The Stigma Of Divorce

Does Divorce carry a scarlet letter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There is a stigma our society sometimes has with divorce, and this is abundantly so in the church. Thankfully, my church has a heart for the divorced so I haven’t seen this yet, but I have been told about this from others. Someone in my DivorceCare group the first time was a former Baptist minister who could no longer preach. Why? He’s divorced.

Yes, but what are the circumstances? Doesn’t matter. He’s divorced. End of story.

Someone else messaged me on Facebook to say that when their wife divorced them, they were not allowed to hold a position in the church. Why? Because an elder must be above reproach according to 1 Tim. 3. Never mind the person the letter is attributed to was a murderer of Christians in the past and called himself the chief of sinners in the first chapter. All of these are minor details.

You see, I can imagine trying to speak to a church one day about doing apologetics work for them and being asked if I’m married and my replying that I’m divorced. Now I could just say I am single, but if they look me up at all, which is likely, they will see I am divorced so no need to hide it. Then the obvious question will arise of why. I can give my side, but it is only my side. What reason do they have to believe me? I can tell them they can even contact my former in-laws, but color me skeptical that that will be considered a worthwhile use of time.

I wonder if the same will happen when I take a girl out on a date. Let’s suppose things get serious and she wants me to meet her parents. I go to do so and immediately, they want to ask me about the divorce. What if they say they hear that I was an abusive husband, for example?

This happens and it’s a real concern. It’s one of the reasons divorce is so destructive. There is a real split and it affects both parties and often people they interact with. There’s even a reality that if you have a large group of couples that are friends and one gets a divorce, the others are more likely to get a divorce.

I have a friend who has gone through a divorce because her husband was abusive. What if the same thing happened if she was wanting to work for a church. Never mind that her husband was a danger to her and could have been one to the kids. Nope. She’s divorced. Move along there.

End result of this overall? Christians who are already suffering rejection because of a divorce, and I am talking, in this case, about those who are wrongfully divorced, are further rejected by the people who are supposed to show love and grace to them the most and meet them in their suffering. Is it any wonder some people don’t want to go to church?

The church already tends to look at single Christians who are of age as if they are lesser Christians. Now picture those who are divorced. Some of us who are divorced, like myself, want to remarry. Others are just fine with staying single and have no interest. For those who are like me, it is often thought that until we get married again, we are second-class citizens. In the case of a pastor who is divorced prior, they suddenly become redeemed and useful for ministry again sometimes if they remarry.

There are ways the church can show love to the divorced regardless of if they want to remarry or not. I will get to that eventually. Before that, I do plan to do a series on what not to do and that includes statements that should never be made to a person going through or who has gone through divorce.

For all readers also, I want to let you know that these writings are coming from me after months of going through this and for the most part, carrying it privately. I have enough friends who knew what was going on, but on social media, I did not make it known publicly. I have had some of you get in touch with me making sure I am okay. For the most part, I am. Sometimes, I do have anxiety and depression hit for an acute moment. It’s one more reason I want to get health insurance. Overall, I have enough in my life to keep me going and I do plan to write eventually on what divorce is like today.

I am thankful the stigma hasn’t hit me so hard yet. I hope it never does. Most people who have only just met me seem utterly stunned when I say I have been accused of being abusive. They can tell I’m not that type. I try to remember that whatever is going on, God will use it for my good if I remain faithful to Him. I don’t know the future and how this will work out, but I never have before either. Why should now be any different?

However, my sincere thanks to all of you who are reading these posts and reaching out and contributing. Some of you have become donors on Patreon and that leaves me thankful. Some of you have subscribed to my YouTube channel. I hope also some of you have been blessed when reaching out to me as I want to help you if you’re going through divorce as well.

But to the church as a whole, please keep in mind this stigma. Not all marriages are equal, and neither are all divorces. No one is a perfect spouse, but in many cases, one spouse can be wronged greatly and be the party that is unjustly divorced. Do not treat them like they have committed the unpardonable sin. All of us have sins. Some of your sins are not mine and some of mine are not yours. All of us need grace. That includes those who have been divorced. Even those who have wrongly divorced someone need to be shown love and grace to work them to a place of forgiveness and repentance.

Please remember the divorced in your midst. It is extremely difficult for a man to have been faithful to a wife and then told he can’t help his church in the way he wants because of what was done to him. That man will be a victim twice over then. Divorce is a great evil and I still hold to that, even when it is sadly necessary due to something like abuse. Don’t compound that by adding rejection to it further.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and Anger

Does divorce bring anger? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am starting this blog late on Tuesday night and will publish it when I finish it in the morning. How has my evening been spent? Well, I work at a Walmart and am on self check-out and have customers come in after we are supposed to be closed I take it and I am all set to go but nope, some people have to buy clothes at the last minute and even past it. I am to get off at 11. It’s 11:29 when I leave.

Why do I bring this up?

Because many times, I am angry about how my life is. I have a college degree and I was not perfect, but I strived in everything to be an excellent husband. I did everything that I could for Allie and then some. However, after she told me she was filing for divorce, I stopped watching her Facebook. It was too painful for me.

Some of you have told me that there are a lot of negative statements made about me. I do want to set the record straight on some of those. I will tell you that though I didn’t have money, I tried to buy as much as I could for Allie and take her out for a date whenever I could and sought to praise her.

I still remember when she was exploring Orthodoxy that on the other end, her priest said to her about me, “What you are doing to this man is cruel.” I am certain he was talking about the lack of physical affection that I was receiving. When Allie had tried to kill herself again at the end of August, knowing the reason why, and I won’t go into that here though her brother has alluded to it some, when she got out of the hospital I told her she was staying with her parents. Something had to change after all. I could not go on with her doing what she was doing and then trying to kill herself every time.

One night she called me in tears and scared because she said some people had told her that I was abusive to her.

I honestly chuckled some. Allie says I laughed. I just said something like “Okay Allie. Who’s telling you this nonsense and what are they claiming?” Why? Because usually she’s talking to people on the internet who don’t know a thing about anything going on.

Well, the first way I was abusive was she was staying with her parents which was keeping her away from her cat. Her cat is like an emotional support animal and that is emotional abuse then. By the way, want to know where that cat is now? With me. When I told her I was moving back to Tennessee after I filed I said, “I’m taking Shiro with me” and all I heard back was “Okay.” I’m glad I did. I can afford to take care of him.

The other way was that I was sexually abusive in that I had allegedly guilted or manipulated her into having sex.

Folks. That’s so vague that 99% of spouses, husbands and wives both, are sexually abusive by that definition. A husband could want to be altruistic, but if he stops and gets flowers for his wife on the way home, somewhere in the back of his mind, he’s hoping to get some action out of the deal. What happens, on the other hand, if that husband comes home and his wife greets him at the door in lingerie? Could that be considered manipulative? However, I doubt the husband will complain.

