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 3/2/2019: Greg Speck

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many people who are married know the truth. Sex is awesome. It really is a great and fabulous gift given to husbands and wives for the begetting of children and the expressing of love to one another. But if this is such an awesome gift, why not enjoy it sooner? All that matters is that you love one another. Right?

If you’re a guy, generally when you reach that age, you do start going crazy wondering what it is that that girl looks like underneath all those clothes. A girl will want to really connect with a guy and she wants to make sure that he will stay and there’s one great hook she has. Isn’t this what girls really do when they want to express their love? Besides, he can always go and get it somewhere else can’t he so why not?

What about pornography? That’s becoming more readily available day by day and it’s no longer just a problem for guys but for girls as well. Could a Christian say that they are saving sex for marriage and at the same time wind up engaging in pornography?

What about other hard situations? What happens when it comes to homosexuality and what if you are a Christian struggling with homosexual temptations? What about incest? What about if you’re the victim of rape or sexual abuse?

There are several questions young people have about sexuality, and let’s face it, several questions adults have as well. This week’s show will focus on the young. We’re going to be having with us the author of the book Sex: It’s Worth Waiting For. His name is Greg Speck.

So who is he?

According to his bio:

I graduated from Bethel University with a BA degree in Sociology and minors in Social work and Biblical and Theological Studies.
How is it that we should talk to youth today about the issue of sex, especially since we are being told that everyone is doing it? Isn’t the Biblical worldview just an outdated one and we need to jump into an age where sex is available for everyone and embrace it? Can there really be any lasting harm that can come from having sex before marriage?
How do we handle situations like abuse? More and more kids are being abused in sexual relationships and some are even getting caught in sex trafficking. If a couple has made a mistake, have they damaged their relationship forever? Is there any hope for a couple that has had sex before marriage to be able to go and still have a happy and joyful marriage someday?
I hope you’ll be listening to this episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast and especially consider sharing it with a high school or middle school student that you know. (And the way things are going, you might have to start sharing with elementary school students) Please also consider leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It means more to me than you realize.
In Christ,
Nick Peters