Loving Things, Using People

Are we a society of users? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

On Facebook yesterday, I saw an old story about a woman in a competition I believe in Poland who apparently had sex with 919 men in a day, and another sad part is she beat her competition by a small number. Ultimately, I see a woman who has cheapened herself and allowed herself to be used just to get a record like this. The story ended with saying that she had sex with her “lucky” boyfriend that evening. Yes. A lucky guy no doubt. He was lucky enough to be #920 in line. Can she truly say she’s saved something special for him?

Isn’t that term interesting? We speak of someone “Getting lucky.” Now I understand what it means. Most any married man especially will tell you that an evening that includes sex is a good evening and naturally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that, looking forward to it, and enjoying it. What is often wrong is that this is seen as the goal of relationships. Why does a guy date a girl? Ultimately often just to get into her pants we think. Now don’t understand. Any guy dating a girl should want to have sex with her. He really should. That desire must be controlled until marriage, but the desire is not the problem. Treating it as the greatest good is.

In a married relationship, one of the biggest goals of sexuality in it is to unify closer together. The main theory is that women need to feel intimate to have sex and men need to have sex to feel intimate. A woman should indeed give sex for the sake of intimacy, but a man should always be doing his part. Men. Please never stop dating your wife and being romantic. We often, both men and women, put forward our best foot while dating and strive to be our best, but then when we marry it’s easy to say “Well I’ve got them now” and coast. Don’t coast. Be keeping up the speed you’re going on and gaining more and more.

If there’s something I suspect leads to this usage of men and women, though especially women in our culture, it is that we don’t have a rite of passage in our society. In many parts of the world, there is a rite of passage where a young man or woman undergoes a ritual or completes a task or something of that sort where they are then seen as a fully functioning man or woman by society. We go so far against that that we have a stage called adolescence and call people teenagers. They are not seen as adults, but they are not seen as children, but they strive to be adults. (Why do even small children play games where they are adults?)

For many men, the rite of passage for them as being seen as a man is having sex. It is “conquering” as it were, a woman. After all, you don’t want to be a prude and be a virgin do you? What does that mean to say you cannot be successful in a relationship with a woman? Are you scared or what?

For many women, it can be similar, but the desire for them is to be loved and know that they are beautiful. Girls. Let me put this to you clearly. When a guy wants sex, he will do or say most anything to get it. (Yeah. In case you haven’t noticed, women have this strange power over men. Wives. You need to realize you have this power too to motivate your man to goodness.) They will tell you they love you and that you’re beautiful and everything. Unfortunately, they will often kick you to the curb afterward. They got what they want. Move on to the next one.

For women, I encourage you to realize something. You are the one in charge. You let every man know how much you’re worth. So how much are you worth? Dinner and a movie? Three dates? A month? Six months? Engagement? Women. You can’t put a higher price on yourself than marriage. You let every man know you’re worth a lifelong commitment and if he’s not willing to pay the price, he doesn’t get what he wants.

What I wish women realized is that you are beautiful and you don’t need to treat that beauty cheaply. If a man really wants you, he will do what it takes and if that means marriage, he’ll do it. If he’s not willing, he’s not worthy. Please don’t also accept this garbage about living together. You can’t have a good relationship if you’re treating each other like a test. It won’t work.

The end result overall in our society is that we have treated sex as a god and used one another as a way of getting this god. Now there is something that we actually have right here. Sex is a transcendent experience. I have a book here written by a pastor and his wife and in it, the authors say something along the lines of that if an atheist ever asks you to prove that there is a God, just say one word. Sex. Give him a day to think about it. If he’s not convinced, he’s told you a lot more about his sex life than he realizes.

There is a transcendent experience there. It is something that gets you out of yourself and entering into something totally unique. It was made to be that way. Sex was God’s idea first. He created it, the engine behind it, and the strong desire for it. One of the big mistakes we have made is to treat it as something dirty. It’s not.

One of my favorite blogs to read is “To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.” Sheila Wray Gregoire runs it and she said recently she is going to stop telling women they need to stay pure until marriage. I was a bit astounded and read to see what she was saying, then I agreed with her! What kind of message is it to say “Stay pure until you’re married and then when you have sex, you’re no longer pure.” You still are pure! Sex doesn’t make you dirty!

So what’s the danger? We confuse the gift with the giver. There is a saying that a finger is good for pointing at the moon, but woe to the man who mistakes a finger for the moon. Picture having a dog and pointing at his food dish for him to eat. Instead, the dog sniffs your finger. He misses the point. So do we. We see sex as an end in itself when really, it’s a great good to lead to even greater goods.

So what happens when we treat it as the end in itself? We use one another. Lewis once wrote about a man who was trapped with a great lustful desire. People would say he needs a woman. Lewis said that is the last thing he needs. If he came across a real woman, he wouldn’t know what to do with her. What he wants most is not a woman but sex and the female body happens to be the apparatus he wants to use to get that sex. The person doesn’t matter. It is the body that makes the difference.

For the Christian, it’s both. If we say that the body doesn’t matter and taking care of it doesn’t matter, then we are essentially gnostics. The body does matter, but it is not just a body. It is a person with a body. The body is how we perform the acts of love for one another. Do you kiss the person you love? Do you do works of art or fix them dinner or take care of the house or earn a living or anything else? All of these are done with the body.

If you think the body doesn’t matter, then picture this. You are a wife sitting at home and your husband comes in. Normally he comes to where you’re sitting, leans over and kisses you. Today, he leans over and smacks you across the face. Does that matter? You bet it does. The body is the means you use to express the desire of your soul. That is what takes places in marriage. The marriage act itself is the greatest expression of your soul through your body to show how much you love and want and trust and desire the other person.

What’s it going to take to change this? For one thing Christians, please stop thinking that a purity pledge, a single talk from Mom and Dad, and a few verses in Paul is enough to stop raging hormones. It isn’t. Just think back to when you were dating. Instead, your child needs a whole worldview of sex. They need to know what place it plays and why it’s reserved for marriage.

Second, let your boys and girls have ways to know they are men and women apart from sex. Fathers are the most essential at this. Fathers need to treat boys like men and make them into men. Ultimately, only another man can do that. If you’re a single mother, I urge you to find someone who can be a father figure for your sons. It could be a coach, an uncle, or a grandfather.

For those of you with daughters, please always let your daughter know she’s beautiful and loved. Make it so that if she marries a man, he’s going to be a man who treats her in a way easily comparable to how her Daddy treats her. When Valentine’s Day rolls around, order something for your daughter as well. Let her know what a special person she is in your life. Be willing to spend father-daughter time together. Even now that Allie and I are married, her Dad will still come to see her and take her out for some father-daughter time together. I have no problem with that. When we lived in Knoxville, her father-in-law once took her to a church event that was a father-daughter dance. I stayed at home. I had no problem with it.

And when it comes to the marrieds, like my own wife and I, can we still get “lucky.”? Yes. We can. In fact, we are. We are “lucky” because we have one person that gives us that ultimate trust and desire. Sex is the full expression of that love and desire with no fear of holding back. What makes us “lucky” is we have someone who shares that experience with us and only us. I share something unique with Allie and she shares it with me that is not shared with anyone else on the planet. How can I not be lucky? I’m the only person in this world treasured by Allie and who gets to fully treasure her.

Ladies especially, please realize your worth. Many men will want to use you and even good men will be tempted to give in. Be strong. You are worth it. Wait until marriage. You have the rest of your lives then to enjoy that gift together and it is a gift. Be picky. Be finicky. Be exclusive. You don’t need to settle for anything less than a lifetime commitment.

Follow these steps, and it is far less likely that you will use one another. You are not objects. The greatest good is not the sex. The greatest good is the love and joy that is shared mutually. Sex is the way that you get this in a married relationship, but it is not the end in itself.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy Birthday to my Mother

How do you honor the woman who brought you into the world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. Now I don’t blog on the weekend and she wanted a letter from me and I told her I’d write a blog in honor of her and she was fine with that and that I’d do it today. She also hopes that it will be better than what I put on Facebook. You see, on Facebook, I told everyone in advance on Saturday that I was wishing her a happy birthday and that this year, I was going to continue being a good son and not tell everyone how old she is, but to be fair, I would give a hint. I just told everyone that if you remove one of the numbers from the traditional number of the mark of the beast, you’ll get my mother’s age. See? I was a good son, but she doesn’t need to worry. I’m not going to do anything like repeat that on my blog today.

So in continuing down the path of being a good son, I thought I’d talk some about my mother first off. My mother for years was the most important woman in my life. My parents together raised me in a Christian home and my mother was a constant advocate whenever people would try to tell me I couldn’t do things. There were times she was a bit over-protective in this, but it is understandable. After all, her son has Aspergers and I don’t always catch on to things as well so she wanted to make sure nothing would happen to me. Over time, I have learned much on standing up for myself and I can easily say today that now the tables are turned in some ways and if someone goes after my mother, I go after them.

At the same time, she’s been a fun one for me to pull a prank on. When April Fool’s Day comes around, I generally always try to pull some prank on my mother from saying that my apartment complex was evicting me to being thrown in jail for a violation at a traffic stop. Yeah. She’s fallen for it every year. She will even get up on April Fool’s Day and say that this year she is not going to fall for anything and lo and behold, she does. My sister has talked to her and said “Mother. He does this to you every year. When are you going to learn?”

We also have some fun memories as I tried to always treat my mother well. Sometimes it was in the form of a gift, such as the year I got her a makeover for her birthday or the year I had a painting made of her cat. Then there were times we’d go out on mother-son events together. Generally, I’d take her to a movie with me. Movies I remember seeing with her were A Walk To Remember, Bruce Almighty, and Garfield. In the last two, we were laughing harder than anyone else in the theater and yes, that includes the Garfield movie. We put the kids to shame with how much we were laughing.

When I was working and living at home, from time to time I would stop and get a flower for my mother when I had to stop and get gas. She always said that whenever I got married, I would spoil my wife rotten. It looks like she was right. Now that I am married, it is an interesting dynamic as Allie has become the most important person in my life. Still, I value my relationship with my mother and I especially like it when I see my wife and my mother getting along well.

With our marriage debates going on in this country, usually it’s fathers that are getting the shaft as being unimportant, but mothers certainly are important. Mothers provide the nurturing soft side usually. My mother was always a source of comfort for me when I was in any pain whatsoever and she was really good at listening. My mother probably still has this trait due to not being caught up in the technological crazes today. There was even a time recently when she was buying a new cell phone and the sales rep said “Ma’am. If you buy this phone, you won’t be able to check your email.” She just replied “I don’t have email.”

Mothers are an important part of a young man’s life. A mother is someone who shows a young boy just what kind of way a woman is to be. If the man plans to marry someday, he will see his main example of what a woman is to be in his mother usually. It’s often been said that a man will in fact marry someone who is like his mother. For a young woman, if she wants to know the kind of man that she is marrying, a good indicator is how he treats his mother. (Yes. Allie knew pretty early on she was getting a highly sarcastic man.)

Some of you might wonder some about birthdays, especially if you’ve encountered Jehovah’s Witnesses. Isn’t it true that whenever a birthday took place in the Bible something tragic happened? Well not necessarily. Some people think when Job offered a sacrifice for his children on their day, it meant their birthdays. Most people also couldn’t observer birthdays because it required really good astronomy. You had to know when exactly a full year had passed so we hear little about it. So why should we celebrate birthdays?

We celebrate them because we believe life is a gift and it is a gift from God. It is something He gave us so that we could receive the joy that He intended for us to have. A birthday is a time to look back and consider all that we have learned and done in the past year and look forward to a new year. Every year we are really given is a gift because God does not owe us anything whatsoever and yet He promises us everything.

My mother is also my gift. Our relationship has changed since I’ve been married to Allie, but I can easily say I’m still in my mother’s corner and if someone went after her, I would be going after them. I’m thankful my mother and my father both raised me in a good Christian home and helped shape me to be the man that I am today. While I love both of my parents, today I am honoring my mother and celebrating her on my blog. Love to you mother. Happy Birthday!

And aren’t you glad I didn’t tell everyone how old you are this year?

In Christ,
Nick Peters