Deeper Waters Podcast 4/7/2018: The Fairest Of Them All

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

As the host of the Deeper Waters Podcast, I constantly get asked the question about who is my favorite guest I’ve had on. I’ve never been able to answer that question. I’ve had on so many great guests that I don’t think I could have easily pinpointed one and said, “Yes. This is my favorite guest.”

At least, that was the case, until now.

As you should know, this month is Autism Awareness Month. It’s a month that is near and dear to my heart. I always try to have guests on that know about Autism and have them speak on the subject. This Saturday I kick it off by having the best guest I can think of on to talk about Autism.

This is someone who knows about Autism from personal experience of having to live with it. Not only do they have to live with it, they have to live with someone who lives with it as they are married to someone with Aspergers. By the way, this guest that I am having on is someone who is incredibly awesome and is a real knockout to boot.

This Saturday, my wife has agreed to join me on the Deeper Waters Podcast. You all have heard me talk about Allie before many times. Now this time you’re going to get to hear from her yourselves.

My experience with Aspergers has been very different from Allie’s. We’re going to look into that. What was it like growing up? What was it that made her realize that she was different from everyone else? How is it that she came to be diagnosed with Aspergers? What did that mean for her? Was it good news or bad news?

As many of you know, Allie got a very different sort of traits than I did from Aspergers. She is actually incredibly high on the empathy scale. Her main language is also not logic but art. Believe it or not, while she does agree that apologetics is important and needed, she does not really enjoy talking about it. (Please remember that all my Facebook friends who think she shares a deep love for the field. She doesn’t.)

She doesn’t want to focus on this, but we will have to talk about married life some. What’s it like not only being on the spectrum yourself, but being married to someone on the spectrum? Are there any hurdles that you face that you think other couples don’t face?

What about church? Is there anything you wish churches knew about how to communicate with people with Aspergers? What are some steps that could be taken if there is room for improvement?

I am really looking forward to this interview. (Although Allie is a bit apprehensive about it) I can now say my favorite guest would be getting to have my wife on my show. Please be looking for this episode and please also go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Lessons From Shiro

What can we learn from the little guy in our lives? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night we went to our church small group which meets at the house of a pair of vets. Allie sat in a chair with a footstool and one of their cats was just lying on it next to Allie’s Bible. From time to time, some jokes would be made about that, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Growing up, our family pretty much always had a cat. Dogs are okay to me, but I’m the rare guy that’s more in favor of cats. I suppose it’s because cats are less forward and just mind their own business. Allie is more of a dog person who has never been into cats.

Until we found one while looking for a new apartment that wormed its way into her heart. This cat had been abandoned by his previous owners and was just living off of whatever he could find. The tenants were starting to complain and when we came one day, we realized they were going to take him to the pound. We told them we’d take him and we did. He has been ours ever since.

Allie chose the name Shiro for him. Shiro is the Japanese word for white. (It’s a real mystery why she thinks that’s a fitting name isn’t it?) Shiro is a great addition to our family. We can often get a little bit of joy just seeing him throughout the day and everything he does is either silly or pathetic to us, but it doesn’t change our love for him.

Recently we even spoke to a doctor who had recommended a dog for Allie. Allie said we couldn’t because we have a cat who doesn’t like other animals. The doctor said to just get rid of the cat then to which both of us immediately shouted back, “NO!”

Yep. That suggestion was never made again.

I have also told Allie many times before that Shiro can teach us a lot about theology. Of course, there are differences in the relationship between owners and their pets and between God and man, but there are similarities. Let’s look at this.

Of course, cats can do some things for their owners. Growing up, we got our first cat because we lived in a mobile home and we had a problem with mice. Every other cat after that has been good with getting mice, but that hasn’t been the reason. For Allie and I, when we lived in Tennessee, Shiro did manage to take care of a couple of mice for us. We remember one morning waking up at around 5:30 to a “ROWR!” sound. I somehow knew immediately Shiro had killed a mouse and one could picture the gaming voice just saying “Fatality!”

There is also the comfort factor. Many times Allie can especially get a burst of cheer out of seeing Shiro and when she’s depressed, he can help her out greatly. None of that is being denied.

Yet still, we don’t normally get a pet out of need. More often, it’s just because we like them and want to show some affection to them. In the same way, we do not exist because God needs us in any way. We could say that maybe sometimes we bring Him joy, but there is no reason to think that we bring more joy than the Trinity already has in the divine fellowship.

As I sit here also, it’s almost 9 A.M. with my writing. Shiro has a food machine that goes off and feeds him every 12 hours and the first time is at 9. Shiro is sitting in here whining, which he often does relentlessly, begging to be fed. Allie and I always get amazed. We do not leave him to starve. He always gets his food. Still, every morning and evening, it is as if he forgets and thinks he has to remind us, to which he has never had any success. The lesson is never learned.

In the same way, how many times has God provided for us? Romans says He won’t hold back since He already gave us His own Son. You would think we would learn, but no. Just as soon as we have another bit of suffering come in our lives, we’re whining again as if God has never done anything in the past.

The sad thing for us is, we have the rationality to know better.

Maybe we’re the pathetic ones.

There’s also the point that some cats like to be cuddled. Shiro is not one of them. When we pick him up, he whines. It doesn’t stop us, but he’s not a big fan of it. We often say if only he realized we’re not a threat and we just want to show our love for Him.

