Me Too And The Failed Revolution

Has the sexual revolution ultimately failed women? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Have you seen the “Me Too” movement going around Facebook and other places? It’s because of people like Harvey Weinstein and letting women be able to share that they have suffered sexual abuse of some kind from people in their lives. It is quite surprising to me to see how many people are included in this and even in Hollywood we’re seeing women come out and admit that there is a problem and turning down time with a guy like Weinstein cost them in their acting careers as he would give a role to someone else then.

One of the things the sexual revolution was supposed to do was to make women equal. Now in a sense of course, women can never be equal to men and men can never be equal to women, but that is not because one is superior and one is inferior, but because both are different. Ask anyone who has been married for any length of time and they know that men and women are different.

For instance, in general, when a woman has a problem, she wants to talk about how she feels about it at first, while the guy wants to go and solve the problem immediately. A guy will often want sex just because and he needs to feel sex because that’s how he feels connected to his wife. The woman will want sex when she feels connected. A woman is much more relationship-oriented and a guy is often much work task-oriented. These are generalities of course as there are exceptions in every case, but one would have to be a fool to think that men and women are not different.

Yet where gender is irrelevant to some things, there is nothing wrong with striving for equality between men and women. In fact, with the movement of women’s suffrage prior, I think we were already moving there. One of the problems though was sex. Women wanted to have careers, but that problem of being a mother would creep up.

The problem was not the pill then, but it was more the desire behind it. Sometimes women came to see being a mother as a less than noble calling. Of course, some couples can’t have children for whatever reason and that’s fine, but then we went a step farther. While Christians can debate the pill back and forth, there is one issue that they should not have to debate within themselves, but they sadly do often, and that’s abortion.

Abortion has become such a law of the land that when we see a mass shooting take place in Las Vegas, we ask how such an evil could happen blind to the idea of how many babies we are killing every day in Planned Parenthood. If we have such a callous attitude towards life in its most innocent place, why should we expect it to be different elsewhere? With abortion, we are actually even worse than the people of the past who offered up their children in sacrifice. At least we could say they did it because they wanted a good harvest for their people. We sacrifice our children at the altar of convenience.

It’s quite odd because this doesn’t empower women. It destroys women. Abortion is one of the most anti-women acts out there. Around 50% of its victims are women. It also results in a woman killing her own children legally, the very opposite of what a mother is to do. She can say she’s not ready to be a mother, but as soon as she is pregnant, she is a mother. The choice is if she wants to kill her own children or not.

Not only that, in all of this, men stayed men. From the dawn of humanity, men have been attracted to women. Women have been seen as the great mystery to men and the wonder that they cannot explain. If it wasn’t for sex, men would not get married because when they marry, they have an extra expense and they have to sacrifice their time and money for someone else. There has to be a good incentive for the man, at least at first, to compel him to enter this relationship. Sex is a good incentive.

This is also why I personally follow the Pence Rule. (Yes. I know it does not originate with him) Why should I risk myself with another woman? Is it because I don’t trust others? Not really. I don’t trust myself. The moment I say I am above temptation and cannot fall to it, I already have.

Last month, we had another man staying at our place here who was a refugee from Hurricane Irma. He’s a Christian who wanted to learn some apologetics, but I also wanted to teach him how a man is to love a woman and a husband is to treat a wife, and indeed he did learn a lot of good from that. One rule we consistently followed is that if I went anywhere, he came with me. It was a way of respect and avoiding temptation.

You see, even a man who is happily married can still look at other women and be tempted and wonder. It’s not because we don’t love our wives. It’s just that’s the way that a man is wired. I’m not saying that it is at all right, but that is the way it is. A man was made to look at the human female form and to admire it and to desire it.

Normally, a man who has wanted that has had to be serious about it because the action could always result in pregnancy. Now, that is much less of a factor and the men are still men and women too often have sadly let themselves be used in this way to get ahead in their minds. Some women have an idea that if they give the men in their lives sex, they will either love them or get what they want.

For love, often if a couple engages in sex too early, such as without being married, their emotional build-up in the commitment will halt and possibly not even grow at all beyond that. They don’t get to really see each other as they are because they see each other for sex first. Note also a man will lose respect for a woman. After all, if she gave herself to me this early, how many other men has she done this with? Many men say they want virgins, but they will happily sleep with a woman. It quite likely means they don’t see her as marriage material, but just there for a good time.

