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

How Much Is A Woman Worth?

What price can you put on yourself? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

While Allie and I were in Knoxville, we went to our old church. Two of our friends who have been married for 50+ years met us and started talking about a woman who left the church and after a divorce was now dating someone else. When this couple met the woman and her new boyfriend, one question that came up was asking how it is that a couple stayed married for fifty years. The wife immediately said, “I think one big help is that we didn’t have sex until we were married.”

It was an answer obviously not wanted.

This has been something on my mind lately because sometimes when you talk about how much a woman is worth, it’s often thought that if someone has sex before they are married, they are worth nothing. That is false. Their value doesn’t change. A fine automobile is still of great value even if you treat it commonly and use it for common purposes. A bottle of fine wine would still have the same value even if used as a common beverage to quench one’s thirst.

In all of this, we’re talking about marriage. I am mainly focusing on the women because for the most part, men are the most active ones on the market. Men are usually the go-getters. Men tend to see sex itself as a goal. Women, on the other hand, usually see sex as a way to something else, such as security.

Many times today in trying to win a guy, a woman will often want to play the sex card soon. After all, this is what the man really wants and if it’s given, then that gives him incentive to stay with you. The reality is that it’s just the opposite.

You see, if a woman says she’s not giving sex until she’s married, she is sending a message. She is saying that any man who wants her is really going to have to pursue her. He is going to have to say he wants her and only her. He will have to say that he will be with her till death do them part and he will give himself only to her. She will settle for nothing less than a lifetime commitment. This is a woman who has set the price for her at the highest that she can.

If the man really wants her, he will say yes. He will do all that he can because he can’t imagine going through life without this woman. He wants this woman and only this woman and he will demonstrate it to the fullest. He will treat her right, take her on dates, give her gifts, etc.

Now to be fair, sometimes after marriage this stops, and that’s a tragedy. A man should never cease to try to romance his wife. Likewise, a wife should never cease to want to romance her husband. She can now use the sex card when she wants to for that, but simple day to day things can also help with that process.

To get back to the woman dating, if she says yes beforehand, what she is telling the man is that he does not have to do much to get her. She might think she’s secured him, but he could also be wondering if he’s the first. If she gives out this easily, maybe he’s not anything really special. Maybe she’s not anything really special.

What women need to realize is that to we men, you are often the great mystery. After seven years of marriage, I’m still amazed with the beauty of my wife’s body and that is still a great incentive for me to be acting the way I should. When you give early, you are removing any mystery. You are telling a guy how far he has to go before he really needs to keep trying to impress you.

If you’re a woman dating someone now, tell him that you want to save sex for marriage. If you’ve already been having it, tell him you have a new commitment to wait until marriage. This is a way to find out if the guy really cares about you. If he does, he could be disappointed understandably, but if he really cares about you, he will do the work. If not, then he will just move on to the next girl he thinks is “easy” and try to get it from there. If the former happens, you will know that this is a man who loves and respects you. If not, you have just found out your guy was using you for the sex.

Also, if you’re a woman and you know another woman making this mistake, she is actually doing women a great disservice. She is giving herself away with very little effort which is in a way saying she’s worth very little effort. Every woman out there is worth the most effort. They might not see it, but they are. They deserve to be treated like a Princess.

Ladies. Please also remember that being with a man doesn’t determine your value. What a man does is show how much he’s willing to give to be with you and his actions towards you should show you how much you are worth. This is another reason for a man to be striving to be romantic in marriage. The woman is worth pursuing still. He is still chasing after her. One great mistake in a marriage is to start to take the other person for granted and say that because you have that person, then you can now relax and take it easy. May it never be. Never stop chasing. Never stop pursuing.

Women. Don’t let anyone lower your worth, especially yourself. If you want a man in your life, you are worth a lifelong commitment. Every woman deserves to be treated like a Princess. Don’t settle for a man who does less.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Ordinary

What can be said? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Every blogger wants to have a successful blog. Every blogger wants to be able to say something that will stick in the minds of his readers. As I drove back this Christmas, I was trying to think of something I could say. Driving for awhile can be quite stressful, and I didn’t really have anything.

You see, I’d like to say that in my life I come across amazing new Biblical insights every day. I don’t. I’d like to say that constant wonders and joys are happening. They’re not. Things can be pretty ordinary, and perhaps that is my misreading things. Chesterton did say that an inconvenience is an adventure wrongly understood.