We often think the love of God is something comfortable. It’s not always. Sometimes it’s painful. Love doesn’t always mean something that feels good. Sometimes love can seem intrusive to us. Sometimes love can stretch us in ways e don’t want. Anyone who thinks having a loving God is all sunshine and roses doesn’t have a clue. God will not always take us where we want to go.

So why do we have Shiro? Love. That’s all it is. We wanted someone in our household who would bring an extra little bit of joy to us. Shiro isn’t a theologian, but he sure has taught a lot about theology. Those who are parents of biological or adopted children I think can understand this even more.

We’re thankful for this little guy in our lives. If you would like to know more about him, we care about him so much we actually made a Facebook page for him. We’re thankful for the special kitty in our lives and we hope you will be thankful for the special ones in your life, pets or not.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Modesty and Respect

How should victims of #MeToo live? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had my concerns when the #MeToo movement started, but I appreciate many of the women who were in it. Real sexual abuse and sexual harassment happens. The problem is that the terms are also often too vague. There are girls who can have a guy ask them out at work and consider that sexual harassment. If a man tells a woman she is beautiful in some way, that can be called sexual harassment.

Then there are evils out there like Dr. Larry Nassar. Nassar is without a doubt a sick and twisted individual who has brought much destruction to the lives of the women that he worked with. Nassar used them for his own pleasures and their sexual peace has been sacrificed at the altar of his pleasures.

Sometimes, the response can go too far. An article in The Mighty recently spoke about Aly Raisman and her nude photos for Sports Illustrated. Normally, I would link, but I know that there are guys who will struggle and a link right there could be a problem. The link doesn’t show any frontal nudity, but it is clear that Raisman is nude in it. The writer of the piece says her appearing nude does not negate #MeToo.

The article quotes something said apparently on Instagram by Raisman.

“Women do not have to be modest to be respected– Live for you! Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy. Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best. The time where women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER. The female body is beautiful and we should all be proud of who we are, inside and out.”

Much of this is fine, but some of it makes no sense. Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy? The way Nassar expressed himself was by abusing several young women. Do we have a problem with that? We sure do. The implication here is that you should do what makes you happy, and if sex makes you happy, you should express yourself sexually however you want.

What is ignored is if there is any real purpose to sex? There are a number of purposes, but many people today only look at one purpose. Sex is there only for this one purpose and that’s it.

One such purpose of sex is the continuation of the species. Some people can’t do this because of infertility or medical reasons of some sort or financial reasons or because age has made it impossible to conceive. Another reason also is the unity of a husband and wife. Sexuality is the greatest expression of love between a husband and a wife. It is a way of saying that the two give themselves entirely to each other as they are. It’s hard to do that with your bodies if you haven’t really done it in reality yet with a marriage commitment, which is a reason why living together before marriage actually makes divorce more likely.

Of course, pleasure is on the list. Husbands and wives also do this because it’s a lot of fun. The problem is too many today treat sexuality like just a hobby. In essence, it’s treated as something common. You watch TV with your friends. You go play a sport with your friends. You have sex with some friends. Why not? It’s just another thing you do.

But what if it isn’t just another thing you do? What if it involves more than just an activity, but rather the bonding of persons? In sex, after all, oxytocin is released that bonds the man and woman together. This cannot be altered. Of course, the more you deny what comes with that bond, the more you will be going against your very own body and making it harder to bond. Sex really does change things.

Raisman also says a woman should not be modest to be respected. Okay, but that leaves us with the question of why should a woman be modest? When I go out in public, I see several women. They’re all wearing clothes. Why is that? Also, the men are wearing clothes as well. Why is that?

Are we wearing clothes because we are ashamed of our bodies? Is the only way to show love for your body and delight in your body to walk around naked all the time? If so, then we live in a society where the only people who love their bodies are the ones in nudist camps.

Or do we wear clothes for another reason? (and I don’t just mean work requirements or keeping warm) Do we wear clothes not because our bodies are something shameful, but do we wear them because they are something sacred? We don’t want to expose what is sacred to everyone else. That treats the sacred as if it was just common. We save them for the people who are really special.

The only woman who sees my body totally is my wife. The only man who sees my wife’s body totally is me. By that action alone, we each know that we are something different to each other. We are the only ones that share this unique bond. Sex takes it even further. It’s not that Allie’s body is a place of shame. In reality, it’s a place of honor, but in her life, only one person has the honor necessary to totally receive the honor she has. Likewise, there is only one person out there I consider worthy of totally giving the gift of myself to.

What happens for women who bear it all sexually? Everyone gets that, and that includes multitudes who don’t deserve that. That includes the men sitting in their basements watching porn and not going out and meeting a real woman because they just need a fake one. When they do meet real women, these real women aren’t enough for them because they’ve seen the fake ones only and expect real women to be like fake photoshopped women. There’s a reason there are men in their 20’s taking Viagra now.

A woman does not dress modestly because she is ashamed of how she looks. She does it because she honors how she looks. She wants everyone to know that she is not to be treated as common. Her body is something sacred and is not to be put out on display. Getting to see her body and all her beauty and glory is not a right that a man has. It is a privilege. A woman determines who is worthy of that privilege. If she wants to say everyone in the world is, then she has lowered herself. Everyone in the world includes some despicable people.