This is one reason I encourage women to let the man know how much you are worth. Don’t pay in advance as it were. If a man really wants you, he will be willing to make a lifetime commitment to you in marriage and have that commitment done before the deed is done. If he is not, then you have to ask if he really wants you or not. Why should you settle for less than a lifetime commitment?

Abortion made this too easy and as I said, the men have stayed the same. Very rarely do you have an explicit statement of this, but there is such a one. It is one written by a Ben Sherman years ago about the #HB2 bill in Texas. The bill would make it much more difficult to get an abortion. As Sherman says:

Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.

Those of us who are pro-life owe a thanks to Sherman for saying this. If having sex with a woman could actually mean that a man has to take responsibility for the action, he is much more prone to not do so. This is one reason I am so confused by so many “feminists” who want abortion and don’t seem to realize that that better enables men to just use them.

This is what happened with Weinstein. He came to see women as objects of pleasure and nothing more instead of valuable persons in themselves. Let’s be clear also that this is not to say that men and women should not both enjoy the gift of sexual intimacy together. It is a wonderful gift and meant to be embraced in a marriage commitment. There’s a claim also that before marriage, the devil will do anything to get a couple to have sex. Afterward, he will do anything to keep them from having sex.

In marriage, sex is not the reason for the marriage, but it is hard to have a good marriage without it. Sexuality becomes more than just pleasure, but it solidifies the covenant between the man and the woman. Every time it is the man and woman coming together and each of them giving their complete trust and love to the other in a sacrifice. It is an exclusive relationship shared with only those two people and way they know each other that no one else does.

Treating women as consumer goods destroys their sacred value. This is another reason that pornography is such a problem. Let’s be clear that men want to see a woman naked and there is indeed nothing wrong with that desire. God made women to be beautiful and He succeeded greatly and there is just something absolutely amazing and gripping about the human female form.

Unfortunately, porn makes it easy for a man to get the benefits supposedly of being with a woman without the real sacrifice of being with one. You know, things like pursuing a relationship, spending time and money, proposing, and making a lifetime commitment. The more a man does this, the easier it is for him to see women as objects. In fact, it damages their marriages later on. Many men have seen so many women in porn magazines that a real woman in front of them doesn’t arouse them for sex and they have to take viagra in their 20’s just to be able to have sex.

(By the way, this is not to deny that women can’t watch porn and women can’t just as much treat men as objects. That too is a problem that needs to be dealt with, but right now I’m really wanting to focus on the problem of the victimhood of women.)

When we make a mockery of sexual purity and virtue and treat sex like a consumer good, why are we surprised to have someone like Weinstein in our midst? I hear the news and I’m not shocked in the least by it. Despite the sexual revolution, women are far more prone to be treated as objects than they were in the past.

When we encourage virtue instead, we might be surprised what happens. Believe it or not men, it’s possible to still have a good sex life and be virtuous. Sure, you have sex with only one woman until death do you part, but that is not seen as a downside. It becomes an ever increasing joy as you come to learn how to love and delight in the woman more and more and you come to love each other more and things get better and better. It is one area where the Law of Diminishing Returns doesn’t apply. A game or an act can get old after awhile, but truly a person never does.

For women who are abused, we need to be there for them and loving them and comforting them and if abuse is affecting your marriage and other relationships today, please go and talk to a qualified counselor. It is possible to overcome the past and you don’t need to be a continued victim of the people who hurt you in the past. If you are abused, it can be scary to come forward, but please do come forward. Silence will never end abuse. You deserve better than that. You are not just an object. You are loved.

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 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

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/2/2017: Rebecca Lemke

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

Many of us tend to think in extremes. We’re either too conservative or too liberal. This happens in Christian circles as well. We either go all in with something that is wrong and join the culture, like many progressives, or like some conservatives, we go all out and practically avoid anything just because we don’t want to be thought of doing anything wrong and can easily create a guilt culture.

So when it comes to sexuality, we tend to think the same way. Many of our progressives have taken wrong stances. Pre-marital sex is okay! You can live together before you get married! Some even have no problem accepting the historical position of the church on homosexuality. Many of us realize that this is a problem.

Yet can we go too far the other way? Perhaps we can. Perhaps in an eagerness to rightly avoid falling into sin, the purity movement has gone too far. Of course, this is not to undermine sin. Sin is sin still. It is to say that maybe not everything we think of as sinful is. Maybe it could also be that if we do sin along the way, we are not ruined for life.

My guest this Saturday went through the purity movement and was greatly hurt by it. Today, there is no animosity towards Christianity or the movement itself as she continues to be a Christian woman encouraging other Christian women how to honor God and stay holy without being in the purity movement. Her name is Rebecca Lemke, author of The Scarlet Virgins.

So who is she?

Rebecca Lemke is the author of The Scarlet Virgins. She has appeared on The Federalist, Huffington Post, Iron Ladies, and To Love Honor and Vacuum, in addition to speaking on live radio about the topics in her book.

Many of you might remember the book I Kissed Dating Good-Bye, which was in many ways another book of the Bible for a lot of people. The author has since even admitted he could have been wrong on a lot of it. It’s easy to understand that sex before marriage is a big mistake, but even a kiss before marriage was viewed as a big mistake.

For many women, the ideas of maintaining purity meant you had to dress every way to avoid being desirable to the great big walking hormones out there known as men. It also meant that if you gave in and had sex before marriage, you were damaged goods. In the end, on your wedding night you would have nothing to give your husband. Women were not taught how to properly think about sex. It’s not much of a shock then that the wedding night can be awfully hard for some women as they have to somehow immediately flip a switch from off to on.

Guys don’t have as hard a time with that switch, but if there is something I think guys struggle with, it’s the question of lust. If a guy thinks a girl is attractive, is he guilty of lust? Is it wrong to ever think about sex? We have rightfully avoided much of the sins of progressivism, but we have often gone to the other extreme and turned into a guilt culture that I think Scripture never intended.

Join me this Saturday as we talk about the purity culture. How can young people stay “pure” without being part of the purity movement? How can we properly teach our youth about sex and sexuality? We don’t want to say anything goes, but at the same time, what boundaries should we be setting?

Be watching for the next episode and please do go on ITunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Lies Couples Believe

What do I think of Chris Thurman’s book by David C. Cook. Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Lies. We live in a world of them. Fake news abounds and how many stories can be shared on Facebook that are absolutely false? Christians also share these stories. It’s easy if something lines up with what you already believe to share it like it’s Gospel.

As Christians, we at least know that Scripture won’t lie to us, but sadly another source we think won’t lie to us is ourselves. We’re going to be honest with ourselves and our own situation. Right? Not likely. If we lie to ourselves, imagine as married couples the lies we can tell ourselves about that!

A great problem with this is that so many of the lies are easily believable. They often have a grain of truth with them. Should your spouse love you just as you are? Absolutely they should! Unfortunately, we take that through to “So I don’t need to change. My spouse just needs to change the way they look at me.” Absolutely not. No doubt, your spouse doesn’t view you perfectly, but Scripture’s view of you is that you’re a fallen human being in need of sanctification constantly.

It’s also easy to blame everything in the marriage on one spouse in particular. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. None of you gets off with a free pass. In every conflict that takes place, including in marriage, it is rarely ever a case of 100-0 with percentage of ownership. Most everyone does something wrong. Even if you are the one that owns the 1%, you need to own that 1%.

Thurman also admits in the book that he himself is still at times believing some of these lies. Odds are that we will never grow entirely out of believing the lies, but that is something that we aim for every day. No one is doing marriage perfectly. The best marriage seminar experts out there still have their marital struggles.

In the book, Thurman ends each section with some truths on the issues to see where the distortions really lie. He takes you through a step by step process and then includes things you can do to help along the process of change. These also include honest confessions to your spouse of ways that you have erred on the path and a prayer that you can pray to help you on the journey. That makes this a good book then for couples to also read together and then they can discuss the lies that they find. (No doubt with some, “See? I told you so,” showing up.

I would have liked to have seen more in this book on the issue of sexuality in marriage, especially since this is one of the big areas that couples fight about in marriage. It would be good to know how the lies couples believe apply to that area. I also did at times not agree with some of the interpretation of Scripture, but none of the interpretation I recall really changed the essential point of each of the lies.

This is a good book for couples to go through together. Both husband and wife could then learn together how they are believing things that are false and how they can improve. The more lies that are removed from a marriage, the better it will be.