Yes. Believe it or not, a husband wants to have sex with his wife. Breaking news. Details at 11.

So who else doesn’t think I was abusive to her? Her priest, her parents, her brother, my parents, the therapist that was seeing both of us together, many of our friends that saw us all together, etc.

You know what? It stings.

Not only that, but when I moved back, she called sometime in February. I don’t remember the scenario, but I think she thought there was demonic activity going on. I could be mistaken. Don’t quote me on it. Anyway, she started with saying on the phone “I know you hate me now.” “Nope.” I meant it. I don’t. If you asked me if I still love Allie to this day I would say, “Absolutely.” Believe it or not, it’s really HARD for me to be angry with her.

I talked to her about being in Christ and what that meant and then told her I wanted her to contact me in the morning. She said she was going shopping with her Mom so she would be up. I told her if I didn’t hear anything from her by Noon, I would call 911. I just wanted to make sure she’d made it through the night.

Folks. I don’t say that to brag. I really don’t. I say it though because some of you who haven’t heard my side of the matter might think I really was an abusive husband when nothing could be further from the truth. There can be a part of me really tempted to want justice, but I can’t do that with Allie for some reason.

And I thought about this tonight. If I was really involved in some abusive con game, what have I gained? I’m back in Tennesse living with my parents at a job that I wish I was doing more with and I have no physical affection of any kind from a woman at all. I have had dreams where I have got to be kissed by a random woman and my mind can’t even seem to remember what it feels like.

That hurts.

I also want to defend her parents here. Just as I wasn’t a perfect husband, the Liconas aren’t perfect parents and my parents aren’t perfect parents. However, the Liconas have given of themselves consistently. Who was majorly paying the rent and everything else for us all those years? They were. They weren’t gaining anything. If anything, they were losing. Still, they gave.

I really wish I could have done more. I honestly don’t like anyone having to pay for me like that. I have a friend who likes to bless me with games and other computer stuff around here, and I’m often hesitant to speak of things that I want around him because I know he is that generous with me. Now when he does want to buy me something, I usually do accept and sometimes he does it when he knows I’ve had a hard time. The last time, he bought me Skyward Sword on the Switch, a Zelda I haven’t finished and before I started it, hadn’t even played.

For the most part, I prefer to work for what I get. I live with my parents, but I pay for my car insurance, my phone, I pay my tithes, etc. About the only thing they do is get groceries and even then, I try to buy many of my own. I don’t pay for health insurance because I don’t have that yet, but I do have dental and vision. I could get health through my employer soon. I also pay for everything with Shiro. I am working to pay for my upcoming college for my Master’s. I will say that if you want to consider supporting my Patreon, it pays to help me cover that more and more so I can be doing apologetics more freely.

So let’s look at my life now. I have no affection from a woman in a romantic way. I live with my parents. I work a job that I really don’t like, but I have to work something. I have a big cloud of rejection hanging over my head. Things like this.

Again, I gained nothing.

And by the way, for all that alleged abuse, the only time the police were called to our house was when Allie had tried to kill herself. I never once laid a hand on Allie aiming to hurt her that way. Never. I would rather die than do something like that. I still want the very best for her to this day and I pray she seeks out to be a holy woman.

However, I have been told that a time of anger is coming. When it comes, I have been told to let myself feel the anger. Do not try to suppress it. Let it be. I don’t know if I will be able to do this or not. I do know that there are times I have a problem with anger, but so far, anger towards Allie is the exception and not the norm.

Not only that, there were many times I was counseled I should or at least could get a divorce. My therapist and the priest both suggested this to me. Those are just the two that I specifically remember. I am sure other people had done the same. I always refused to do that.

I realize as I write this that you could read this as a rant meant to complain about Allie or me boasting about how great I think I am allegedly. Not at all. It could also be seen as a message encouraging people to pick up pitchforks and go after Allie. Not at all again. Some of you in comments on my wall have talked about your anger towards her, and I get it.

I am not saying that anger is wrong. Anger can be good sometimes. I am saying to make sure you try to avoid acting in it and if anything, pray about it. I often tell people to picture yourself at the foot of the cross with the person you’re angry with telling Jesus how they sinned against you. Does it seem that you should be focusing on your sins to Jesus instead?

I also want to say that I have tried to say very little that is negative about Allie. There is much more that I could speak about here that could do damage to Allie’s reputation, but that would not help. I don’t want to be doing the same thing that Allie is doing to me that I understand she is doing anyway.

Why am I saying this? Because sometimes there is anger and I want to share what is really going on in the experience. I am not saying with any experience that it is or is not justified. It could or could not be. Some of you going through divorce will experience this deeply. I know some who have said they have been tempted with murder in something like this.

If anything, I would just ask you to pray for Allie. I contend that she is seriously trapped in a delusion and I would prefer to say she could really believe these statements she’s making about me allegedly. If you have heard one side, please go and get the other.

Pray for her parents and brother too. This is a hard time for them. I cannot begin to explain what it is like for them. I have no idea as I have no children. Her brother is quite upset about all of this, as you can see on her wall.

And for me? Yes. I know I need it. It’s still hard. I am having to look at dating again now and not sure how to do it honestly. It’s really hard to learn how to interact on the spectrum much less date. If you want to help out in other ways, please subscribe to the Deeper Waters YouTube Channel. Also, please consider donating to my Patreon which is linked below. Even a $1 or $2 donation can help.

Thank you for listening. I really hope this comes across the way that I intend. As I have said, I am not at a place of deep anger yet, but I realize there are seeds of it there and it could happen sometime. I hope I handle it the way that I have encouraged you all to do so.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and Loneliness

How does divorce affect your social life? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

You can be in a room full of people and feel alone. I am not a social being majorly, but I do need to have a few people around. I have times where I want to talk to a friend deeply. I have times where I want to know that I matter to people. Sometimes I can be at work and honestly feel like no one there cares about me.

Something that really changes when you get married is it’s rarely that you get together with your friends anymore. Instead, you and your spouse get together with another couple. When you get divorced, you lose that. All of a sudden, you’re doing things with friends again and it’s just you. It’s not someone else you share with. You don’t drive home from a meeting with another couple discussing how it went. You don’t drive home from church or Celebrate Recovery or a place like that discussing how the sermon was or what happened in group. Nothing.

