Update on Allie

How’s it going? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So I figured today I would just do a quick thing and let you all know how Allie has been doing. I don’t know how much longer she’s going to be in this place exactly so don’t ask please, but the fundraising is still going on. Some people have sent in checks and those don’t show up on GoFundMe. At this point, we have about $18,000 to go in fundraising. You can make your donations here.

Allie has been in there for about a month or so now. I’m actually incredibly surprised. I was under the suspicion that she would be reaching out to us and complaining about how her experience has been. So far, I have not heard about her doing that. She normally wants to get out of mental hospitals, but this place is quite different.

She posts regularly on Facebook about her progress if you’re friends with her here. I have been pleased to hear about the amount of discipline she has developed while there. I haven’t got to have a family session yet with her, but when the time comes, I definitely want to commend this place on how they’ve done.

She has even got on Instagram, which really surprised me since I thought she wouldn’t want to again, and has created a page. Just look up the name d1v1n3_artistry. She’s doing great work with her make-up. Even better, she’s wanting to work a lot more on Christian character, to which the inner beauty makes her outer beauty all the more glorious.

I remember sometime before Allie went to this place talking on the phone with her and her priest. I was there when he talked to her mother after about how he wanted to do some fundraising as well and said his reasons were very selfish. He wants to see her get well. If that’s what selfish is, I certainly hope we encounter a lot more selfish people.

Some of you have donated anonymously. That’s fine. I understand it. I cannot think you online directly. Some of you, I don’t know. I have tried to make it an effort to thank people who have donated. If you have and I have not, please realize sometimes I do miss people and it’s nothing against you really. I appreciate anyone who has made a donation.

Definitely in all of this, I appreciate your prayers. These go not just for Allie, but also for her parents and myself. We who are the family are going through this walk as well and wondering how the story is going to be playing out from this point.

I have been making it a point to pray not just for Allie’s health but her holiness. My best man at our wedding gave us a toast and said that health is not guaranteed, but may you always be holy. I am working hard to deal with my own issues while Allie is in this place and thinking about what she means to me. My thanks to so many of you who have reached out in this time.

If you want to send Allie something directly, you can do so at the address below. Remember that anything you get is I’m sure opened by the staff there before Allie can see it, so don’t worry about any wrapping. Even something like an Amazon gift card can greatly help her.

Allie Peters
1961 N DRUID HILLS RD NE
ATLANTA, GA 30329-1807

Thank you all for your consideration in this time.

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

Ten

What’s going on today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters.

Ten is tin. That might sound like a weird playing of the English language, but it’s actually an accurate statement. I looked it up not too long ago. A marriage anniversary for 50 years is the golden one and 25 is the silver. Ten is the, well, tin.

Today marks ten years with the love of my life. It’s been an interesting ten years. Those years have had good times and bad times. We’ve had romantic times and hard arguments. We’ve had love and hostilities at times. In other words, our marriage has been much like anyone else’s in so many ways.

Marriage changes you. You learn about love and sacrifice. You learn what it means to give and what it means to receive. You learn in many ways also what you are really like. Someone said years ago that when you marry, God holds a big mirror right up in front of you and says “This is what you’re really like!”

And in some ways, I have seen what I am like. When I am upset with Allie over something she has done to me or something else in her life, I am reminded before too long “And how are you any different?”

You learn a lot about beauty as well. For me, for several years, I have been a big fan of natural beauty. I still am. I never understood make-up. I never cared for it. Now I’m married to a woman who after marrying decides she wants to study cosmetology. What have I found? I have grown to appreciate what she does with make-up. Why? Because that is her and she is working on bringing out her beauty. I always stress that make-up can never make her beautiful. It just brings out the beauty that is already there.

I have also realized what it means to truly be captivated by a woman’s beauty. A few years ago we were in a Wal-Mart and Allie saw an inexpensive dress and wanted to try it on. I had no objections! I love a woman in a dress and I hadn’t seen Allie in one in years. I’m waiting outside the dressing room and when she comes out, my jaw drops. I can hardly believe that this is my wife.

She still stuns me. We recently got a romper for her and she’s stunning in it. She also recently got this shirt that has a nice lace pattern on the top of it and I just look at her so many times and wonder what on Earth I did to get such a beautiful woman in my life.

That can also bring us to intimate matters. Some guys have the idea that sex is better than intimacy. This is false. You can have sex conceivably with someone and have it just be a physical action and not intimate at all. I have come to see sex as a gateway to intimacy or a result of the intimacy we already have. I have learned to see what it means to respect and treasure a woman’s body. It is always a gift. Anytime I get with Allie is always brand new and I am always amazed by her.

Let’s also talk about our faith in this. Allie has recently been exploring Eastern Orthodoxy. At first, I was not a fan of the idea. Now, my attitude has softened. I’ve come to know her priest well and there is a great mutual respect between the two of us. One thing I like is that he was hesitant about receiving her into the church because he didn’t want to come between our covenant. She’s still not received, but I appreciated that. I consider her priest a friend. I disagree with the Orthodox community still in many ways, but I also see them as my people. I can go to the church and get along and enjoy communicating with the people. They can know I’m the token Protestant and that’s okay.

My wife’s spirituality is something I admire. Lately, she has been reading more of the Bible and I have heard her reading it out loud as she does. This is a new approach to me and I get something out of it. I admire her willingness to set aside this time.

Generally when we pray at night, I lead it, but I really love it when she prays out loud. I’m sure if she’s reading this she’s feeling embarrassed now, but her approach to God is just so real. My temptation is always to talk like a theologian and bring in my theology. She really approaches God like a child.

When God seems absent in her life, she really feels it. When things seem wrong and she’s angry with God, she’s really angry. I get jealous of that sometimes. In either case, she is taking her relationship with God super seriously and I really admire it.

Allie is also a great listener. One of our friends back in Knoxville once said to us together, “Nick. I love you man and you’re a great guy, but if I need an ear I’m going to talk to your wife first because she’s so much better at that.” She is. I don’t dispute that. I say that in our marriage, I’m the head and she’s the heart.” If you need an answer to your problem and want advice, come to me. If you want an ear, come to her.

This isn’t just with her friends. If someone hurts Allie, I’m usually ready to dispense with them and I’m tempted to plan out how my revenge will be. Allie isn’t like that. Recently, someone at our apartment complex hurt her greatly, but I know that if this person called and was in a crisis state, Allie would drop everything she was doing and rush over there and help.

By the way people, with that, if you have a prayer request also, present it to her before me. She will remember it better than I will and when we pray she will remind me of it. She will also take it much more seriously. Allie does have much more of a heart for the hurting than I do.

Many of you know about our cat, Shiro. The reason we have him is her. She had that great compassion on him and wanted to give him a home. So far we have also provided one home to a stray cat here by finding someone at my church who took him in. Allie has a great love for animals.

She’s also been getting into cooking. This is something I need to work on because I have a food phobia honestly, which can happen on the spectrum. Therefore, I don’t eat much of what she cooks, again, what I need to work on, but what I need is great. Allie makes the best pizza I know of hands-down. She makes breadsticks that give Olive Garden a run for her money. She’s recently got into fixing grilled cheese sandwiches again and now they have become a staple of my diet. I haven’t had it, but her mentor told her on her first attempt at making chicken alfredo that she had never had some that was as good as what Allie made.

Let’s return to that thing about make-up and talk about her heart there. What’s one of the goals she has with make-up? She wants to be able to go to the hospital to children who have burns or other conditions like that and be able to make them feel beautiful for a day. Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought about something like that. I suspect there are many people in the field of cosmetology who haven’t considered that. For Allie, it’s one of her very first considerations.

So today marks ten years with a woman who is still amazing me after all this time together. I anticipate she’s not done yet. Everything we have gone through has been worth it. Just yesterday I went to the mailbox and saw an anniversary card from my parents addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Nick Peters. It’s a reality. This woman shares my name.

And today, she has shared it for ten years.

Happy Anniversary, Princess! You are the most beautiful woman I know inside and out.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Why is such a day important? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some of you hate this day, and I get it. I used to as well. Then in 2009, Allie came into my life. We spent our first Valentine’s Day together with some snow on the ground and having her Dad take pictures of us outside of her house. I got her a Kingdom Hearts necklace and we went to see Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.

It always reminds me that love is a gift. Some of you who aren’t married might have various thoughts about it. Many guys will think to the idea that it’s okay to have sex now. That’s an awesome gift, no doubt, but there is more to it than that.