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

 

Another Example Of Why Apologetics Is Needed

What can happen when apologetics is not taught? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife found a video recently about a girl who abandoned Christianity and then made it her goal to lose her virginity. I wanted to know if there was more to the story as issues relating to a true understanding of sexuality and apologetics are both important to me. It didn’t take long to find a column she’d written on this.

The column is really a good one and there’s not much going after Christianity in it. Sadly, it looks like the girl, Arla Knudsen, grew up in a rather fundamentalist sort of Christianity. It’s interesting how the girls seem to be told the message in this while the guys are conspicuously absent. Let’s go through and see what Knudsen says.

I was 13 years old, standing on stage with a group of fellow teenagers, when our pastor announced in front of the entire congregation, “These young people have all made the righteous decision to save themselves for marriage.”

It was the grand finale to a weekend-long purity retreat, which was basically two days of journaling, praying and listening to frightening statistics about premarital sex.

We were told our virginity was the most precious wedding gift, and if we didn’t wait until marriage to have sex, we were likely to get divorced. Attendees were overwhelmingly girls.

Now there is some truth here. Obviously, saving yourself for marriage is a righteous decision. The problem is the reasons against this. It’s nothing noted about it being a wrong behavior. There’s nothing about the many purposes of sex. It’s all about “Here’s some bad stuff that could happen to you.” Even if I agreed with that, is that necessarily the best motivator?

Also, virginity is a great gift to give to your future spouse. On the evening of July 24, 2010, after my wife and I were married, I was pleased for us to be able to spend a night together and know that we had saved ourselves for marriage. Does that mean if one of us hadn’t that there would be no grace? Absolutely not! Christians are supposed to be all about grace! Of course, it means you turn from a life of sin, but it doesn’t mean that your past has to determine your future.

I also wonder again, where are the men? Now it could be that this was a church largely of girls, but I doubt that. Could this have been a ceremony for just women and not men? Possibly. Could it also be though that the men are too often seen as helpless bundles of hormones that just won’t control themselves and it’s up to the women?

I am married and I went through dating. Were there times Allie and I could have made a mistake before marriage? Absolutely. We didn’t. I had to be strong as well. It wasn’t just knowing a few Bible verses that kept me going. It was having a place for sex in my worldview and knowing how it fit. Now being a married man, I realize that much of what I said about sex was accurate, but it did not do it justice.

In a good dating relationship, both people need to have the priority set before them to save sex for marriage. There will be times where one person is weak and the other has to be strong. Your odds of successfully waiting are greatly increased if both of you can be watching yourselves.

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma where most of the community belonged to a denomination of Christianity that abstains from drinking and dancing. Growing up, I had conformed to that belief system. The cool crowd at my school wasn’t the partyers or potheads but the devout Christians.

In an attempt to fit in, there I was on stage, slipping a silver purity ring onto my finger. The ring was modest, dainty and feminine, just as I was supposed to be. I wore that ring for years. I fantasized about having it melted down and turned into my future husband’s wedding band.

It is sad that Christians are more often known for what they don’t do than for what they do do. Still, I can say that her intentions in the second paragraph are entirely noble and praiseworthy. If a woman wants to marry, she should look forward to it. She should look forward to a married life with a husband. Yet it’s around this time when we start to see problems.

I grew up believing two things. One: Love and sex are mutually exclusive. And two: My sexuality is not my own. It belonged to Jesus and then, once I married, to my husband. I sensed that my sexuality was something of great worth to other people. Whether in protecting or exploiting it, I understood that it was powerful.

For the first thing, yes, love and sex CAN BE mutually exclusive. They don’t have to be. In a good marriage, they won’t be. For me, some of my greatest times for sexual intimacy with my wife are when I am filled with the utmost love for her. For me, I cannot imagine loving my wife without us having things right between us in the bedroom.

The second point is a bit concerning. Knudsen’s sexuality does belong to her. Sure, Jesus has charge over her body ultimately, but he’s entrusted it to her to use it to serve Him. When she gets married, will her body belong to her husband? Yes it will. 1 Cor. 7 tells us that. Here’s what else it tells us. His body will belong to her. Both spouses bodies belong to each other. Allie’s body belongs to me. My body belongs to her.

