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

 

 

Celebrating Goodness

Is there good in the world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you do Christian apologetics for any time, you will come across the problem of evil. If there is really a good God who made this world, why is there so much evil? This is a good question to ask, but I wish to focus on one Chesterton would have said back. If there is no God, why is so much that is in this world good?

We could understand how our bodies need food. We would not understand why it is it would taste good. We understand we need to drink. Why did it have to be refreshing? Why do there have to be so many colors in the world? The human species has to reproduce to survive. That does not explain why sex has to be so awesome and fun.

Why are there good things? Most of us do share some broad agreement as to what is good. This does not mean that all good things are good all the time. This is the problem of addiction. There is nothing in themselves wrong with food, sex, or alcohol. There is something wrong when these are made the ultimate.

Pleasure is not the idea of the devil. It’s the idea of God. 1 Tim. 6:17 tells us God gives us all things richly for our enjoyment. When I did my senior sermon at my Bible College, I did it on wonder and someone suggested I use a Moody Magazine story that was a cover story called “Is It Right To Enjoy My Life?” What a shame when we think Christianity teaches that one should not enjoy life.

I encourage you also to take a look at simple pleasures in your life today and give thanks for them. I thought about this last night when I was going to bed and getting some water that I keep by my side. Water is something good and refreshing and we are fortunate today that for us, it’s so free and accessible.

I have a library all around me that many people in the ancient world would have loved to have had. I can access still more books at the local library and can carry around several on a Kindle. I have food in the cabinets. I can do evangelism by blog, podcats, Facebook, etc. in ways that St. Paul could have only dreamed of.

You all know I won’t forget I have a beautiful wife who loves me and who I get to love. That is a truly unique treasure. It is the great one that I celebrate regularly.

And of course, there is salvation in Jesus Christ. I am forgiven. God is with me in life and death.

When we go to small group at our church, we meet at the house of one of the couples and there is something in their bathroom that says “Believe there is good in the world.” There is. When you believe that, you ultimately have to come to God and thank Him for His goodness. Every good thing you have, it is a gift. You did not earn it. You do not deserve it. You could not do anything for God that He would be obligated to give it to you. It is all a gift.

Live as if you are blessed, because you are.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Honoring Your Body

Do we treat the body as sacred? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, Sean McDowell shared a news story about a Cornell University student who gave her thesis statement in her underwear. She had gone for jeans and shorts and her professor asked her if that’s what she wanted to wear. (Her professor is a woman.) The professor said that how you present yourself makes a statement.

Thus, in the middle of the talk, Chai, the young girl giving the presentation to her class, stripped down to bra and panties. She then asked other students to be willing to do the same. 28 did so. I found out today that it was livestreamed so not only did the class see this, but anyone on Facebook could have as well.

I hate to say it, but honestly, in our day and age, my first thought was I was surprised she didn’t strip down entirely. As the Town Hall article shows, no one thought it was a joke. When I saw the headline shared on Twitter yesterday, I certainly didn’t.

It’s an oddity that women do this thinking that they will be respected as women for this. It’s the same thing when they have topless marches. Ladies. If a man wants to find a woman he can respect, he doesn’t go to a strip club. What a woman says there more often is that she’s easy.

This is also something going on today with the culture of sexting. Now I realize there are clubs where men strip and I realize that men do sexting as well, but let’s face it. Of the two sexes, the women are the far fairer of them. Women are prone to talk about their beauty and compare themselves with one another. Men do in their own way, but you won’t often find a man telling another man how handsome he is.

What sexting and this event have in common is that they treat the body as common. A person’s body is indeed how they present themselves. They present themselves as someone to be honored or else as an object.

Let’s be clear on this. Women are beautiful. My wife’s body is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Shaunti Feldhahn has a quote from an anonymous husband that reflects the thinking of many of us. When a man undresses his wife, it’s like opening a Christmas present. It’s good every time.

When I talk to friends who are single, if the topic of marriage comes up, I often think “You really don’t know what you’re missing.” Traditionally, one of the gifts of marriage has been the freedom to share the gift of sex with someone. Sadly, our culture is going away from that and treating sex like it’s just a common good.

