Humble Pie

What does it take to learn from mistakes? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife and I have for a year or two gone to therapy together. It’s not because of marriage troubles per se, but because I spoke somewhere once and a lady in the audience really liked my story on disabilities and offered to work with us. It was a free offer and we took her up on it.

One of the things I’ve tried to do is be a good husband and I’ve prided myself as one who has reached that goal. Generally, my wife, Allie, would agree with this. She would tell you I am a kind and loving man. That does not mean I am not without my faults. Of course, that’s not a shock. No one can be a perfect husband or wife.

Yet yesterday in therapy, my own mistakes came out. That was that in some ways, I have been neglectful of her. Some might wonder how that can be. Don’t I post six days a week on Facebook about how much I love her? Don’t I regularly dote on her?

It’s possible to do those things and be neglectful.

What happened is one of my love languages with Allie is physical touch and I tend to want to be with her so much I can smother her and it turns her off. I wind up getting frustrated and we’re both disappointed. Sometimes Allie just wants to talk and I don’t do it so well and that’s because I’ve been focused on my own needs.

The sad message my wife has got from that is that I only care about her for her body and that’s it. Now that is not to say that my desires are wrong, but I have been looking for my own desires first and not focusing on her own desires. It has been an insistence on myself at the expense of hers.

What is important to realize for me now is that Allie does want to meet the desires that I have, but it has to be a two-way street. It’s the secret that if in a marriage either of you focus on your own needs, both parties will be hurt somehow. If you focus on the needs of your spouse, both of you will be happy.

Let’s just say the car ride home yesterday afternoon was very apologetic on my part. It was turning off the radio and apologizing to Allie for everything I could. It’s also realizing that sometimes Allie expresses something hurtful. The sad thing is it hurts me when she says it and hurt people hurt people. I can get defensive with anger and sarcasm. Anger might not always be wrong. The question is what I do with it. Allie has told me she would accept if I get really angry if I just say, “I need some time to myself” and then come back later when I’ve cooled down some more.

I also have some men in my life that I have talked to and while they know me in person, one of them sees us on a regular basis. I have urged them to check with me and hold me accountable. I plan on sharing such with my Celebrate Recovery men’s group as well. In turn, Allie is also realizing things she has to work on and is trying to do such. We both have to. It’s part of being the best for one another.

So why would I share this as a post that’s publicly humiliating for me? First off, it would be delusional to think that I cannot dare present a flaw in myself because my readers have to see me as perfect. The only perfect human being ever was crucified and is now reigning in Heaven.

Second, in sharing this, I am publicly stating what I want to be better. My own readers can then be watchful at times. Anyone could even go and ask Allie if I’m doing the things I need to be doing.

Third, because this is a good way to ask for prayer too. Allie and I are on a journey and we both want to have a great marriage. We both have some learning to do. I think I know a lot, but I don’t know all that I ought.

Fourth, I hope this is inspirational for others. I think some men could be out there and realizing their mistake and maybe even showing this to their wives who will say, “He’s right. You have the same problem.” Maybe this will help other marriages out there.

And of course, I love my wife greatly. I cannot picture a world without her as she is my beacon of sanity in a world of craziness. She is one who gives me joy every day and sadly, I have apparently not been doing the same for her and I hope to do better.

Thank you for reading.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

I Really Hate Porn

What is so degrading about pornography? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In my office where I write my blog from, I have two pictures. One is on my desk. One is on my bookshelf. There are some other pictures in here, but these are my favorite ones. These are both pictures of my wife Allie.

I look at them and I think that I married a beautiful woman.

I also think that I am the man she trusts her very self to and all of her beauty to.

That is not to brag about me! Not a bit! I still don’t understand it! I’m just a nerdy little apologist. The song Angel Eyes with the line of “What you’re doing with a clown like me is surely one of life’s little mysteries” fits so well.

I’m not the only one who wonders this. There’s a story that when my mother found out I was dating Allie, my sister showed her some of Allie’s pictures on Facebook. My Mom apparently said, “Good grief. How did he get a girl like her?” Allie thought I would be insulted hearing it. Not a bit. I took it as a compliment. How could I be insulted when I ask myself the same thing?