We were running behind on getting home tonight so we went ahead to the Celebrate Recovery meeting. There, I was with a group of guys sharing their stories. It occurred to me that they’re the same way, especially since we were talking about comparisons tonight. These are ordinary guys living their lives.

And as I thought about it, this is also what happened at Christmas. God did not come to the extraordinary. Look at Luke’s Gospel. He starts off his second chapter talking about government officials and naming them as having a census. Then what is the action all about? This little ordinary guy named Joseph who has a pregnant girl he’s going to marry. Now of course, there is the miracle that this is the case of a virgin birth (Which I do affirm), but looking at them, they weren’t stand-outs. There’s no reason God should have picked them.

Then consider chapter 3. Numerous political figures are described and yet at that time, what stands out? The Word of the Lord came to John the Baptist in the wilderness. God bypassed all of them. Look at his parents in chapter 1. They lived with shame all their lives and then in the end, God reversed that. They were the parents of John the Baptist. We don’t know who their mockers were today, but we know who they were.

Skeptics often ask where God is with this strange idea that if God acts, it must always be a miracle. Why? Does God really care about showing off? Consider Elijah on the run from Jezebel. A lot of people look at the story as if it’s supposed to tell us how to hear God’s voice today. It’s not. That’s a horrid misreading of the text. The point is all these amazing things happen, and God appears in something calm and simple.

And you know, maybe, just maybe, the modus operandi hasn’t changed. Yesterday, I wrote about revolution. No doubt, there will be people who stand up and get recognized in this revolution, but maybe a lot of people will take part in it by being good husbands and wives, or being good parents, or good employees, or something like that, and sharing Christ with the people that they meet. In our day and age, it can be counter-cultural just to live a moral life. Maybe those people will make the difference the most.

Maybe I’m mistaken, but until then, that’s what we’re all told to do. Love our neighbors as ourselves and love God. Those two commandments are enough to keep us busy for the rest of our lives.

Maybe Christmas also is a good time to do that. Maybe Christmas is a time to make sure we let those around us know we love them. We never know if they’ll be there for the next Christmas after all. Love them today.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Christian Hysteria And The Real Battle

Are we zealous in the wrong areas? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about what was going on on a well-known apologist’s page and how it was the same thing from a year ago with a meme that was entirely false. This was about Halloween. Sadly, too many Christians posting ignored multiple people asking hard questions about the authenticity of the claim and went on with either bad-mouthing the person in the meme as if he really said the claim or jumped straight into panic mode. More often, it was panic mode.

Of course, no one is going to deny that parents want to protect their children and should do so, but could the real threats be being ignored for the fake ones? In fact, for those wanting to avoid the snare of the devil, I would think that someone like the devil could certainly create a false threat in order to hide a real one, a sort of diversionary tactic. Halloween is just such an example.

Sadly, I saw people posting speaking about how this is how the antichrist is going to take over by making this stuff fun and innocent. I’m surprised I didn’t see anything this time about the Illuminati and the New World Order. Of course, we also saw more and more people saying that this is pagan and that Christmas and Easter are also pagan.

I honestly wonder what such people are going to do when they tell their children this and then they or their children see something like the claims of Zeitgeist where Christianity is said to be copied from pagan gods. If we apply the same methodology, why not?

I do want it to be known that I surely realize the occult is out there. I also realize many Christians buy into a sort of occult thinking without realizing it. My wife and I like to sometimes watch these videos where people talk about the rapture coming and such. We don’t believe in it, but it can be amusing. It’s amazing how many of these begin with “I had a dream and” or “I had an experience and”. Too many Christians read signs into everything that happens to them as if the universe is all about them, kind of mirroring the way pagans read the entrails of animals and the flights of birds and other such things.

So while acknowledging that the occult is out there and yes, children need to be ready to deal with it, I can assure you that I see no reason to think that having your child put on a costume and go door to door asking for candy means they’re being caught up in the occult. Dare I say it, but perhaps not opening your children up to imagination and wonder is getting them closer to atheism. Chesterton was the great advocate of the importance of fairyland after all.

Furthermore, I am wondering how many of you who are like this are preparing for other challenges? For instance, are you equipping your child to know how they can show that God exists, the Bible is reliable, and that Jesus rose from the dead, beyond their personal testimony? If so, is your child ready to engage with the atheism they will find on a college campus?