When a woman wears clothing, it’s not because she’s ashamed of herself. It’s because she honors herself and she doesn’t want that which is glorious to be put at the mercy of others, including others who would misuse her. Think that doesn’t happen? Think again.

Consider the story of Amanda Todd. She was given a webcam to use with her computer. While in 7th grade, she was with some people on the webcam and no doubt being praised, when one person got her to flash the audience. A year later, she started being stalked by someone who knew all about her. After some time, she ended up committing suicide.

I have often told ladies that sexuality is one way they announce to the world how much they’re worth in their eyes. If a man wants to have sex with a woman, what does it take for her to give in? A dinner? Three dates? A month? Three months? Engagement? Marriage? One of those points will be where you say “You have gone the distance required to fully enjoy my love.” After that, many a man will not feel a need to go much further. This is why I encourage marriage to be the standard. Let it be that you let any man know that you are worth a lifetime commitment.

My wife will sometimes ask me about certain outfits. There are many that I will say I do not think she should wear in public, but if she wants to in the privacy of our home, that’s just fine with me. Why? Because I’m the only one who gets the honor of seeing my wife’s body. I enjoy being the man who gets to look over at her and know that I am the one who gets to know her entirely and that no one else gets that honor.

The student might have been wanting to win the respect of her classmates and show we’re all human, but I don’t need to see a woman strip down to her underwear to know she’s a human being. I can also assure her she did not win respect but rather lost it, particularly in the eyes of men who can often be on the lookout for a woman they think is easy. It’s much easier often for a man to separate love from sex after all.

A woman is to be honored and how she presents herself will tell if she thinks she is honorable or not. If the highest good a woman can provide is sex, then that is how they will act. If a woman thinks she is worth far more than just sex, she will act that way as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: God On Sex

What do I think of Danny Akin’s book published by B&H books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Turn on the TV. What will you often see? Sex. Listen to the radio. What’s on the news? Sex. Look on Facebook or go to the water cooler. What’s being talked about? Sex. Go to church? What’s being talked about?

Anything but sex.

Which is a shame. We don’t impact the world if we don’t talk about what is being talked about. One great reason we should do so is because the Bible itself talks about sex and talks about it a lot. The Bible begins with the marriage of Adam and Eve and ends with the marriage of Christ and the church. Sex shows up many places in the middle. Most notably, it shows up in the Song of Songs. This is a poem in the Bible all about sex and marriage, one so blatant that many of the fathers felt a need to allegorize the book.

This is also Danny Akin’s favorite book. I find that quite pleasing to hear. We can often think about those in ministry as being caught in spiritual matters all day long so they don’t have time for such interests. This is a nonsense view. Sex is a spiritual interest because it is celebrated regularly in the Bible. It is the image of the love between Christ and the church. If you do not understand sex, you will not fully understand the love of God.

Akin’s book is a commentary on the book. He goes through and sees what the text has to say about sex and marriage. Throughout, he spices it up (No pun intended) with information from various sources on how marriage is done right and the importance of sex in marriage.

Sometimes, some of these can be a bit of a stretch. It can remind me of having the right message with the wrong text. I suppose it is understandable as many things need to be said in our day and age that weren’t specifically in mind when Solomon wrote his song.

Sometimes, I did want some texts looked at a bit more. There were a few portions that could be sped through. I also can’t say I entirely agree with how the chronology of the story is always played. I think Walter Kaiser in his book on the Song has the best chronology I’ve seen.

That being said, the positive material in here is indeed positive. It can be quite amusing and funny to talk about. What is in here can help a couple who is trying to rekindle the fire or help a young couple that is preparing for marriage. In our day and age, young men and women need to hear a whole lot more about what’s coming besides “Just wait until you’re married” and until then that sex is dirty.

You will also hear about problems of cohabitation and divorce and other such things. Marriage is something we need to have defended in our world today. One of the steps in defending it is living it well and good sex between husband and wife is highly important for that.

I encourage the reading of Akin’s book. It is very readable and easy to read. The language is good and simple for husbands and wives to read together or for fiances to read together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 3/17/2018: Rhonda Stoppe

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

It takes two to tango in marriage and sometimes, women who marry Prince Charming find out he’s not really all that charming after awhile and is just a royal pain. It’s easy to look and think that all the problem lies with him. Also, it could be that the problem isn’t with him, but you know, you have to change something with yourself in order to be loved.