There’s also the reality that as an Aspie, my diet has always been unusual. My parents tried to work with several people for years to get me to change. Didn’t budge an inch. Allie did it easily within marriage and hardly had to try. Could it be female beauty is a motivator?

I have been terrified of water for years. It was a long time after my conversion before I was even baptized. When we went on our honeymoon at Ocean Isle Beach, Allie got me in five feet of water in the pool away from the edge and into waist deep water in the ocean. I was still scared silly, especially in the pool, but I did it.

Could it be female beauty is a motivator?

I don’t care for the movie or the book, but I did watch Heaven Is For Real and there’s a scene where the husband of the family is saying he does not want to go somewhere, I think it was Denver. The wife comes out and talks to him. She says something like, “Really? Because I thought we could” and then goes and whispers in his ear.

The next thing you hear is him immediately telling the kids to pack the bags.

Every husband understands that scene.

You see, Allie sharing her body with me is an expression of love and trust to me. It is a great motivator and confidence builder. Many women think sex is a physical need for men, and while the physical is there, it is also a great emotional need. It is what makes us feel close and desired by our wives. It resonates deeply with the heart of a man. It’s the loudest way my wife tells me that I am her man.

That’s why I hate pornography.

Now I know some women could be reading this and saying, “Pornography is also a struggle for many women!” I know it is. I’m not denying that. I am speaking as a man and from the perspective of a man. You can try to extrapolate what you can for the female.

I don’t struggle with porn, but I have a sympathy for guys who do. I understand it some. I mean, God made women beautiful. It is no sin to think that. It would be crazy to not think that. We men always notice beautiful women. I can’t go through the grocery store without noticing beautiful women. If the only argument I had for the existence of God was the beauty of the human female form, it would be more than enough.

Pornography cheapens that. It tells me that if I want to get a woman’s beauty, all I need to do is click a button on my computer. Really? How does that make me a man? Any guy can do that. I can click a button if I want to buy a book on Amazon. Doesn’t make me a man.

If anything, I think watching porn will make you less of a man. After all, no need to go out there and win over the woman. Can’t do it? Go watch porn. Wife’s not in the mood tonight? Okay. Go click on a link and just watch some other woman. Get your fix in. (Which also means you end up treating women like objects.)

That requires no real effort. Anytime Allie trusts me with herself, it is her telling me that I have shown myself to be a trustworthy man and she knows she can be completely vulnerable to me. You don’t get that from porn. Porn requires nothing of you.

And let’s be honest. The woman on the screen you’re watching? She doesn’t know about you. She doesn’t have any passionate thoughts about you. She doesn’t care about you. She is not aiming to please you. She is just doing a job for her.

By the way, let’s also be clear. Some women are not in the field by choice. The sex trafficking industry captures a number of women and they are forced into this kind of thing. Yes. Watching pornography could be also encouraging the sex trafficking of women.

Pornography would also be me telling Allie that somehow, she is inadequate. Her body is not enough. I need another female body. Why on Earth would I want to do that? I’m more than amazed I got the woman that I got! Am I tempted? Of course. We all have struggles of the flesh, but I would not want to give up a lifetime of Allie for a quick glance at another woman.

It’s also why I have no desire to have an affair and why I watch myself around other women. I don’t want to have something come back and haunt me later on. I don’t want to raise the slightest rumor that I’m in any way unfaithful to my wife, and I realize there can indeed be set-ups like that. I fully support the rule of people like Billy Graham and Mike Pence.

I also have a theory about the commercials I often hear driving. I hear so many commercials about erectile dysfunction here. I think pornography could be one of the reasons. I think some men have spent so much time being aroused by fake women and they need more and more that a real woman no longer turns them on.

It’s been eight years for Allie and I and she is still the woman that drives me wild and her beauty never gets tiring.

Also men, pornography will not tell you what real love is like with a woman. Anytime we see a sex scene even in a movie or a TV show, my wife and I know it’s unrealistic. In the movies, everything always works and flows perfectly. No one makes mistakes or has a learning curve and there’s never anything that goes wrong. Not at all realistic. Sadly also something that is missed is that you don’t hit your peak immediately, but that’s a good thing. It just keeps getting better. Why would it not? I spend my marriage diving into the ocean of one woman instead of wading in the shallow pools of many.

Keep in mind what I am agreeing to guys. Women are beautiful. That’s something clear in reality and clear in Scripture. We might hesitate to speak sexually, but Scripture sure doesn’t! I happen to think woman as the last creation of God was meant to be God giving us an image of beauty. If we ever have a daughter one day, I want to name her some variant of Eve. Why? I want her to know that she is a representative of God’s beauty on this Earth and every man out there better treat her beauty as sacred.

That’s what it comes down to in many ways. Pornography does not treat a woman’s beauty as sacred. It treats it as cheap and common.

Now of course, many men are struggling with porn out there. I think we need to give them support and understanding if they are really wanting to get past it. This includes wives of such men. Don’t compromise, but try to work with them. If they really want to get past it, give them your support.

If you are married, be thankful for your wife. Enjoy her love. Scripture commands you to, but hey, that’s a pretty easy command to follow. When Scripture tells me to rejoice in the wife of my youth I can playfully say, “Well sure, God. If you really insist….” As if I needed any encouragement!

Pornography treats women in a cheap way. If you treat one woman like that, you treat all of them like that. Treasure the woman that you have. If you love the one woman you do have, you are showing love to all women.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

38 Years

How do I celebrate 38 years? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today, I am taking a break from book plunges not only because I still have to finish reading some books, but also because today is a special day for me. Today, I celebrate having gone around the sun 38 times. It’s something to think about. Years can seem so long and yet so short at the same time. My wife and I have been married for eight years and yet I still find myself wondering if it really has been that time. It seems so short, and yet I have had this woman be so much a part of my life that it is like we are practically joined at the hip or rather have one heart beating in two bodies.

When you’re a kid, it seems like you think about all that you want to get for your birthday. I can think about to getting my first Nintendo when I was eight years old. Some things haven’t changed seeing as we will be busy tomorrow and my wife gave me a gift earlier, which was three Kingdom Hearts games in one for the PS4. Yes. That gamer has never died in me.

Despite this, it has been hard for me to think of things that I really want to have. Books I get from publishers now so that’s not a problem. I finally thought of asking my parents for Ready Player One on DVD which could be the best movie I have seen.

I still enjoy the material things, but they don’t mean as much as they used to. Enjoying a good book is one of the great privileges. Enjoying the love of my wife is certainly a great joy to have. We have a Wii system now that is a modified one with several old games on there and I find myself going on there and playing old classic ones from the past.

This is also a reminder of how far I have come. If I watch an old TV show now, I think back and consider the questions I can ask from a theological and philosophical perspective and wonder why is it that I never thought of such things before? How did I not see these in that light? It doesn’t decrease my enjoyment. It rather increases it.

I do wish I was doing more with my life now. It seems I have a better online presence than I would have thought and people come to me with questions, yet I wonder what more is there? This is one area I don’t think I can ever be satisfied in personally. I always want more and more. I don’t settle. That little boy who wants to go on adventures every day has never died. He just wants more adventure on the path.

I look at the friends that I have made on the journey as well. These are my teammates and partners. These are my allies in the good fight. So many people I know so well today that I had no idea existed years ago. The rise of the internet has helped with that as I know people from all over the world. As is stands, on the 18th, I had birthday wishes coming in from places like Australia and New Zealand and it’s something to think that people all over the world like that want to do something to celebrate that you are in the world.

And isn’t that something special to think about? Each one of us is a great might-not-have-been. My wife and I recently saw Unbroken together. It was the second one and I came to a realization of what I should have always known in it. As long as we are still breathing here, God has some purpose for us, as He does not waste us. Nothing we do in this life will be wasted ultimately. If God puts us through any suffering, He will use it for our good.

How many more years will God grant me? I don’t know, but I honestly hope they’re a lot, and I hope all of them are spent with my wife as well. If anything, my prayer would be that either we die together one day or that she goes one day before I do. Until then, I pray that we adventure together and do as much good as we can.

The boy has never lost sight of the fact that good and evil are still realities. There is still the dreamer who sees them in the games and in the TV shows and in the movies, but there is the adult who sees it in the real world and realizes that while I cannot perhaps affect things at this point on a national or global scale, I can at least do something where I am at. I can fight evil on a local scale and dare I say it, but the best place to fight evil is under my own roof and specifically, within my own soul. How can I defeat the evil in me to be a better ambassador for the Kingdom of God and a better husband to my beautiful wife?

I am grateful to my parents for raising me the way they did and making sure that I was a faithful church attendee. If they had known about apologetics, I am sure they would have introduced me to that. I am thankful to my in-laws as well for giving me their daughter in marriage. I am especially thankful to my wife since she gives me the gift of herself, the greatest honor that someone like that has ever given me and something that I continually celebrate and I am so proud of how her diet plan is going and how she’s being an inspiration.

And lastly, I am most thankful to God in Heaven. It is by His grace that I have made these trips around the sun. I cannot help but be amazed at the impact that I have having in this life and I hope it continues more and more. When I enter into the full Kingdom, I anticipate I will be amazed to see how God was working through it all and I look forward to spending eternity in the presence of God and going on those adventures that I could never have dreamed of in the past. The boy who was thrilled with them at a young age and still enjoys them today will find his true home at that point where he is most at home, with God and His people.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/1/2018: Allie Peters

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

Life is a beautiful and sacred gift, but sometimes it doesn’t seem like that. We all have times where suffering enters into our lives. Christians aren’t immune. Unfortunately, even Christians can be tempted to make awful choices when that happens. Even Christians can be tempted to throw in the towel. Even Christians can actually attempt to give up, and sadly some will succeed.

Some will not. Some will live on to tell the tale. Life can still be a battle for them, but they will tell the tale about what happened. They can talk about the impact they saw on the people around them and how it affected them. They can talk about what they have learned.

September is suicide awareness month. It is a time of the year when we try to remember that this is a real problem and it’s still with us. Whenever a celebrity has successfully committed suicide, unfortunately, the suicide rates make a spike after that. Sin breeds sin after all.

My wife is one person who has been affected by this greatly seeing as she is herself a suicide survivor. This is after more than one attempt. Her parents have found her after an attempt and I have found her after an attempt. Both of us were left devastated by such events. Indeed, to this day, I cannot hear the siren of a first responder without thinking about it.

We’ll be talking about Allie’s life some as bullying definitely played an impact on her as she was growing up. We might look at this as “kids will be kids” but it is getting worse and social media isn’t helping. I personally place a lot of blame on the self-esteem movement as I am not convinced we can stop all bullying, but we can certainly equip kids to be better able to respond to bullying.

But how can a Christian ever feel this way or even do this? Doesn’t this contradict what we are told in Scripture? If we really think this, is it proper to talk to someone about their salvation status if they are really considering the choice of suicide?

What about other people out there listening? How should we respond if we think someone around us could be contemplating suicide? Are there any warning signs to look for? What do we do if we think that there is someone around us or even on social media who we think could be suicidal? How should we respond to such a claim?

I hope you’ll be listening. As is no doubt known, my wife is my favorite guest to have on the show and we will be here together to talk about this important topic. September is the month for suicide awareness and if you are considering this awful choice or know someone who is, I really hope you’ll listen and please don’t do this choice. All of life is sacred and that includes you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Risk Of Love

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

Recently, my wife posted an article about Borderline Personality Disorder. The person talked about their past romantic relationships and how hard romance was for someone like them. A friend commented saying how hard it can be to love some people and sometimes you might have to take a break for your own well-being.

Being married to someone who has been diagnosed with BPD, I had a few things to say.

Can it be hard to love someone like that? It can be, but that depends first off on what is meant by love. Second, it can be because it can be hard to love ANYONE. As C.S. Lewis said years ago, we are all very hard to live with.

So let’s start with love. We have four kinds.

Storge is the familiar love. It’s the love we show to just random people on the street we meet and also associated with family. Sometimes for family, they’re seen as people we probably wouldn’t love if we weren’t related, but because we are we become invested in them. There’s not much risk involved here. Someone could be a jerk, but it’s not the norm.

Phileo love is a bit more personal. It’s when you refer to someone as a friend. This is a love Lewis wrote a great deal about as did Aristotle. This is indeed a much more risky position and some friends you will open up to more than you will to others. It depends on how close the friendship is.

Agape love is often seen as godly love. I would think of it as passionate or self-sacrificial love. It is often used to describe the love of God. This requires a good deal of risk from us because we can make ourselves very vulnerable.

Eros love is the romantic and sexual love. For us, this can be one of the biggest risks of all. At full fruition, it requires total vulnerability as one’s very body has to be openly displayed and shared for it to reach the goal. This is one more reason I think the full expression of eros should be saved for marriage as at that point, one has made a total commitment worthy of the action of total commitment.

Let’s also consider something else about love. Love is not having warm fuzzies for someone. Love is not a feeling. It can produce feelings, but it itself is not a feeling. Love is a commitment of the will. It is a commitment to seek the good of the other for the sake of the other.

That’s hard for any of us. It requires that we put someone else above ourselves. Often when I read what newlyweds say about marriage, I notice something is left out. You get used to getting to have sex, sleeping in a bed together, sharing a budget, sharing personal space, what you’ll watch on Netflix, etc.

Very few if any seem to say something about learning more about putting the other person above yourself. That is a real challenge. It doesn’t help that marriage really gives you a good picture of what you’re really like.

Perhaps I’ve just sat down and Allie needs me to go to the store. I really don’t want to. I want to watch Netflix or read a book or play a game on the Wii or something like that. Nope. Allie needs something so off I go.

But you know, the more you do that, the more you become a better person. It’s almost as if doing the right thing helps you become a good person. It’s almost as if once you stop looking out for #1, you find your own happiness and joy waiting there for you.

This is what makes love so hard. It is dying to yourself. If you do not love someone as you should, it says very little about them. It says a lot about you. Lack of love cannot be blamed on the other person. It can only be blamed on you. Love is not just love when the other person is easy to love. Love is there when the other person can be hard to love, as all of us can be at times.

Our society has often confused that, mainly by thinking love is a feeling. You will not always feel love for someone you do love or are supposed to love. Love rises above the feelings. If you do the loving thing just when you feel like it, what love is that? Love is doing the loving thing also when you don’t feel like it. You rise above what you want and seek the good of the other above your own.

If you do stop loving, it says a lot more about you. Does the other person have faults and problems that can make it hard? Yes. So do you. None of us is perfect. Ironically, the only one who is perfect is the one we can sometimes have the hardest time loving. It’s not because of anything on His part. Once again, it’s entirely on us.

Over time, loving my wife has become more and more natural because the more you do something, the easier it can become. Love has become more of a second nature. As I consistently seek that which is good for her and give of myself, I find it actually becomes my joy. I have often said that if we came into money, I would be more prone to buy her whatever is good for her. It could be that trip to Japan or that horse farm or those dance lessons. Whatever it is. It means more to me to see that smile on her face than any of the things that I want.

Loving Allie is its own reward now. Loving God is its own reward. Loving anyone is its own reward. What am I going to do to grow in the love I am supposed to have for my fellow man? It’s easy to ask how others can change for me. I need to ask how I can change for them.

And to my Princess, know always love is a risk, and one you are worth very much.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Happy 28th Birthday Princess!

What’s going on today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today is a special day, like all days, but some days are extra special. This is one such day. 28 years ago today the world was blessed with a demonstration of God’s beauty on this Earth as Allie Licona came into the world. Of course, that’s her maiden name. Today, she is known as Allie Peters. She has been the woman I have been married to for the past eight years. That means more than a quarter of her life has been spent being married to her man.

Princess. Let me say that you amaze me so much. Through your love, I have grown to be more and more the man I need to be. I have way more confidence than I ever did and my diet is far better than it has ever been. I have worked to overcome more and more hurdles. Of course, there is a long way to go, but you have made the difference.

You did it just by being you. It’s the strangest thing. I am no longer looking out for #1. Of course, there is that tendency to do that still, but more and more I learn what it means to sacrifice. I learn what it means to love as Christ loved the church. I learn to put my own desires on hold and do things I normally wouldn’t. In reality then, your good has become my good as I see your good as something greater and worth pursuing.

It is my hope everyday that I will do something to bring you joy that day. Your smile is one of the most beautiful sights I see and I love it especially when I know I am the one who brought it to you. When I go to bed and give thanks for my blessings, you’re one of the first ones I give thanks for. I cannot believe I have a beautiful and special woman in my life sometimes who shares everything with me. You share your life and body with me and now even have my name given to you and may you see it as a name that is a badge of honor to have.

Love is a sacred gift. Sometimes it’s said that the gift God gave us is Himself. Sometimes it’s said He gave us love. The answer is one and the same. God in giving us Himself gives us love for He is love. The same it is with you. The gift of yourself to me is the gift of love to me. That gift makes me want to be a better Christian. It makes me want to be more like Jesus.

I have something planned for you today. I really wish I had enough to do everything. If money weren’t an object, I would love to fly you to Kyoto someday or anywhere in the world you want to go. I have a hard time thinking of things that I want for myself nowadays. I have Jesus and I have you and that is plenty enough to keep me happy. I appreciate all the books I get from publishers and the like, but you are a far better gift than any addition to my library could ever be.

Princess. To some people, you may not mean anything, but to one person at least, you mean everything. There is one person at least who sees you as the bright spot in his world everyday and dreads a darkness where you are not there. You are loved immensely and any gift I give you will fall far short of expressing the true and deep love for you I have in me.

Happy birthday, Princess. May you have another wonderful 28 years and even more after this! Your man still wants to grow old with you.

Love you, Princess.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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

Why Suicide And Self-Harm Questions Matter To Me

Why do I take seriously questions relating to self-harm and suicide? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night as I was getting ready to go to bed, I got a question sent to me for a ministry I help answer questions for. It was a question about suicide that also referenced self-harm. The person who passed the question on to me asked me if I was okay to handle it. It was hard, but yes. I was. I did.

Why is it so hard?

Let me tell you about the worst day of my life.

When I met Allie years ago, she had actually just recently before then had a suicide attempt over a guy who was a jerk to her. When I met her, she thought she could make it right with him. That changed quickly. Before too long, she didn’t care about making it right with him. She was interested in me.

So go back a few years ago. I know the date. I don’t want to tell you for my own reasons. I had just got done with a podcast. Allie and my Dad and I were going to go to the movies. I went to see her and was talking to her and she was being quiet. Something seemed strange. I told her I needed to go to the drugstore and she still seemed out of it. Then I heard her say three words that ripped my world apart.

“Nick. I overdosed.”

At that moment, everything comes crashing down. I called 911 instantly in a panic. Fortunately, there was a fire station about a mile away from where we lived. I was calling everyone. I called her parents. I called my parents. My parents lived next door and my mother ran down and jumped on the bed and begged Allie to keep her eyes open.

The firefighters and ambulance that arrived assured us she was going to be okay. They were taking her to the hospital. My Dad and I would follow in his car. Mine had recently been hit by someone and thus I didn’t have one. When my Dad said we would follow the ambulance, I had no idea how literal he meant that. We followed right behind them the whole time through intersections and red lights even.

Allie had multiple people waiting to see her in the waiting room as we had called so many people on the way. Sadly, most of them did not get to see her. I was restless the whole time wondering when I would get to see her. When the time came, I went back there. Of all the people who were allowed to be in the room, two at a time. I was the one who was there the whole time. Her mother also arrived from Atlanta and stayed with her.

I stayed that night with Allie all night long. I didn’t get any sleep. I had to sit in a chair and someone had to come in regularly and turn the lights on to do things like draw blood and other such things. I don’t remember exactly what was done, but I remember being there. The next day, my parents took me home so I could get some sleep for a little while.

I went back that evening and just stayed by her side. We knew sometime they were going to take her to the mental health wing of the hospital. It could have been that night. We didn’t know. When that happened, I couldn’t be with her. The time came that I needed to go. Allie wanted me to stay, but it wasn’t that easy. I had no car. If they took her to the mental health wing, then I would be there at the hospital all night alone with no food and no place to sleep. Not only that, Allie had done this because she felt like two friends of hers had abandoned her. If I go, will she feel abandoned?

It was a hard decision, but I went home. An hour or so later she called me. I was scared she was going to be angry with me. Instead, she said I was right. Within an hour they had taken her to the mental health wing. From there, for the most part, I couldn’t reach her. She could call me sometimes, but they were the rare times.

So I sat at home alone. Many of you know I love doing apologetics, but there was no interest. I would sit in the chair in the living room just watching TV. My mother took care of everything in the house. Also, this time, there was a lot of anger rising up inside of me.

I couldn’t imagine how Allie could do this to me. How could she be willing to leave me like this after all I had done for her? Did these friends matter more to her than me? Was she just telling me that I was no longer worth it? I’m not a good enough reason to go on living?

I remember well the next time I would see her. Allie was taking Dialectical Behavioral Therapy at the hospital. There was a long hall to get to where she was and at the end there was a set of doors with windows you could see through, a short tiny hallway, and another set of doors like that. Now keep in mind, I love Allie, but I was going to tell her how hurt I was and all manner of things. I had a lot of anger in me and I was preparing all I was going to say. It was ready.

Until I went through the first set of doors and saw her at the end of the long hallway after that. As soon as I saw her, immediately I had a mental wipe. I forgot everything I was going to say.

We walked back to the mental health wing. Allie had been allowed to go out for DBT, but soon she would have to go back. We sat on a little bench outside and did I don’t remember what. I’m sure it was talking, hugging, kissing, things of that sort. Once again, it was devastating to see her go back and know I couldn’t see her.

You have to understand that I have a deep devotion to my wife. If things are not the way I think they should be between us, it’s hard for me to function. It is a great disappointment in my life when I think that I do not please Allie. I am always striving to be her man.

A few days later, Allie was able to come home. When she was home, it was wonderful for the first month. Allie was wanting to take care of the house, she was wanting to lose the extra weight she has, she was sharing great notes on Facebook about the joys of knowing Jesus and wanting everyone to know Him, and she was open to my love and freely giving me hers. She walked with a confidence I hadn’t seen. It left me more and more inspired to make changes in my life and be a better man. Ladies. Learn this. If you have a man in your life, nothing will make that man come alive and face challenges like him knowing he brings you joy and you enjoy him.

Except one day, one of those friends she’d thought she’d lost. He had made up with her and then on Facebook he told her she was stupid and from that time on things came crashing down. It all vanished. I do not speak to that person to this day. Before we left Knoxville, I tried to make it right, but things failed miserably. I had to talk to several people to help me deal with the anger. No doubt, there’s still some of it there. Anytime I see someone hurt Allie like this, that anger comes back. I guard her with my life.

Allie also struggles with self-harm. The last time was not too long ago and it was after nearly nine months without. When I found out, I cried for two hours. When I called the crisis line, they were more convinced I was the one in crisis. I don’t care if you think I’m less of a man really for crying for my wife so much. It is an expression of how much she means to me. I had no idea how much any one person could mean to me until Allie came into my life. Today, aside from Jesus Christ, she is the #1 influence in my life.

It hurts me every time. I wonder what is going on that hurting herself brings more relief than letting herself be loved. It is incredibly painful. I am pleased to say Allie has avoided self-harm since then, but I know this is a struggle.

Because of all of this, these questions matter to me. Suicide is never anything to joke about. It’s never anything to be flippant about. It’s also never anything to be glorified and celebrated. We should not treat celebrities who commit suicide like they’re heroes. We can grieve for them and their families, and it doesn’t mean we speak of them like they’re devils, but let’s make sure we all know the action is wicked.

If Allie had succeeded, I know I had the thought going through my head that I was no longer worth it. I would have lived with that thought forever. Suicide leaves such a painful effect on those left behind. They do get to where they can function, but they are never the same.

If you are considering suicide or know someone who is, please reconsider. Get some help at the Suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Call your local crisis line also. Whatever it is, it is a temporary problem.

Especially if you are a Christian, embrace the love of Christ at this time and realize that even if He seems silent, He is there. He has not abandoned you. You never truly walk alone.

Whoever you are, your life is worth living. You also never need to hurt yourself. Christ took on enough wounds for you. You don’t need to add any more to them. You matter as someone who is in the image of God.

Please don’t make this awful choice. You have more of an impact on those around you than you know and they will never be the same. Celebrate the people who love you today.

When I get a question now about this, I always take it seriously. It matters greatly. I’ve been there. I don’t want anyone else to have to be there.

In Christ,
Nick Peters