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

Book Plunge: The Path of Intimacy

What do I think of Scott Means’s book published by HMM Resources, LLC? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is a short book. You could conceivably read it in an evening. When the lights went out at a recent Super Bowl party, since I don’t care about the game except for the commercials, I spent a lot of time on my Kindle going through this book. Like I said, it is short, but short does not mean that it does not contain valid information. This is actually a very helpful book.

Looking at my notes, I find I have several notes which means there were several points I wanted to mention. There is no way I could mention all of them. The basis of the book is that every couple really wants intimacy. Now we have to be careful about that term. If we use it wrongly, a lot of people can misunderstand it. Guys, for instance, don’t often think as much in terms of emotions. They still want intimacy and it’s more than sex. They want to be wanted and desired by their wives and know that their wives see them as the man. Wives often want a place that is safe and secure and to be loved for who they are.

Means teaches us that we are all on the path to intimacy or separation every day by the actions that we do. Naturally, no one is going to bat 1,000 every day. Still, we should be on the watch for how we treat one another. Are we accepting or rejecting one another? Is it possible that many marriages consist of just excellent roommates?

The reality is the drift takes place naturally if we don’t do enough to sustain the relationship. If your husband seems to get angrier a whole lot easier and be more impatient for it, there’s a reason for it and you might need to look back at what you’re doing. If your wife is withdrawing from you and not wanting sexual intimacy as much, there’s a reason for it and you might need to look at yourself.

All of us should be doing that anyway, but these things don’t just happen out of nowhere. They come for a reason and sometimes, it’s the little things that we have been doing. A woman can reject her husband in ways that she might not even recognize. A husband can do the same with his wife. These are often called bids where the other person wants to know how they rank to the other and many times, the answer is “Not much.” Not that that’s intentionally said, but that is what happens.

Means tells us that intimacy is to be fully and completely loved. You are also to do this without each of you losing who you really are. The man is still to be fully a man. The woman is fully a woman. It is their differences that make them a good combination.

Intimacy when done right is what keeps us from being excellent roommates. Intimacy in marriage makes it unique from every other relationship you have. Marriage is not meant to be a so-so relationship where you just go through motions. It’s meant to be one of joy where the two of you are happy with each other and delight in each other.

Means tells us that we will have intimacy to the degree we’re willing to be transparent and vulnerable. Can we really share who we are? Sex is the ultimate physical expression of this as two people being naked and intimate don’t have much more that they can share with one another physically. It would be a mistake to limit it to that. You can have all the passion you want in the bedroom, but still not have total intimacy. Intimacy includes every aspect of your life. It is physical, emotional, sexual, and yes, spiritual.

Shame is often the barrier to this. When we have shame, we hide part of ourselves from the other. Shame is a blocker to your spouse’s love and thus the enemy of intimacy. By all means, you are not perfect, but a loving spouse can love you and accept you even in your imperfection. Grace is the solution to this. Grace is a key to intimacy.

Which means guys, as Means says, grace is the love that you have to show if you really want that wife of yours to ‘get naked’ with you. It will be hard for her to bare her body to you if she doesn’t think she can trust you with what’s in her soul. A lot of guys want that passionate sexual relationship, but they don’t want to put forward the work to have it.

That also means spouses need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. What they do, they do out of love. A man hates to be nagged, but maybe sometimes he should try to see it as his wife wanting to love him so he can be the best he can be. A wife will often complain that sex is all her husband thinks about, but maybe she should see that that is how he best experiences love.

For the women with that, Means also wants you to know that sex is for you. Many a woman has been told that she should just act like she enjoys it and that it’s really something for the men. Women who think like that are cheating themselves and denying themselves a joy that is rightfully theirs. They are denying themselves the joy of their husband’s full love which is something that will also build him up and dare I say it, but the more a woman participates in sex with her husband, the more she will desire it.

Too many spouses make the move of withholding love in some way until their spouse changes. Now there are some rare exceptions I think this is justified. If your husband is watching pornography, then I can understand saying no to sex until he starts working on that problem. Most of us aren’t talking about those. We’re talking about withholding as a form of vengeance. Men can do this too. Not necessarily with sex, but often through other things their wives love. (Like I’m going to help you out around the house!) Both persons should seek to outgive the other. If the other person isn’t doing what they should be doing, that’s on them and for them to work out with God. You are not their Holy Spirit.

Doing this will also mean knowing how your spouse wishes to be loved. My wife’s love language is gifts. She often thus wants to buy me something as an expression of her love. It’s nice, but it doesn’t mean the same to me as when I buy her a gift. Meanwhile, my love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. If my wife wants to make me feel loved, a little touch can often be all that it takes to change my mood. Don’t love how you want to be loved. Love how they want it.

Also, don’t keep score. It makes it seem like you two are working on a contract instead of a covenant. I will do X when you’ve done Y. You should do this for me. You owe it after all that I’ve done for you!

Instead, we should just be striving to be the best spouse we can be. We can’t change our spouse. We can influence them and we will, but we should always be working on ourselves. How can we be better for that person we’ve promised our lives too? Is there any other person we should work on the relationship with more?

If any competition should take place aside from friendly competition if both of them like to play games, it’s the competition to outdo one another. If your husband wins, you win. If your wife wins, you win. Take joy in what brings them joy, provided it is something that is truly good for them. A wife should not take joy in her husband’s porn.

Try to view things also as privileges. You get the chance to serve one another. You get the chance to love one another. Love is not meant to be a duty. It is meant to be a privilege.

Keep in mind that I have highlighted just some of the points in this wonderful little book. I really recommend married couples get it and go through it together if possible. This is a short read again, but it will be a read that you benefit from.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Book Plunge: If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy.

What do I think of Rhonda Stoppe’s book published by Harvest House Publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I make it a point to read books on marriage regularly and though this one was meant for the wives, I found it on a Kindle sale and decided to pick it up. I want to understand matters from a woman’s perspective after all. Rhonda Stoppe is writing from the perspective of a pastor’s wife to women who are believing very foolish things about marriage.

I know very well that we men are just as guilty, but this book is for the women. Each chapter also ends with a note from her husband Steve. There are also references to their website so you can see a video of her and Steve talking about the issue under question.

She emphasizes at the start that the way to love your husband best, and anyone else for that matter, is to love God first. If you are in a marriage and you and your spouse are both loving God first, loving each other will come much more easily. It’s a sort of win-win. You have a good walk with God and you have a better marriage as a result.

She also rightly says that if you make it about your feelings, then you’re going to suffer for it. Feelings are something that change and are unstable. We all know this. Strangely enough, so many of us still like to base reality on our feelings. Your marriage is not about a promise to have good feelings towards one another. It’s about a promise to love one another and do good to one another.

She’s also correct that men tend to thrive on respect more than they do on love. A man does not want his wife to be another mother. He wants someone who relies on him, believes in him, and who celebrates his accomplishments. In essence, he wants someone who will look at him and say “You are my man.” (Yes women! We would love to hear that and even more to have it shown to us!)

She also notes that your husband isn’t perfect, and this mainly in a chapter about how women believe their marriage would be better if they were prettier. Your husband cannot do for you what only God can. I’d also like to say at this point that we already find you beautiful anyway. That’s one reason we married you. As much as you might think you’re not beautiful, we think about that body of yours that you don’t think is beautiful much more than you realize and we think it’s much more beautiful than you realize.

This is followed by the chapter on sex, a chapter I was certainly very eager to get to as a man. In this, she says

“So why are wives so resistant to minister to their husband’s need for sex? The most common reason is selfishness, plain and simple. Because of our sin nature, the basic problem all people have is a preoccupation with self. In short, every sin results from this preoccupation. (Yes, I just implied that not having sex with your husband is a sin that stems from selfishness.)”

At this, most every Christian man in the world wants Rhonda Stoppe to come and give a talk at his church. One of my favorite Family Feud clips is of Steve Harvey asking the question that was asked to 100 married men. I would blank for sex. Every guy who answers, except for the final one who listened to the women, nailed it. The women always missed. As Steve says in it, “You don’t know how deep this runs with us!”

This often shows a disconnect that Rhonda understands. Sex to a man is far more than getting his game on for a physical release. It is the way we feel desired and adored and wanted by our wives. It is the way that we know we are the man. Duty sex itself won’t do this. The more passion you give a man, the more you will empower that man. This is an honest need in a man’s life.

The problem I think is that too many women do think that a man is just wanting a physical joy with his wife instead of realizing that this is often how he connects emotionally as well. Dare I say it, but it’s a prideful attitude just like Rhonda says. Too often women expect their men to be more like them and thus more “refined” as it were and that their husband is a lowly and filthy creature for wanting sex. Not at all.

Rhonda also says that to remember your kids won’t always need you. Your husband will always need you in his life. Don’t replace the husband with the kids. Too many marriages have the marriage centered around the children. This should never be.

She is also right in saying that a husband wants a joyful wife. Be someone that your husband enjoys being around. Be a source of joy. That doesn’t mean never ever be sad and come to him in pain if you really are that way, but it does mean try to have joy around him.

For housework, most men don’t care about a house being spotless. They would much rather that the house just be livable. To go back to what was said above, many men would be far more happy if women who are so eager to make sure the house is perfect would spend more time working on the areas that they’re concerned about the most.

Rhonda will deal with many myths in the book. Most every wife would likely hold to a couple of them at least. There are many myths that men believe as well, but this is for the women. I appreciate Rhonda’s book here and it is one I can easily recommend to wives.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Something Worth Guarding

What do you do with what matters most? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today, my wife Allie and I have been married for seven and a half years, which is incredible to think about. It really seems like something incredible to realize that when I go so many places, I have my wife going with me. That is a treasure. When I get together with other couples, we are just that, a couple. When I get together with my own family, we are together and it seems odd to think I sleep next to my wife in the room I used to have to myself alone.

One question asked to me today was about relationships with other women. This is something I keep guard on. Why? Picture you have a safe-deposit box at the bank. What are you going to put in it? Will you put in the groceries you bought at the store today? Will you put in a bottle of medicine you bought over-the-counter at the drugstore? Will you put in a can of cat food you bought at the pet store?