This isn’t to say that the husband is necessarily a saint. Sometimes, complaints can be true, but what can women do to improve their marriages? What are women doing to undermine their marriages? Are there some lies that a woman is believing about her husband that are undermining her marriage?

Rhonda Stoppe says there are. She’s my guest to talk about her book If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy And Other Myths Wives Believe. Rhonda writes to women to help them see past the lies that they are believing and how defeating these lies can help them live free in their marriages and in Christ. The book also has a note from her husband who is a pastor at the end of each chapter.

So who is she?

According to her bio:

Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. Rhonda is an evangelist who meets women at the point of their desperation and shows them the way to Christ. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night is what audiences say at her No Regrets Woman Conference where she helps women break free from the regrets that hold them back––beginning with a genuine relationship with Christ.

For more about Rhonda’s women’s evangelistic conferences watch this promo video

As a pastors’ wife, author, favorite radio guest and speaker with more than 30 years experience Rhonda’s delightfully authentic teaching, grounded in sound doctrine, helps women discover significance and become more influential than they ever dreamed possible. To learn more about Rhonda’s messages and to book her for your next women’s event visit her at:NoRegretsWoman.com

Rhonda’s books (Harvest House Publishers):

-Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

If My Husband Would Change I’d Be Happy & Myths Wives Believe

Real Life Romance

The Marriage Mentor (to release 2018)

Rhonda and I will be talking about marriage and what women need to know about marriage. This is not to say those of us who are men have it all together, but we need to see material geared towards wives and towards husbands as well. Rhonda comes at this as one who has made some of the mistakes and who has a passion for marriages as well as a passion for evangelism.

I hope you’ll be looking forward to the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. I am always striving to bring forward the best material that I can and marriage material is always important to me. Please also continue going on iTunes if you can and leaving behind a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. I love to see them!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Book Plunge: Under The Sheets

What do I think of Kevin Leman’s book published by Revell? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Shortly before my marriage, I got the book Sheet Music by Kevin Leman that someone had recommended to my wife and me. When I meet someone who is getting married, I do recommend they talk to someone about sexual questions and read a good book on the topic because if your information comes from TV and the movies, you’re going to be misled. That having been said, being married doesn’t mean you understand everything entirely and there’s a different dynamic when you go to actually living together as husband and wife and having to learn to relate and sex is a big part of that.

Kevin Leman has written a book for the married couples. This one is in a different format. It’s in a form that’s quite humorous and easy to follow and the chapters are all relatively short. If you want to deal with one topic, just go to that topic.

For instance, is your husband a sex addict, or is he just a guy? Leman in this section also has something on if the wife is the higher drive person in the marriage. (And in the words of Mark Gungor, for you men in this kind of situation, let me speak on behalf of all other men when I say “We hate you.”) The sad reality though is some guys in marriage are addicts and choose to dominate their wives instead of actually loving them.

There are questions also about children and how to deal with temptation. What if it’s even to late and one has moved past the point of temptation? What if one of the persons has had an affair in the marriage or is in danger of having an affair?

Leman also can be quite blunt in a humorous way. If he thinks a guy is being an idiot, he says he would love to have five minutes alone with that guy and straighten him out. Like I said, Leman’s writing style makes the book very approachable and with 25 chapters, you’re bound to find something that you need in here.

Again, this book is also for those who are already married. If you are not yet married, save it and instead go with the book that I recommended. If you are married, this is something that can help men to understand women and women to understand men. We’re both very different and the area of sexuality is one where normally that difference comes up. This is beyond the obvious bodily difference. It’s also in the difference of how we feel about things and the way our bodies respond. One humorous aspect is that when we think about what a woman needs for sex. She needs to feel secure and safe and know she won’t be disturbed and have a deep and emotional connection.

A man needs a place.

Those differences are quite striking.

Leman’s book is a humorous and a serious look at a humorous and a serious topic. I found it to be very enlightening and informative reading. If you’re wanting to work on this area of your marriage, I highly recommend this 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

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 2/24/2018: Scott Means

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

Intimacy is something on some level everyone craves. Sometimes, we mean different things by the word. For men, it’s often very much tied to a physical connection that they feel with a woman. For women, it’s often seen as emotional and relational.

Marriages are often a place where this search takes place. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be two ships passing in the night. Both persons can have a hard time speaking each other’s language. When that happens, rather than being on the path of intimacy, the couple could be on the path of separation.

Scott Means has written The Path of Intimacy to help couples along this route. It is a good and quick read, but it is one that will be very worthwhile and has a lot of points that can be easily applied. He will also be my guest this Saturday to give an hour of his time. So who is he?

According to his bio:

As a champion for great marriages, Scott Means has been writing and teaching
about the passion and intimacy found in God’s design for marriage for more
than ten years. His mantra is “Marriage was God’s idea, so let’s do it His
way.” As a blogger, encourager, mentor, teacher, and author, Scott has
impacted thousands of marriages through his blog, books, and other marriage
resources.

Whether your marriage is missing the spark it once had or you just want it
to be great rather than good, Scott’s insights help any couple down the path
of true intimacy toward a deeply passionate and joyfully enduring marriage.

While exploring the beautiful intersection of the spiritual and marital,
Scott brings these concepts down to earth, offering practical tips and
techniques while challenging you to change the way you see your marriage. He
pushes back against many of the common marriage paradigms found through
secular wisdom, placing them in sharp contrast the wisdom found in biblical
marriage paradigms.

Scott Means will challenge, provoke, inform and, most of all, equip and
motivate you to attain the intimacy, passion, and love you’ve always dreamed
of in your marriage.

Scott is the founder of HMM Creations, LLC.

What are the mistakes couples make? What do they get right? How do we build on the path of intimacy? How do we best avoid separation? What is it that a man wants in a marriage and what is it that a woman wants? How can these two people who are so radically different ever come to unity?

Scott’s book is one that I can happily endorse. As I went through it on my Kindle, I found myself using the highlight feature over and over again. One of the great blessings in it is to realize just how important your every action is. Are each of you willing to take the steps to build on the path of intimacy, or could you just be on the way to being just excellent roommates?

Be watching for the next episode and please consider leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast on iTunes.

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

Modesty and Respect

How should victims of #MeToo live? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I had my concerns when the #MeToo movement started, but I appreciate many of the women who were in it. Real sexual abuse and sexual harassment happens. The problem is that the terms are also often too vague. There are girls who can have a guy ask them out at work and consider that sexual harassment. If a man tells a woman she is beautiful in some way, that can be called sexual harassment.

Then there are evils out there like Dr. Larry Nassar. Nassar is without a doubt a sick and twisted individual who has brought much destruction to the lives of the women that he worked with. Nassar used them for his own pleasures and their sexual peace has been sacrificed at the altar of his pleasures.

Sometimes, the response can go too far. An article in The Mighty recently spoke about Aly Raisman and her nude photos for Sports Illustrated. Normally, I would link, but I know that there are guys who will struggle and a link right there could be a problem. The link doesn’t show any frontal nudity, but it is clear that Raisman is nude in it. The writer of the piece says her appearing nude does not negate #MeToo.

The article quotes something said apparently on Instagram by Raisman.

“Women do not have to be modest to be respected– Live for you! Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy. Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best. The time where women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER. The female body is beautiful and we should all be proud of who we are, inside and out.”

Much of this is fine, but some of it makes no sense. Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy? The way Nassar expressed himself was by abusing several young women. Do we have a problem with that? We sure do. The implication here is that you should do what makes you happy, and if sex makes you happy, you should express yourself sexually however you want.

What is ignored is if there is any real purpose to sex? There are a number of purposes, but many people today only look at one purpose. Sex is there only for this one purpose and that’s it.

One such purpose of sex is the continuation of the species. Some people can’t do this because of infertility or medical reasons of some sort or financial reasons or because age has made it impossible to conceive. Another reason also is the unity of a husband and wife. Sexuality is the greatest expression of love between a husband and a wife. It is a way of saying that the two give themselves entirely to each other as they are. It’s hard to do that with your bodies if you haven’t really done it in reality yet with a marriage commitment, which is a reason why living together before marriage actually makes divorce more likely.

Of course, pleasure is on the list. Husbands and wives also do this because it’s a lot of fun. The problem is too many today treat sexuality like just a hobby. In essence, it’s treated as something common. You watch TV with your friends. You go play a sport with your friends. You have sex with some friends. Why not? It’s just another thing you do.

But what if it isn’t just another thing you do? What if it involves more than just an activity, but rather the bonding of persons? In sex, after all, oxytocin is released that bonds the man and woman together. This cannot be altered. Of course, the more you deny what comes with that bond, the more you will be going against your very own body and making it harder to bond. Sex really does change things.

Raisman also says a woman should not be modest to be respected. Okay, but that leaves us with the question of why should a woman be modest? When I go out in public, I see several women. They’re all wearing clothes. Why is that? Also, the men are wearing clothes as well. Why is that?

Are we wearing clothes because we are ashamed of our bodies? Is the only way to show love for your body and delight in your body to walk around naked all the time? If so, then we live in a society where the only people who love their bodies are the ones in nudist camps.

Or do we wear clothes for another reason? (and I don’t just mean work requirements or keeping warm) Do we wear clothes not because our bodies are something shameful, but do we wear them because they are something sacred? We don’t want to expose what is sacred to everyone else. That treats the sacred as if it was just common. We save them for the people who are really special.

The only woman who sees my body totally is my wife. The only man who sees my wife’s body totally is me. By that action alone, we each know that we are something different to each other. We are the only ones that share this unique bond. Sex takes it even further. It’s not that Allie’s body is a place of shame. In reality, it’s a place of honor, but in her life, only one person has the honor necessary to totally receive the honor she has. Likewise, there is only one person out there I consider worthy of totally giving the gift of myself to.

What happens for women who bear it all sexually? Everyone gets that, and that includes multitudes who don’t deserve that. That includes the men sitting in their basements watching porn and not going out and meeting a real woman because they just need a fake one. When they do meet real women, these real women aren’t enough for them because they’ve seen the fake ones only and expect real women to be like fake photoshopped women. There’s a reason there are men in their 20’s taking Viagra now.

A woman does not dress modestly because she is ashamed of how she looks. She does it because she honors how she looks. She wants everyone to know that she is not to be treated as common. Her body is something sacred and is not to be put out on display. Getting to see her body and all her beauty and glory is not a right that a man has. It is a privilege. A woman determines who is worthy of that privilege. If she wants to say everyone in the world is, then she has lowered herself. Everyone in the world includes some despicable people.

The response article tells us that clothing is just clothing and our bodies are just bodies and your body, your choice. Yes. You do choose what you do with your body, but notice how the writer says our bodies are “just bodies.” It’s like saying, “No big deal. This is just the human body being shared.” It is a big deal. Every human being is a big deal. If you believe every woman should be honored, then you should also not believe that they are to be treated as common.

That’s the great danger also with young women especially doing the whole sexting thing now. By doing that, you are letting a guy know that if he wants to see your body, all he has to do is have a Y chromosome. Nothing extraordinary is required. A guy is far less likely to pursue you and if he does, well he only wants to hit it and quit it. He’ll move on to the next fix after that.

Now some do say that it is always the fault of the perpetrator in sexual abuse. It is, but at the same time, if someone overeats on a diet, it is their fault, but it’s not wise for friends and family to come by and dangle unhealthy foods that the person likes right in their face. Women and men should seek to dress in a way that honors those around them. Even if those other people are not worthy of being honored, like Nassar, you deserve to be honored around them.

Does this go against #MeToo some? I think it does. So many women have rightfully complained about being treated as objects, but then act in a way that makes it more likely that they will be treated that way. Again, it’s never right to do that and that can happen sadly even in marriage. (Sorry guys, but your wife is there for more than just you having someone to have sex with and you need to treat her with honor as a person in the image of God and sacrifice for her.)

Women should feel empowered and confident as they are and not be ashamed of their bodies, but that doesn’t mean you treat them like they’re common. Go with the Christian idea of treating them like sacred vessels. Save them for a man who truly deserves that honor, say, I don’t know, by making a public lifetime commitment to you till death do you part?

In Christ,
Nick Peters