The way Knudsen puts it, it is practically as if her body is something for her husband only and could sadly be a means of satisfying his own desires. Ideally, the body is meant to be a vessel to communicate love. The desires themselves are not wrong. A husband should desire his wife and a wife should desire her husband. The problem comes when a wife is viewed as a release valve by her husband to take care of the sexual tension he feels. He doesn’t care about the intimacy with her then. He just cares about release. It’s also a problem if the wife sees it the same way. In that sense, she then automatically assumes her husband is using her and doesn’t really care about her for her. Men. Don’t treat your wives like a piece of meat to be used for your consumption but treat her as a person. Ladies. Try to realize that for many a man out there, when he wants to be sexual with you, it’s not because he feels built up pressure alone, but because he feels a great love for you and telling him no can be heard to him as “I just don’t have the desire for you that you have for me.”

It’s hard for me to pinpoint why I stopped believing. It had to do with the increasingly obvious hypocrisy within my own community. Girls would use prayer requests as a mode of gossip, saying things like, “I have a prayer request for Hannah because I heard she had sex with Tanner.”

This is indeed a problem. Gossip in churches is often disguised as a prayer request. Unfortunately, had apologetics been taught, Knudsen would have had something to fall back on. Sure, these Christians are hypocrites, but I know Jesus rose from the dead because of XYZ.

Hypocrisy to me is actually one of the oddest reasons for leaving. It’s akin to saying I reject Darwinian Evolution because it was used with eugenics and other such things. Okay. That would be a terrible use of the theory, but does that prove the theory itself is wrong? One proves that by looking at the theory. At the same way, it does not work to say “Christians are hypocrites, therefore Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.”

At this point, imagine how things could have been different had the church been educating? There was a lot of moralizing going on, and of course we need to teach morality, but that’s not all that needs to be going on. Too often, that morality is just floating in the air with nothing to support it. As we see in this story, when the worldview goes, the moral ideas taught with it can just as quickly go.

I was also coming of age, beginning to think for myself, and realizing there are other ways to live my life. I took my ring off when I was 16.

Once my ring was gone, I didn’t fit in with the girls at my small, conservative school, so I began to try to be as different from them as possible and, in my mind, therefore better.

I adopted a sort of quasi feminism in lieu of my faith. I had a misguided idea of what a modern feminist had to be: left-leaning politically, powerful, independent and sexually liberated.

To me, sexually liberated meant promiscuous. I was not promiscuous. In fact, I had made it through my teens without even a second glance from a boy. I chalked it up to the fact that the cowboy jocks at my school just didn’t get how cool and different I was.

This is also the mindset that one sees in many internet atheists. They are the enlightened ones on Christianity as opposed to the others who still believe. Unfortunately, this makes them even harder to reach. For comments on being promiscuous, let’s wait till the next section.

But deep down, I longed to be the object of pursuit. It became my mission to lose my virginity. My friends who had already lost theirs said, “Once it’s gone, you can never get it back,” as if they were trying to hold on to their virgin status through me. But it was the only thing left I had to expel in order to erase the girl I had been on that stage.

I thought that once I was no longer a virgin, I would finally be free. I wanted to claim a new sense of identity. I wanted to be free to sleep with other men. I wanted the pressure of my “first time” to be gone.

I do want to state that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the object of pursuit. Both men and women want to be wanted. If you’re in a marriage, remember both of you want to be wanted. There’s a story about a lady being told in marriage counseling once that her husband would have a love affair with someone so let it be her.

But notice this person is not wanting sex for the magic of sex and the joy of the love, but simply as a status symbol. One wonders what kind of status symbol this is on the dating market. Contrary to what is thought, many men do want to marry virgins. If dating, they can also often lose respect for a girl if she’ll sleep with them. After all, if she did it for me, who else has she done it for?

There’s also something that Chesterton once said. When a man knocks on the door of a brothel, he’s looking for God. God is someone who pulls us out of ourselves, but the next best thing for that is sex. Sex is a very transcendent experience where you can lose sight of your inhibitions and such and become much more passionate and excited.

This wouldn’t happen for me until after I graduated, when I moved New York City for college, lost 30 pounds and went blond.

At the Fashion Institute of Technology, where 85 percent of students are women, the dating scene was bleak. So on weekends, I would go to college bars, dressed in black, and marvel at the guys who wanted to buy me drinks and tell me I was pretty, all in the feeble hope that I might go home with them.