The response article tells us that clothing is just clothing and our bodies are just bodies and your body, your choice. Yes. You do choose what you do with your body, but notice how the writer says our bodies are “just bodies.” It’s like saying, “No big deal. This is just the human body being shared.” It is a big deal. Every human being is a big deal. If you believe every woman should be honored, then you should also not believe that they are to be treated as common.

That’s the great danger also with young women especially doing the whole sexting thing now. By doing that, you are letting a guy know that if he wants to see your body, all he has to do is have a Y chromosome. Nothing extraordinary is required. A guy is far less likely to pursue you and if he does, well he only wants to hit it and quit it. He’ll move on to the next fix after that.

Now some do say that it is always the fault of the perpetrator in sexual abuse. It is, but at the same time, if someone overeats on a diet, it is their fault, but it’s not wise for friends and family to come by and dangle unhealthy foods that the person likes right in their face. Women and men should seek to dress in a way that honors those around them. Even if those other people are not worthy of being honored, like Nassar, you deserve to be honored around them.

Does this go against #MeToo some? I think it does. So many women have rightfully complained about being treated as objects, but then act in a way that makes it more likely that they will be treated that way. Again, it’s never right to do that and that can happen sadly even in marriage. (Sorry guys, but your wife is there for more than just you having someone to have sex with and you need to treat her with honor as a person in the image of God and sacrifice for her.)

Women should feel empowered and confident as they are and not be ashamed of their bodies, but that doesn’t mean you treat them like they’re common. Go with the Christian idea of treating them like sacred vessels. Save them for a man who truly deserves that honor, say, I don’t know, by making a public lifetime commitment to you till death do you part?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Why do I think today is a special day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day. Back then, I was one who called it Singles’ Awareness Day. It was a depressing time because I always wondered if I would ever find someone who would love me and who I would love. Really, the prospects of that happening did not seem good.

That really changed in August of 2009. I found out about this girl named Allie who lived in Atlanta. She had Aspergers like I do and she was going through a hard time and wanted a friend. I said I could be that friend and started communicating with her. Before long, it was more than communication and we were a hot item. Everyone knew exactly where we were heading and this only after a couple of months. I proposed to her in December and we were married in July, but I did get to spend Valentine’s Day with her.

Since then, every Valentine’s Day has been special. I always make sure to celebrate the day by doing something really special for her. You see, when you go through life and you doubt that you will ever find that love, you want to celebrate it when it comes along. You never want to take it for granted.

Something theological about this is that love is now something we do celebrate. When you read Plato, the whole dialogue of the Symposium is all about a celebration of love because that really wasn’t as much celebrated as it is today. Romantic love was often the exception and not the norm. Many times, a wife would often be just the woman that the man chose to have his main heirs with.

Today, romantic love is the norm. We can’t picture any other cause for marriage than love. At the same time, we often don’t think about what love is. What does it mean to love someone?

Many times, we think that love means we have warm feelings for someone. That can be good when it comes, but that’s not what love is. Love is not about what you feel so much as what you do. The best definition of love I know is seeking the good of the other for the sake of the other.

This means love is in the giving. It’s in the giving of oneself for what is genuinely good for the other. It might not even be what the person wants. A loving thing to do to a recovering alcoholic seeking to overcome is to NOT give him the alcohol he desires. Love can be painful in that sense, but love is there because it is the person seeking the good. There’s always the possibility that one is wrong in the action they think loving, but they are still at least trying to be loving.

As a husband, I am called to give of myself to my wife regularly and sacrifice for her, but with love, it is not often a sacrifice. It is a joy. My greatest joy many times is in knowing I am making Allie happy and knowing she can rely on me and trust in me. If you hear me talking to other men about marriage, what you will often hear is that I wish I could do more.

Today, I will be celebrating the love I have for my Princess. If you are married, I encourage you to please celebrate it today, but remember also that Valentine’s Day is not meant to be a once a year event. Celebrate the love you have for your spouse every day. If you are single, you can still celebrate love you have in your life. You can have the love of friends, the love of family, and of course, the love of God. If you want to find romantic love, be assured it can be found. I never thought it would happen for me and now we’re working on year eight of our marriage.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you also Princess. I love you dearly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Something Worth Guarding

What do you do with what matters most? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today, my wife Allie and I have been married for seven and a half years, which is incredible to think about. It really seems like something incredible to realize that when I go so many places, I have my wife going with me. That is a treasure. When I get together with other couples, we are just that, a couple. When I get together with my own family, we are together and it seems odd to think I sleep next to my wife in the room I used to have to myself alone.

One question asked to me today was about relationships with other women. This is something I keep guard on. Why? Picture you have a safe-deposit box at the bank. What are you going to put in it? Will you put in the groceries you bought at the store today? Will you put in a bottle of medicine you bought over-the-counter at the drugstore? Will you put in a can of cat food you bought at the pet store?

Or will you more likely put in fine jewelry, important documents you have, money, family heirlooms, etc. Why? These are things of far greater value. They need to be guarded and protected. What matters most is what you protect the most.

In earthly relationships, my marriage matters the most to me. That is why I guard it. In my ministry capacity, I often have to answer questions from women that get in touch with me. For a simple question, that is fine, but if it becomes anything involving intimate issues, then I always ask if my wife can be in the correspondence. If this is not agreed to, I tell them I must pass them off to a female who can answer their questions.

Most affairs do not start out with a guy getting out of bed one day and saying “You know what? I think today would be a good day to cheat on my wife.” They start with a guy in an innocent relationship with a woman, perhaps at the office, and she starts giving him some attention that he likes. He starts talking to her and before too long, he’s joining her on her lunch break or vice-versa. The relationship is emotional but as that emotion starts to build up, the people in it want to turn it physical and lo and behold, they wind up at a hotel together.

This is also why I follow the Pence rule. A lot of people mocked Pence when that came out. (I do realize it is not original to Pence, but it is called that often.) If Harvey Weinstein had followed this rule, how different would things have turned out? My relationship with my wife is not worth risking.

Also, this means that pornography has absolutely no place whatsoever in my marriage. I never look at the stuff. If it accidentally pops up on my computer, I feel awful. I go and tell Allie about it immediately. I don’t want her to ever be on my computer and see a link come up that makes her wonder what I’ve been doing.

Sexual fidelity is a major deal for me. Allie is the only woman I have ever had sex with and I intend to keep it that way. Why would I want another woman in my head when I’m with my wife? Do I dare want to say that Allie is not good enough for me? Absolutely not! I regularly tell her she’s the most beautiful sight I have ever seen! Just the chance to see her and be with her has been a great motivation in my life for necessary change that I need.

Being on the spectrum, we also have therapy together and that is a great benefit to our relationship. We have no problem going to other people when we are in a tough situation and getting their input. That’s just seeking wisdom and we realize many people have been married far longer than we have been and know a lot more.

I also do the steps to maintain our relationship everyday. If you are on Facebook and are friends with me, you know that I don’t post on Sunday, but every other day, I post something about how I love my wife. People also know that I can be mild-mannered. I can sometimes be rough in a debate with a skeptic, but there are limits.

Yet if anyone dares to insult my Allie on there, then people know the rule. Stay back and get out popcorn. Rage is the only word to describe it. You could say my philosophy then is “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” I take no prisoners and I let anyone have it who dares to go after her. Efforts to calm me down in that state are pointless. You might as well try to calm down the Hulk when he goes into a rage.

It also means you plan in advance for birthdays and anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Our anniversary is on July 24th. That means that planning for the next year begins on July 25th. As it stands, I am right now considering multiple options for what I will do on that day. Normally also, book sales that I have saved up under my ministry partner are used to support what I want to do that day.

This requires intentional work. This requires sacrifice. It also requires many times going against my feelings. There are times my wife wants me to do something and I don’t really feel like doing it. Imagine she needs something and I have just sat down and want to read my book and hear, “Nick. Will you go to the store and get some milk?” My wife can’t drive due to a brain injury, so I have to do it. I can assure you I don’t want to do it most of the time. I don’t feel like doing it. I would love it if someone else could do it. I still do it. Why? Because I love her and if there is something my wife needs and my feelings don’t care for it, my feelings have to take a back seat.

If you build your relationship on your feelings, you’re dooming it to failure. No feeling can last forever. It shouldn’t even. Many of us could not focus at all if even positive feelings always lasted forever. Sometimes, negative feelings will show up, and you have to go against them. There are always little foxes seeking to destroy the relationship.

Christianity plays an integral part in what we do as well. When it comes to nighttime, before we go to sleep, we read a little bit from the Bible and then we pray together. Prayer is something we turn to in crisis. We’re also available when we need it to do ministry. We make an interesting team. I tell people I’m the head and she’s the heart. If you want someone to really listen to you and emphasize with you and feel your pain with you, go talk to her. She’s better. If you want someone who can reach your head and answer your questions, come to me.

Today, one of the greatest reasons I am the man I am today is because of my wife. She has transformed me in ways that even my own parents who have known me longest in my life think of as remarkable. My old roommate before I married Allie knows I used to pretty much have frozen pizza en masse in the freezer for my dinner every evening. When I told him that is no longer the case because Allie has changed my diet, he just said “Wow.”

If you have a marriage, work to build it. Should your spouse work to build it too? Yeah, but if they’re not, that doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility. Of course, this is different if you are in a relationship where you are actively being abused or the children are being abused. In that case, get out while you can. At least go with separation for the time being and demand that the offending spouse get some therapy and don’t go back into the relationship until a therapist okays it. (Of course, you also don’t be going and having affairs with other people in a time of separation.)

If you think your marriage is valuable, you will cultivate it. If you don’t, you won’t. The reality is that if something is important to you, you spend time on it and learn about it and do what you can with it. My wife is a gift and I treasure the relationship with her and it’s always new to me. Some things never get old. Loving my wife is one of them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Why I Don’t Use Porn

How can we best honor the women of the world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I say this, I do realize that porn is not just a man’s problem. It is something that more and more women are engaging in as well. Nothing is meant to discount their struggle, but I can only write from my own position as a man.

Many times, it’s often assumed that if you’re a man, you’re watching porn. It could be an understandable assumption, but it’s also a false one. Being a man does not necessitate that you engage in pornography. Perhaps it could mean sexual sin is more of a struggle for you, but it is something that can be overcome.