I come home at the end of the workday and I go to bed. My parents are waiting for me, but I assure you that’s nowhere near like having a wife waiting for you. I remember how amazing it was when we were married and I would bring Allie here for the holidays and go upstairs to my old bedroom and get to be sleeping next to my wife in my old bed. When I woke up in the morning, she was right there. That was nice. I was really living married life.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the joys of kissing, cuddling, and having sex. That’s definitely there, but marriage and sharing the bed together was so much more. Of course, I am a guy and of course, I wanted that and I still wanted it. It would be a mistake to think that was all that I cared about. That was instead a symbol of the unity we were to share together. There was only one woman I ever trusted myself to so deeply and completely.

I feel like she saw all that, took all of me, said not good enough, and rejected and even betrayed me.

That stings.

That even gives me some anger.

Anger is for another post.

When I drive anywhere, i normally drive alone. When I sit in the pew at church, even though I am sitting next to people, it is not the same.

Shiro does something cute at the house? It’s not the same. Allie and I were the only people he truly trusted and he will likely never have that with my parents and even when remarriage comes along, will he relate to a new wife of mine the same way? I don’t know. If I find a roommate while I wait, will he be the same way?

We can’t sit on the couch together and watch TV shows. If I want to play a game, she used to be there and even if she wasn’t playing, she was watching and seemed to enjoy it. Will I ever find that again?

I also want to say that sometimes people will toss out such stinging platitudes as “Work on your relationship with God and be happy in Him and God will send you someone when you are ready.” Please do not say such garbage to me. You truly have no idea how much such platitudes sting. I will be writing a blog post on statements like that in the future, but for now, don’t you dare say that to me. I don’t know a single divorced person I have talked to who likes to hear such statements. I am sure you mean well, but you are doing more harm than good.

Then you throw in the Aspergers. It’s not easy for a neurotypical woman to deal with. Most women are that. When I am on dating websites, I always wonder if this woman would understand my traits. Will she accept I am not ready to go to some restaurants because of my dietary struggles? Will she understand when I miss social cues that indicate messages she wants to send me?

Allie even told me there were three times at least when she was really in the mood and was trying to send me messages and I missed them.

I hate to think about those three precious times whatever they were….

What if I date an Aspie girl? Well, Aspergers normally hits men more than women and even then, it’s harder to find one who is a devout Christian. They do exist, but it is difficult. That’s something that made Allie seem like such a Godsend. Now that is gone.

Sometimes I go to bed at night and want to cry some. I can be holding Shiro and petting him and thinking of how lonely I am, and yet I still tell him and truly mean it, that right now he’s one of my best friends.

It’s that in losing Allie, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I have died in some way. Not only that, I have lost someone out of intent on their part. They wanted to get away from me. I was not worth it.

It is a pain you cannot understand unless you have been there.

Please don’t understand. This doesn’t mean doom and gloom for me. In some ways, I don’t mind a certain loneliness. Leave me in my room with my books and my games and I can be fine. I can play an MMORPG like Final Fantasy XIV or I can chat on Facebook or things like that.

Put me though in a social situation, like work, and it is painful at times. This is especially if I have to work in a place where I have to relate to people on a very impersonal level. I hate running a regular cashier or self check-outs where I work because I am forced into those social situations. Put me behind the counter where I am talking about financial needs and it is different. Give me work that doesn’t challenge me though and I dwell on my problems for the most part.

You’re there and you wish someone would come up to you and really mean it when they ask about what’s going on with you. I still remember how someone in my line came through and said as they left, “You should smile. God loves you.”

Another platitude. This is what prompted me to write “Be of Good Cheer”. Did it ever occur to you to maybe ask me why I don’t smile so much? Instead of being willing to care about my pain and interact with it and perhaps listen to me, no. You just gave a platitude. I am sure you meant well, but it doesn’t help.

Imagine going up to someone who just lost a child or got a cancer diagnosis and telling them, “Smile. God loves you.” Such a statement would be hollow and uncaring. There is real pain going on. There is real loneliness.

It doesn’t help that the work that I do always leaves me thinking that I want to be doing something more. I didn’t go to college for this. It can be hard when people tell me so many good things online, but when I get offline, people don’t really seem to care.

To get back to the Aspergers, I’m not just a Christian man going through a divorce. I am one on the spectrum going through it. I have a hard enough time understanding what’s going on with me with regular matters. Add this in and it’s harder.

I will say in all of this I am thankful for the blog. I know there have been concerns about me airing dirty laundry. It is not my intent. It is my intent to share real pain in the hopes of hearing someone else out there really say “Thank you. That’s exactly what I’m going through. That really helped me.”

Or even thinking about if someone said to me, “I was thinking about divorcing my husband, but I hear what you’re going through and I really want to give it one more good try in counseling before I do that. The pain of divorce is a death that keeps going every time you are reminded that you are alone. I know people who have gone through divorce and losing a spouse to death. For the most part, they all say divorce is worse.

Think about that.

Divorce is worse than death.

So many readers have got in touch with me to share encouragement. That means a lot. Looking at my blog stats, I have seen the numbers have gone up a lot on this topic. That means a lot to me. I also think it means the church needs to do more to reach people who are divorced.

That definitely means not shaming them. Sometimes, people are wrongfully divorced, and yet they are treated like they are the villain. They are not allowed to hold an office in the church or anything like that. There is a scarlet D on their chests.

Don’t think I don’t think about that with redating. I wonder what happens when I meet a girl’s parents someday. “Oh? You’re divorced.” What assumptions will be thought of about me? What if a girl has the same assumptions?

You see, I don’t want to be alone, but there’s a part of me that is also fearful of getting close again. In some ways, I have two great fears with asking a girl out.

One is that she’ll say no.

The other is that she’ll say yes.

But hey, no guts, no glory, and a woman is definitely worth it. They are the most beautiful aspects of creation and definitely worth treasuring. Love is a gift and I want it again.

Yet until then, there is the loneliness. I know I have rambled some in this, but I think the readers appreciate it and understand it. Sometimes when I am at work, I am humming a tune. Someone, I think it was Sunday night, said they recognized it and asked me what it was.

They did recognize it.

It’s from Final Fantasy IX.

It’s the opening theme.

It’s called “A Place To Call Home.”

It’s something I dream of again.

And I resonate with the statement made about Eiko in it who represents solitude.

“I don’t wanna be alone anymore.”

I realize I have to live with my parents for now, but I want a place to be on my own and independent. I want a place I can call my own. I want a place where my cat can roam inside freely. I want a place to call home.

If I get to share that home with a special woman who loves me for me and who I can love in return, that is even better.

I hear you, Eiko.

I agree with you.

I don’t want to be alone anymore either.

Loneliness stings because it is a kind of rejection. It reminds me of that rejection regularly. It feels like a failure. I may be anti-social in many ways, but there are ways I do need other people in my life and as I have said before, having a lady would be oh so special again.

Thanks to all who read this and comment. It’s good for me to do this too. I hope it helps you. I know it helps me. It’s a cathartic moment and I feel like a cross has been lifted from me to some small degree every time I post on this.

I hope it helps you out too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Divorce and Depression

Why is divorce so sad? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hadn’t said a lot publicly, but Allie and I had been having problems for awhile. For me, Allie was regularly pulling away from me and there was little affection going on between us. I had been told a few times I could divorce based on things going on, but I didn’t want to. I still maintain that the covenant is meant to be for life.

Back in May of last year, I had got us a pizza at the grocery store and after the meal, I was taking out the trash. My stomach started to hurt so I thought I would just go to the bathroom when I got back. No big deal. Well, it was one. Allie heard me screaming in there and when I came out, if I had said I turned on the shower full throttle and stuck my head in, she would have believed it since my hair was so wet. She immediately told me to go to the ER and I didn’t complain.

After some tests there, I was told I had a polyp and it had to be removed. If it wasn’t removed within six months, it could be come cancerous. Why am I bringing this up? Because at this point, the matters between us were so bad there was a piece of me that was saying “Why bother?” My mother-in-law had to be the one to convince me when she pointed out she didn’t want to see anything happen to me.

By the way, I actually had the procedure, a colonoscopy, done in December which yes, was late, but still apparently close enough. A colonoscopy was one experience I never wanted to have and it was awful. When I woke up though after being under from the procedure, I immediately asked if they got the polyp.

Wouldn’t you know it? There never was one. It was a misdiagnosis. I still don’t know what caused the incident in May, but there is no cancer apparently. However, that is just a taste of what depression can do.

I was at work when Allie texted me saying we needed to talk in December and I knew what it was. I called her and insisted she just go on and say it. Yep. She was going to file for divorce. I had only an hour left, but I asked to please not do any work that put me around customers. I talked with the store manager briefly as well as I wanted to talk to a man. Was I in tears? Yep. Not ashamed of that.

When my friend William came over in January, it was my last day there and again, I am not ashamed to say it was a time of great tears. When my Dad and brother-in-law on my sister’s side and some people from the church were there the next day to help me pack, I was pretty much useless.

I got involved in DivorceCare when I got back here and I remember the leader once saying in a group meeting that everyone there had thought about suicide at least once. From my experience, he wasn’t wrong. Divorce is a sad event. It’s a  kind of death.

The only relief I have in the experience is that it is over and I can get on with my life, but it is still very sad for me. As someone said on my wall, divorce is a kind of death. If you are to become one flesh with someone, it is like mutilating yourself. Part of you has died in some way.

It’s hard also because it is something so constantly brought to mind. When I go to sleep here, I realize that I am sleeping in my bed alone, which is thoroughly depressing. When I see a beautiful woman out in public, I miss the female companionship that I had in the past. Yesterday while at work, I heard “Love Story” on the radio overhead which was saddening for me since that song was played at our wedding.

Being the one being divorced also leads to your own self-doubt. One belief I had was that I never wanted to reject Allie. She had made a major deal of how much it hurt her to be rejected and I knew that it did hurt. I knew that from my own experience. However, I did become the rejected. I still hold that it is better to be wronged than to do the wrong, but it doesn’t change that it hurts a lot.

I look back over myself and over the years and look at all the mistakes I made and wonder “What if I had done that differently?” I look at various traits of myself and wonder “Is this what made it so hard for her to love me?” I think that I gave everything of myself to her and it wasn’t good enough, so would the same sort of thing happen again?

Divorce is a time when someone says “You are not worth it.” Sometimes, I think that is justified, such as in adultery or divorce, but while I certainly have many thoughts and living with someone on the spectrum can be difficult, I don’t think anything justified my being divorced. Still, it happened.

The Aspergers also brings up a new difficulty. Will I find a woman out there who is caring enough and understanding enough to realize that I have some of my own difficulties because of that and can handle it? Am I capable of being the husband that I need to be?

You see, if you asked my mother especially, and mothers usually know this better, all my life I have wanted a lady in my life. When Allie came along it was a dream come true. Then when the divorce came, it was a shattered visage that took place. Everything gets called into question at that point.

By the way, I know some things that could be said to me at this point, and this includes statements about seeking a new wife sometime. I plan on doing a series on things to not say to someone who has been divorced. Many statements people make, no doubt meaning well and wanting to give good advice, are deeply painful.

For me now, the tiniest thing can make me remember some common activity Allie and I could engage in together. I can remember little things she said to me on one occasion. I know that such things are not coming back. Again, it is a kind of death.

Now there are also times of anger, though not so abundant. You see, if you asked me if I still loved Allie, I would tell you yes. I still want the very best for her no matter what. I still have my own concerns for her and I pray that God will help her on the path of holiness.

I do indeed plan on writing something on anger and I have been told there will likely be a time of great anger towards Allie and to let myself experience it. It will be cathartic. Still, there is some anger now.

When I am at work and wishing I was doing something more, I get depressed about that. When I realize I am living with my parents again, the same happens. I want to be out there on my own more. I want to be doing something in the world that makes a difference in apologetics. I want to enjoy my life.

This is also, as I have said, why I am advertising my Patreon and my YouTube more. It is me trying to reach my goals bit by bit, which include living on my own and then eventually dating again. The more I also gain that independence, we are getting closer to bringing the podcast back again.

Something that has been a help is so many of you messaging me and even saying something simple like you’re praying for me. I am also thankful that very few of you have given unsolicited advice. I appreciate you realize that this is a deep time of pain for me.

It has also been great how many of you have told me you have been in the same boat before. Of course, this is far easier with guys. Guys understand what guys go through. I have had phone calls with some of you and it is a relief to know that you are fellow travelers.

I also realize that my parents are giving me a blessing by taking care of me, but I don’t want to be here forever. I will soon be 41 after all. I want to be out there living my life. I want to make the world a better place than it was when I came into it. I don’t want to be a victim.

Part of that is a fighter spirit I think I possess. I have played games all my life and I have always strived as a result to excel and succeed at all that I do. As I have told someone in DivorceCare recently, the only way you can be steamrolled by someone is if you lie down before them. If things get hard, well that just means the challenge level has been upped and that makes it more fun.

So yes, there are times of joy, but there are still times where I want to be by myself. There are still times I’m out in public and wonder if anyone knows what’s going on in my life and really cares about me at all. I have friends on Facebook, but sometimes, I want more. I do have one really good one around here, but that’s one.

When I started DivorceCare, I was asked in the book what is it that you think you can’t live without. Naturally, I put the Jesus answer, but I also put something else. Friends. Even Jesus had friends when He walked this Earth. Friends are a unique class different from family. They are always there because they choose to be. You can say your family loves you because they’re family. Friends are very different.

That doesn’t mean that you all on here don’t matter a bit. You do. When I get messages or see people share my work or subscribe to my YouTube or donate to my Patreon, it always inspires me, giving me the knowledge that I do have supporters out there. Just in the past week, I was asked to come on an apologetics channel and talk about my story, and that’s awesome. I don’t want to stop doing stuff like that.

Still, every day is a battle. It is easy to fall back into depression and it can be tempting at times. Perhaps sometimes, it might sound odd, but it is actually needed. Sometimes you might need to be sad instead of burying the emotion. In Georgia when I worked at Kroger, I resonated with a song sometimes I heard playing with the main theme of “Sometimes I don’ t want to be happy.” A friend also sent me Dallas Holm singing “I Just Don’t Feel Like Dancing.” I think it’s a mistake to say we should always be happy. Some situations should make us sad and we need to experience that rather than deny it.

To my fellow travelers, thank you so much for the support on this journey. I have kept it silent for months as I didn’t want to risk people acting ill towards Allie and honestly, I still don’t want people to do that. It is in some ways a relief to be able to speak about this freely. It is a kind of death, but I am thankful you are there walking it with me.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and the Opposite Sex

How do you interact with the opposite sex? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When you’re married, you tend to get used to someone being around. This is someone of the opposite sex which leads to hugs, kissing, cuddling, and of course, sex. You have someone you can sleep next to every night. Then when you get divorced, that’s gone.

By the way, I want to be clear that I’m saying this as a man. I can better explain this to my fellow men. Women can try to find corresponding advice for their sex here.

It’s a difficult switch. For a Christian man, if you plan on remarrying, it’s awkward to start looking at other women and thinking about them. I happen to think this is much harder if you have been married because you do know what you miss. The same could be said probably for those who are sexually active before marriage.

So what are some rules that I  am working to live by in this?

First off guys, make no concession to pornography in this. I realize sometimes that can be difficult, but I think it is essential. Pornography will reprogram your brain and change the way you view women. For my part, I also know when I remarry, I don’t want her to have to think she has to compete against several women that are having free rent in my head.

It also teaches you that if you can’t get a woman to do anything intimate with you in real life, you can just go get one on demand. That’s really using a woman. Besides that guys, that woman on the screen doesn’t know you. She doesn’t care about you. She’s not going to date you.

With dating, you have to go out and impress a real woman and win her heart and earn her trust. That requires real work and that is difficult. Still, you have to come to realize that whatever woman you’re pursuing, you think is worth the work on some level. You think she’s worth the sacrifice.

Pornography trains you to teach women further as objects. The only goal with a woman is the sex. When it comes to a woman, you don’t just want that. You want the trust and the desire that comes with it, knowing that a woman trusts you with herself and desires you. You cannot get that in porn. That person on the screen cannot trust you and cannot desire you.

Now when it comes to actual dating, I have said whenever I get started, which will be when I get my own place at this point and hopefully soon, I have a rule that I will not be alone at a woman’s place or have her be alone with me at my place. The temptation could be too great. Now some of you will say “I won’t fall to that.” The first sign I think you will fall for temptation is that you think you cannot fall for it.

This also means watching interactions with the opposite sex. Actually, a lot of this advice is good for marrieds. This is especially so on social media where you can hear someone’s words and make them whatever else you want them to be in your mind. Sometimes in answering email questions, if one comes from a woman and gets extensive, I will get another woman involved. That way, I can get accountability.

This also could mean you need to get another man who has been here before to walk this walk with you. I have one. I also got involved in DivorceCare pretty much immediately when I moved back to Knoxville.

Having other guys can help hold you accountable. If you have a problem with pornography, make sure you have guys who are holding you accountable, including with programs like Covenant Eyes or XXXChurch. Celebrate Recovery is a great place for this.

This is a difficult transitional period in life that is extremely difficult. You don’t need to walk it alone and you don’t want to make emotional mistakes, including with the opposite sex. Also, I say this as one on the same journey as well. I have used the term “fellow traveler” to describe myself. Let’s make sure we reach our destination the right way.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and Shame

Why does divorce often come with shame? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In my first post on divorce, I talked about it being a shameful status. It was rightly pointed out for me that I don’t need shame. That’s because by and large, I am the one who was rejected. Was I a perfect spouse? Of course not. No one is. Even the best marriage therapist will still be making mistakes in their marriage no matter how long they have been married.

This usually is how it goes with a divorce. There can be a major infraction on one side and not the other. I realize there are exceptions of course. For the sake of clarification, if we have something going on of this nature such as abuse or adultery or severe abandonment, then let’s refer to this as a “hard divorce.” By contrast, a soft divorce will be something like “Well we just don’t feel the same way” or “We just have irreconcilable differences.” These are things that can be worked on even if they require counseling. However, I have no reason to believe Jesus sees this as grounds for divorce.

For the most part, those of us who are Christians and have gone through a hard divorce, still condemn soft divorce. We still hate divorce. I definitely do. I think it’s one of the great wrongs out there. Hard divorce carries with it a deep level of rejection, definitely the deepest I have experienced. It is a time when you have given all of yourself to another person in a covenant and they have said, “Not good enough.”

Unfortunately, the church can often treat both kinds as if they were the same. All that matters is that you were divorced. I can say that people on Facebook have treated me well, but those are people who know me also. To see what I anticipate, think about walking through a parking lot full of cars.

As you are doing this, you see a car that has clearly been in a car accident. For me, my first thought is to think that this must be a bad driver. Then, I have to catch myself. All I really know is something happened. For all I know, maybe someone even backed into them in the parking lot while they’re still in the store and drove off to avoid a lawsuit.

Now it could be that my first impression is correct, this is a bad driver, but I don’t have enough evidence to make that statement. Unfortunately, my concern is people I don’t know and who don’t know me will see divorce the same way. I have had someone already say that as an example, in many Baptist churches, you could preach if you had been a murderer, but if you have been divorced, you can’t come to that pulpit, unless you remarry, of course.

So I go to offer my services to speak at a church. I get asked if I’m married. I say divorced. The question that can come to mind immediately is “Why?” I understand a pastor wants to be careful with who they want to have in a pulpit or teaching, but I also have another disadvantage with this. I can pretty much only give my own side of the story. It’s my word against someone else’s and if there’s no reason to believe one or the other, then why trust me?

If that’s the case for a job, it’s also a concern for something I have not got to do yet. Dating. Imagine being on a dating website and wondering what people think when they see that my status says “divorced” or if I meet a girl’s parents and they learn that I am divorced? There could be ways I can tell that I am being treated with grace. However, that first impression can be a concern.

What can the church do? We are told to “judge not” and I know that that is misunderstood to say that we can’t ever judge. That is false. Jesus is talking about judging hypocritically without information. This applies here. When you meet someone who is divorced, at least hear their side.

The church should also drop this idea that anyone who has been divorced should not be a minister. I realize this doesn’t apply to all denominations, but it does apply to some. By all means, investigate the case since leading the church is a great responsibility, but the hard and fast rule needs to be dropped.

Forgiveness is also important to always be there. Even if someone is the wrong party in a hard divorce, if they have repented and learned the error of their ways, it could be they cannot remarry, but they can still lead the church and even share with others so that they don’t make the same mistakes.

Do I live with a cloud of shame hiding over my head? No. That’s a choice. However, I do have concerns about the whole dating scene again and about the way I could be seen in the church in the future. Future experiences could always undo this, but there is something with approaching people who I don’t know and having to share. Divorce is too often treated like the unforgivable sin.

Readers know that I still refuse to be held back and now, I really want to use my experience to help others. I have a really good male friend here who is helping me with my own issues going through divorce. He is able to do this since he has been divorced and told me he had someone who had been divorced who helped him with his. I want to pass that help on and I know I have a bigger platform so I want to join others as a fellow traveler on the journey. It’s my hope to share not as someone who has fully recovered from divorce, but as someone who is going through the process and is still familiar easily with the experience.

If you are the wronged party in a hard divorce, try to live without shame. I try to tell myeslf that a promise wasn’t just broken to me, but it was to God. Anyone who knows me knows that I worked really hard to make my marriage work. I hold strongly to marriage being a sacred lifelong covenant and I plan to bring that into my next marriage. I’ve been through this once. I have no wish to go through it again.

Feel free to join me on the journey.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Choice

How do you respond to divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When I heard the news that Allie wanted to file for divorce, I was devastated, as you can imagine. It happened when I was working at my job at Kroger at the time. Allie contacted me and I was sure I knew what it was about. I called her to just get it over with then and I only had an hour in my shift, but I talked to my manager and was still crying and said “I can stay at work, but please don’t put me in front of people.”

He was the only one then who knew what happened.

For my last day in Georgia, I had a friend who stopped by and I then realized I had misread a text from Allie and had to clear out. Thankfully, he was there as I couldn’t stop crying my eyes out. I didn’t really want to have this be happening. When my family came over the next day to pack up my stuff, I was so distraught I was of very little help.

Yet when I got back to my parents’ house, I knew I had to make a choice and I honestly don’t know when I realized it or how I did it, but I didn’t want to be constantly bawling in front of my parents for one thing. Sympathy from friends is one thing, but from parents, it’s another. At the same time, I can say as a man nearly 41 years old, I love my parents, but I do want to live on my own instead.

So I had to make a resolve. I could either be defeated, or I could win. As a gamer, I have a rule. When you play, you play to win. I decided I could either live my life in defeat or do nothing or choose to look in the face of adversity and take it on full throttle.

That doesn’t mean I do perfect. There are still times I can have hard days and hard nights where it is hard to sleep. There can still be times of intense depression. Overall though, that isn’t happening. If anything, I am just resolved.

I do still talk to the therapist I talked with in Georgia on the phone on a weekly basis. He is still guiding me. We talk about dealing with divorce, my work and living situation, and my plans to remarry. He even still recommends me marriage books and many times I still buy some and read them as remarriage is part of my plan for life.

Perhaps what you go through right now isn’t divorce, but there could be something. For me, it’s the power of choice. It’s kind of like how if two patients get a cancer diagnosis and one says “I’m going to beat this diagnosis and come out on the other end” and the other says “Woe is me”, the former is far more likely to survive based on the power of the will.

I have been given much advice on this and tried to follow it. My therapist said if I want to date again, I need to update my wardrobe, so I have already talked to my sister who is a beautician and asked for her help with this. Some have said I need to work on learning etiquette, so I am looking for resources on that too. I have got books on learning how to interact with women and read body language.

For example, as an Aspie, eye contact is extremely difficult, but I have read to just try to briefly glance into someone’s eyes. For this one, let it be both men and women. Get used to this. Then for women, when it is appropriate, smile at them. That doesn’t mean you ask them out or anything, but it does mean I work on building up my confidence there. It’s really fascinating to me how many smiles back I get.

I did say I share my Patreon more often. I really haven’t liked doing that, but I have to work to reach my own goals. I am also trying to build up my YouTube channel which can be found here, which means making videos and getting more subscribers. I work five days a week, so I try to make one on my day off.

My goal is first to move out. I either need to earn enough so that I can afford rent and everything else here, or else find a roommate, which is difficult since so many of the guys I know through DivorceCare also have kids which could make it difficult to have room for us to stay. They will also have to be someone who is friendly to cats since Shiro being with me is a non-negotiable.

Once I am out, that is when I really plan to start dating again. It is the therapy and the reading I am doing to work on my character and everything about me to make sure I am the husband I really am supposed to be someday. I also have a rule that I won’t be alone in a place I live with the girl or alone in the place she lives with her until marriage. I don’t want to risk temptation.

Also, I have plans to get my Master’s in Practical Apologetics at Colorado Christian University. I just have to pay off a class I took at Johnson University that I never finished paying for to get my transcripts. It’s going to be about $1,000. I plan to pay it by December if I have to so I can start my Master’s work. I can cover it now if I have to, but I’m still trying to save up money, especially since a financial advisor has plans for investing once I get to $10,000 in my account. After that Master’s though, I hope to get my PhD.

For fun meanwhile, I also have a friend who donates to me and part of the requirement is that some of that goes every month to cover a subscription to Final Fantasy XIV. Online gaming like this helps get my mind off of things going on and I play with many friends. If you are on there, I am Phoenix Skywing. A friend for my upcoming birthday this month also gifted me the latest expansion coming out in November.

Having these goals is important also because it means I have a plan to where I’m going. Even if I’m not sure how I will get there, I have some reason to get up every day and live my life. I want to embrace it as a gift. Attitude greatly matters.

Do I have hatred towards Allie in this? No. Sometimes, I do have anger, but I really do want the best for her. What good would it be to live with anger and hostility like that, which can be difficult sometimes? If I am seething with anger, for example, what is it doing to her? Nothing. What is it doing to me? It’s damaging me.

Instead, I try to live with the following rule in mind. The best revenge is a life well-lived. So I get divorced and it’s a horrible pain and I wish it hadn’t have happened this way. Sure. Yet if I just roll over and die and sulk in bed all day, I accomplish nothing. I might as well get up and continue the battle every day and in the end, I want to stand before God with a clear conscience.

I can also say that there have been times of wrestling with God and trying to understand what is going on, but I have nowhere else to really turn. I honestly think that if I didn’t have my knowledge of what I know through years of apologetics, I might not have made it through this or be making it through this. No doubt also, the great circle of friends I have is extremely supportive.

For all wondering also, I am on good terms with Allie’s family. I will be at ETS this year as I think I need to get myself out there and get recognized so that is a worthwhile financial investment and this year, I will be rooming with Mike. Of course, I made mistakes as any husband does. None of us are perfect spouses and as Lewis says, “We are all very hard to live with.” Still, my former in-laws know about the love that I had for Allie and that I did treat her well.

And oh yes, while I do take delight in being on the spectrum, like I said, I am working on things like eye contact more and more. I know some traits could be very annoying in a way I don’t want to a woman. Some could be hard to change and might need that female help. Allie did more to change my diet, for example, than anyone else ever had.

This is my battle and the cross I have to carry for now. It is not yours and even if you are going through a divorce, my divorce is different from yours still. However, I think my general outline of what I am doing can still apply to you whatever your cross is. Basically, it’s just choosing to live and overcome and work hard at it. It’s having some goals so that you have a reason to wake up in the morning and do something. It’s trying to say that your life is a gift and you want to live it and to enjoy the good things of this world. It’s still as a Christian embracing Jesus Christ and being faithful even when you can feel like you’re being given a raw deal.

I am not saying it is easy, but I am saying it is possible. It is your choice. I have made mine.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Thanks

What difference do other people make? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to thank so many people for yesterday. The post was put on temporarily hide status until more is known about where Allie is and making sure she is safe. It is not gone forever so if you want to read “On Divorce” that I did yesterday, just wait. I definitely plan on sharing it later.

Yesterday, I did get constant messages from so many people and in the comments, many people said “I have been there” or “I am going through this right now.” Not only is this healing for me in its own way, I suspect it was healing for one another. C.S. Lewis once said a great friendship can begin with “You too? I thought I was the only one.” I think the same can also be said with great healing. It’s wonderful to know you are not alone.

Many of you messaged or contacted me saying that you thought it might not mean a lot to hear what you said, but it did. It definitely did. Some of you I even talked to on the phone and we talked about what it’s like to go through this experience and we really got to listen to one another. One such person even said they would be glad to be a YouTube editor for me.

It has also made clear to me more on how the church needs to handle divorce. If you have an issue where it is easier for people to talk about it with people online than in the church where you are supposed to be safe and there for healing, we have a problem. This would even include people who have wrongfully divorced. They should be able to confess their sins and find love and grace for when they have sinned.

Friends. When we read the Gospels, sinners actually wanted to be around Jesus. Prostitutes and tax collectors enjoyed His company and I think we can be assured that Jesus did not condone their sins. If sinners felt safe coming to Jesus and yet they don’t feel safe coming to us, then we are doing something wrong.

Again, this is not saying everyone involved in a divorce is equally guilty of sin. Many divorces do have innocent parties. Not saying as if they never did anything wrong, but a wife can be a generally good wife, and yet her husband is physically abusing her. She is definitely the innocent party in that. She should bear no shame for clearing herself of that situation.

Overall though, I just wanted to write something to thank all of you. Your kindness has meant so much in this time. Please do not underestimate that. It’s easy when you are in ministry to think that other people look at you and think you have it all together and you have a great walk with God constantly and you don’t have the same struggles. This is total garbage.

I struggle many times with anxiety and I do have a therapist who I speak to regularly. I can sometimes get very depressed in all of this and there are many nights I have to take something to get to sleep. I can struggle with hopelessness at times and wondering if I am doing anything worthwhile with my own life.

No. I do not have it all together. No one does. Your favorite hero in ministry has struggles. If you cut me, I bleed just like anyone else. Sure. I may have some strengths that help. So do you. Your strengths are likely not mine and my weaknesses are likely not yours.

Please keep praying for the safety of Allie. It means so much to them. The Liconas have their own struggles after all as well. No one is without them.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone ultimately.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On Divorce

Why is divorce such an evil? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So Saturday, I had to break a lot of silence. There was something I had to say publicly that I never wanted to say. It really wasn’t because of my shame, though it is shameful, but because I was trying to protect Allie’s reputation. I did not want anyone speaking ill of her or mistreating her. I realize if you don’t really know me, you have no reason to believe me over her, but I hope you would be willing to hear both sides and ask good questions, but here goes.

Technically, I am now a divorced man.

It hurts to write that sentence.

Allie has claimed that I have abused her. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to hear who thinks otherwise, you can talk to her parents, her brother, the priest we saw together at the Orthodox Church Allie was visiting, a Catholic priest we both talked to on the phone regularly, the therapist we were both seeing, or any friend or family member who saw us both together regularly and some who would come to our place to see us.

I also have such a super-sensitive conscience that I would not bear the thought of hurting Allie. In my mind on the spectrum, I follow tightly a list of mental rules. I do not want to break those rules and one such rule is when you marry someone, you love them unconditionally. If you asked me if I still love Allie today, I would say absolutely. That does not mean I want to be with her now, but I do genuinely want the best for her and pray for her regularly.

However, this is the most painful experience I have gone through. I have gone through major back surgery and through a time in high school where I had a suicidal depression with regular panic attacks. The only thing that has cemented me so much now is all the studies I have done on the truth of Christianity.

By the way, with that last point, I want to make a request. I know that I have friends who are atheists and agnostics and people of other religions who read my blog. Please in comments or Facebook discussion, do not make this about the truth of Christianity. I am happy to debate that at other times, but this is about something else.

Going through this has shown me what an evil divorce is. I am not saying that divorce should never happen. Sometimes, I think it is necessary. I think a woman actually being abused by an unrepentant husband should divorce. Why is that an evil? The woman is not doing anything evil, but an evil takes place in that someone broke their vow before God and man to love and cherish and be exclusive. Divorce is not just an action against another human being. It is an action against God.

It is the person who is doing the action that requires the divorce who is doing the evil. If a woman is being really abused and files for divorce, she is not doing an evil. If a man has a wife who cheats on him and he files for divorce, he is not doing an evil. The evil has already been done. The person is in this case protecting themselves. The tragedy is that someone did break that promise that they made and chose to not really act in love.

So what is it going on on my end? Well, I have had to move back in with my parents. I love my parents, but no man who is about to turn 41 (On the 19th of this month) wants to live with his parents. I really want to be on my own again in an apartment. I am working a full-time job at Wal-Mart as the only one I can find now and trying to earn up all that I can and move up the company ladder as much as I can. I would love a full-time ministry job, but it’s not there yet.

I have a good friend who has been divorced and is now remarried and he told me to get into DivorceCare as soon as I got back. I have been doing that. I have a great group and our leader is very supportive of me. We did have a major rift of trust at one point and I did confront him on that and he realized how I was seeing things on the spectrum and we have improved greatly to have a relationship where I call him now with areas I am struggling with.

It’s a real struggle with rejection. If you asked my mother, she would tell you that all my life, what I have wanted so much is to have a woman in my life. My first crush was long before I hit puberty. All through elementary school, I had a great crush on the same girl.

Now I get rejected and it is tempting to wonder what was wrong with me that I was rejected. I don’t want to say everything going on yet, but I am convinced that it was not a deficiency in me in that major area, at least nothing worthy of a divorce. I’m not going to claim I was a perfect spouse. No one is. I will tell you that I strived to be the best that I could be and that was even when it was hard for me as numerous people told me many times I could legitimately file for divorce and I always refused. I never wanted to be a person who rejected Allie.

To go back now to the whole thing about where I am living and my work, this is one reason if you follow my Facebook you have seen me making appeals about my Patreon, the swag store to buy materials on the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and about my YouTube channel. I have to advertise myself and honestly, I hate it. I wish I didn’t think I had to do that, but I do. I will tell you also that I’m looking for someone who can be a YouTube editor to spice up my videos and in the future if I get to that place of independence, I would hope it would become something I could pay for. If you are interested, please let me know.

I have also tried to avoid acting spitefully towards Allie. I do say things in private conversations to people that I trust where I think Allie has done very wrong things, but they would also tell you in those conversations, I am clear that I want the best for her. Check my Facebook for the past several months when all of this was going on and I said nothing.

Why did I come out? Because last Saturday we thought she was in danger and I knew part of explaining that would sadly be sharing about the divorce. I did not want to do that. I will not be talking about that now though. Just please pray for her. She is in God’s hands either way.

While I have been doing a series on eschatology however, I do plan on doing a series on divorce now to to share what it is like, especially as I am going through it while the emotions are still fresh. I will talk about learning to rebuild my life and about also how yes, I am planning on remarrying someday.

The best thing I would tell you to do is honestly pray for Allie. I have had some of you come to me who have known and said you have to unfriend or ask if you can. If you think you need to, I will not stop you. That is your choice and I bear nothing against you.

For my friends who are happily married now, I hope to be where you are again someday soon. Please do enjoy it and take the time to cherish one another. You have a gift.

I appreciate prayers for me also in all of this and any concern that has been shown. Again, I never wanted to say this. I always strived to be the best husband I can be. As a gamer mindset, whenever I do something, I want to do the best at it and having a wife, I wanted to be the best I could be and love my wife with all that I had. Today, I have no hatred towards her and in all of this, I have tried to act without animosity and trust in God.

I also ask prayers for her family, her parents and brother. They are going through a hard time as well. I was told when they went to her neighborhood Saturday, they were looking around frantically doing anything they could to try to find her. Mothers out there I am sure can especially relate. If your baby was lost and you didn’t know where she was, no matter how old she is, you are going to be concerned.

A divorce series is one I never wanted to write, but now I will have to. I hope seriously it will be a service to someone else going through a divorce and hopefully even better, could stop some divorces and encourage people to work on their own marriages. I have nothing against marriage.

If anything, I am also trying to live my life by this dictum. The best revenge is a life well-lived. I do not want to be a victim. I want to go out and enjoy my life and that includes marriage again. I try to remember happiness is a choice and I am making it my resolve to succeed all the more. I don’t want my life to be a waste.

This experience will not be one also. I sincerely want to help others who are doing the same. My friend who is helping me was helped by someone else who had been there through his divorce, and hopefully, I will someday be helping someone else. Maybe I already am by this blog.

Thanks, everyone for your concern. Please do remember to pray for Allie. Also, I hate to say it as I said earlier, but if you do want to join me on the journey, you can subscribe to Deeper Waters Apologetics on YouTube and support through Patreon. I really hate doing that, but it is the hand that I have to deal with now.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Be Of Good Cheer

How do you help your brother in need? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I appreciate the concern for yesterday’s post. I am in a better place today. It had been a time of a lot heading at me the day before that it had just been overbearing and now things are doing much better after making some necessary changes.

Still, I am usually a moody and quiet individual. Last night while out in public, I encountered two ladies and one of them said that she hopes I’m in better mood tomorrow and to smile. After all, God loves you.

Now that stuck with me. It’s not because I was overcome with sudden joy. It’s not because I question the claim. It’s because as I heard it, that claim was extremely shallow. Let’s do this by putting in some other situations.

Imagine if this lady had met someone whose son had just died in a car accident or whose husband had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. How would that have come over? It would be true, naturally, but it wouldn’t really address what the person is going through.

As I thought about it, it got me thinking of James 2.

“15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”

Charles Schulz once did this comic that shows what James has in mind.

So how is Snoopy better off after this? Not a bit. If anything, he has less care for those who came over to comfort him. He’s cold in the snow and has just been given a feel-good saying.

By contrast, I remember encountering someone who I could tell was going through a hard time yesterday and did something radical. I asked what was wrong. I then listened and gave a comment of support back. This is someone who knows me so I told them I would pray for their situation as I had to go and it was appreciated.

Notice that first part. What is wrong? That was actually asked. It wasn’t just “Cheer up, buttercup.” Scripture tells us to do this. Mourn with those who mourn. If James is concerned about physical needs, could he also be concerned about emotional, spiritual, mental, situational, etc. needs?

Sometimes, that could require a time investment. If you don’t have it, it could be best to not offer anything. Keep in mind also some of us with personalities are very different anyway. Normally, I do not smile a lot and I do not talk to people I don’t know a lot. That can be even if I am in a good mood.

Let’s also keep in mind that I am sure that Jesus in the Garden knew that God loved Him and knew that on the cross, but Jesus is not happy at those points. Jesus is a sad Jesus. He says His soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Knowing God loves you does not mean you will always be happy.

I cannot explain why that is, but we all know that it’s true. Now consider that I am a Christian hearing this saying. What happens if you are not a Christian? How do you see Christians then? Could you not be more like Gideon who is told “The Lord is with you?” and be wanting to say, “If that’s true, then why XYZ?”

Some non-Christians could be hardened against God.

So what do you do with the sufferers? You actually enter into their suffering. You try to understand where they’re coming from. That does require work and effort and you have to determine if you can do that at the time. If not, maybe don’t say anything and just pray on your own for the well-being of the person and help for what they are going through.

God loves you, but sometimes, you do need to just be heard and listened to. Sometimes it can help a person even if you don’t even say anything back. If they just know you’re listening, that can be enough. Platitudes though are looked down on for a reason, whether they’re true or not. The intent may be good, but it doesn’t come across well.

Try entering into the suffering instead. It’s definitely worth it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)