I also enjoy many simple things with Allie. Sitting down and watching YouTube or Hulu together. Going on a Pokemon raid with her or playing some other game. A drive together where we just talk about meaningless matters sometimes. It can be enjoyable sometimes when she gets into a Facebook debate and I jump in and we do it together. Just run of the mill teasing every day is a delight. As I said, while sex is great, just getting to sleep together in the same bed and wake up together is a gift.

Scripture says we become one, and it’s absolutely right. Many of you know a few years ago we had a car crash where it was sadly my fault and someone ran into the car on Allie’s side. We went to separate rooms at the same hospital and when she came to me the first time there, I was in tears I think and kept saying “I could have lost you.” Sometimes after that, she would hear me crying some and ask what was wrong and I would tell her I was thinking about that and how I could have lost her. It really opens your eyes to what someone means to you.

Allie has also become my standard of female beauty. She is the woman who truly takes my breath away. I look over at her sometimes and just think “How on Earth did I get such a beautiful woman?” Amusingly, I’m not the only one who thinks that. I have been told that when my sister was with my mother before my mother ever met Allie, my sister showed her some of Allie’s pictures on Facebook and my Mom said, “Good grief. How did he get a girl like her?”

I take it as a compliment. I still don’t know.

Today, it is a great gift to have love, but as Christ says, it is even better to give than to receive. I love that I have someone I can share all the love I have with. Allie has done so much to teach me what it means to really love someone and made me a better Christian and a better man in the process.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the love of my life. May we have many more together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The One Year Chip

What does it take to overcome? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night was a momentous night for my wife. She and I are part of Celebrate Recovery and my wife has a battle against self-harm. This is where you take a blade of some kind such as a pair of scissors. You then cut yourself. Why would anyone do that? When I first heard about it, it made no sense, but for people like this, it becomes a way of releasing endorphins and short circuits any anxieties that they have. Of course, there are dangers. Those in the medical profession could say more, but one I have frequently been told about is staph infections.

Allie has been in a battle with this and while many times she came close to the one year mark, she always fell short somewhere along the way and had to start all over again. As the time drew closer to this, she got more and more nervous afraid she was going to blow it. Fortunately, she did no such thing.

Yesterday, we went to see a friend of ours from our Protestant Church who is a cosmetologist. She had agreed to help Allie with her make-up for the big presentation last night. Allie said later it was one of the rare nights in her life that she felt beautiful. She took a picture of herself on the way to the event.

We got there and I opened the door to the church telling everyone to greet Miss America. So many people were amazed with how she looked. For me, I told her regularly to remember there was a man who said she was beautiful all along and that was without make-up.

In the end, Allie did get her one year chip. She had been of the mindset many times that she wouldn’t make it. At one point, she was really tempted and said, “Who cares about a stupid chip?” At times last night, I told her, “Well, honey, isn’t it just a stupid chip?” She knew what I was talking about and had to concede it wasn’t.

Some of you might be thinking it is just a stupid chip. It’s not. It’s a symbol. It’s a token of a victory that one has had over temptation and sin. Let’s be clear also that definitely addictions come from sin and cutting is such a case. So let’s see that one year chip.

Her Dad also came for the event.

And here she is again with her chip.

If there’s any great lesson I told Allie to get from this, it’s one we all need to hear. Tell that inner voice to shut up. We all know that voice. It’s the voice that condemns us and tells us to give up and that we’re not good enough and that we’ll never make it or whatever it says for you. Last night, Allie showed that inner voice that it was wrong. Hopefully, it will happen consistently.

And that can happen for you as well. If you are struggling with an addiction of some kind, please go to Celebrate Recovery and enroll there. If you are struggling with cutting, definitely go and do that. You are loved just as you are by God, and Allie would tell you it was only through reliance on God that she got this chip.

Princess. Please also know that your husband is super proud of you and remember that he has also always said you’re beautiful even before the make-up. Your true beauty comes from within and it makes your exterior so much more amazing. You are the woman who captivates me to this day still and I love you greatly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

My Wife And Emotional Commitment

What does it mean to connect? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I hate to tell you all this, but I am not the husband I should be being. If you watched on Facebook and wondered why I stopped posting to my wife, it’s not because my love died for her one bit, but it’s because it seemed to be more of a show to her and the substance behind the scenes wasn’t all I thought it should be. As it turns out, she hasn’t felt emotionally connected for years and it has been heartbreaking to realize this.

Allie had a hard day yesterday and when we went to bed, we prayed and then we just started talking. Allie takes medications at night and one purpose of one medication is to help her sleep. Because of that, we don’t do anything that will go against that, so that means that once she takes her medicine, nothing sexual will happen. That is then off the table.

So what did we do? We found ourselves just talking. Allie goes to bed early and we went to bed at 8:30. I normally stay up and do some work after that. While I do value that time, tonight, I got a lot more.

As a man, I can too often be pushing for sexual fulfillment way too much. Allie insists I need to wait and let her come to me, but I sadly have a tendency to be boneheaded and not listen. When it was off the table, I found I got something incredibly fulfilling in just talking together. That doesn’t mean I didn’t from time to time give a hug or a kiss, but it was something simple, something that could have been done while we were just dating.

I found my wife amazing in so many ways. She is really one of the strongest women I know if not the strongest. She recently shared on her Instagram a picture called Healer’s Journey. Take a look for yourself.

This is my wife. No matter what pain she is going through, she has care for so many people who come to her, much more than I do. The reality is many of you don’t know what goes on with her. Inside her head every day it is a battle. Every day she has the hardest voices tearing her apart. She resists temptations so much that you and I never really can think about.

Sadly, she takes upon herself the weight of the world often and when she sees people around her in pain, she feels personally responsible. She feels used to being neglected and abandoned and alone and sadly, I fear I have treated her the same way at times unintentionally. Many of you don’t really know what is going on inside of her, but rest assured when she is giving to you, she is often in a place of pain herself.

She lives with a constant perfectionism for instance inside of her and never thinks she’s good enough. This can affect her Christian walk as every sin seems to be unacceptable. In a sense it is, but she does have a struggle with grace. Still, when I see her hungering for God so much and praying for more of Him, I can often think there is something missing in me. It’s easy for me to just come to God with my list of the things I want. Allie is different. She truly wants to come to the table just for the one seated at the table.

This is causing me to look at my own prayer life differently and my own Christian walk. Seeing the way I have unintentionally mistreated her over the years is causing me to look at how others are and have more grace and mercy. Some things Allie has said to me lately would normally get me in anger immediately, but they haven’t been. I’ve had to look at myself a lot more.

I’ve told her that lately, she has given me a great gift. She has given me the opportunity to humble myself. I stress the opportunity aspect because she can’t humble me like that. Humility has to be an act on my own part. I can assure any reader that I take no delight in any sort of self-humiliation on my part here, but I do take delight in getting to tell you more about her.

The thing about her is she really cares. I am convinced that one day she will be a beacon of hope to so many people. I have apologetics and it’s good to answer questions and they need to be answered, but she has a story and I think a story will connect a whole lot more for many other people. She has a story that it will be very hard to argue against.

So today, I want to give this as a tribute to the woman I love so much, my Princess Allie Peters. This is a woman who is giving me an opportunity to have a deeper walk with Christ and take a look at myself and sacrifice my own pride for a greater cause. This is a woman who makes me want to be a better Christian just by being herself. This is a woman who still loves me for some odd reason though I have done much to not deserve it. Her love is a gift that I could never earn, but like I plan to do with God’s love, may I spend the rest of my life showing how much it means to me.

Love you, Princess. Thank God for what you are being used to do in my life and thank you for your willingness to be used by God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Should we enjoy the gift of love? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day. I really did. It was a reminder that I was single and alone in the world. I know you can all say you have friends and you have God, but even when it was man and God, God said it was not good for man to be alone. That was me. I was alone.

Last night, I was getting ready for bed and thinking that I am not alone. For the past 9 prior Valentine’s Days, I have not been alone. I go to bed next to my beautiful wife every Valentine’s Day now. We have spent the past few years building our lives together.

Love is a gift. It is a gift between two people who seek the good of one another. Interestingly in marriage, the good of one another is the other person. In friendships, we can say it’s the company the person provides or a function we serve together or a hobby we enjoy together. In marriage only is it directly that the other person themselves is the gift. It is in marriage that we have the most embodied love as marriage needs the two bodies to come together.

I often tell my wife that my favorite Valentine’s Day gift is her. I mean it. As a man, no gift compares to the love of my wife, but it is more than her physical being. Her physicalness comes with her emotions and her trust in me and her desire for me. All of this is quite powerful.

This is also the idea of God. God designed love and He designed marriage. This isn’t some dirty effect of the fall that we need to move past. The systems were designed for this purpose and God made man and woman to love one another in a unique way.

The romance between the man and the woman also is a picture of the love of God for the church. Everything that we see here is in essence God flirting with us. Picture any good that you have and this is just a clue. It is a hint of what God has coming for us.

When you read accounts of people who have near-death experiences an aspect of Heaven that keeps coming back is beauty. So it is that even here in romantic love, beauty is such a great draw. When I have to think of what is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, it’s no contest. My wife is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen and I admire the handiwork of the creator when I see her.

As it stands, I gave Allie a board game and a game for the Switch for Valentine’s Day today. We had an early lunch date earlier this week and today we’re going to go see Alita: Battle Angel thanks to the donation of some Fandango gift cards to us by a friend of our ministry. Whatever you do today, celebrate the one you love. For those still waiting and wanting, have hope please. I know it seems hard, but I was there once and it seemed hopeless too. Still, it happened, and there is some truth that it happens when you least expect it.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Importance Of Connection

What does it mean to really connect with someone? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post on how I realized I have not been the husband I need to be for my wife. My wife has told me that she hasn’t felt an emotional connection on a regular basis for a few years. This has been very hard on me as a husband who thought I was connecting with my wife, but I have learned a lot from it and I wanted to write some more on it.

You see, we all have something in us that we need and some things that we want. Man was not made to be in isolation. Even if a man or a woman never marries, isolation is not an option, especially for a Christian. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. In Christ is a community of people. It is supposed to be that when one of us hurts, all of us hurt.

When man is created in the garden in a pristine paradise place, he has all that he needs except companionship. Notice that this is in a state when one could say his only companion is God. Even then, God realizes that the man wants something different, and God is not giving in to a sinful desire. There was no sin at the time on man’s part.

Now we live in a fallen and sinful world, and sometimes, those desires that are good are still there, but they can get out of order. Now there is the great danger of using people. When a normal man sees a beautiful woman, there is the desire on his part to have sex. I am not saying that the desire is itself wrong. What you do with the desire, say lust, can be. Sex is a good thing and God made it to be desired.

The problem for us men is that we can very easily use a woman like that. Even if you’re married, if the only time you really show affection to your wife is before the bedroom when you’re expecting sex, in the bedroom during, or afterward, you’re likely to make her think that’s all she’s good for. Now I don’t think that’s what I was doing honestly, but if my Allie feels that way, I want to take it seriously.

So I have thought a lot lately about connection. There have been times now where I have come to Allie and just listened to her. The touching at these points is non-sexual. We’re just talking. I also try to use the SET UP principles for her with BPD. I try to sympathize, empathize, and then give the truth. I have enjoyed these times really. They also tell me that when the times of physical connection return, they will be deeper.

You see, I read something in a marriage book years ago that told husbands that before you touch your wife’s body, you must touch her heart. Now silly me, I thought I was doing an excellent job of that. Turns out, I wasn’t. We men usually want that physical connection first and then we feel the emotional connection. Generally, for women, it’s opposite.

Who can blame them? We men normally have the higher drive and guys, in essence, your wife is the one who is putting herself in a vulnerable position. She is the one having something enter into her body. Not you. Women also are often put in the position of being victimized for their beauty. It’s not a fair position, but it is the position that they’re in. The pornography industry hasn’t helped that.

And women, you need to realize this. To us men, you are gorgeous. There is no site more appealing than the human female form. Any time I get to see my wife’s body to me is all-new. I am amazed and it’s natural to thank God that He made women so beautiful.

But there’s more beauty to her to me than that. my wife is just that lovely. I can look at every inch of her and be delighted. It’s also more than just the body. I have seen her inner person and see her as beautiful there.

And you know what? That connection makes me want to be a better person. There’s something to that. Whatever you form a connection to, you will truly become more like.

In my experience as an apologist, it’s really easy to emphasize the intellectual. Some people I know who are like this have said they can’t imagine being married to someone who is not an intellectual. Now Allie is not an idiot of course, but the intellect is not her strong suit. She’s much more emotionally centered. It would be easy to look at her and think she doesn’t know all the theological stuff I do, and I think it could help her to get more of that, but I have to realize there are ways I don’t hold a candle to her.

For example, when Allie feels like God is absent in her life, it’s unbearable for her in many ways. She longs for that so much. I think the Psalm about the deer panting for the water describes her well. I look at her and think “Why don’t I have that?”

I also like it when I hear her pray. Allie praying is just like a child talking to her father. It’s sweet and it makes me think that’s how it should be. I took this so seriously in Allie that I started contacting someone and told them I wanted them to help me be better at prayer.

I still have a lot of work to do to get to that level.

Allie is also the most real person I know. She might not tell you the whole truth, but she won’t lie to you either. She tells it how it is.

She’s also someone who genuinely cares about others. Just last night we were walking in a comic book store before a group we were going to go to and I see some people playing the new Super Smash Brothers. I ask to play one of them. When we’re done, (By the way, it was close, but I sadly lost) Allie wishes them a Merry Christmas. I hadn’t even thought of doing that. Later on when I tell her that impresses me she says, “I’m just trying to give them a little bit of Christ in my own way.”

Yeah. Here I am the one in ministry and I think often she thinks about this more than I do.

When we used to see her psychiatrist together, she would always ask him “How’s your back?” He has some back pain. Honestly, it never occurred to me and if it did, I hate to say it, but I probably wouldn’t care enough to ask. Allie does.

And when I see this in her, I want to be more like that. I already have made some changes. Allie I hope would tell you that I am not being the way I have been in the past. Normally, I tend to be all over her. Why? Because as a man, I think about sex a lot and to me, that is a great expression of love for my wife and the biggest one I think I can make. She doesn’t think the same way.

This whole thing has also taught me about something. It’s easy in a marriage to blame the other person for what goes wrong. I was here thinking that Allie just wasn’t interested in me when she wasn’t eager to be with me. It wasn’t that. Allie just didn’t feel emotionally close and when she doesn’t feel that, it’s hard for her to want to give herself. She feels used.

Pro-tip then. In a relationship, no matter what kind but especially marriage, always look at yourself first and see what you can do to change. Also, try to do the loving thing anyway. Why do I establish an emotional connection with my wife? So I can go to the bedroom? No. Because that is what she needs and she wants to feel close to me. The physical connection is how I feel closest to her. On her end, she needs to do that. On mine, I need to do that. It’s always easy to look at what will work out best for us and what will help us and protect us and meet our needs. The way of love calls us to do otherwise, to seek to meet the needs of the other first. I am to establish an emotional connection with her regardless of what she does with me.

On friendships, we often connect on a deeper level. C.S. Lewis said many friendships begin with “You too? I thought I was the only one.” When I lived in Charlotte, I had a roommate with me I had met on TheologyWeb. How did our friendship begin? He saw me post a post there that impressed him and sent me a message with an avatar he made for me with a message like “I don’t know if you like Final Fantasy, but this is a character from a game in the series.” I am a huge Final Fantasy fan and we formed a fast friendship. Even this morning, we have been chatting on Messenger. What about? Final Fantasy.

We all want these connections. Of course, we have to be careful with how much we give someone. No matter how much I might value the friendship of a different woman, I will not improve that relationship by giving myself physically to her. That is only reserved for my wife.

And what about connection with God? I said if you seek to connect with someone, you will become more like that person. I think that applies to God also. Do you want to be a person of love? Seek to connect to Jesus. How about hope? How about truth? How about justice? Whatever virtuous quality you want, you can find it in Him.

If you connect with Him, you will be more like Him. After all, if you want to be hot, you go sit by the fire. If you want to be wet, you take a shower or go swimming. If you want to cool off, you step outside in the snow or turn on a fan. If you want to be holy, you go to one who is holy.

You also go and hang out with people who are what you want to be like. That’s one more reason friendship is so important. It’s also why my wife is so important to me. In many ways, I do want to be like her. I want to have more of a heart like her’s. Now is her heart perfect? Of course not. Could she bear to have more emotional strength to not be hurt by so many other things? Sure. But if she had too much, she could be cold. It’s a fine line.

And I think honestly in our marriage, we have a tendency because we are so different to build each other up where we are weak. I often say in our marriage if you want an answer to a question, come to me because I am the intellectual one. If you want sympathy in it, you need to talk to her. One of our friends has bluntly told me this. Allie is a better listener than I am.

I think Allie does need more of a foundation intellectually for how she lives, but I think I need more of her heart. The good news is I have her and that can help me get that heart that I need because as much as my ego doesn’t want to admit it, I think her heart is in many ways more like Jesus’ than mine is.

So to my married friends, realize the importance of connection. Guys. Make sure you’re not treating your wife like just a body. You want that physical connection and that’s good and right, but don’t give that to the exclusion of all others. For women, please realize how important that physical connection is to a man. Many times if you want the other stuff, it can help your man to meet the physical needs, because otherwise, that could be all that he’s thinking about.

And whatever you do, follow the path of love. Do the right thing. If your spouse doesn’t reciprocate at times, that’s their problem.

After all, Christ does the right thing by us always and we don’t always respond as we should.

Show that grace to others.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Humble Pie

What does it take to learn from mistakes? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife and I have for a year or two gone to therapy together. It’s not because of marriage troubles per se, but because I spoke somewhere once and a lady in the audience really liked my story on disabilities and offered to work with us. It was a free offer and we took her up on it.

One of the things I’ve tried to do is be a good husband and I’ve prided myself as one who has reached that goal. Generally, my wife, Allie, would agree with this. She would tell you I am a kind and loving man. That does not mean I am not without my faults. Of course, that’s not a shock. No one can be a perfect husband or wife.

Yet yesterday in therapy, my own mistakes came out. That was that in some ways, I have been neglectful of her. Some might wonder how that can be. Don’t I post six days a week on Facebook about how much I love her? Don’t I regularly dote on her?

It’s possible to do those things and be neglectful.

What happened is one of my love languages with Allie is physical touch and I┬átend to want to be with her so much I can smother her and it turns her off. I wind up getting frustrated and we’re both disappointed. Sometimes Allie just wants to talk and I don’t do it so well and that’s because I’ve been focused on my own needs.

The sad message my wife has got from that is that I only care about her for her body and that’s it. Now that is not to say that my desires are wrong, but I have been looking for my own desires first and not focusing on her own desires. It has been an insistence on myself at the expense of hers.

What is important to realize for me now is that Allie does want to meet the desires that I have, but it has to be a two-way street. It’s the secret that if in a marriage either of you focus on your own needs, both parties will be hurt somehow. If you focus on the needs of your spouse, both of you will be happy.

Let’s just say the car ride home yesterday afternoon was very apologetic on my part. It was turning off the radio and apologizing to Allie for everything I could. It’s also realizing that sometimes Allie expresses something hurtful. The sad thing is it hurts me when she says it and hurt people hurt people. I can get defensive with anger and sarcasm. Anger might not always be wrong. The question is what I do with it. Allie has told me she would accept if I get really angry if I just say, “I need some time to myself” and then come back later when I’ve cooled down some more.

I also have some men in my life that I have talked to and while they know me in person, one of them sees us on a regular basis. I have urged them to check with me and hold me accountable. I plan on sharing such with my Celebrate Recovery men’s group as well. In turn, Allie is also realizing things she has to work on and is trying to do such. We both have to. It’s part of being the best for one another.

So why would I share this as a post that’s publicly humiliating for me? First off, it would be delusional to think that I cannot dare present a flaw in myself because my readers have to see me as perfect. The only perfect human being ever was crucified and is now reigning in Heaven.

Second, in sharing this, I am publicly stating what I want to be better. My own readers can then be watchful at times. Anyone could even go and ask Allie if I’m doing the things I need to be doing.

Third, because this is a good way to ask for prayer too. Allie and I are on a journey and we both want to have a great marriage. We both have some learning to do. I think I know a lot, but I don’t know all that I ought.

Fourth, I hope this is inspirational for others. I think some men could be out there and realizing their mistake and maybe even showing this to their wives who will say, “He’s right. You have the same problem.” Maybe this will help other marriages out there.

And of course, I love my wife greatly. I cannot picture a world without her as she is my beacon of sanity in a world of craziness. She is one who gives me joy every day and sadly, I have apparently not been doing the same for her and I hope to do better.

Thank you for reading.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Beginning Year Nine

Where do we go from here? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Thanks to everyone who gave us anniversary wishes yesterday. My wife and I had a great day together. So now that we’ve been together for eight years, what do we do at this point?

We go to year nine.

Year nine begins right now. I have told several guys that as soon as you finish one year of marriage, you need to start working on the next one. Of all your earthly relationships, the marriage that you have is the most important one and no other one must come before that.

This is especially a danger for those of us in ministry. Some of us can be so caught up in doing the work of building up “God’s kingdom” in the world that we don’t do it in our own home. Wives and children can feel neglected. There are jokes about how when some men walk across a stage to get their Ph.D.s, their wives are waiting at the other end with divorce papers. There are plenty of kids of those in ministry who wind up rebelling. Many of them could do so because ministry took their families away from them.

If you are in ministry then, always make time for your family. I realize as one in this field that there are plenty of other people that can do the work that I do. There is only one person though who can be a husband to Allie. That is my job. I don’t want to slouch so much in that area that she winds up looking for a replacement.

All of this has to be taken seriously. I hate to say it, but when I meet people and tell them how long I’ve been married, and before yesterday it was seven years, they say that that’s a long time. Seven years to me is not a long time, at least for marriage. I think about couples that have been married for decades. They can say they’ve been married for a long time.

So already, I’m planning ideas in mind for what I can do for Allie next year. Her birthday is next month and I already have something in mind for that. All of this is done to show that I have an investment in her. By showing I have an investment in her, it lets her know how much she matters to me.

That’s the way it is with anything. You will invest in what matters most to you. If your family doesn’t matter or your marriage doesn’t matter that much to you, then you won’t invest in them. I have been warning not to get too involved in ministry, but don’t neglect that either. It is the kingdom of God. It does matter, but you’re not the only one serving that Kingdom. Never act like the Kingdom depends on you because it doesn’t and God can have a great way of showing that.

Again, my thanks for the anniversary wishes! Here’s to the ninth year of marriage!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Eight Years!

How do we celebrate? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out!

This is a blog post that is much more personal. It’s about how my Princess and I celebrate eight years of marriage today. Nine years ago, neither of us knew the other existed. I might have had some small clue since in the book her Dad wrote with Gary Habermas, he mentions a kid of his named Alex, but that can also be a boy’s name so I had no idea of her beyond that.

And yet when Allie came into my life, before long she became central in my life. Aside from Jesus Christ, Allie has been the most transforming person in my life. If you want to talk about the person who has had the most impact on my ministry thus far, it’s Allie. Allie has given me the confidence to reach beyond where I was and seek to become what I need to be.

With our age difference, it’s interesting to compare our lives to our marriage. Allie will turn 28 next month and I will turn 38 in the month after. That means over a quarter of her life has been spent in marriage to me and over a fifth of my life has been spent in marriage to her.

I am also amazed that I found a woman who accepts me as I am and loves me and yes, even wants me. Allie does not have pity on me and did not choose me for that. She wanted to be with me because she saw someone who loves her.

In turn, I did not have pity either. Many times when Allie asks why I love her, I tell her it’s because she loved me and I had never seen anything like that. I often think of the text of the Bible that says we love because He first loved us. Because Allie loved me, I found myself being more and more transformed into who I need to be.

Love like that does have a more transforming power. If anyone wants to talk to me about empathy and care and things of that sort, Allie has the most to do with that. I am often wondering what Allie would think of the things that I say or do. She is my constant reminder to live a holy life, because I want to be a man worthy of her.

Both of us went through a lot of rejection from the opposite sex in our life, but in the end I am thankful for it. If those guys had not rejected her, I would not be the one with her. If I had not been rejected by other girls, I would be with someone else besides her. We are a unique couple that I think is perfectly fit for one another. We balance each other out so well with our differences and work so well together with our similarities.

So today I want to say again happy anniversary to my Princess! I love you so much Allie Licona Peters! Thank you for being in my life! I look forward to all the years to come!

In Christ,
Nick Peters