They seemed as if they would do anything. But I had certain criteria for that man. First, I had to be able to trust him. Second, I could not be in love with him. While I expected him to care about me, I wanted to have the upper hand.

First off, yes ladies. For many a man, sex can be such a strong drive that a man will say anything for an evening with you. I challenge you with this suggestion. If you want to know how much a man wants you, then tell him he has to make a lifelong commitment in a wedding ceremony to have you. If he’s not willing, he’s just put a limit on how much he wants you.

Second, it’s a shame that this person had already separated sex from love. In that sense, sex becomes a selfish act. It’s all about using the other person then. Knudsen wanted to be able to control the relationship and usually in a relationship, the person who has the most control is the person that the relationship means the least to. She wanted that.

Knudsen goes on to talk about meeting a guy named Zach. The details don’t really matter. What does matter is how she gets to what happened.

Once we were in bed, things came to a standstill. I stopped kissing him and delivered the classic line, “What are you thinking right now?”

“I don’t know. What are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking I want you to be my first,” I said, “if you’re comfortable with that.” I didn’t want to be some meek little girl who was too scared to ask for what she wanted.

“O.K.,” he replied with a smile.

“I want you to know, it’s really important to me that we remain friends after this. I know I live halfway across the country, and this isn’t going to be a relationship, but I would like you to be a part of my life.”

He agreed to this.

I was surprised by how quickly it was over. It was painful yet gratifying. Zach was careful and quiet. I felt so responsible that we used protection and I remembered to go to the bathroom right after. I did everything exactly right. Afterward, he held me while fighting the urge to sleep.

Once again, if you have the man in bed and he’s ready to go, he will say to and agree to just about anything for that. The bedroom is not the place to be making deals like that. In fact, that can be a way of using sex as a weapon, which can happen even in marriage.

Second, everything Knudsen was saying did indeed say, as she realizes later on, that she’s using him. “I want you to be my first.” (You’re a conquest for me.) “I want us to be friends but not in a relationship.” (This isn’t about knowing and loving you. It’s about having sex.) It was not about what he wanted other than the obvious of “Do you want to have sex?” which most guys will easily say yes to.

Unfortunately for women, it’s much easier for men to have sex and then disconnect emotionally. This doesn’t mean emotional connection through sex isn’t possible. When I meet young men who are Christians and waiting till marriage and engaged, I try to talk to them before they get married about what to expect on the wedding night. I ask them if they really love the girl. They tell me they do, and then I tell them I am sure they’re right and that they don’t have a clue. Once they get to their honeymoon night and have sex, everything changes. Love takes on a whole new meaning.

For guys like myself, it is an incredible emotional connection. Time with Allie like that leaves me with a great awe of the woman I married and how thankful I am and with intense confidence in myself. Women. You really don’t realize the power you can have in the life of a man so often. You will influence the man in your life one way or the other. It’s up to you what kind of influence you want to be.

One more thing, and this applies even if you’ve waited for marriage. If your idea of what sex is like comes from movies and TV, then get rid of it. It’s not really accurate. Everything always goes perfectly in the media. Real life is not like that as most married couples will tell you.

I didn’t stay the night. I wanted to sleep in my own bed. As I drove down the highway, windows open and the radio buzzing, I did feel a sense of freedom and empowerment. I had set out to do something and had done it on my terms.

This sense of satisfaction didn’t come from having a fulfilling sexual experience; it came from the fact that I now thought I had nothing left to lose.

If you want to be free, sex will not bring you freedom. It’s not meant to. In fact, it’s meant to do the opposite. It’s meant to bind you. Sex is meant to bind you to that other person and when it’s separated from that, it becomes harder and harder to form an emotional bond through sex. Note in saying that I am not saying you have sex so you can have an emotional bond. You should have that first. I am saying sex builds up the emotional bond. In a good marriage, it should be that the couple has an emotional bond which leads to an expression through sex, which leads to a greater emotional bond, which leads to more sex, which leads to, well, you get the picture. It’s a beautiful circle and there is not a law of diminishing returns. One’s spouse is not like a game one buys at a store that loses replay value. That’s because persons are not games like that. They’re intensely interesting.

The night I landed back in New York, he sent me a text: “missing you.” After that, our communication was restricted to my drunk texts that went unacknowledged by him. I thought about him a lot in the following months. I lurked on his Facebook page. What was he doing? Was he thinking about me?