Or will you more likely put in fine jewelry, important documents you have, money, family heirlooms, etc. Why? These are things of far greater value. They need to be guarded and protected. What matters most is what you protect the most.

In earthly relationships, my marriage matters the most to me. That is why I guard it. In my ministry capacity, I often have to answer questions from women that get in touch with me. For a simple question, that is fine, but if it becomes anything involving intimate issues, then I always ask if my wife can be in the correspondence. If this is not agreed to, I tell them I must pass them off to a female who can answer their questions.

Most affairs do not start out with a guy getting out of bed one day and saying “You know what? I think today would be a good day to cheat on my wife.” They start with a guy in an innocent relationship with a woman, perhaps at the office, and she starts giving him some attention that he likes. He starts talking to her and before too long, he’s joining her on her lunch break or vice-versa. The relationship is emotional but as that emotion starts to build up, the people in it want to turn it physical and lo and behold, they wind up at a hotel together.

This is also why I follow the Pence rule. A lot of people mocked Pence when that came out. (I do realize it is not original to Pence, but it is called that often.) If Harvey Weinstein had followed this rule, how different would things have turned out? My relationship with my wife is not worth risking.

Also, this means that pornography has absolutely no place whatsoever in my marriage. I never look at the stuff. If it accidentally pops up on my computer, I feel awful. I go and tell Allie about it immediately. I don’t want her to ever be on my computer and see a link come up that makes her wonder what I’ve been doing.

Sexual fidelity is a major deal for me. Allie is the only woman I have ever had sex with and I intend to keep it that way. Why would I want another woman in my head when I’m with my wife? Do I dare want to say that Allie is not good enough for me? Absolutely not! I regularly tell her she’s the most beautiful sight I have ever seen! Just the chance to see her and be with her has been a great motivation in my life for necessary change that I need.

Being on the spectrum, we also have therapy together and that is a great benefit to our relationship. We have no problem going to other people when we are in a tough situation and getting their input. That’s just seeking wisdom and we realize many people have been married far longer than we have been and know a lot more.

I also do the steps to maintain our relationship everyday. If you are on Facebook and are friends with me, you know that I don’t post on Sunday, but every other day, I post something about how I love my wife. People also know that I can be mild-mannered. I can sometimes be rough in a debate with a skeptic, but there are limits.

Yet if anyone dares to insult my Allie on there, then people know the rule. Stay back and get out popcorn. Rage is the only word to describe it. You could say my philosophy then is “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” I take no prisoners and I let anyone have it who dares to go after her. Efforts to calm me down in that state are pointless. You might as well try to calm down the Hulk when he goes into a rage.

It also means you plan in advance for birthdays and anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Our anniversary is on July 24th. That means that planning for the next year begins on July 25th. As it stands, I am right now considering multiple options for what I will do on that day. Normally also, book sales that I have saved up under my ministry partner are used to support what I want to do that day.

This requires intentional work. This requires sacrifice. It also requires many times going against my feelings. There are times my wife wants me to do something and I don’t really feel like doing it. Imagine she needs something and I have just sat down and want to read my book and hear, “Nick. Will you go to the store and get some milk?” My wife can’t drive due to a brain injury, so I have to do it. I can assure you I don’t want to do it most of the time. I don’t feel like doing it. I would love it if someone else could do it. I still do it. Why? Because I love her and if there is something my wife needs and my feelings don’t care for it, my feelings have to take a back seat.

If you build your relationship on your feelings, you’re dooming it to failure. No feeling can last forever. It shouldn’t even. Many of us could not focus at all if even positive feelings always lasted forever. Sometimes, negative feelings will show up, and you have to go against them. There are always little foxes seeking to destroy the relationship.

Christianity plays an integral part in what we do as well. When it comes to nighttime, before we go to sleep, we read a little bit from the Bible and then we pray together. Prayer is something we turn to in crisis. We’re also available when we need it to do ministry. We make an interesting team. I tell people I’m the head and she’s the heart. If you want someone to really listen to you and emphasize with you and feel your pain with you, go talk to her. She’s better. If you want someone who can reach your head and answer your questions, come to me.

Today, one of the greatest reasons I am the man I am today is because of my wife. She has transformed me in ways that even my own parents who have known me longest in my life think of as remarkable. My old roommate before I married Allie knows I used to pretty much have frozen pizza en masse in the freezer for my dinner every evening. When I told him that is no longer the case because Allie has changed my diet, he just said “Wow.”

If you have a marriage, work to build it. Should your spouse work to build it too? Yeah, but if they’re not, that doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility. Of course, this is different if you are in a relationship where you are actively being abused or the children are being abused. In that case, get out while you can. At least go with separation for the time being and demand that the offending spouse get some therapy and don’t go back into the relationship until a therapist okays it. (Of course, you also don’t be going and having affairs with other people in a time of separation.)

If you think your marriage is valuable, you will cultivate it. If you don’t, you won’t. The reality is that if something is important to you, you spend time on it and learn about it and do what you can with it. My wife is a gift and I treasure the relationship with her and it’s always new to me. Some things never get old. Loving my wife is one of them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters