Book Plunge: Sex. It’s Worth Waiting For

What do I think of Greg Speck’s book published by Moody Publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If I’m not reading on apologetics, I’m often reading on sex and marriage. One topic that’s interesting in this is encouraging young people to wait for marriage, like my wife and I both did. The importance in this topic is to find the balance.

One clear memory I have is being at a church I attended when they had a Silver Ring Thing, which is like True Love Waits. The pastor speaking was saying if you have sex for marriage, it will be for selfish reasons. Okay. I can agree with that. Then he encouraged thinking about the consequences. What if you get pregnant? Get an STD? What will you have to tell your future spouse one day? What about shame? What about guilt?

And I’m thinking, “Those sound like selfish reasons to me also.”

This guy went on and on. He gave about a sentence about the joy of sex in marriage and kept going on about not having it beforehand. I started zoning out. Pastors. If you are teaching about sex in church and a college-age guy is in the audience and getting bored, you are doing it wrong.

Greg Speck’s book is written to teenagers so it is a bit odd for someone in his late-thirties to be reading it, but I want to see what is said. I liked a lot of what I said. Speck’s style is easy to follow. He writes in a way that teenagers will understand. (Okay. To be fair, I didn’t read the whole section on STDs. That was a bit gross.) He also writes with a pastoral heart.

There are many chapters. Speck wants the readers to first off know, sex is more than just intercourse. It can start off small, and then go on from there. Many times, we want to know how close we can get to the line without crossing. It’s a quite foolish stance, though understandable. It’s like we want to put ourselves in unnecessary risk. I personally recommend couples go no further past step eight in their relationship in The Twelve Steps of Intimacy until they marry.

Speck goes into Biblical reasons also for waiting until marriage, but then he also has testimonials from teenagers who didn’t. I think the last part is particularly worthwhile. Sadly for many young people, a few Bible verses will not be enough. If you’re sitting with your girlfriend on a couch, a random verse from Paul won’t likely stop anything. Now if you have a thoroughly thought out position of sex and know how it fits into a Christian worldview, that’s a different matter, but many young people do not. (And honestly, many adults don’t either.)

From there, Speck goes on to various other situations involving sexuality. These are ones that often aren’t talked about with teenagers, but they need to be. These include incest, rape, and the fear that you could be homosexual. There is also a section on pornography and masturbation and with the former, Speck does admit he had to struggle with that.

This is followed with sections for guys only and girls only. I found these a bit interesting, but I was curious. An unmarried guy wrote for the girls and an unmarried woman for the boys. I suppose that you could always look at different ways this could be done. Perhaps in a future edition there could be testimonials from married couples who waited.

While there is a section on God’s design for marriage, I would have liked to have seen something more at the end. I think too often we can give the negatives, but we definitely need to emphasize those positives. Yes. This is something great worth waiting for. This would be the benefit of testimonials of people who waited until marriage. There’s a saying that the devil will do anything he can to get you to have sex before you’re married, and afterward he will do anything he can to keep you from having sex.

Which brings me to one small criticism. As an Orthodox Preterist, I already think the devil is bound. This does not mean there are not demons running around still, but I think we give the devil far too much power. Speck does point to the devil being a cause of temptation many times. I am of the persuasion that often we don’t need the devil to be tempted, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. As the saying goes, “Lead me not into temptation. I will find it myself.”

Still, I think this would be a very helpful book for youth groups to go through together. Naturally, I think guys and girls would need to go through it separately. Having guys and girls together and talking about an issue like this in close quarters could have the opposite effect desired after all!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Erotica

Is Mommy porn a problem? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A friend of mine messaged me this weekend telling me that I’d written about porn, which is a great struggle for men (And also more and more so for women), but couldn’t a lot of erotica be in the same boat? Could this be for many women what porn is for men? Isn’t that worthy of a post?

Request granted.

Granted also that I don’t read erotica. I have no desire to do so either. I consider it the same as saying that I don’t need to go and watch porn in order to do research on porn.

Let’s also be clear what I mean by erotica. I don’t mean just any romance novel. There are some Christian romance novels out there. I do not know how good they are, but they are out there. I definitely mean material that is much more explicit, such as, say, Fifty Shades of Grey.

I also don’t necessarily mean chick flicks either. I think I, like all guys who date, had to watch The Notebook, for example. (It’s a hidden rule I think all women have that guys they’re with have to watch it.) Yet at the same time, we all know which sex was going the most to see Magic Mike.

I also don’t mean the traditional love stories, although let’s be clear that there are some myths in them, and I don’t mean Cinderella having a pumpkin turn into a coach. I mean the idea that you will meet a man and because he’s a prince, he will sweep you off your feet and naturally, those words that are never really accurate, “Happily Ever After.” Cinderella may have married Prince Charming, but she would wake up one day and realized he had bad morning breath and that he left his dirty socks outside the laundry basket.

But that could get us to something that is the problem. Unrealistic expectations many times. If we talk about pornography, we can talk about girls that have their features altered so that they have vastly unrealistic proportions. Today, women often think they have to compete with that hot actress on the TV show. You know, the one that has undergone hours of make-up and such before she ever gets on the set.

Most of us men say you don’t. You’re gorgeous to us as you are.

The problem with erotica is that women are usually more turned on through words and touch than they are through sight. That doesn’t mean sight is irrelevant, but it doesn’t woo a woman the same way. For me, just give me the sight of my bride and that is more than enough. I just don’t understand why it is sometimes that doesn’t work the same way in reverse. (And hey, it can’t be me because obviously Allie married a total stud. Right? Why are you laughing?)

Women have dreams of romance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When my sister was four, she was already planning her wedding out. When something like Sleeping Beauty is on, men relate to the knight fighting and slaying the dragon. Women relate most to being rescued by the knight. (But hey, we men aren’t going to complain about waking her up with a kiss either.)

And men, let’s sadly face it that too many of us stop this after we marry her. Now many men I know say their wives could not keep their hands off of them when they were dating and wanted to kiss so much, but when they married, that all changed. We change too. Many a man no longer works to impress their wives. It’s a common trope to hear about men forgetting anniversaries and birthdays.

Part of that is we men are conquerors and when we’ve already succeeded at one task, winning the bride, we move on to the next. How about we make the task be “Impressing the bride?” This doesn’t mean you go all out every day, but it does mean that you make an effort everyday to please.

But for women, well it’s too easy to be resistant to your husband and then go and read an erotica novel and then come back and expect your husband to behave exactly like the man does. It’s as unrealistic as a man expecting the woman he’s with to act like that porn star does. Your man is not scripted. He is not written out. He will not do things perfect.

Yes. Your man will do many many stupid things in romance with you. He might take you to a restaurant you don’t like or he might belch in the middle of an intimate moment. Prince Charming can have morning breath. He’s not going to be perfect.

But if you have too many false ideas built up just like he can with pornography, it’s going to be harder and harder for him to measure up and could get you looking elsewhere. The grass might be greener on the other side of the fence. A big problem when many people leave relationships is that they go to the next one thinking it will be better because that other person was such a problem. Many times this is done without them looking at themselves and improving themselves and the history just repeats.

Ladies. Here’s a little tip for you to interact with your man. If you want something, just say it. We men are totally oblivious with hints. My wife has told me there have been three times she’s been in a romantic mood and tried to tell me and I totally missed her hints. Three times! (Excuse me. I have to pause writing this to go and mourn.)

In all honesty, if you tell your man something that you really want, he will want to do it for you. If my wife is out somewhere and I’m with her and I see her mention something she’d like, I remember it. She and I both play Pokemon and once when she was out, she saw a Sylveon at a Wal-Mart that she really wanted. We didn’t have the money in the wallet so I said I couldn’t. I went home where I had Amazon credit and ordered all nine forms of Eevee including Sylveon on Amazon for her. They were much smaller in size, but she got all of them.

I really don’t think I’m alone.

Ladies. Your man is always wanting to know that he’s your man. He’s always wanting to measure up. Make him think he has to compete with erotica and it can be just like you think you have to compete with porn, and you shouldn’t. If your man is no longer trying really and doesn’t seem to care, that’s something else to work on and perhaps counseling would help, but please try to give your man the benefit of the doubt. He wants to please you.

Even if he doesn’t do perfect, remember him when he tries. Men take criticism from their wives very seriously. Every time it makes us think we’re failing and if we get the message enough, we just stop trying. I don’t even care for it if I’m taking a break and playing a video game and my wife likes to point out every time I make a mistake. That might seem minor to you, but that’s the way we men are. We want to be great at everything we do no matter how small.

Ladies. Be careful about the books that you’re picking up just like he should about the websites he’s visiting. Perhaps it might be better instead of reading a book about how you want to be romanced, for you to read a book about how to romance your husband. You can be sure he will greatly appreciate it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: The Porn Myth

What do I think of Matt Fradd’s book published by Ignatius? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Pornography is all around us in our world today. Hypothetically, I could make a few clicks right here on my computer and get to porn. In the past, young men would have to hide out in a shed somewhere finding their Dad’s magazines hidden in order to get a peek. No more. Rule 34 is all over the internet.

Many people today have come to accept it as normal. For talking about men who struggle, well boys will be boys. What are you going to do? The reality is that there is no reason this should be normal. Pornography should never be anything tolerated. We should all recognize it for the evil that it is on society.

Matt Fradd does write from a Catholic perspective, but you won’t find Catholicism emphasized in this book. You won’t find Christianity period emphasized. Fradd does not quote a bunch of Bible verses to make his point. He appeals to scientific and sociological data on pornography.

Also, he wants to state that being anti-porn is not anti-sex. If anything, being pro-porn is being anti-sex. Pornography will keep you from having a healthy and normal sexual relationship. As a man who avoided porn, I don’t really have comparisons for my wife’s body. Sex was something I really got to learn through experience and did not have to erase lies from porn about what sex is like, although to be fair, the media sure gives us a lot of lies in movies and television on what it’s like.

He also has lies about the industry. These include lies about porn being a safe industry. Reading stories like these will just chill you when you hear about the horrors that some women go through on the set. There also isn’t really any such thing as nice and friendly porn. All of it is putting women on display as objects.

And no, this is not empowering to women. This allows women to be seen as just objects. I often wonder the same thing when I hear about women having topless marches down the street. Yes. They’re getting the attention of men. Unfortunately, it’s not in the way that they want.

Next is a section on porn and sexuality. These include myths such as women don’t struggle with porn, it’s not addictive, and that anime porn is fine since it doesn’t involve real people. When I drive through our city of Atlanta, I hear several commercials about curing erectile dysfunction. I have a suspicion that many cases of this are due to the use of pornography. There are many men who sadly cannot get aroused by their wives because they have been too busy with fantasy women.

After that, we have a section on porn and other relationships. These include that marriage will cure us of porn obsessions and one I particularly hate, men wouldn’t struggle with porn if their wives were more attractive. There is nothing wrong with a woman wanting to look her best for her man, and she should, but it is not the woman’s fault if the man does something wrong. The woman could provide encouragement for the man unintentionally, but he is responsible for his own choices.

Finally, we get to personal struggles. These are the ideas that we can’t protect kids from porn in our world, a wife will never regain trust after seeing her husband using porn, and someone will always struggle with porn. To be fair, I think the last one properly understood is accurate. When I first took my wife to a Weight Watchers meeting, I was amazed hearing about how all the people who work with the program have gone through it. I said to one of them, “You all struggled with weight loss?” and I got told immediately, “STRUGGLE with weight loss.” That hit home.

If in the sense that one realizes they will always have temptation and have to fight it, it is true. In the sense that they will always be a victim, that is not true. When we meet people struggling with porn and they want to overcome it, we should have sympathy for them and come alongside them and help them.

I have always thought the porn industry is a wicked industry. Fradd’s book really helps to show how problematic it is. Men and women who are struggling with porn need to read this and realize this is an industry they don’t want to support, and as one myth shows, you are supporting it even if you don’t pay money for it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

I Really Hate Porn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could it be female beauty is a motivator?

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

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

Every husband understands that scene.

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

That’s why I hate pornography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Struggle Of Men

What does a man have to deal with in today’s world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have seen two different things this past week and yet, I think they’re both related. One is a female friend of mine who posted about what it is like probably for seminarians and ministers who are men. She is not justifying any struggles that they have with pornography, but is wanting us to understand why they turn to pornography.

When you go to seminary or enter ministry, you sign up for a hard life really. I went to Southern Evangelical for quite awhile and sadly, thinking back, I don’t really remember anything being said about pornography. Maybe it was and I’ve forgotten it. I don’t doubt looking back that some of my fellow students were struggling with pornography.

Often while driving with my wife down the road, we hear commercials here for men who are struggling with ED. I tell my Princess regularly that I suspect the reason for much of the struggle is pornography. There are men in their 20’s who have to be on Viagra. This is many times because they’ve got so used to airbrushed and fake women in porn that they don’t know how to get aroused by a real woman. That’s too tame for them.

Btw, let’s keep in mind also that many people in porn could be there because of human trafficking. Watching porn can, in that case, be giving power to this kind of thing. I find it interesting that many atheists who complain about slavery in the Bible can have no problem with porn which can lead to sexual slavery easily.

Many men turn to this because, first off, we tend to be very visual and have a high drive. This is not the case for all, but it is our natural tendency. We also live in a world where sex is all around us. You can say that we can turn off the TV and things like that. Yeah. Not going to solve the problem. A man just needs to go to the grocery store. I’m not even talking about the magazine rack. Men are drawn to beautiful women and in our day and age, women do dress to be beautiful.

I am not saying that is wrong at all! Women should do that! Women are beautiful and that should be celebrated. If a man cannot control himself, that is the fault of the man. Of course, there is a difference if a woman is trying to deliberate show herself off. There is a fine line here where both sides need to be considerate of the other.

Men often feel the pressure and pornography will make a man feel like a man. This is something all men long for. All men want to be men and if a man feels aroused, he certainly feels like a man. The problem is it’s all fake. It really requires nothing of the man. It is not a challenge. All he has to do is click the right web sites on his computer today.

In the past, women complained about being treated like objects, and rightly so, but today the women are often objectifying themselves. It’s too easy to go out and give everything you have to a guy immediately or have these topless marches and put yourself out there on display. If anything, this allows women to be treated more like objects. Abortion on demand doesn’t make it any better. Now men don’t have to worry about consequences, like children.

Many good guys have suffered from this. This past week I have seen good guys struggle with being single. It really touched me, because I do remember those days. What really irked me was hearing women talk about how they just wanted a nice guy who cared about them and their feelings. Never did believe it. Good men often get overlooked and the guys who are often some of the sleaziest do not.

These men really struggle.

Getting married doesn’t necessarily end all the problems. It can help, but many times our society has taught women that men are dirty perverts because they think about sex so much. While for the most part, we do, that’s not because we’re perverts. This is a good thing that God made and He made men and women to enjoy it.

For we men, there’s great misunderstanding on how essential this is to us in marriage. Often a man will complain about getting duty sex where the wife just goes along because she knows her husband needs it, but there’s no real desire on that part. For a man, duty sex beats no sex, but it’s not really satisfying. Men want to be wanted. They want to know they are appealing and attractive and bring joy to their wives.

A man will often measure himself by his accomplishments and for a husband, one of those is bringing joy to his wife. If a man brings joy to his wife everywhere else, but he doesn’t seem to in the bedroom, he feels like a failure. This is really such a great area in men’s lives that many women just don’t understand. (An excellent place to go to is the XY Code by Paul Byerly. He writes from a Christian perspective to help women understand men.)

Here’s the good news for you wives. If you do desire and pursue your husband, you will make this so much easier for him. You have great power. It’s really hard for men and they struggle more when they don’t feel desired and they’re trying to work with this burning question of their own masculinity looming in the background. (Women wanting help in this area can be blessed greatly by going to To Love, Honor, And Vacuum.)

Men struggle today and I am convinced our society is in a war against men. Masculinity is looked down on in our world. Men are in a struggle to determine if they really are men and sadly, they think going out and having sex will prove that they are. It won’t. It can give that feeling no doubt, but the best way to be a man is to properly love the women in your life, and this includes even if you are single. You do not have to be sexually active to be a man after all.

For those of us who are Christians, that means definitely avoiding pornography which treats women as objects and doesn’t require any challenge of going out and winning the heart of a real woman, a real accomplishment. It is far better to win the heart and then body of a real woman than to go out and do nothing to get a fake one, and sadly the fake one can make it harder to act with the real one. Also, save sex for marriage. Make a covenant with the woman first and then enjoy the fruit of the covenant.

And women, we men should understand you, but understand where the men you encounter are coming from. I know many men who struggle with porn and wish that they didn’t and are working to overcome it. (Women can struggle too, but this post is about men.) Your husband also is not a pervert because he thinks about sex so much. This is the way God made men and they function best when kept happy. What they really want is not just a release, but they want you. They want to feel close to you and accepted and loved by you and sex does that best.

It’s a hard time to be a man in today’s world. The church needs to recognize this as well and be there for men, especially those struggling with pornography. Condemn the action, but remember the man can often be a victim of his own desires.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Sacred Beauty

What role does beauty play in our lives? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As an apologist, I have my own arguments for God’s existence. The ways of Thomas Aquinas work great to me. Despite that, there is one argument that I personally find extremely convincing. I do not think I use it in debate because it is a more intuitive argument than one that will hit the mind. I have used it on a friend dealing with doubt before.

That is beauty.

When you’re a single guy wanting to marry, you look around at the women in your world and think you’re beautiful. Then you marry and you realize that you were right. That woman that you have in your life is beautiful. My Princess is a sacred gift to me.

You see, I realize something that I didn’t really before. When a woman shares herself, she is sharing something sacred. I have exclusive rights to my wife that no other man does. My wife is a great treasure and no matter how many times I see her, it is still always new and amazing to me. I cannot even explain why it is that way. Before I was married, I did not understand why the human female form was so beautiful. I have now been married eight years and I still don’t really understand it. I just know that it is.

Sometimes, we will hear the horrendous lie that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It certainly is not. Beauty is real, and if we miss out on beauty being real, truth and goodness are not far behind. A drawing that a small child makes of a stick man will not be nearly as beautiful as the Mona Lisa.

And yet our world cheapens beauty. Sadly, many women do it themselves. They treat their bodies like common goods and give them away to anyone who meets minimal requirements. One of the best ways a woman tells how much she’s worth is by making a high price on her beauty, and that would be a lifelong covenant in marriage.

Pornography is a great way to devalue female beauty. I realize women watch porn and there is porn of men, but most of us, even most women, would agree that the woman is a whole lot more beautiful then the man is. I still look at my own body and wonder what the heck there is that my wife sees.

In the past, if a man wanted to see a naked woman and have sex, he had to be an honorable man and get married. That encouraged men to build up qualities that were fitting for a man to have. Not so today. Today, a man is encouraged to not be a man but really to be a user. If he wants to see a naked woman, he can just open up his browser and see one in seconds. If he wants to have sex with a woman, he could just go post on some internet site and have a hook-up that evening.

In doing this, we have lost the sacredness of beauty and sexuality. Sex is no longer a great good really in our society. It’s common. It’s just something people do together for fun. It’s not about building up a serious love commitment one has already made and that is exclusive and definitely not about having children one day.

We think our society knows a lot about beauty. Look at all the investment we have in make-up and supermodels and such. We don’t. We talk about it and display it and chase after it, but we don’t think about it. The same is true with sexuality. Our culture doesn’t think too much about sex. It thinks too little. It does everything else but think.

While we should think about it, one thing we can also do is live it out differently. Live our marriages like the other person is the most beautiful one in the world, because they are. Ladies. Hold out for the man who is worth it and guys, honor the women you are pursuing. Both sexes. Abandon any pornography now. Beauty and sex are sacred. Don’t put them on open display.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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

 

 

My Encouragement To Young Men Concerning Pornography

Why should a man keep his ways pure? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some situations around here have got us thinking about doing some student ministry. If that was done, I have an aim one day of talking to young men, perhaps the ones at our church. These are men who are in middle and high school. I will want to talk to them about apologetics and showing that Christianity is true and that Jesus rose from the dead, but I would also like to talk to them about the temptations they deal with most, namely sex and pornography.

So what would I say?

Probably something like this.

It’s good to get to speak to you today. Today I want to talk about the issues of sex and pornography with you. Many of you have come to the realization that the opposite sex is not as bad as some of you thought they were at one time. Quite the contrary, now they seem pretty awesome. I also understand that your minds and bodies are quite excited about them.

Contrary to what you might think, I’m not here to give you a list of dont’s and negatives. There are some of those to be sure, but I want them to be based on the positives. I have been married for 7 and a half years now. I recognize that this is a great gift. I can tell you that women are much more beautiful than you realize. The good news also is that God made them to be that beautiful. He also wired you to notice that beauty.

The danger many of you men will have is that you have a false idea about what it means to be a man. Many of you could think having sex will make you a man or seeing a woman naked will make you a man. None of these are true. You can be a boy and still do these things.

Pornography right now will be a great temptation for you. The problem is, pornography is a lie. It is a lie to deceive you into thinking you are a man without the work required of being a man.

In the past, a young man would often find magazines somewhere that his father or uncle or older brother had hidden away and would be introduced to the world of pornography. Now it’s easier to access it. All it requires is a few clicks on the internet and there you are.

Guys. Here’s the truth. That woman on the other side is airbrushed and photoshopped and edited and everything else. Even worse, she doesn’t know you. She doesn’t care about you. She’s not doing anything because she wants you or desires you. She’s a paid actress, but to make it even more real, she could very well be caught in human trafficking.

Guys. You’re not men by watching a woman take her clothes off. You could just be a pervert. You’re in fact cheating yourself and if anything, you’re saying you’re not really a man. You’re not capable of going out and romancing a real woman the more you spend time on fake ones.

This also includes what goes on at your school. There’s a phenomenon out there known as sexting where a girl at your school will take a revealing picture of herself. Guys. What do you think you’re accomplishing by seeing that? Do you want a woman who will just give herself away to anyone else? Do you want a woman who thinks she can only win a man by showing all of her body?

A real woman guys knows that she is worth everything and that getting to see her body is a privilege. If a girl will show her body to you too easily, how many other guys will she do the same with? Why should you think that you’re anything special?

You see guys, the truth is that waiting really is something special and wonderful. We as Christians encourage that not because we’re anti-sex, but because we’re very pro-sex. It’s wonderful and sacred, but it needs to be guarded fiercely. It is the most intimate connection you can have with another human being.

You see, I look out at you and I see men. I want you to be those men that I see. Be those men that say you are capable of going out and winning the heart of a woman. After all, what do you want? Do you want to see a woman’s body because you made a few clicks on a mouse? Wow. What a man. How about you get to see a woman’s body because she trusts you entirely because you made a lifetime commitment to her?

Your honeymoon night can be a very special night. Don’t spoil it. Save your eyes for that woman who will love you that much. You can either have a woman you don’t know who is nowhere near you undress on a screen, or you can have the woman you love do that for you in your presence, or even better let you undress her.

If you desire that, that’s not wrong. That’s how you’re made. I’m not telling you your urges and desires are evil. They’re not. They just need to be controlled. There is a time and a place for them, but if you want them fulfilled, rise up and be the men that you are meant to be.

Once you get that woman also, never stop cherishing her. Treat her like a treasure. I have called my wife Princess from the time we were dating. I still call her Princess. She is my great treasure and I guard her with my life. I appreciate the privilege that I am the man she trusts with her very self and more than any other man out there.

Men. Sex is something good and special, but save it for the right place. Pornography will give you the feeling of a man, but it can’t make you a man. It makes you less of a man. Having sex before marriage also doesn’t make you a man. What will show your manhood very well is to commit yourself to one woman for life and spend the rest of your life treasuring her and being her hero and letting her be the woman that blesses you.

Keep in mind also guys that sometimes, some men get so caught up in pornography, they can’t get aroused by a real woman anymore. Do you want that to be you? Let your eyes be for your future Princess. Let her know that you waited for her because she is totally worth it and you did not take any shortcuts. Until death do you part, you two belong to each other.

Men. What you want is good and it is something worth waiting for. God isn’t opposed to your enjoyment. He wants you to enjoy this gift, but in the way it was meant to be enjoyed. He designed the system and everything. It’s all His idea. Trust Him with it. Don’t use women. Treasure them. Every woman should be treated with honor in this way, even the women who don’t treat themselves with honor.

There’s an old proverb that says he who loves many women has loved none. He who loves one has loved them all. By loving one truly, you honor all of them. Love the woman you have and treasure her. She is God’s gift to you. Never take her for granted. Never use her. Always treat her as a person in her own right and enjoy sexual intimacy with her often. You will find it bonds your relationship more and more.

Remember men, be men. You deserve to be men and you owe it to yourselves to treat women like women.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Do You Think About Sex Too Much?

If you’re addicted to sex, is it because you think about it too much? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Years ago I was browsing on Facebook and I saw a friend post something saying that the problem in our world today is that people think about sex too much. I told him he has it backward. We don’t think about sex too much in our society. We think about it too little.

“What?! Are you crazy? Do you know how many people, especially men, seem to have sex on the brain constantly?”

Yes, but that doesn’t equal thinking about it. Having thoughts about sex is not the same as really truly thinking about sex. We dream about it, fantasize about it, talk about it, and just outright “do it”, but we don’t really stop and think about it.

Something I have said along these lines has really impacted men who I meet who struggle with true sexual addiction. I have told them that the problem is not that they love sex too much. They love it too little. It sticks with them apparently. If they loved it so much, why would they treat it so cheaply?

For many men, sex is a quick fix. There are many men who just want a physical release. The physical release is important, but there’s more to it than that. However, if all you want is a physical release, well this is why porn is something so many men can settle on it. You watch a naked girl doing things and you manage to give yourself that physical release.

Of course, in doing porn a man is lying to himself. He’s treating himself like a real man while not actually going out and impressing the woman and being a real man to her and winning her total trust. He’s also teaching himself a view about women. This is what women are good for. Women are good for what they do with men with their bodies. But if you think that, it’s not the woman that matters. It’s her body that matters. She is irrelevant.

If you’re married, you’re also lying to your wife. Sexual intercourse is a way of pointing to the complete and total trust you have with your wife in an exclusive union. You cannot do that and watch porn at the same time and be telling the truth. You are telling your wife at that point that she is one among many. Even if you want to say she is your favorite, she is not the only.

Now for you women briefly, this article is mainly for men with addiction, though if you have that you can get the counterparts for yourself, normally I think it’s wise to not withhold sexual intimacy in a marriage. After all, in 1 Cor. 7, Paul says that your bodies belong to each other and do not withhold except for by mutual consent and even then for a short time. I think this could be a valid exception though because your husband is having an affair essentially and you need to let him know that you are not going to be treated like one among many. You need to be his one and only. He will have to choose.

But on the other hand, if your man is working on this, please be supportive of him. Please be with him in the process and try to realize that deep down, he does want to honor you. It will be hurtful and painful, but you need to do this as a couple realizing a victory for one of you is a victory for both of you. Don’t be ashamed to also go to a licensed professional counselor.

Getting back to you men, maybe you really need to think about sex. Don’t just think about doing it or the experience. Really think about it. What is it? Keep in mind if you’re a Christian, you know that this is the creation of God. It’s all God’s idea. From the very beginning, He planned this out.

Go look at Scripture also. Many times, the love of God and the love of Christ is compared to marriage. Why? What is that all about? Could that have any connection to sexuality? After all, sex isn’t just an accidental add-on to marriage is it? It’s not an afterthought is it? Male and female were from the very beginning. Marriage is right there at the start of the Bible and it’s also at the end with the wedding supper of the Lamb.

So what is it? Why did God make it this way? Why did He make a woman’s body so beautiful? Why do you find her body so beautiful? What is it about the exclusive union that is so unique? What makes it wrong to have sex with someone you’re not married to?

Go to your Christian bookstore and try to find some good Christian books on the topic. If you have to, go to Amazon, since sadly many Christian bookstores are just awful today. Go get the answers.

Stop treating sex like something cheap and common by pornography and other such things. Treat it as the sacred gift of God. If you are married, why on Earth would you really want to look at another woman besides your wife? Oh, I understand the temptation entirely, and the temptation is no sin, but why pursue that? You’re not going to have sex with these women and even if that was a possibility, would it be worth it to wind up living a greater lie to your wife and devastating her if she found out, and if you have children making it far worse for them?

And if you do have children, consider that. Do you want your son to grow up and be like you? You are the first example to him of what a man is supposed to be like. Do you have a daughter instead? You are the first example of what she should look for in a man she could marry someday. Do you want her to marry a man like you?

Really. Is any of this worth it for some time of fun? Are you going to look at any joy in your life and say “That joy is worth inflicting needless pain on the people I love the most in my life.” I hope you would never say that with your words, but your actions are saying it if you are engaging in pornography.

Keep in mind also, your desire is not wrong. There is nothing wrong with the desire for sex or the desire to see the naked female body. God built you with these desires. It’s how you treat them that’s the problem. Are you going to respect the creation of God and thus God Himself or are you going to dishonor them and thus dishonor God Himself?

If this is you with this struggle, please reach out and get help. You are worth it. Your family is worth it. Your commitment to Christ is worth it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Love Thy Body

What do I think of Nancy Pearcey’s book published by Baker Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Nancy Pearcey’s book is a must-read. It is a nuclear missile of sorts going into secularism and a powerful argument that needs to be dealt with. At the same time, it’s a simple argument. It starts with a basic premise that all of us can immediately see and goes from there.

That premise is your body is something that shows who you are. If you want to know how you look publicly to the world, all of it comes through your body. We might say we live in a world that values the body. After all, you can find fitness videos to no end at the video store and there are TV programs about weight loss and everything else related to the body.

It can still be that we don’t really value the body that much. We can idolize it without really understanding it. Do we really care about the body itself or about the image we portray with the body? Is the body something truly good in its own right?

Pearcey uses this claim to get to arguments about numerous areas. You will find the hook-up culture, living together before marriage, abortion, pornography, homosexuality, and transgenderism addressed in this. All of this leads to giving more power to the state. If only she had written about something that people are talking about today….

Pearcey says that in each of these items, we are making a false statement about the body. Sex is a powerful expression two people make with their bodies for one another. It is really giving all that you can to another person. We speak about it as a grand finale. We go all the way. We hit a home run. We score.

Instead, our culture often reduces sex to just a hobby. We have this idea that you can have sex with no strings attached, but you can’t. Your body knows what you’re doing and that’s why bonding chemicals are released during the act of sex, including chemicals for a man. Your body is forming a bond with this other person in the act of sex.

Porn does the same kind of thing training your body to respond to a lie. The body you see on the other end is not a real body, but it is more fake. It is the result of a lot of make-up and such made for just that occasion. The person on the other side of that camera doesn’t care about you. They don’t even know that you exist. You will not get the joy of undressing them before your eyes and getting to run your hands over their body yourself. There’s a reason why many men today are in their 20’s and having to take Viagra. A real woman can’t get them to respond any more because porn makes them need more and more.

Women struggle enough as it is with self-image in the area of physical beauty. It doesn’t help them that they now think they have to struggle with countless women seen in porn. I say this also realizing that women today will also watch porn and will face similar struggles though different in some ways I’m sure to the men.

Abortion shows this struggle as well. Abortion downplays the body in that science is not the decider of whether that is truly a human. An artificial category is made up so that something is human, but it is not a person. There is no scientific test for such a thing. It is an ad hoc claim made to justify the killing of the innocent human person in the womb.

Homosexuality is also such a case of lying with one’s body. It is saying that one has the body of a man or a woman, but they will deny this. They will instead treat their body like it is that of a woman or a man. Again, the problem is a downplaying of the body and it is because feelings take precedence. One feels a certain way so forget what the body says. It is overruled by the emotions.

Transgenderism really demonstrates this. One believes a lie so much that one is willing to have one’s own body mutilated rather than work on changing the feelings. We live in an age where one can deny the body so much that one will undergo surgery to make it subservient to the feelings.

All of this also gives more power to the state. The state has to step in and change things. Marriage is no longer about a physical union, but it is about the feelings the people have for one another. Under many a secular definition, two roommates living together can be married even though they have no romantic feelings towards one another and will never have sex together.

The state will step in and redefine terms and then it will have to defend those terms and those who resist are enemies of the state. The ultimate target is the family. The family is a threat to the government since the family does not depend on the government for its existence. It’s a pre-political reality. The charges are serious and the cause is serious.

Get Pearcey’s book. Read it. Learn it. Open your eyes to what is going on around you. Pearcey’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in debating in any of these areas.

In Christ,
Nick Peters