Was he? Well quite likely, no. You see, a man sadly, no matter how Christian he is, can easily have a rolodex of images of women in his mind. Many times, if he’s Christian, he doesn’t want them. He would rather have only his spouse in his mind. This is another great benefit a wife can give her husband. Be the desire of his eyes so much that he will think about you constantly because he gets to see you.

Knudsen wanted to make sure the sex was nothing serious and was just another activity they did together. What a surprise that Zach thought the same way then. If he wants sex, she’s already said there’s nothing special about her because it’s not going to be a relationship. He doesn’t have to be bound to her or pay attention to her. He can just go to the next girl.

After a particularly brutal, lonely winter, I decided I needed to visit home, and my desire to see Zach played a large part in that decision. I thought if I went home, I could figure out what was going on between us.

The answer was nothing. While I was home, I posted on every social media platform announcing I was back in town, hoping he would see it and contact me. When that didn’t work, I texted him. He texted back but evaded any suggestion to meet up. By the end of my trip, I knew he simply didn’t care.

Sadly, you’re right. He didn’t. What reason had been given to care. In fact, you’d already shown that in that sense, you didn’t care about him. More on this later.

I hadn’t romanticized my first time. I never thought we were in love. I never expected good sex. I never expected to have feelings afterward. And I certainly didn’t expect to feel rejected. I thought if I did everything right, I could control the emotions involved in physical intimacy.

But you can’t. Feelings will come. It’s up to you what you do with them, but when you deaden the positive feelings that come with sex, you make it harder and harder to bond through sex. It’s playing a dangerous game to open loose a can of emotions and think that you can survive when it happens, and sex is certainly a giant can to be opening.

I often tell people that sex is like nuclear energy. It’s beautiful and wonderful when used in the proper place and way and can lead to extremely powerful results, but let it loose where it doesn’t belong and it becomes Chernobyl. It has a massive destructive power.

Also, when a woman does have sex, she releases a great deal of Oxytocin. This is a bonding chemical. It’s especially released during sex to help with the bonding process and it happens with men and women both. It is indeed a powerful sensation for someone to have and in marriage can greatly serve its purpose. Outside of that, it can be harder and harder to form a bond.

I was mad at Zach because I assumed he had used me. In reality, I had used him for something maybe even worse than physical gratification; I used him for a feeling of power, superiority and freedom. And when I realized he didn’t care, I let him take those feelings away.

I thought losing my virginity would liberate me, and in a sense it did. I learned that no matter how calculating I am — right guy, right time, right place — I can’t control other people’s feelings, or even my own. And there’s a strange freedom in that knowledge. It allowed me to let go.

I am unclear what she let go of at the end, but I can say she is right. She used him and she let herself be used. She used him and he used her. It’s a shame that sex got reduced to an activity just for fun instead of a bonding together of two people who really love and care about each other.

If I could say something to Knudsen today, it would be that first off, I hope she’ll consider seriously investigating the claims of Jesus. Did He rise from the dead? I would hope she would know her life has purpose and meaning and she’s worth more than just sex.

Second, I would not want her to see herself as damaged goods. Yes. She made a mistake. It doesn’t change her worth. Every woman is worth more than the universe. Every woman is worth a lifelong commitment. There is no reason to sell themselves short. I would hope that she would find someone if she wants to marry who will treat her like a princess and be faithful to her. I hope she will be faithful to him and treat him like the man that he is.

Ladies. Please never let yourselves be used for sex. Your beauty is a great draw to us men and we do want that beauty, but if a man really wants your beauty, he will do whatever it takes, and that means he will make a lifelong commitment. He will let you know how much that beauty is worth to him.

When I think that my wife trusts me with her sacred body and lets me look at her beauty, it makes me think that I want to live the rest of my life a better man just to be worthy. It is a generosity that I can never repay. To behold her and love her is a privilege.

And men, in turn, never use the women in your life. Don’t cheapen them. Don’t sell yourself short either. You are also worth a lifelong commitment. If you want a way to have someone you can have for sex, marriage is a great way. It’s the way God designed for us. Marry the woman you love and then spend the rest of your life showing her how much you love her.

Sex is sacred. I hope Knudsen realizes that. I hope you and I realize that too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters