Thoughts On The SBC And Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Christ loved the church.

Really.

Look at those five words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And men, our role is to love our wives and always seek to improve. For me, I started a men’s group on Facebook for Christian men who are married, engaged, dating, or hoping to date and marry called “As Christ Loved The Church”. Honestly, part of this was for myself. I wanted to be a better husband and I was sure other men wanted to join me on that journey. Nowadays, I am seen by many as a sort of expert in the field, but I realize I have a long way to go.

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

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

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

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

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/12/2016: J Parker

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

Many of you know that after becoming married, I have become pro-pro-marriage. Marriage is a wonderful and life-changing event, but like many good things, it takes work. You never coast through marriage. You actively strive to give it your best.

One area of marriage that we can often struggle with is sex. It is one of the three biggest areas of disagreement in a marriage. Men tend to have a very high drive and don’t understand why their wives don’t want to be with them all the time. Women can have a hard time getting used to the idea that sex is a good thing after being told otherwise all their life and can struggle with shame over body image and feel tired.

What can we do?

We could take to someone who has written in this area and knows what they’re talking about. That’s who my guest is going to be this Saturday. We will be interviewing J Parker of the blog Hot, Holy, and Humorous. She has also written a book of the same name. Who is she?

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J. Parker is a Christian marriage and sex author and speaker who blogs at Hot, Holy & Humorous [dot] com. She has written three books: a self-help book titled Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design; a devotional book titled Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage; and a book of short stories titled Behind Closed Doors: Five Marriage Stories. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston. Married for twenty-three years, J. has fondly nicknamed her logical husband “Spock,” has two teenage sons, and lives in the great state of Texas. When not writing about sex in marriage, J. pens teen fiction, binge-watches Netflix shows, or hangs out with her fabulous family and friends.

What are some of the important things that people need to know about sex? How do we handle this awkward situation of men with high drives going crazy at the chance to have sex with their wives and women who are sometimes just not feeling it? What can men do to better handle this situation? What can women do to better handle this situation? (Of course, there are exceptions. There are marriages where women have the higher drive.)

If you’re someone who is married, you need to listen to this show. Ideally, husbands and wives can listen together and discuss afterward. If you’re about to get married, you need to pay attention. This is something that is coming up in your future and you need to be ready for it. If you’re just hoping to get married, you need to listen to this show. This can give you a hint of some of the things that you have to look forward to. (And yes, sex is definitely something to look forward to.)

We are uploading episodes now. I have someone who is really working well with me on the sound issues and such. Hopefully it won’t take long to be caught up. Please also consider leaving a positive review of the show on ITunes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Hot, Holy, and Humorous

What do I think of J. Parker’s book published by Broadstreet? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Christians have had a hard time sometimes talking about sexual issues. In many cases, this seems to be much more the case with women than it does with men. Many women have been raised up to think that sex is something that they should tolerate and a necessary evil and just act like you enjoy it.

Thankfully, women have help with a book like J. Parker’s Hot, Holy, and Humorous. I found this one while looking up marriage blogs and I’m interested in having the author on my show. She agreed to send me her book for free to which I am grateful.

This is an excellent look at this topic. Thankfully, she starts off in the right place, building romance. Many a woman can have a hard time believing her husband can really love her when it comes to sex. After all, a man really has a strong desire for that and it can seem to a woman like he just cares about using her body for his pleasure. If he just seems to want sex so much, does he really love me?

Yes. The huge majority of the time, yes he does. What Parker gets is that men want sex for a lot more than just physical release. As she says in the book, if a man just wanted only release, he could do that on his own. No. The man wants something different. To be sure, full intercourse provides something a lot better, but there is something more the man wants and it really can’t be put into words that easily. I would just describe it by saying a man wants to feel respected and honored and loved and he wants to feel like he’s really connected to his wife and is close to her and is a priority to her. Sex is often the loudest way that that is screamed.

Parker advises women to accept what their husband does. He tries. Even if he fails miserably, at least he’s trying. She does describe her husband as Spock and does not think in terms of emotion so being romantic is hard. I must disagree with this some. I’m a Spock type too and I believe in being romantic and do it because of the old saying. Happy wife, happy life. If my Princess is happy, we’re all much happier.

It’s only logical.

Still, her point is well taken. If your husband is trying to do something for you, don’t get after him because it’s not perfect. Your husband tries to fix dinner for you and burns a few items. He tried. He tries to clean up the house and puts things in the wrong spot. He tried. He tried to do the laundry and got everything messed up. He still tried. Get after him for how he failed and he likely won’t try again.

Parker also advises that you find time for sex. Some couples put a time on the calendar and say that barring some crisis of some sorts, we are going to have sex at this time. Scheduling sex may seem odd, but it can work. After all, the man can rest assured he’s going to get that connection and the woman can playfully tease her man with saying something like “Just wait until X day comes along.”

From here on, Parker gets down to the real deal. This is incredibly thorough and yet it is also incredibly clean. Parker’s style is very respectful and does not use dirty slang to speak. Her chapter on kissing has to be one of the most thorough I’ve ever read anywhere. She discusses everything from oral sex to what to do with your hands to dealing with fantasies to how to initiate.

Usually in a marriage, there is one partner who has a high drive and one who has a low drive. Now of course, there are exceptions, but this is the norm. Whichever side you’re on, Parker has some help for you. If you’re a high-drive wife, she has ways to coax your husband a little bit more. If you’re a low-drive, she has ways to make you feel more excited.

Parker also has advice on how to deal with pain and then about how Christians should view sex. Throughout the book, she definitely says no to pornography. When you conclude you can see that for Parker, as it should be for all of us, sex is indeed hot, holy, and humorous.

I definitely recommend this one.

In Christ,
Nick Peters