Before my marriage, my Dad had been working somewhere where his fellow co-workers were sadly quite raunchy. He spoke about my upcoming wedding and somehow in the midst of the conversation it came out that he was proud of his son and his daughter who were saving sex for marriage. He was immediately told his kids were lying to him. They were doing that on the side and just not telling him about it.

No hesitation there. His kids weren’t lying.

We weren’t.

My eyes are reserved for Allie alone and she is the only woman I share that sexual intimacy with. Now as a guy, I will definitely say that that intimacy is awesome and getting to see Allie’s body is getting to see the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It’s amazing what a guy can be motivated to do just by a little flirtation from his wife.

So if that’s something I enjoy so much, wouldn’t it make sense to see porn? No. Not at all. Here are some reasons why.

I don’t use porn because Allie is more than enough woman for me. I don’t need any other woman to satisfy my desires. I don’t want any other woman to do so. Viewing porn would be wrong because it would be telling Allie that she is insufficient as a woman.

I don’t use porn because a woman is not just a body. She is a person as well and when I view her as just a body, I do not love her as a whole. It is not loving to the women of the world to treat them as just bodies and I certainly don’t do that with my own wife.

I don’t use porn because it’s really fake. Why would I change a woman who is really interested in me for the chance to see a woman who doesn’t know me and doesn’t care about me? My wife’s chasing after me is more than enough for me.

I don’t use porn because it cheapens sex. Sex is indeed the union of two bodies in a holy embrace, but those are the bodies of persons and the persons are affirming a powerful commitment of love with that act. I choose to not use my body to lie so with my body, I honor my Allie.

I don’t use porn because the fake can’t match the reality. There’s nothing like really touching one’s own wife and experiencing her touch. Nothing in media can compare with the real deal. The passion that can exist in the bedroom is a sacred passion.

I don’t use porn because I want my eyes filled with only Allie. Why would I want to delight in another man’s wife or in a woman I can never have? Is the one that God has given me just not enough for me? Of course, she is.

I don’t use porn because I don’t want to ever give Allie any hint that she’s insufficient for me. She is not in competition with other women. When I proposed to her, I told her she won the grand prize in my eyes and I wanted to be with only her forever and when I married her, I made that a public statement.

I don’t use porn because sex is something beautiful. When I treat it as something common and outside of the sacred bounds of marriage, I cheapen it. Sex is so holy that there’s a whole book of Scripture about it. I have no wish to diminish it.

I don’t use porn because it teaches me that women just exist for my sexual pleasure. I am to seek to give to my wife. While it is true she is to give to me and a priority of hers should be my desires, it is a two-way street.

I don’t use porn because it would dishonor my God. God made sex to be treasured and all these human beings are made in His image and to be treasured, whether they are married or not and whether they plan to marry or not. No person is to be treated as an object.

I don’t use porn because I want to be my intimacy in this life to come because Allie is affirming me as her man. I don’t want to go to other women I don’t know for just something that makes me feel like a man. I would rather go to my wife and be the man that she loves.

I don’t use porn because sex isn’t just a hobby. It’s not like a sport that two people can play together and it doesn’t really matter who the participants are. It’s an exclusive act I share with only one person who I love in an exclusive way and while what we do together is certainly a lot of fun, it’s also a building of that great love that we have together.

I don’t use porn because as far as I’m concerned, no one on Earth can compare with my wife’s beauty. Allie is the only beauty that drives me wild and pushes me to want to be a better man. She is the woman whose pictures I look at with longing romantic love and desire in my office (I have pictures of other family members in here), she is the picture on the desktop on my computer, and she is the picture that I see when I turn on my phone. My wife makes my world a much better place.

Ultimately, I don’t use porn because I love Allie and I love God. I seek to do nothing to dishonor either of them. The love of both in my life is a gift of grace and I choose to live holy in gratitude of that great gift.

And yes, I do love both. If you read this Princess, that means you specifically. Your husband loves you very much and you need no fear of competition.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

For Young Newlyweds

What advice would I pass on? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently while surfing Facebook I found someone asking how old people were when they got married. After that, he decided to ask what advice would be given to young newlyweds. I had to chime in and say something. Back within the past couple of years, I had a friend who I called and we always asked if he was dating someone. He told me he was and it seemed pretty serious. Then a few months later I get a call and he asks me how it was that I knew that I wanted to marry Allie. Yep. Knew where this was going. A few months after that he calls me late in the evening. I waited for him to say what I knew it was, but I was tempted to answer and say “Congratulations on your engagement!”

When Irma struck Florida, we had someone come and stay with us who was evacuating the area. He was also an Aspie like my wife and I. While he wanted to learn some about apologetics, I made sure to model for him what I think a man should do as a husband. That even meant that when I went to a dentist who would do my root canal work for a cheaper price, which meant a drive about an hour or an hour and a half away, he came with me. No need to risk the appearance of impropriety. It made an impression on him.

One of the greatest compliments I get is to be complimented on the kind of husband I am to Allie. Anyone can read books and study and learn things, and you should. To learn character and virtue though requires more than that. You can be a wicked and evil person and still be very smart.

So as I saw this post last night, I thought of some things. I don’t remember exactly all I said, but here are some things.

First off, barring abuse by your spouse or infidelity, divorce is not an option. When you marry, you marry for life. Don’t go in thinking it’s just like any other relationship. It isn’t.

Your first priority is to God. After that, your spouse is the next person in line. If you do have kids, don’t put your kids before your spouse. Let them know that your marriage relationship is the most important relationship of all.

Get rid of selfishness. It has no place in a marriage. If you look out for #1, you will often do so at the expense of your spouse. It is not about how much you get in a marriage, but it is about how much you give.

Never stop pursuing and chasing each other. It can often be thought that you put your best foot forward when you date, and then when you marry, you can kick back and take it easy. You shouldn’t. Be the person you were when you were dating.

On that, keep in mind romance looks different for men and women. For a woman, it can be any number of things. My wife likes gifts the most. Many a wife wants some quality time or likes it when her husband helps take care of things around the house. It doesn’t have to be big and grand gestures. It can be simple little things.

For men, it’s much easier. Men can like that, but for most men, it’s sex. Deprive a husband here and he won’t be able to function as well nearly anywhere else in the world. Keep him happy here, and he will be thoroughly happy and have his mood improve everywhere else he is.

By the way, along those lines women, keep in mind your husband does not just want duty sex. It sends him a very dangerous message when he knows you’re having sex just because you think you have to and you have no real interest in him. Men would rather have a Plain Jane who was absolutely crazy about them in the bedroom, than to have a supermodel who was entirely passive and acted along the lines of “Well are you done yet?”

Always try to assume the best of your spouse. Don’t let distrust be the default position. Instead, let trust be the default position. Your spouse is a fallen sinful human being and will mess up at times, but always be willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

While women have this problem, this one is largely male. Avoid pornography at all costs. It will not enhance your marriage and if you’re single and planning to marry, get rid of porn. There are some men today who are in their 20’s and need to take Viagra because the sight of a real woman doesn’t arouse them any more. Let your mind be filled with the thought of that one woman and let her know she has no competition.

Be Christian together. Pray together and read the Bible together and go to church together. You each must also cultivate your own spiritual devotion, but make sure to build one another up.

Avoid sex before marriage. Don’t live together before marriage either. Keep things for the wedding night as much as you possibly can.

Along those lines, something I advise is when you go on your honeymoon, bring no books save your Bible. Do not go on Facebook or check email. Ask both families to not get in touch with you. Don’t go on social media sharing wedding pictures or seeing what people said. Those responses will be there when you get back. They can wait. Checking all of that is like bringing other people with you on your honeymoon. Spend that time focused on one another.

Have fun as well. Try to find hobbies you enjoy together or TV shows you want to watch together. Each of you will likely have some of your own interests, but make sure there are things you’re interested in together.

Forgiveness is always huge. Be willing to forgive quickly. I tell people that marriage is one of the best ways to learn it. You will spend a lot of time giving or receiving forgiveness and I would say I’ve spent a lot more time receiving.

Marriage is hard work, but it is certainly worth it. It’s been an incredible adventure for me. My life is all the better for having Allie as my wife in it.

By the way, always let them  know it. You can never tell your spouse “I love you,” too much. You cannot hold them too much. Love is always mandatory.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Great Gift

What is going on when treasuring takes place? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday on her blog, my wife wrote a very touching piece about me. I figure I should do the same. What we have goes both ways. It’s quite unique also because in many ways, we’re so very very different.

People who know me know that for the longest time, my great question in life is would I ever get married. When I first entered the Master’s program at Bible College, I was invited along with the other students to attend a dinner at the president’s houses. Others were told to bring their spouses. I couldn’t, so I asked if I could bring my parents, which was fine. When I got there one of the professors did ask me “Nick. How did you get through here without getting married?”

Yeah. You’re not the only one asking that question.

Then some of my friends around me started to marry. Okay. I tried to live with it, but I was often really hurting. It’s selfish, yes, but I was thinking about myself. When is it going to be my time? When I meet guys who are still wondering that, I totally get it.

Eventually, I moved to Charlotte. There I started getting in touch with several apologists and I did have a new circle of friends. Most of them weren’t married. Among the apologists I had got to meet was Gary Habermas and we emailed from time to time.

One day I was getting off of work from the Christian Research Institute and heading home. I remembered hearing Gary was going to be teaching a seminar at SES, my seminary then, on the historical Jesus. I thought I’d drop by and just say hi to him. While I’m there, he asks me if I know who Mike Licona is. I tell him I do. He had debated Bart Ehrman there and he co-wrote a book on the resurrection with Gary.

Gary tells me that he was talking with some others about Mike because he had a daughter who was going through a hard time. Frank Turek was among them and I think Alex McFarland might have been another. In the conversation, it came up that Mike’s daughter, Allie, has Aspergers. Frank said “Well, Nick Peters has Aspergers.” Gary asked me if I’d like to contact Allie and help her out.

I agreed to do this and so we emailed. I was nothing that Allie was expecting. You see, Allie was thinking apologists were all these high academic types and sharing similar interests would not be there. She was surprised. When she started talking about playing Pokemon, I was right there. I had played the games too and knew about them. We could talk about Final Fantasy as well. When she got silent one night during the conversation on AIM or Facebook, I started worrying she had done something. It might be a bit stalker like to some, but I didn’t want to take chances. I found her number on her Facebook and gave her a call. She didn’t know who it was, but it touched her when she saw how concerned I was for her.

Interestingly, she had been wanting to get back together with an ex when I came along and she just wanted me to be a friend. Besides, she saw my Facebook picture. It said nerd all over it to her. She did not want to be with a nerd, unless he was Asian.

Well, that was the plan at least.

More of the story can be found on Facebook, but let’s just say that when she told her mother we were dating, it was Labor Day. Gary and his wife Eileen were visiting the Liconas then. Eileen turned to Debbie, Mike’s wife, after Allie left and said “summer wedding.”

She was right. Within a year, we were married.

Her parents had seen us as a perfect fit, and they were right. Of course, I am nearly ten years older than Allie and normally, that would give suspicion, but they saw the character of the guy who was dating her. No matter what, I always wanted to do more and more to please Allie. Shortly after we got engaged, Debbie put up a status on Facebook about Mike building her a porch and how her husband spoils her. When I said something about her future son-in-law doing the same, she replied that Mr. Peters is the king of spoiling.

Hey. My wife’s love language is gifts. I like to get her things.

People don’t enter marriage intending to change, but they do. Both of us have changed, but I can speak firsthand about the changes with me, and people who know me have seen the change. I have a greater maturity that wasn’t there before. Am I still a tease and a prankster and everything else? Yes. At the same time, there is a deep deep commitment.

You see, I did something unusual. I trusted myself to a woman. Marriage involves the greatest trust between two human beings. To be fully intimate with your spouse means you have to be open. If you are not open, you do not get the full joy of loving and being loved. You are depriving marriage of all that it could be for you.

I found that trust was totally transforming. No earthly love has had the effect on me that Allie’s love has had. Nothing has made me strive to want to be a better man. I did this so much that I made my own Facebook group for Christian men who are married, engaged, dating, or hoping to date and marry to help us all learn how to be good husbands.

I found I was more confident in ministry as well. When Allie gives me trust and affirmation and lives it out, I am able to do most anything. There’s honestly nothing like it. I can walk with a lot more confidence in my own ministry because I have such great affirmation from her.

It’s totally transforming and I don’t understand it. I see myself as someone who is striving to be rational in all things and understanding all that I can. Still, I do not understand this love. I don’t think I ever will, but I think I will always try. I do not understand what it is about Allie that drives me crazy in such a good way. I have loved this woman so much, and I do not still understand really what it is.

In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest says at one point “I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.” I disagree with that. Love is indeed a great mystery. It is something we grasp to understand, but I do not think we can say we have ever arrived. How could we? It is the nature of God after all.

In so many ways, I can say Allie gets me to let my guard down. Can I get hurt sometimes? Yes, but I let it down still because Allie’s love is worth it. Sure we have our disagreements and arguments, but they don’t last. We come back to our foundation every time of our love for one another. Allie is someone I don’t think I have to hide around.

One time we were in New Orleans. We had been invited to attend the Defend The Faith Conference and I gave a talk there on reaching youth. While at a table one night having dinner with other attendees, Gary Habermas was there as was Tim McGrew, who it was my great honor to meet there. In fact, Allie describes our relationship as a bromance. Someone at the table said something about B.B. Warfield going on his honeymoon and his wife getting struck by lightning and being paralyzed and he took care of her till death did them part. Gary just says “Huh. So Nicholas, would you do that if that happened to Allie?”

I wasn’t expecting to be called on so I still had some shock and then Tim said, “He absolutely would.” I was very pleased by this and I went up privately to Tim afterward and told him I wanted to thank him for the compliment.

“What compliment?”

“What you said about how I’d take care of Allie.”

“Nick. You absolutely adore Allie and everyone here can see it.”

My wife assures me I got several compliments on my intellect and apologetics ability there. Why does she assure me? Not because I’m doubting it, but because I don’t remember any of them. I remember that compliment. That one reigns supreme.

You see, the greatest compliment I can get now is to be told I’m a good husband to my wife. Anyone can really study hard and be smart and be a great apologist or thinker if they really want to be. To be a great spouse though is a lesson in virtue.

In fact, my wife has opened me up to a great spiritual side. In many ways, I’m jealous of her spiritual life. Allie does have profound spiritual experiences and gets far more excited about the love of God than I do. When God feels distant to her, it’s hard on her. She really is the deer panting for the water. I wonder then why it is that I am not like that. Perhaps it is just the way that I am wired, but I know often in a more devotional side, she does far better than I do. She is the one who remembers to pray for people and reminds me to.

This is another way we complement each other. I say I am the head and she is the heart. If you want sympathy and someone to care about what you’re going through, Allie is the person to talk to. If you want advice and to know how to deal with it, come to me.

It might sound superficial, but Allie has taught me about beauty as well. When we men are growing up and single, the human female is a mystery to us, especially if we wisely avoid pornography. What is it about that body that makes it so beautiful? Why do we find that so beautiful? I do not know why to this day, but I know that it is true. When I get to see my wife, I am reminded of what it means for something to be beautiful. If something does get me into praise, it is thinking about how beautiful my wife is. I just cannot conceive that God made something that looks that good.

It leaves me thankful. I have a woman I can kiss every day of the year. I can hold her close in an embrace. We can even have full intimacy if we want to. We sleep next to each other every night. It’s not just me in this world. It’s we. I am never truly alone. I have a companion in everything, and I think just the companion I need.

Princess. I love you deeply. Nothing I say could ever be sufficient to share your worth and value to me. If I kept going with this blog, it would be the longest ever and considering I have had blogs with over 10,000 words, that would be something. The past seven years have been amazing. I just can’t fathom what it was like beforehand and I know everyone else who knew me before has seen the change. It is a great honor when I have friends now getting married and they say they want to treat their wives like I treat you.

Love you, Princess. You are my gift.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

37

What is there to learn looking back? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you see my Facebook page today, it’s been filled with people posting on my wall today. Why? Today is the day I celebrate another year around the sun and turn 37. Yes. I know my wife is 27. I did indeed rob the cradle big time. (It freaks her out when I tell her that when she was in 4th grade, I was in college.)

I look back and it’s really amazing how much has changed. Some things have stayed the same. I’m still someone who likes to play his games and my wife and I can watch cartoons together regularly. On the other hand, many times a commercial will come on advertising a household project and we’ll say “Hey. That looks like something we could use,” and then we’ll just ask ourselves when did we start paying attention to that?

Gift giving also used to be the big thing on the birthdays. Every birthday, you looked forward to what you were getting. I still do that to an extent. I am suspecting my in-laws got me the complete Adam West Batman series on DVD, something I’ve been eying for some time. No doubt, many others will get me Amazon gift cards because they know how much I love to get things from Amazon. (Any reader who feels generous can do so as well)

Gifts are nice as always, but now I value more the time with my family. That especially includes my wife. My wife is one who gives me the greatest gift possible of the privilege of being her husband. Life changes incredibly when you get married and meet someone who you can share the rest of your life with. Looking back, it’s really hard to think about what it was like when I was single and didn’t have that special bond.

Growth in apologetics is also good. My father-in-law has been helping me learn Greek for work on my Master’s in New Testament. The podcast is becoming more and more popular I suspect and I have more and more people sending books to me to review. Probably I will never catch up on all the books I have to read, but that’s okay. That just gives me more of a challenge.

There are also more hopes and dreams for the future. Allie has come to the realization that God loves her and I look forward to this blooming more and more, especially if she can get to the place again where she knows how much I love her and how much she means to me. I am looking forward to speaking at a conference next May and tomorrow I will be an interview subject on another podcast. I really hope this keeps up.

So as I conclude, I finish by celebrating the love of God in my life that the ministry I do is something I truly enjoy doing. I celebrate also that I have my wife by my side. The love of Allie is one of the greatest motivators I have and something that helps me do the ministry that I do and every act of trust and respect from her shoots my confidence up more and more. I thank all the people who are posting on my wall today to celebrate today.

Thanks to also all of you, my readers, who for some reason like to keep coming to this blog to see what I have to say. I also thank those of you who listen to the podcast. If you wish, feel free to give another gift by leaving a positive review of the show on ITunes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Why I Read Marriage Books

With so much in apologetics to study, why study marriage? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I love having a Kindle. It’s a wonderful gift. It’s especially helpful when Allie wants to go to bed at an early time and wants me nearby, but I still want to read. I just get in and use a light dimmer and read my Kindle. Since mine is a Fire, it also works as a portable office.

I also am quite frugal so I subscribe to email lists about discount and free books related to Christian interests of mine. One of those is books on marriage. Sometimes, I will get one and read through it. I take my time normally and read only a chapter a day. Other books I go through quickly, but on these I try to go much more steadily.

But why? There is so much to keep up with in the world of apologetics. There are so many debates to prepare for. How is it that I am bettering the world by reading a book on marriage?

It’s because despite what people will tell you, marriage is work. Anything worthwhile is. I work at my marriage because it’s one of the greatest gifts I have. I want to know how to be the best at this relationship. The better my relationship with my wife is, the better everything else is in this world.

I think also this is important for our marriage debates today. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t work on showing that marriage is a man and a woman for life, but I think the reason the world denounces marriage is in many ways, we did it first. Sure, the divorce rate is not as high among committed Christians as the world would have you believe, but it is still there.

What we need to do is treat marriage like a treasure. Some of the best evangelism that you can do starts in your own home. If you cannot show love to your immediate family, it’s going to be hard to show the rest of the world that you have love for them. Love begins at home.

I also tell people in ministry that if you are a great debater, a great apologist, you can answer every question, and you write excellent bestsellers, but you fail to be a spouse to your spouse and a parent to your children, then I count you as a failure in ministry. Your family should have no justifiable doubt on where they stand with you.

We all know one of the benefits of marriage is sex, and this is another way that the church can do better. If you watch media, you will think the world has the better deal. Couples fall in love and have sex constantly and there’s never anything afterwards that goes wrong directly related to sex. Those of us who are married know better.

Sex itself takes work, but it’s worth it. In fact, we as Christians should be living out the best sex lives. It should be that if people want the idea of what a truly awesome sex life looks like, they should look to their Christian friends. It’s our God who made this gift. Why should we not be the ones celebrating it?

My working on marriage is because of how much my own wife means to me. My wife is a sacred gift and she entrusts me also with a very sacred gift, herself. If I have such a great gift as that, why should I not want to work on it and improve it? My marriage should never suffer because I have an apologetics ministry.

And your relationships shouldn’t suffer for ministry either.

In Christ,
Nick Peters