Sacred Beauty

What role does beauty play in our lives? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As an apologist, I have my own arguments for God’s existence. The ways of Thomas Aquinas work great to me. Despite that, there is one argument that I personally find extremely convincing. I do not think I use it in debate because it is a more intuitive argument than one that will hit the mind. I have used it on a friend dealing with doubt before.

That is beauty.

When you’re a single guy wanting to marry, you look around at the women in your world and think you’re beautiful. Then you marry and you realize that you were right. That woman that you have in your life is beautiful. My Princess is a sacred gift to me.

You see, I realize something that I didn’t really before. When a woman shares herself, she is sharing something sacred. I have exclusive rights to my wife that no other man does. My wife is a great treasure and no matter how many times I see her, it is still always new and amazing to me. I cannot even explain why it is that way. Before I was married, I did not understand why the human female form was so beautiful. I have now been married eight years and I still don’t really understand it. I just know that it is.

Sometimes, we will hear the horrendous lie that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It certainly is not. Beauty is real, and if we miss out on beauty being real, truth and goodness are not far behind. A drawing that a small child makes of a stick man will not be nearly as beautiful as the Mona Lisa.

And yet our world cheapens beauty. Sadly, many women do it themselves. They treat their bodies like common goods and give them away to anyone who meets minimal requirements. One of the best ways a woman tells how much she’s worth is by making a high price on her beauty, and that would be a lifelong covenant in marriage.

Pornography is a great way to devalue female beauty. I realize women watch porn and there is porn of men, but most of us, even most women, would agree that the woman is a whole lot more beautiful then the man is. I still look at my own body and wonder what the heck there is that my wife sees.

In the past, if a man wanted to see a naked woman and have sex, he had to be an honorable man and get married. That encouraged men to build up qualities that were fitting for a man to have. Not so today. Today, a man is encouraged to not be a man but really to be a user. If he wants to see a naked woman, he can just open up his browser and see one in seconds. If he wants to have sex with a woman, he could just go post on some internet site and have a hook-up that evening.

In doing this, we have lost the sacredness of beauty and sexuality. Sex is no longer a great good really in our society. It’s common. It’s just something people do together for fun. It’s not about building up a serious love commitment one has already made and that is exclusive and definitely not about having children one day.

We think our society knows a lot about beauty. Look at all the investment we have in make-up and supermodels and such. We don’t. We talk about it and display it and chase after it, but we don’t think about it. The same is true with sexuality. Our culture doesn’t think too much about sex. It thinks too little. It does everything else but think.

While we should think about it, one thing we can also do is live it out differently. Live our marriages like the other person is the most beautiful one in the world, because they are. Ladies. Hold out for the man who is worth it and guys, honor the women you are pursuing. Both sexes. Abandon any pornography now. Beauty and sex are sacred. Don’t put them on open display.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Beginning Year Nine

Where do we go from here? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Thanks to everyone who gave us anniversary wishes yesterday. My wife and I had a great day together. So now that we’ve been together for eight years, what do we do at this point?

We go to year nine.

Year nine begins right now. I have told several guys that as soon as you finish one year of marriage, you need to start working on the next one. Of all your earthly relationships, the marriage that you have is the most important one and no other one must come before that.

This is especially a danger for those of us in ministry. Some of us can be so caught up in doing the work of building up “God’s kingdom” in the world that we don’t do it in our own home. Wives and children can feel neglected. There are jokes about how when some men walk across a stage to get their Ph.D.s, their wives are waiting at the other end with divorce papers. There are plenty of kids of those in ministry who wind up rebelling. Many of them could do so because ministry took their families away from them.

If you are in ministry then, always make time for your family. I realize as one in this field that there are plenty of other people that can do the work that I do. There is only one person though who can be a husband to Allie. That is my job. I don’t want to slouch so much in that area that she winds up looking for a replacement.

All of this has to be taken seriously. I hate to say it, but when I meet people and tell them how long I’ve been married, and before yesterday it was seven years, they say that that’s a long time. Seven years to me is not a long time, at least for marriage. I think about couples that have been married for decades. They can say they’ve been married for a long time.

So already, I’m planning ideas in mind for what I can do for Allie next year. Her birthday is next month and I already have something in mind for that. All of this is done to show that I have an investment in her. By showing I have an investment in her, it lets her know how much she matters to me.

That’s the way it is with anything. You will invest in what matters most to you. If your family doesn’t matter or your marriage doesn’t matter that much to you, then you won’t invest in them. I have been warning not to get too involved in ministry, but don’t neglect that either. It is the kingdom of God. It does matter, but you’re not the only one serving that Kingdom. Never act like the Kingdom depends on you because it doesn’t and God can have a great way of showing that.

Again, my thanks for the anniversary wishes! Here’s to the ninth year of marriage!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Eight Years!

How do we celebrate? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out!

This is a blog post that is much more personal. It’s about how my Princess and I celebrate eight years of marriage today. Nine years ago, neither of us knew the other existed. I might have had some small clue since in the book her Dad wrote with Gary Habermas, he mentions a kid of his named Alex, but that can also be a boy’s name so I had no idea of her beyond that.

And yet when Allie came into my life, before long she became central in my life. Aside from Jesus Christ, Allie has been the most transforming person in my life. If you want to talk about the person who has had the most impact on my ministry thus far, it’s Allie. Allie has given me the confidence to reach beyond where I was and seek to become what I need to be.

With our age difference, it’s interesting to compare our lives to our marriage. Allie will turn 28 next month and I will turn 38 in the month after. That means over a quarter of her life has been spent in marriage to me and over a fifth of my life has been spent in marriage to her.

I am also amazed that I found a woman who accepts me as I am and loves me and yes, even wants me. Allie does not have pity on me and did not choose me for that. She wanted to be with me because she saw someone who loves her.

In turn, I did not have pity either. Many times when Allie asks why I love her, I tell her it’s because she loved me and I had never seen anything like that. I often think of the text of the Bible that says we love because He first loved us. Because Allie loved me, I found myself being more and more transformed into who I need to be.

Love like that does have a more transforming power. If anyone wants to talk to me about empathy and care and things of that sort, Allie has the most to do with that. I am often wondering what Allie would think of the things that I say or do. She is my constant reminder to live a holy life, because I want to be a man worthy of her.

Both of us went through a lot of rejection from the opposite sex in our life, but in the end I am thankful for it. If those guys had not rejected her, I would not be the one with her. If I had not been rejected by other girls, I would be with someone else besides her. We are a unique couple that I think is perfectly fit for one another. We balance each other out so well with our differences and work so well together with our similarities.

So today I want to say again happy anniversary to my Princess! I love you so much Allie Licona Peters! Thank you for being in my life! I look forward to all the years to come!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Preparing For Sex In Marriage

How does a guy get ready? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had something else in mind to write about, but I saw Sheila Wray Gregoire had a post on this topic on her blog, except for the women. Tomorrow is mine and Allie’s eighth anniversary and so I know that eight years ago, preparing was just what I was doing. This is an area that many men, especially Christian men, can struggle with. These are some thoughts I have on this. This is for the men, but women could be benefitted by reading.

#1. Ditch pornography.

I hate that I have to say this, but pornography is such a huge problem in the church even with a number of pastors. Get rid of pornography. It won’t do you any good whatsoever. Pornography will just give you a false idea of what women and sex are all about. It will also cheapen your view of women as simply objects for your pleasure, which will include your wife.

Your wife’s naked body should be the most beautiful sight you ever see. For me, this is definitely the case. We’re about to hit eight years and I am still driven wild by the sight of her body. Sure. I’ve seen her body several times. It still never gets old to me. If all I had was the beauty of woman and the joy of sex, I think I would have more than enough evidence that God exists.

A great benefit I have also is I don’t have several other naked women in my head for Allie to compete with. Of course, as a guy, there are other women that can get in one’s head from one’s past and anywhere else, but when it comes to a woman in all her glory, there is only one. Avoiding pornography has been a great benefit.

Also guys, none of you ever want to get to the point where you can’t perform in the bedroom do you? Nah. Of course not. Well if you’re watching porn, it could make it more likely that you will reach that point. That is because more and more of pornography will make real women seem undesirable and they can’t compete. There are men in their 20’s on Viagra right now.

If you want help, get a program on your computer that can help with this, such as Covenant Eyes or XXXChurch. Also, get an accountability partner. A group like Celebrate Recovery can also help you with pornography.

#2. Movies and TV shows are not accurate.

Yeah. I get it. You see that sex scene in that movie or TV show and you think “That’s what I want it to be like someday!” Sorry, but not a single one of those shows is ever accurate! In media, everything works together magically and there are never any problems. No one ever needs lubricant and no one ever needs to put down a towel and undressing one another is always so easily done. Sorry. It’s not realistic.

I’d even warn you guys to not think the first time is going to be the best time ever. It will likely be good, but it won’t be the best. That’s because you’re just getting started. More time together will make lovemaking far better and you will enjoy it more and more. It’s a beautiful circle in fact. You two are more loving to each other which results in more sex which results in you two being more loving which results in more sex which….you get the picture.

#3. Get a mentor.

You’re entering new territory. Do not go it alone. When I was getting ready to marry, I had a number of guys that I was talking to. I remember being at the bowling alley with some friends even and their Dad was a doctor and he was talking to me about the realities of sex while his sons were bowling and we waited for our turn. Find a guy you can trust.

#4. Pray.

When the night comes, this is something I recommend doing. Before you have your first time together, pray. I hope you’ve waited, but even if you haven’t, ask God to bless your sex life. Thank Him for the gift you are about to receive.

#5. Don’t go straight to the hotel after the wedding.

Okay. We didn’t exactly do this. We had a limo driver and we forgot to tell him to take us to our favorite pizzeria. What to do then? We ordered a pizza and had it delivered to the hotel for us. Why do this? Because you’ve been exhausted quite likely by a wedding all day. Have a good meal together first. You’re about to get a workout in after all. Protein bars can also be good to have.

#6. Do things ASAP. As slow as possible.

So your new bride comes out of the hotel bathroom and she has that lingerie on that she picked out just for you for this night. (And by the way guys, don’t march out of the bathroom naked with a full salute. It’s not appealing to women and you don’t want to miss her undressing you anyway.) She comes over to you with a flirty attitude ready for you to share your love with her. What do you do? Pull that thing off in thirty seconds.

Don’t.

Seriously. There’s no rush. Take your time. You have enough of it. She spent 30 days picking it out for you. Give her some mystery and wonder too. You see guys, we tend to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. All a wife often needs to do is just quickly flash her husband and he’s ready to go. Women aren’t like that. Women have to be emotionally ready beforehand.

If you go slow, you will make your wife feel safe and not like an object. Treasure her. Spend some time luxuriating over her. This is your big moment. Why rush it? Savor every minute of it. I know you want to see what she looks like under that outfit, but you will. Go slow. Let her tell you when she’s ready.

#7. Bring along anything you might need.

You might need a towel, although a hotel will have that. You might need lubricant. Maybe you need a condom. Whatever it is, bring it if you might need it. It is better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it.

#8. Make sure all this is talked about in advance.

Pre-marital counseling is quite important. Guys and girls have different ideas of how sex should take place and what it will involve. Go to get pre-marital counseling and discuss these first. You can bring too many expectations to the event that will only lead to disappointment if things don’t go perfectly.

#9. Be gentle.

Guys. Your wife’s body is a treasure. Handle it with care. Unless she says she likes something otherwise, be gentle and slow. Remember you’re not the one about to have an object enter into your body. Keep in mind a woman’s first time can involve some pain and even bleeding. (Also, make sure your new wife has gone to have an exam with an OB-GYN beforehand.) Be gentle. Again, move at her pace. If you want to, you can also make her feel more comfortable by things like music and rose petals and such. Be a romantic. They always like that.

#10. Just have fun.

This one might seem odd, but don’t put so much stress on doing sex perfectly that you can’t enjoy it. You two are going to make mistakes. You’re going to have some times together that will be absolutely hysterical because of all the things that go wrong. It’s okay. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Don’t go in assuming you’re going to be a master in the bedroom. You will need to learn.

#11. Love.

And the greatest of these is love. One of the secrets to truly great sex is simply to love the person you’re with. Really love her. Really cherish her. Further in marriage, it’s tempting to do most anything just to get into the bedroom, but never lose sight of love. Be loving even when the bedroom isn’t an option, such as if she’s sick.

This woman loves you so much she gives you something she shouldn’t give anyone else. She makes herself totally vulnerable to you. There is a great joy in seeing your wife when you’re out together and realizing you are the only one who gets to adore her in that exclusive way. Love her greatly, as Christ loved the church.

Speaking of which, if you are a Christian guy who is married, engaged, dating, or just hoping to date or marry, I do have a Facebook group called “As Christ Loved The Church.” Feel free to join in. Just answer the questions and I’ll know you’re okay.

Enjoy your married life guys. I know I am.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Lysistrata 2018

What can we learn about a sex strike? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As a historian of the New Testament, I think it’s important to learn about what was going on in the Greek word. One play in Greek history I enjoyed was Lysistrata. In it, the women of the communities are upset that their men are going to war and leaving them at home. They decide to work together and have a sex strike. The men wind up going berserk due to the lack of sex with their wives. It is a hilarious work to read.

Apparently, some people today are thinking this is a good idea with the possibility that Trump could place a conservative judge on the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade could be in danger. There is a movement with the hashtag of Lysistrata2018. The idea is to not have sex with any man that would support the undoing of Roe v. Wade.

There you have it! Feminists are now encouraging abstinence! It’s about time!

It’s really also an exercise in futility. For one thing, Trump has not really been one to keel over and bow to the desires of his critics. When I hear a protest going on, I really have to ask “Do they think they’re accomplishing anything?” It’s the idea that if you get a mob together, the mob should have the power to make sure that they get what they want. Most of us watching aren’t swayed. Well, that’s not accurate. We are. We’re more swayed to agree with our current opinion.

Also, keep in mind that a large number of evangelicals voted for Trump. Many of those evangelicals are also pro-life. Pro-life people are not likely to be in a serious relationship with someone who is pro-choice and even if they are, if we’re Christians, we’re supposed to be waiting until we’re married to have sex anyway.

And Christian men, do you seriously want to date a girl who is open to abortion? This is a woman who could kill the children the two of you conceive together and yes, she can do it without your consent. There are a number of fathers out there who never got to see their children because the mothers had an abortion behind their back.

So what does this mean? It means that the women are holding back from the men who are not willing to make commitments to them in marriage and who will have sex with them without it. In other words, they are holding back from men who are already willing to use them for sex. These are the very men that the feminist movement has railed against. Feminism has often said that women should be loved for more than sex, which is entirely true, but many feminists defend the very actions that allow them to be used for sex and the very people that will use them for sex.

If you really want to be a true feminist, be pro-life. If anything is feminine, it is what makes a woman unique from a man. A woman is unique because she is the only one who can give birth. This doesn’t mean that a woman has to be a mother to be a woman, but it does mean that this is a unique difference. There are many more, but this one is true without exception. Women have babies. Men do not. (I know about the transgender claims. I do not consider someone to be a woman just because they alter their body.)

If anything, right now the Lysistrata movement is showing why these people are not taken seriously. Now of course in marriage, the situation is different. Between a married husband and wife, I do not think withholding is a good policy. The marriage bed is meant to build up intimacy and the relationship. There are some exceptions that I could be open to, such as a spouse having a porn habit that they refuse to repent of or seek help for or a spouse who is abusive.

As for me, I just plan on sitting back and watching this kind of thing happen more and more. It is almost as if the left is becoming a parody of itself, if it hasn’t reached that point already. A bunch of women having a sex strike will not put a liberal on the court. If anything, it will make Trump want to pick the most conservative judge he can find.

We’re entering an interesting time in our history. We’ll just watch and see what happens. Either way, the church needs to keep being the church.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: Atheist Manifesto Part 2

What more do I have to think of Onfray’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Reading Onfray is a task for anyone who tries. It’s hard to read without thinking that you’re really the temper tantrum of a child who doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. He will be talking about one thing and then suddenly seemingly jump to something else.

In part 2 of his book he talks about monotheisms. One of the first sections is about down with intelligence! Monotheism hates intelligence!

Remember? The monotheisms that are people of the book? The Christians who are responsible for copying and transmitting the ancient pagan works that we have, the founding of the university, and the rise of science? Yes. Those people. They were obviously haters of intelligence!

For Onfray, if you are a man of reason you will be on guard against magical thinking. I was unaware that just saying something is magical thinking is a refutation of it. Who knew? Some people might have questioned the idea I have of presuppositional atheism that if you’re an atheist, your thinking is automatically rational and if you’re a theist, it’s stupid. Onfray comes incredibly close by saying such statements about magical thinking and reason to saying exactly what I have been saying.

Of course, this comes to us well in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Onfray doesn’t bother to say it’s good and evil. It’s not the tree of the knowledge of science or history or literature. It’s good and evil. In Hebrew thinking, this is a merism. It contrasts two opposite things to say everything between them. What is really at stake here is not knowledge so much as wisdom. It is mankind wanting himself to be the fount of wisdom instead of God.

We also have this part about the three monotheisms. It is the picture I shared last time. We are haters of reason, intelligence, books, and freedom. I say this, by the way, as I sit in my library in my apartment surrounded by my books and if you go outside of this room, you will find books scattered throughout our apartment.

We also hate women, sexuality, pleasure, the feminine, and desires and drives.

I am a married man.

I enjoy being a married man.

I enjoy the benefits of being a married man. I have yet to meet a married man who hates sex and the feminine and the body and such. Of course, such a person could be out there, but I doubt it. I find this especially bizarre to say about Islam since Muhammad had about a dozen wives and his followers could have up to four. Yes. They obviously hated sex and women.

Onfray also tells us that there were numerous apocryphal writings, more than those that are in the New Testament. Indeed. So what happened to them? Eusebius through Constantine is what happened! At this point, it is clear why Onfray doesn’t have notes in his book. Good luck finding this one.

He also tells us that Paul demanded the burning of forbidden books in Acts 19:19, but no such demand exists. From the account, the people themselves decided to do it. Besides, one would think Onfray would support this since these were books about magical spells, likely to ward off demons. Is Onfray upset that these books were lost to us?

Naturally, there is the idea of the hatred of science. The Catholic church impeded scientific research. Again, good luck with this one. There were plenty of scientists doing science in the time and the ones that were persecuted (All two of them!) were not in the Middle Ages.

Onfray also tells us the religions of the book detest women. You know, like how in Genesis man and woman are both equally 100% in the image of God. That kind of thing. Jesus having disciples who were women and openly communicating with them and Paul sending a woman to deliver, which would also entail and answering questions about, his most important letter, the letter to the Romans. For Onfray, we who are monotheists only see women as good for sex and only then when we want to reproduce. As he says “For a monotheist, there can be no more hideous oxymoron than a barren, sterile, woman.”

I wonder what monotheists he is talking to. I have not met any who think this way.

Now while Jews have some statements about women being impure during menstruation and after birth and the Koran has some negative statements, Christianity has not escaped! After all, in 585 there was discussion over a book called Paradoxical Dissertation in Which We Attempt To Prove That Women Are Not Human Creatures. Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that I granted that this is all historical and this is a book that a Christian wrote.

This is still ridiculous. One Christian wrote a book one year and it was discussed. Therefore, this represents the opinion of all Christians throughout all time.

Fortunately, at least in dealing with monotheisms, we have a section dealing with arguments for theism and…..oh of course we don’t! Onfray never bothers to deal with what his opponents actually say. That would interrupt the rant.

And next time we look at his work, we will look at obviously the most problematic religion, Christianity. (Funny how that so often works out that way isn’t it?)

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 6/23/2018: Danny Akin

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

Running a seminary is hard work I am sure, and yet you want to go out and inform the church at the same time as well as your students. There are so many topics that one can write about. You look over all of them and you have to decide what matters so much to you. Is there a topic that is near and dear to your heart that you can share about?

My guest this Saturday who is a seminary president will be with me for an hour and he has written a book on such a topic. What did he choose? Sex. What else? He has a great love for the book of the Song of Songs and for building up marriages today.

He will be with me this Saturday to talk about this work. His name is Danny Akin and he is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His book is God On Sex.

So who is he really?

According to his bio:

Dr. Akin is married to Charlotte Akin.

They have been married since May 27, 1978.  

They have four sons who all currently serve in the ministry.  He has 3 daughters-in-law and 12 grandchildren!

 

Dr. Akin currently serves as the President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a Professor of Preaching and Theology.

 

Dr. Akin and his wife Charlotte have traveled to Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Kenya, Asia, Central Asia, Thailand, India and Paraguay serving our students and missionaries and helping share the gospel.

We’ll be talking about his work and how it is meant to help marriages and help our cultural wars. For instance, is there any real danger to living together before marriage or having sex before marriage? Does sex really play a difference in marriage or is this some kind of add-on that is really not needed?

What does a book of the Bible have to say about this? What can we get out of the Song of Songs that we might be missing? Some couples might want to spark things up somehow in the bedroom and get things more exciting, but does that really matter? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about things like the Gospel instead of how to have a really good time with our spouses in the bedroom?

Readers know that it’s been a stance of mine that the church needs to be doing marriage well. The reason I contend that the world is not treating marriage like it’s sacred is that the church did it first. I try to read many books on the topics of sex and marriage to try to learn as much as I can to be doing the best that I can do.

I hope you’ll be listening to this show as I am thankful to Dr. Akin for taking his time to be on the podcast to talk about this topic. Please be watching your podcast feed for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. If you haven’t, go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thoughts On The SBC And Abuse

What do I think of the recent issues going on? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As someone who reads marriage blogs, I have seen several people writing about the events going on in the SBC. These issues have particularly centered around the treatment of women. The removal of Paige Patterson from his position is based on this kind of happening.

Controversies surrounding him have included people like Sheri Klouda and Darrell Gilyard. There was also a statement released concerning other allegations from the chairman of the Board of Trustees. One great concern I had in reading that was that Patterson said he wanted to meet with a student alone who said she had been raped. He wanted no officials there and he wanted to “break her down.” I’m not sure how to take that statement, but anyway I can think of is not good.

Also, some of this centers around women in abusive relationships. Sometimes, women were apparently told to just submit to their husbands. This would often put those women in great risk.

Patterson isn’t an isolated figure in this. Steve Camp who was a popular Christian singer back in the 80’s and today is a pastor got into a debate recently with Sheila Wray Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. In the link, you can see Camp made a number of awful statements because Gregoire is a woman and began blocking other women on Twitter defending her. I believe it’s events like this that got J Parker of Hot, Holy, and Humorous to write her own take on this.

So let’s say a few words about all this going on.

I am not a member of the SBC, but let’s be sure that I do not think this represents the majority of SBC pastors and leaders. I think most of them want to be good and God-honoring men and if they are married, they want to love and honor their wives the best they can. Sadly, a few bad apples in any group can spoil the bunch.

As regarding marriage, I am complementarian in my approach. Yet as I say that, I have something important to say along those lines. If a man does think Biblically that he is the king of his castle, well guess what. Your wife gets treated like a queen. There is never any justification whatsoever for abusing your wife verbally, physically, emotionally, sexually, or any other way I might have left off.

I also hate divorce. When Allie and I go to another town around here for something else in the line of medical care, there is a billboard on the way back that says “Undo, I do.” I always reach over and softly pat Allie on the leg or something and just tell her, “Not us.” Because of a divorce culture where divorce is prevalent, though there are myths about how prevalent it is among Christians, there are many good marriages where one person fears a divorce from the other because it has become so easy to get one.

Yet my hatred of divorce can be much like our hatred of war. No one really should really like the thought of war, but sometimes it is necessary because of the evil of other people. Many people who have a concealed carry today carry it to protect their family and I am sure it is their great hope that they never have to use it.

Divorce is sadly a necessity if a spouse is abusive and they will not change. (While this is about women in abusive relationships, let’s not forget that women can be abusers of men too.) I would urge any couple that when abuse takes place, separate for a time being and try to work things out with a licensed professional counselor. If that cannot happen, there is no requirement that you stay with someone who is abusive, doubly so if children are involved.

Even still, divorce should be seen as a necessary tragedy. It is sad that someone who made a promise before God and man to love and cherish someone for the rest of their life ended up breaking that promise. It is a reminder that we live in a fallen world. We need to have zero tolerance for abuse.

So what about Biblical submission? What about wives submit to your husbands. I believe in it, but men, if you have to start quoting Ephesians 5 to your wives in hopes that she will get in line, you’re already not being a leader in your family. More importantly, when we are talking about someone’s spiritual condition, the only person we can do anything about directly is ourselves.

And men, we have a lot that is said to us in Ephesians 5. When I was engaged to my now wife, I remember once when I was visiting her and her family and one day it hit me that I was to be married really and then I remembered what the passage said. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.

As Christ loved the church.

Really.

Look at those five words.

Pause in your reading men if you’re married and think about those five words.

If we’re being honest, we all fall short of that one. Yet that is our calling. We are to be such great husbands to our wives that if they didn’t know better, they could swear they were married to Jesus. The number one person in your wife’s life who should remind her of Jesus is you. If you are not that person, you are doing it wrong.

Paul has many other commandments to us. To the wives, he only tells them to submit to their husbands and respect them. We get far more attention given to us.

Submission is something that should never be used as a whip. Sex is always a big area in a marriage and guys, if you are using submission as a way to get sex, stop it. I suspect many of you are not doing that, but there could be that lone wolf out there. If it’s not happening as often in your marriage as you’d like, then maybe you need to ask yourself how you could be more romantic so that your wife will feel safe and want to make love to you.

Let me offer some bizarre suggestions. Maybe you could take your wife out on dates more. Maybe you could actually talk to her some. Maybe you could do some work around the house or help with the kids more. Maybe you could touch her lovingly and do so other than when you want sex. And maybe all of this could be part of loving her as Christ loved the church.

Now to the women, many of them don’t understand this need in a man, but imagine you wanting to hear your man say he loves you and he says, “Okay. I love you. Are you happy now?” Well, no. Of course not. It was done, but begrudgingly. The same would be if he took you out on a date and acted like it was just a chore for him. Unfortunately, many women don’t realize that this is often how they come across to their husbands in the area of sex. It’s a necessary evil that they put up with. Your man wants not just to have intimacy with you, but for you to want him and want that intimacy with him.

Ideally in a marriage, this will begin a circle of love. A couple that is more loving will have more sex together. In turn, they will be more loving to one another. That will result in their having more sex together. As a result, you get the picture.

And men, our role is to love our wives and always seek to improve. For me, I started 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”. Honestly, part of this was for myself. I wanted to be a better husband and I was sure other men wanted to join me on that journey. Nowadays, I am seen by many as a sort of expert in the field, but I realize I have a long way to go.

If any denomination has any issues with how men are treating women, they do need to clean house. By the way, a lot of this starts before marriage. The church needs to be teaching on sex far more often. Robert Gagnon, author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice has said we need at least one sermon a month. Think about it. Our kids in popular culture and all around them are seeing the world’s view of sex everywhere. How often are they going to get the Biblical view? What are they growing up believing about marriage as a result?

This also means that pornography must be talked about. This isn’t just a men’s issue anymore but if you’re engaging in pornography, stop it. You are doing damage to yourself and any future marriage relationship you will have. This can be undone, but it would be best to avoid it to begin with.

We should pray for the SBC in this time and hope the new president will build up the denomination to honor women to be sure, but even more that it will honor the name of Christ. Abuse in any relationship should never be allowed and definitely if you’re dating someone who is abusive, get out now. Husbands and wives need both to seek to honor one another in marriage and definitely get rid of pornography.

This scandal has given the world one viewpoint of how the church treats these issues. Let’s make sure we give them a better one.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Whatever Happened To Tolerance?

Is tolerance no longer a virtue? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Remember about a decade or so ago that tolerance was all the rage? Books were being written about tolerance. Every apologist who spoke about ethics and political situations had to say something about tolerance. The tolerance being talked about wasn’t classical tolerance, which is always a virtue, but an idea that one must not just allow but accept and celebrate something.

Tolerance was the great virtue everyone celebrated. It was seen as the mark of a good person that they were tolerant. It was all these bigots out there that were intolerant and didn’t allow anyone to have an opposing viewpoint.

Somehow, tolerance seems to have lost some popularity. For all the time people spent preaching this gospel, the good news of it appears to be short-lived. It looks like the opposite is what is virtuous now. When someone does something you really disagree with, now it’s virtuous to call them on the carpet and demand that they repent.

Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter. Earlier this month he stopped at a Chick-Fil-A and for some reason tweeted out his receipt. He was immediately taken to task for his awful action. He dared to stop at a place like Chick-Fil-A that supports only traditional marriage during June which is “Gay Pride Month”? Jack Dorsey eventually apologized for his “sin.”

Most of us also know about so many Christian bakeries and florists and photographers who will perform many other services for homosexual customers, but just say they cannot do something that would give a tacit endorsement to something they consider immoral such as a “gay marriage.” Instead of just going to the next person down the road who has the same business and will be glad to do it, the right thing to do now is apparently to take them to court and sue them for everything they have so they never dare do business again. Disagreement will not be allowed!

Looks like tolerance is just not what it used to be anymore.

Most of us are sure we know what happened. Tolerance is a great virtue when you think you’re the underdog, but as soon as you get into what you think is a position of power, it’s no longer needed. I don’t really think this is the majority opinion still as I do hold to the silent majority, something we saw on an event such as Chick-Fil-A Day. In the eyes of the media, which is apparently what really matters, tolerance is no longer the virtue that we’re supposed to uphold.

Years ago I and several others had been saying that tolerance is a sham. As far as I’m concerned, the way people are acting now demonstrates it. If tolerance was the virtue it was thought to be, it would be practiced now just as much as it was then. Instead, tolerance was used back then to silence the opposition. Now, one can go to the court of law or the media to silence the opposition so there’s really no need.

Our marching orders? Still the exact same regardless of what the world around us does. Fulfill the Great Commission. Stand for truth in our lives. Love our neighbors around us even when we disagree with them. Preach the true gospel, not just one of faux tolerance. Teach the one that says that God does not tolerate sin, but He gives full and loving acceptance to sinners and wants to reshape them to be like Jesus.

I can’t tell what will happen in the future. My thinking is that this will probably lead to a major backlash one day as more and more people get fed up with where society is going and as the other side keeps pushing the envelope, they will one day push it too far. The question is if the church will handle it properly. In America, I’m not so sure since we don’t have the best track record, but I can always hope.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Saving Truth

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

Murray is writing about a situation that I have thought for a long time has plagued the church. It is that we live in a post-truth society. Nowadays, the truth doesn’t even matter. How someone feels about a claim matters or how well it serves an end-game is what matters.

This isn’t the fault of the world alone. The church is also to blame. The church determines truths based on feelings just as much as the world does. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard about doing something as you “feel led.”

There’s also the fact that Christians can just as easily spread false information. Last night, I had to deal with a family member who shared a news story that I could tell in less than a minute was false. Going further, I found that the website also held to the idea that 9-11 is an inside job. Yep. Real reliable source there.

I get greatly bothered when I see something like this happen. We have the job of trying to convince people that Jesus rose from the dead, a fact that they cannot check the veracity of immediately, but we will so easily share stories that can be easily seen as fake? Doesn’t that damage our witness of the Gospel?

Murray also writes about our misunderstanding of freedom. We think by freedom that there is a certain something that has no hold on us. That is true to an extent, but it like saying being literate means that you can decipher symbols in an alphabet. Yes, you can, but you need to able to do more. You read so you can learn much more that there is to learn. You read so that you can be a better person.

In the same way, you are free not to pursue whatever you want to do, but you are free so that you can pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful. You are free to live for something greater than yourself. Freedom is not about you get to do whatever you want, but you are free to do as you should.

Murray also talks about issues of human dignity, what does it mean to be a human? Do we treat human beings as objects more in this day and age? What about issues of abortion?

Issues of sex and gender are definitely on the stage. Murray begins this chapter with a question a woman asked in an open forum about Christianity and homosexuality. It dominates the landscape in this chapter as Murray keeps thinking about it. Murray deals with the purpose of sexuality and questions relating to transgenderism as well. What does it mean to be a man or a woman?

Murray also deals with questions of science and of pluralism. Both of these are issues that strike our epistemology. Science is seen today as the only way to truth. Pluralism is seen as rude and exclusive.

There are many issues discussed in Murray’s book. Each of them in itself is worthy of a book-length work. Murray’s book is a good look at these topics and often shared from the perspective of an ex-Muslim who had to realize that truth mattered more than anything else.

In Christ,
Nick Peters