What about materialistic greed? Is your child thinking that they need to have every new IPhone and computer and toy out there? Is your child wanting everything they can get and not appreciating the good gifts that they have? I’m not saying never get your child gifts like this, but make sure their love for you and their happiness is not conditional on such things.

Or dare I say it, what about sexual temptation? This is something they will live with all their lives. Do your kids have more than a few verses from Paul? Do they have a whole foundation of sexual ethics that tells them what sex is and why it matters and why it should be saved for marriage? Your kid could run into someone who will want to lead them into the occult to be sure, but they are far more likely to run into someone who will want to lead them into a sexual relationship outside of marriage and without a proper foundation, they will want to be led!

If you think that sounds a bit over the top, then just do this. Go to your average man who is married or not and is a devout Christian and ask him if he wrestles with sexual temptation. It’s a real battle. Even those of us, like myself, who love our wives deeply have to face a daily battle with the flesh. Are your kids ready?

Hysteria will not convince your kids. If anything, it will lead to your worldview being mocked and ostracized. If your child is talking about candy, there’s no need to bring up the plot of the antichrist. It saddens me that we who are supposed to live the most without fear are often the most fearful of all. You would think that Jesus had not won the battle against the forces of evil. You would think that Jesus is not Lord of all, conquering daily.

By the way, if you want my opinion on Halloween, go and have fun. It’s a day for kids to relax and enjoy themselves and pretend. If you don’t have kids, don’t close your door on Halloween. Here you say you are a Christian and you shut the door on children coming to your house. Is that the Christianity you want to present? Be there, put a smile on the faces of the kids, and give out the best candy that you have.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Hugh Hefner’s Disgusting Legacy

What did Hugh Hefner leave behind? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week, Hugh Hefner passed on. From reading and watching much of the media, you would have thought someone like the Pope died and we were nominating them for sainthood. By contrast, just a couple of days ago, Monty Hall from Let’s Make A Deal died and I have yet to hear the celebration of his life. Somehow, Hugh Hefner gets celebrated. Why?

Hugh Hefner was the one who started Playboy magazine. What did he do when he did this? Did he make it that men suddenly became lustful creatures? No. Men have always struggled with lust. Did he invent pornography? Of course not. There has always been pornography of some kind around. Did he make it so that the naked human female form became attractive? Not at all. It always has been all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

No. Hugh Hefner made pornography mainstream. He made it much more easily accessible. Many people (Not me actually) knew whose Dad had that stack of Playboys and where it was. I meet many young men who struggle greatly with pornography. The effects that it has one them is devastating.

The thing is, pornography is a lie. Sure, the women are definitely real women, but they’re not really interested in the men reading the magazines. When you see that image, that woman cares nothing about you. She is not trying to impress you. She will never sleep with you. All she is to you at that point is a body meant for your arousal.

Men no doubt tie their masculinity into their sexuality. Feeling aroused and sexual leaves us feeling like men. It is a very strong and powerful feeling and a woman in pornography can easily give that delusion. The man sees the image and he gets aroused and he feels like a man and that’s a great experience for him to have.

The problem is that when something like this is treated as if it’s a consumer good alone, then you always need more. You will never truly be satisfied. It requires more and more to get you aroused and at a certain point, normal women just don’t do it anymore. There are men in their 20’s today who need to take Viagra because they can’t get aroused by a real woman.

Not only that, the whole thing is a lie in its presentation. Watching pornography will not teach you the way sex really is. If I was talking to a couple getting ready to get married and the topic of sex was being discussed, which it should be, I would tell them that they need to forget what they’ve seen on TV or in the movies. That is not what sex is really like. If you go into the marriage with that assumption, it’s going to hurt.

Pornography does not teach a man how to approach a real woman. C.S. Lewis years ago talked about a man wrestling greatly with sexual desire and lust and how it was said he needs a woman. Lewis said a woman is the last thing he needs. If he met a real woman, he wouldn’t know what to do with her. He just wants pleasure and the female body is the apparatus by which he wants to get that pleasure.

You see, if you want sex really, you do have to approach a woman and you have to treat her like a woman. One doesn’t go to the woman just because they want sex, but ladies, if a guy starts getting serious with you in a relationship, rest assured sex is on his mind. It’s not because he’s a pervert or he’s using you. It’s that because for a man, sex is a powerful expression of love. He can’t imagine the thought of loving you and not wanting to have sex with you.

If you have porn though, you don’t have to make that effort to win a real woman. Instead, you can just retreat back to your fake woman regularly and you will never know the reality because you’ve been so busy chasing the illusion. If you do get to the reality, you would have damaged it greatly already. It can still be redeemed, but why would you want to risk it?

When you marry your wife, there is nothing like it. Porn will not teach you how to properly love a woman. It is no replacement for undressing your wife for the first time and having her do the same to you. It is no replacement for all the physical sensations of being able to touch each other wherever you want. It is no replacement for getting to make love together for the first time. You don’t have to have porn to do any of these things and porn will only make it worse.

By the way, it’s worth pointing out that pornography nowadays is not just a man’s problem. There are many women who struggle with porn. I encourage you to consider it from the opposite perspective. I can’t write on a firsthand approach for women obviously.

Porn will not enhance your marriage either. Men have a constant flood of images going through their heads. Why use porn and fill it with images of women other than your wife? In turn wives, keep this in mind. Let your man see you and see you often. The more he sees you, the easier it will be to deal with temptation for him. He can be thinking everytime he notices another woman, which he will, “Sorry, but I’ve got better at home.”

Once you marry men also, definitely stop porn. You know what message it gives your wife if she realizes you are watching porn? It tells her that she is inadequate. She has to compete with a woman on a screen who has had plenty of make-up and photoshop and everything else done. Why should she trust you when she realizes that you could be thinking about that other woman from earlier?

I think ultimately, Hefner’s greatest damage was that he lowered sex for everyone. He did this by making it less than sacred. There are plenty of men who would never want to look at porn because they’re good and honorable men. They suffer too. Why? Because the women in their lives have seen too many of the other type of man. How do they know that this man is different?

Dare I say it, but I don’t think we can say Hugh Hefner ever truly enjoyed sex because it’s doubtful he ever truly enjoyed a woman. Oh he got a lot of joy from their bodies no doubt, but what about the woman herself? Sheila Wray Gregoire over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum has a saying that many people have had sex, but how many have made love? It’s a good question to ask.

Ravi Zacharias years ago said there was a Spanish proverb that said that he who loves many women has loved none. He who loves one has loved them all. The real measure of a man is not how much sex you have. The real measure is how do you treat the women in your life? If you’re married, how do you treat your wife especially?

Unfortunately, with Hefner, his legacy went far beyond the magazine. Now we have the internet making things even more accessible for men. There is even rule 34, which states that if it exists, there is porn of it on the internet. I have heard of pornography of even the most innocent things, such as Charles Schultz’s Peanuts existing on the internet. Yes. It’s out there.

In an age like this, is it any wonder that we don’t have a clue about what sex is? Men don’t really know much about how to romance women because all they often know about is getting sex. The goal is often to get her to go to bed. It’s not to be a real man for her and to get to spend the rest of your life loving and cherishing her.

Don’t think I am downing the desire for sex. I certainly am not. Don’t think I am denying at all the beauty of the human female form. I certainly am not. What I am saying is that we need an age of real men who don’t want to just pretend they are men by porn, but want to show they are men by loving real women. If you plan to marry, love a real woman by treating her life a jewel all her life. If you don’t plan to marry, honor the women around you by treating you like women and avoiding sex. If you really want sex, then marry someone you want to share it with for a lifetime. Don’t just use a woman for sex.

Hefner is gone, but sadly his legacy follows behind him. It is my hope that we can get men to rise up and throw off this legacy that does us no good. It might give us what we think is short-term gain, but the long-term results are disastrous. If you really want sex, don’t chase after the illusion of porn. Go for the reality of loving a real and actual woman and treasure her for all your life because she is a treasure.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Secret Battle of Ideas About God

What do I think of Jeff Myers’s book published by David C. Cook? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Jeff Myers’s latest book certainly starts off getting your attention. How can it not with talking about people who were directly tied in to 9/11? This then gets directly linked to virus outbreaks that have taken place which is finally compared with the idea of mind viruses. Myers doesn’t mean some disease you need to go see your doctor about, but rather ideas that spread and people don’t have much defense for, including and especially, younger Christians.

Myers work is to deal with a problem which is that many of our younger Christians believe things that are entirely at odds with orthodox Christianity and they don’t even realize it. They’ve been made victims in a war that they don’t even realize that they’re fighting in, something immediately reminiscent of The Green Book is Lewis’s The Abolition of Man. These people have not been given a Christian worldview. As I’ve said many times before, it might be shocking to realize that to develop a good Christian lifestyle, you might need to have more than concerts and pizza parties at church.

Myers says that there are essentially five other kinds of worldviews, though no doubt there is some overlapping. These are secularism, Marxism, postmodernism, New Spirituality, and Islam. As I write this, I know Christian friends who have fallen especially for New Spirituality and Islam. Myers contrasts these worldviews with Christianity in the book.

One good aspect about the book is Myers is very open about himself and his own struggles and mistakes. When he writes about a failed marriage, he doesn’t hide it. When he talks about anger with God, that’s out there in the open. When he talks about mistakes in the past in the area of sex, that’s right there. When he says that counseling drains him, he means it. That kind of openness I admire.

Those questions are relevant because what Myers is really dealing with in the book is existential questions. Am I loved? Why am I hurting? Does life have any meaning? Can’t we all just get along? Is there hope for the world? Does God matter? Many of us in apologetics would like to leap straight to the questions of if God exists or if Jesus rose from the dead, but many people are not starting with those questions. They’re starting with these. We need to get to those questions, but how does Christianity answer these questions in contrast to other worldviews?

Myers’s book is clear and easy to read. You don’t have to be a professional philosopher to understand his arguments. There’s about 200 pages of content, but it’s still a relatively short read and it’s one that you could present to someone who is exploring Christianity and wondering about these kinds of questions.

If there was something I would like to see more of, it is that while the book is clear that Christianity does answer these questions, that doesn’t show Christianity is true. It’s fine to have a book dedicated to existential questions, but I would have liked to have seen a section at the end that would include apologetics books for further reading on the other questions that can show that Christianity is true. Perhaps it could point to other authors like J. Warner Wallace and Lee Strobel.

Still, this is a good book to read to help with the questions. It’s easy to read that when I finished, I put it in a stack of books for my wife so that she could go through it as she’s been learning a lot about these questions as well. If she does go through it, I am sure she will be blessed by it.

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

Why God Is Not The Definition

If we say that God’s nature is good or love, what do we mean? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday on Facebook, I saw a friend of mine post a poem that was saying what love is not, and for the most part, I agreed with it. It ended with the poet saying that God’s nature is love. If you want to know what love is, look to God. That is where I begin to have disagreements.

If you wanted to say that God is the one who acts out what love is, then that is one thing, but too often when we have conversations about goodness and love, we just refer to God’s nature. What is the good? The good is God’s nature. I agree that God’s nature is to be good, but there is a problem with this approach.

You see, when we speak of this, first off, we normally mean only moral goodness, but there are other types of goodness. If my wife fixes a pizza for us for dinner and I say “My, this is a good pizza.” I am not saying anything about morality there. I am saying something about the quality of the pizza. If I read a book, I can say that it is a good book, but I am not saying it is a moral book.

If I am someone who does not know what good is, how does pointing me to God tell me what it is? What am I to think of that? This is a godlike book? This is a godlike pizza? If I do not know the nature of God, how am I going to know the nature of goodness by pointing to something that I don’t know?

Many atheists also tie this in with the Euthyphro dilemma. The Liconas and Habermases regularly get together for Labor Day, so while over there yesterday, Gary and I watched Mike debate Larry Shapiro and it was quite frankly a massacre. Shapiro just did not know the subject matter at hand well enough.

In the talk, he presented the dilemma. Is something good because God says it is or does God say it is good because it is good? He said that no one had ever answered this question. Of course, this problem could be turned back onto whatever Shapiro thinks is good. Does society say something is good because it is, or is something good because society says it is?

Sadly, Shapiro doesn’t realize that Plato’s own student Aristotle answered the dilemma. He did it in a simple way. He defined goodness. That’s what we need to do. Aristotle started it simply by saying the good is that at which all things aim. There’s much more to it, but it is a definition.

That is the proper way to answer the dilemma also. Tell what love is. Tell what goodness is. Pointing to God does nothing to those who don’t know God and even if you do, it doesn’t help. After all, how does knowing God’s nature tell you what is meant by a good pizza?

We should all strive to know God’s nature, but let’s also make sure we’re conveying an accurate message. While I agree goodness and love can’t exist without God, one doesn’t need to know God to know what those are. We find out what they are and then that helps us understand God better.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Why I Follow The Pence Rule

Is there a reason to avoid contact with non-family women? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A few months ago, Mike Pence apparently caused a scandal when it was revealed he won’t go out to eat alone with a woman that he is not married to. This was obviously a shock to much of the world that a conservative man might actually live by such principles and that a Christian man might want to honor his marriage. At this point, it doesn’t really matter to me how you vote. I think Pence has an excellent rule.

For me, my Christian walk is first and foremost, but next after that is my relationship to my wife. My wife is the most precious gift that anyone could ever give me. I made sure to be cautious while we were dating to avoid sexual contact. After all, once you’re married, there’s plenty of time for that.

Once you do get married, you have made a promise of sexual exclusivity to that other person for life. When I did that, I said that I would not be intimate with any other woman and I think that includes sharing anything intimate whatsoever, which also means guys that pornography is not allowed.

My wife is all I need for me, but that does not mean that a man does not face temptations. One time I remember being tempted long before Allie came along was heading home alone from my solo trip to the National Apologetics Conference. I passed by one of those “clubs” and for a brief thought I was tempted with the idea that no one would ever know. I didn’t slow down or anything. I kept right on driving.

Now that I am married, I have even more reason. You see, my ministry would definitely be hurt by what I do, but I also know that many other people could do the ministry that I do. My wife is the one who would be hurt the most if I did something, and many other people could do the ministry that I do, but no one else is going to do the job of being a husband to Allie Peters.

I also do this because women are sacred. That’s another reason you won’t see me at strip clubs or engaging in pornography. Women are sacred and are not to be treated like objects. Sadly, this can even happen in marriage as many men have an idea that their wives are objects meant to satisfy their sexual desire. For many of us men, what is more important is not how much our wives satisfy us because, hey, they’re giving us sex and that’s satisfaction enough, but how much we satisfy them.

Too many men today view women as objects to be conquered. That’s why you can say a saying such as hit it and quit it. The goal is to just get the woman in bed. It’s not to build a lifelong relationship with her. It’s not to be a man worthy of that woman for life. It’s just to bed her.

For many men, a woman is an object to verify their masculinity. When you see a woman stripping or naked, it’s natural to be aroused and that leads to the natural feeling that one is a man. No. A physiological sensation does not make you a man. One true measure of a man is how, if he is married, he treats the woman he loves. Watching a girl perform an action at a club or on a video who does not know you at all doesn’t prove you are a man. It proves you can download a video or pay money to get into a club. A real man is one who honors the women that he meets by saying that the woman he wants is worth a lifelong commitment.

So how does this play out? It means that I avoid interacting with women that I am not married to in a private setting if my wife is not around and that woman is not family. I would be fine with my mother, my sister, or my mother-in-law, for instance. For everyone else, I put my guard up.

Now could I be paranoid? Perhaps, but if any woman will be offended by my actions, that woman will not be my wife! You see, most people who fall into sexual sin don’t intend to. They don’t set out to have an affair. It just happens. How? It normally starts with an emotional commitment and then that turns into something physical.

My rule is I don’t even want to give it a possibility. I want to honor my wife in such a way that if anyone did make a charge, the world would look and laugh. “Are you serious? No one questions how much he loves his wife!”

It’s up to you if you want to follow the Pence rule. For me, I do. My Allie is my Princess and she is not worth any risk like that. I promised exclusivity to her and that is a promise I keep for life.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is Beauty A Bad Thing?

Is it wrong to want to look your best? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently, I had someone making a remark about a Christian about how good they looked and asked about it. Aren’t Christians supposed to not be vain? Do we just disregard appearances and look only at the heart? That’s what 1 Samuel tells us God does, isn’t it? Is it wrong if a woman decides she’s going to buy make-up?

Now to remove a possible bias at the start here, let me say that I really just don’t care for make-up. My Princess is beautiful enough without it. I’d rather save the money and spend it on other things that can help us out, but she does wear it some to give herself a more feminine feel so it’s an area I’m willing to compromise on.

Christians do know that the heart of a person is what is important, but that does not mean that the body is unimportant. The body is not this add-on that we’ve been given that is irrelevant. It is something that we are supposed to take care of and cherish. It is the means through which other people see us and we interact with them. In physical affection, the love that the man and woman have for one another is expressed in the body and the greatest expression is in the ultimate act of trust.

Many times in the Bible when a female character is introduced, her beauty can be spoken of. Abigail is described as wise and beautiful. Esther is known for her beauty as well. In fact, the Bible commends in the love relationship the beauty that a man finds in a woman. Look at Proverbs 5:18-19.

18 May your fountain be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.

Odds are you will never hear this passage discussed in church. By all means, if you’re discussing intimate topics like this, let it be known so that parents with small children can take them to the nursery if they want to, but these issues need to be talked about. This is especially so for our young people. Our young women particularly need to know that they are beautiful and there is nothing wrong with striving for beauty but please save that beauty for a man who deserves it, that is, one who puts a wedding ring on your finger and says I do. Then after that is done, bless him with that beauty. It’s one of the reasons that he married you!

In fact, I could go on to the Song of Songs which even more explicitly expresses the beauty of the male and the female. I also think that I stress the beauty of the female because believe it or not ladies, you’re much more beautiful than we men are. I think with us, there’s not much to really look at. For women, even among other women the beauty of the female is something amazing. As a married man, I can certainly say that I don’t know what it is about my wife’s beauty, but whenever I get blessed with all of her beauty, I am indeed blessed.

Just recently, we had the solar eclipse. A man we saw on the news said it was the second most beautiful thing he had ever seen. I was convinced at that point that he had to be married and was saying that nothing compared in beauty to his wife. If so, I agree.

“But Nick! Don’t you know about 1 Peter? Peter says that a woman’s beauty is her inner beauty.”

1 Peter 3:1-6

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord.You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Yes. There is a great emphasis on a wife listening to her husband here and having her beauty come from within instead of through outward adornment. However, nothing in here condemns outward adornment. In fact, we can safely say that if the woman ever went out in public, she would have to have something on outward. There is indeed something beautiful to a man when his wife does treat him like this, but that is not to say that nothing else can be used. Peter is telling us that if the focus of our beauty is in what we wear externally instead of being beautiful on the inside, we’re missing the point. There’s nothing wrong with both.

In fact, the Bible has both used. When Esther is to appear before the king, she gets the beauty treatments that are recommended.

“That’s a pagan king so of course!”

What about Ruth and Boaz? When it comes time for Ruth to ask for Boaz to be the kinsman-redeemer and marry her. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, tells her to wash, put on her perfume, and her best clothes. She wants Ruth to make the best impression that she can on Boaz.

By the way ladies, if you are married and you want to make yourself more beautiful, your husband will find it much easier to stand out of the way and let you do this. A beautiful wife to him is a badge of honor. How you treat yourself is a reflection of how you treat him. At the same time, if you’re married to a godly man, he will always find you beautiful, but do strive to be the best for him because marriage is for life and for all you know, you’re the only one he’ll ever be with.

If this sounds focusing on the ladies, that’s true for the men also. Men need to strive to be the best they can be for their wives. If you think that woman is truly pleasing to you and such a great gift, then you should be living your life every day in that way.

This focus also reminds me of an article recently by Gary Thomas about the idea of being good in bed. Some of you might even be shocked that such an issue is brought up and if you are, that’s part of the problem. Thomas talks about a movie where the girl tells the guy this. The problem he thought of was why didn’t he ever ask himself that question?

You see, when you’re single, you can find several publications that can tell you how to be good in bed to please your lover, but this isn’t discussed at all with marriage really. The question doesn’t even come up. This despite the fact that in Christian marriage, that person you’re making love to is the only one you’ll be making love to and you will be the one they make love to. Shouldn’t you strive that it be the best for that person and that person strive to make it the best for you?

And of course, this goes to other fields. What kind of communicator are you? How good are you at whatever it is that you bring to the relationship? Are you looking out for your own interests or for those of your spouse? Do you look at sex, housework, careers, or anything else as a duty that you just have to do or a way to be eager about something that you can use to please your spouse?

This includes beauty. I often wish I could have an even better body for my Princess. Unfortunately, with a steel rod on my spine designed for a certain weight, I really can’t gain weight so I will never have the really muscular body I’d like to have for Allie, but I can maintain what I do have for her good and work on my attitude as well.

I will also say I certainly take the time to appreciate Allie’s beauty. When I need something positive to think about throughout the day, I often think about her beauty and many times I can be left spellbound as I can’t believe I get trusted with a gift so sacred. Her beauty is one of the great motivators for me to be a better person.

When it becomes vanity is when you make it all about you and don’t work on your inner character. It is vanity when it becomes a source of pride and you think yourself better than everyone else because of beauty. That kind of attitude is often quite ugly in fact. Be realistic and delight in your beauty, but also recognize it as a gift. Be beauitful also because you represent a beautiful God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters