Book Plunge: The Flirtation Experiment

What do I think of Phylicia Masonheimer and Lisa Jacobson’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I try to read books about marriage despite being divorced. If anything, I read to get help for when my second marriage comes about, Lord willing and may He be. I read books written for wives, for husbands, and for both. This is a book written for wives.

Thinking back on it, I know authors don’t get to choose the names of their books often, but I think a better name might be The Connection Experiment. After all, when you see a book by women called The Flirtation Experiment and see fireworks on the cover going off, I suspect it’s going to be about buying outfits at Victoria’s Secret, jumping into a shower with your husband, and all manner of physical activities which is what a guy usually has in mind when he thinks about flirting.

That’s not to say the material in here is bad. It’s not. It’s really good. It just isn’t what I was expecting. So looking at the good, these are wives who have decided to invest in their husbands, which is also a plus since usually things are always assumed to be the husband’s fault when many times, it takes two.

There are thirty chapters which means you are meant to go through this book in a month’s time, sort of like a shortened version of The Respect Dare. Both women write fifteen chapters which means they go back and forth between themselves. Each chapter is built on a one-word concept and expounded on and could be read in ten minutes max.

The authors also really open up explaining about difficulties that they have had and about how they worked with their respective husbands. Sometimes, the husbands have a brief sidenote where they will write something and these were always a bonus to read. I kept hoping that there would have been one in every chapter.

All of these are built largely on forming an emotional connection with one’s spouse. Thinking about that, that will work for the men and women because the men tend to think about physical connection and when a woman feels emotionally connected, physical connection is a lot easier for them. It also helps that the women take the initiative in this since frankly, many of us guys don’t really know what to do when it comes to emotional connection.

One amusing part I found was in one of Phylicia’s chapters where she thought God was telling her He wanted her to play video games with her husband, so they played some Mario Party. I know I would be thrilled to marry a woman who wanted to play games with me. I remember hearing a story of a husband who really wanted his wife to go hunting with him and so one day she agreed and they went and sat in the same place all day and absolutely nothing happened. No game came out at all to shoot at.

How did the husband take it? He left saying it was awesome. I can guarantee you then that wife never said, “This is stupid! It’s a waste of time! We could be doing something else!” She just sat there quietly the whole time and he treasured that silent time with her as she participated in his hobby.

And yes, I do realize this needs to be a two-way street, but this is a book for wives so I’m mainly talking to them.

Every marriage can always have room for improvement. I recommend this one for the women out there. Get it and see how it works for you. Husbands can also look through and say what would and would not appeal to them.

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

The World Of Divorce

What’s it like going through it? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This season of DivorceCare just ended. I suspect it will be my last time here. I am in the process of applying to be a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and I will then be moving to New Orleans when accepted. Even if I don’t start a semester immediately, I want to be able to get situated, get good employment, and start meeting people.

It really left me tonight thinking about the world of divorce. It’s still a struggle for all of us. I am helping someone out now who is on the journey just as I was helped, but all of us on the path are still hurting.

Other couples can be difficult to see. I am reading through an apocalyptic novel, a chapter a night right now, involving a simple country guy who somehow survives a plague that outright kills most of humanity and recently, he has come across a girl he went to school with who also survived. Tuesday night, they professed their love for each other and well, we know what comes next. No. The book didn’t describe the scene at all, but you did know what was happening. (Do you need to seek a minister to marry you if the world has come to an end like that? Questions theologians ask.)

Did I go to bed depressed some? Yep. I thought about this tonight as we described seeing other couples sometimes. When I was married, it was we were getting together with friends. Now, I am getting together with a friend. When you’re married, your friends seem to be other couples. When you’re single, not as much.

I really do miss that interaction. I wonder if I will ever experience the love of a woman again and getting to give her my love as well. Add in that I’m on the spectrum and that makes it even harder. I understand many guys have a hard time knowing if a woman is flirting with them. For me, it’s far harder.

Not only that, but how do you properly express yourself? How do I know I’m not being a stalker type? How do I show someone how much I adore them without appearing too obsessed over a person?

How do you even make the first move? I remember reading a book on flirting and it told to go through a week at a time. The first week was learning to make eye contact. Hard, but doable. I start looking everyone in the eye as I am told to not just look the opposite sex but the same sex so you can just get better used to eye contact. Okay. Good.

Then the next week was when wisdom shows it’s a good idea, give a gentle smile to someone you deem attractive. I started doing that and I was really surprised how many smiles I got back. I don’t know what that means exactly. I couldn’t help but wonder if they thought I was cute possibly.

So far so good. Let’s go to step three!

Small talk.

I don’t think I came back for months and still I struggle with this one as I despise small talk.

It’s a hope of mine to get to seminary and find guys who will be my wingmen and give me tips on if a girl is interested in me or not. I would totally miss it if they were. I do love the academic life and the intellectual arena, but I am not the best when it comes to the social arena.

Some people might think I focus on that too much. First off, as a guy, I think about physical interaction a lot and miss it everyday so yeah, this is something I focus on. Second, it’s easy for people who are still married to talk about learning to focus on God. Divorce really rips out something from you and it’s as if you’ve lost a limb or even a few of them.

Add in also now that when I am at work, I am essentially bored silly. My work doesn’t challenge me and I realize I did not go to college for this. When I am spoken to by my managers, it is essentially to tell me about things I have done wrong or they think are wrong. I see other people interacting fine and wonder what I’m missing. Really, one of the times I feel the loneliest of all in my life is when I’m at work. I am truly an outsider.

I look at the world around me and see so much chaos going on and I want to be out there doing something and making a difference, but here I am doing what any high schooler could do. I spend 40 hours a week doing it. At least on the way to and fro I can listen to an audible book and while I’m at work I can on breaks read my other books. I won’t deny that work at least pays the bills, but I want meaning in what I do.

When I fill out a survey online and I get asked my marital status, it is still always painful to select divorced. It was a word I never wanted to use to describe myself. I really think I tried to do most everything I could do to be a good and loving husband. In the end, it was rejection.

Rejection is painful. It’s one reason I hate going to work as I feel like an outsider there. I have been there for about ten months and thus far no one has even asked for my Facebook information or anything like that. The only exception is one person who got fired and came through my line and wanted my number and I gave it to him.

I am thankful my parents have provided me a place to live. I am also thankful that I get to spend my time with my cat here. I don’t want to say life is completely terrible. It’s not. I still enjoy my reading and doing my apologetics and I love my gaming time with my friends. I have more money for that now and I also am now playing Final Fantasy XIV online with friends of mine. (If you play, let me know. I am Phoenix Skywing.)

I also try to live by the maxim that the best revenge is a life well lived. I have no wish to harm my ex-wife. I don’t even know where she is right now or what she’s doing. I have a general idea, but I don’t look her up or anything like that. She’s made her decision. I still pray for her every night, but I don’t watch her or keep tabs or anything like that.

For going to New Orleans, I am looking for a church now that is autism friendly. I am also going to talk about getting a job with the New Orleans Baptist Association if I don’t get one at a local church. I have also given some thought to doing Christian comedy from an autistic Christian perspective. One benefit of my work now is I have so many interactions that really show the way people think that I can make plenty of jokes about how people act in a retail environment.

The biggest concern about this is sadly, the church can treat divorce like it’s the unpardonable sin. This is one area we definitely need to improve on. I am thankful I have a good church family. I can’t imagine going through this and having a church family that would kick me while I’m down as if I was an awful sinner because of what happened. Sadly, there are too many people who cannot say the same thing about having a good church.

Until then, I will be sharing my Patreon also so that if I do lose my job, which wouldn’t surprise me frankly, I can at least have some more income coming in in the meanwhile and hopefully, I can get to a point of working entirely from home doing apologetics. I also ask people who want to encourage to mainly listen if you have not gone through divorce. Help from people who have not been there is often remembered as being more painful than it is helpful.

If you have been through it, I welcome you walking beside me, especially if you’re a guy and can share in the struggles that guys have. I remember as an example talking to a guy friend here who has gone through it about the struggle I had at the start of it when I felt guilty finding myself attracted to other women. I remember also thinking about going through a store and saying to myself, “She would like this. Oh yeah. Right. She did that.” I was so used to buying her gifts and now so much I have to unthink. Having a guy who has walked the walk has been essential to me.

Divorce is painful. Even writing this blog has been painful. There are times I can be minding my own business and just get hit with sudden sorrow for a moment or so. One reason I think I game a lot now is so that I can have my mind off of the matter for a short time. I have a goal I can accomplish and I work on doing that.

Many of you have been there and I appreciate that. Also, not all of you are Christians even, but I appreciate your help as well. I am thankful that as much as I love debate, posts like this don’t become debate posts. I am also thankful some people I know have been inspired to speak out and share their stories on divorce. I would love to see the stigma against it broken. This is also why I have a Facebook group for Christian men and divorce. Feel free to find it and join in, but you have to answer all the questions to get in.

And if you have read this long, I appreciate your reading. I do really look forward to what’s coming up in my life, though I won’t deny it is somewhat frightening too. I have never lived as far away as in Louisiana, but I want to do something to make a difference down there as well.

Please be praying for me and consider becoming a contributor to my Patreon as well. All the support I can get will be great and I am a spender who tries to be conscientious with money. I am always looking for a bargain.

Again, thank you for reading.

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

Book Plunge: The Path of Intimacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Christ,
Nick Peters


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Why I Don’t Use Porn

How can we best honor the women of the world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I say this, I do realize that porn is not just a man’s problem. It is something that more and more women are engaging in as well. Nothing is meant to discount their struggle, but I can only write from my own position as a man.

Many times, it’s often assumed that if you’re a man, you’re watching porn. It could be an understandable assumption, but it’s also a false one. Being a man does not necessitate that you engage in pornography. Perhaps it could mean sexual sin is more of a struggle for you, but it is something that can be overcome.

Before my marriage, my Dad had been working somewhere where his fellow co-workers were sadly quite raunchy. He spoke about my upcoming wedding and somehow in the midst of the conversation it came out that he was proud of his son and his daughter who were saving sex for marriage. He was immediately told his kids were lying to him. They were doing that on the side and just not telling him about it.

No hesitation there. His kids weren’t lying.

We weren’t.

My eyes are reserved for Allie alone and she is the only woman I share that sexual intimacy with. Now as a guy, I will definitely say that that intimacy is awesome and getting to see Allie’s body is getting to see the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It’s amazing what a guy can be motivated to do just by a little flirtation from his wife.

So if that’s something I enjoy so much, wouldn’t it make sense to see porn? No. Not at all. Here are some reasons why.

I don’t use porn because Allie is more than enough woman for me. I don’t need any other woman to satisfy my desires. I don’t want any other woman to do so. Viewing porn would be wrong because it would be telling Allie that she is insufficient as a woman.

I don’t use porn because a woman is not just a body. She is a person as well and when I view her as just a body, I do not love her as a whole. It is not loving to the women of the world to treat them as just bodies and I certainly don’t do that with my own wife.

I don’t use porn because it’s really fake. Why would I change a woman who is really interested in me for the chance to see a woman who doesn’t know me and doesn’t care about me? My wife’s chasing after me is more than enough for me.

I don’t use porn because it cheapens sex. Sex is indeed the union of two bodies in a holy embrace, but those are the bodies of persons and the persons are affirming a powerful commitment of love with that act. I choose to not use my body to lie so with my body, I honor my Allie.

I don’t use porn because the fake can’t match the reality. There’s nothing like really touching one’s own wife and experiencing her touch. Nothing in media can compare with the real deal. The passion that can exist in the bedroom is a sacred passion.

I don’t use porn because I want my eyes filled with only Allie. Why would I want to delight in another man’s wife or in a woman I can never have? Is the one that God has given me just not enough for me? Of course, she is.

I don’t use porn because I don’t want to ever give Allie any hint that she’s insufficient for me. She is not in competition with other women. When I proposed to her, I told her she won the grand prize in my eyes and I wanted to be with only her forever and when I married her, I made that a public statement.

I don’t use porn because sex is something beautiful. When I treat it as something common and outside of the sacred bounds of marriage, I cheapen it. Sex is so holy that there’s a whole book of Scripture about it. I have no wish to diminish it.

I don’t use porn because it teaches me that women just exist for my sexual pleasure. I am to seek to give to my wife. While it is true she is to give to me and a priority of hers should be my desires, it is a two-way street.

I don’t use porn because it would dishonor my God. God made sex to be treasured and all these human beings are made in His image and to be treasured, whether they are married or not and whether they plan to marry or not. No person is to be treated as an object.

I don’t use porn because I want to be my intimacy in this life to come because Allie is affirming me as her man. I don’t want to go to other women I don’t know for just something that makes me feel like a man. I would rather go to my wife and be the man that she loves.

I don’t use porn because sex isn’t just a hobby. It’s not like a sport that two people can play together and it doesn’t really matter who the participants are. It’s an exclusive act I share with only one person who I love in an exclusive way and while what we do together is certainly a lot of fun, it’s also a building of that great love that we have together.

I don’t use porn because as far as I’m concerned, no one on Earth can compare with my wife’s beauty. Allie is the only beauty that drives me wild and pushes me to want to be a better man. She is the woman whose pictures I look at with longing romantic love and desire in my office (I have pictures of other family members in here), she is the picture on the desktop on my computer, and she is the picture that I see when I turn on my phone. My wife makes my world a much better place.

Ultimately, I don’t use porn because I love Allie and I love God. I seek to do nothing to dishonor either of them. The love of both in my life is a gift of grace and I choose to live holy in gratitude of that great gift.

And yes, I do love both. If you read this Princess, that means you specifically. Your husband loves you very much and you need no fear of competition.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Hot, Holy, and Humorous

What do I think of J. Parker’s book published by Broadstreet? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Christians have had a hard time sometimes talking about sexual issues. In many cases, this seems to be much more the case with women than it does with men. Many women have been raised up to think that sex is something that they should tolerate and a necessary evil and just act like you enjoy it.

Thankfully, women have help with a book like J. Parker’s Hot, Holy, and Humorous. I found this one while looking up marriage blogs and I’m interested in having the author on my show. She agreed to send me her book for free to which I am grateful.

This is an excellent look at this topic. Thankfully, she starts off in the right place, building romance. Many a woman can have a hard time believing her husband can really love her when it comes to sex. After all, a man really has a strong desire for that and it can seem to a woman like he just cares about using her body for his pleasure. If he just seems to want sex so much, does he really love me?

Yes. The huge majority of the time, yes he does. What Parker gets is that men want sex for a lot more than just physical release. As she says in the book, if a man just wanted only release, he could do that on his own. No. The man wants something different. To be sure, full intercourse provides something a lot better, but there is something more the man wants and it really can’t be put into words that easily. I would just describe it by saying a man wants to feel respected and honored and loved and he wants to feel like he’s really connected to his wife and is close to her and is a priority to her. Sex is often the loudest way that that is screamed.

Parker advises women to accept what their husband does. He tries. Even if he fails miserably, at least he’s trying. She does describe her husband as Spock and does not think in terms of emotion so being romantic is hard. I must disagree with this some. I’m a Spock type too and I believe in being romantic and do it because of the old saying. Happy wife, happy life. If my Princess is happy, we’re all much happier.

It’s only logical.

Still, her point is well taken. If your husband is trying to do something for you, don’t get after him because it’s not perfect. Your husband tries to fix dinner for you and burns a few items. He tried. He tries to clean up the house and puts things in the wrong spot. He tried. He tried to do the laundry and got everything messed up. He still tried. Get after him for how he failed and he likely won’t try again.

Parker also advises that you find time for sex. Some couples put a time on the calendar and say that barring some crisis of some sorts, we are going to have sex at this time. Scheduling sex may seem odd, but it can work. After all, the man can rest assured he’s going to get that connection and the woman can playfully tease her man with saying something like “Just wait until X day comes along.”

From here on, Parker gets down to the real deal. This is incredibly thorough and yet it is also incredibly clean. Parker’s style is very respectful and does not use dirty slang to speak. Her chapter on kissing has to be one of the most thorough I’ve ever read anywhere. She discusses everything from oral sex to what to do with your hands to dealing with fantasies to how to initiate.

Usually in a marriage, there is one partner who has a high drive and one who has a low drive. Now of course, there are exceptions, but this is the norm. Whichever side you’re on, Parker has some help for you. If you’re a high-drive wife, she has ways to coax your husband a little bit more. If you’re a low-drive, she has ways to make you feel more excited.

Parker also has advice on how to deal with pain and then about how Christians should view sex. Throughout the book, she definitely says no to pornography. When you conclude you can see that for Parker, as it should be for all of us, sex is indeed hot, holy, and humorous.

I definitely recommend this one.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Honey. I Don’t Have A Headache Tonight

What do I think of Sheila Wray Gregoire’s book published by Kregel? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

One night, a husband went to see his wife who was in bed waiting for them to go to sleep. He came carrying a glass of water and an advil.

Wife: What are those for?

Husband: It’s for your headache.

Wife: I don’t have a headache.

Husband: Excellent.

You see, you don’t have to be an expert in the sexes to know that men really want a lot of sex. If you asked your average husband how much sex he’d like to have, chances are you’d get some variation of “More” and chances are it doesn’t depend on how much sex he is getting. Take a husband who’s even having sex every day and see if he’d be thrilled if he got to have sex twice every day. Would he really say “Nah. I’m cool.”

Meanwhile, on the other side, the wife is often thinking “Exactly how much sex do you want?” or “We just did it last night!” She can wonder how it is in a Christian marriage that this good Christian man she married suddenly became a bundle of hormones that only thinks about sex. What happened?

Enter Sheila Wray Gregoire. She’s the woman behind the blog To Love, Honor, and Vacuum and she has written a book to help ladies understand the importance of having sex with their husbands and to help put them in the mood more often.

With that, every husband I know is sure to want to join me in nominating her for sainthood.

Now why is it that I as a man am reading this? Because I think it’s important for a man to understand the female mind. You see, for we men, it just doesn’t often make sense. We do something together. It makes us feel really awesome at the end. We end up validated and affirmed and if it doesn’t happen, we end up feeling miserable and that we don’t matter, and to top it all off, it’s absolutely free. We don’t have to spend any money. All we do is give each other time. If a woman knows it makes her husband so tremendously happy and has so many benefits, why not?

While I read trying to get inside a woman’s mind, I understand very well that Sheila has got inside a man’s mind. That’s really important. What women so often don’t realize is that they have a key to their man’s confidence and masculinity. A man can’t be expected to act confident and brave outside the bedroom if he’s treated as less than a man inside the bedroom. The bedroom really dominates in the man’s mind. His identity can often rest there.

For instance, in my area of Christian apologetics, before I got married, I was always a bit timid with my approach. What if someone shows me up someday? What happens to my identity then? In the midst of this, I got married and before too long, I realized that fear was not really bothering me so much. It took some time and then I figured out why. By getting to be sexual with my wife, I was getting that affirmation that I needed from her. My identity to the rest of the world didn’t matter so much if my wife saw me as the man that she desires. Please understand this women trying to understand your man. THIS IS HUGE!

In fact, one of the first tips that Sheila gives a wife is to realize her husband is an alien. When we say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, there’s a lot of truth to that. Reality is that women are likely not going to change the libido of their husbands. Sheila says that a man could have a temperature of 104 degrees and a rash and it wouldn’t change the task at hand. There’s a lot of truth to that. Yes. I’ve even been ready to go when having the flu before.

Unfortunately, what happens is mixed messages. A man makes a suggestion to his wife on how he’d like to spend the evening. The woman feels like all she is good to him for is sex and she’s just an object. She says no. The man then feels like he no longer pleases his wife or turns her on. He feels rejected as a man. Note that neither side is likely intending to send the message, but both sides get the wrong message.

For a man, what he’s really asking every time is “Do you desire me? Do you want me? Am I still your man?” He wants to know he’s worth pursuing on his own. In fact, this is why men often don’t want to be the initiator. It’s a whole lot more fun when the wives initiate.

The truth is also, most women wish they could reciprocate more often. We men need to realize that many times, a wife doesn’t like saying no. Sheila tells us on location 124 of the Kindle book that there are two solutions then. You either raise your desire or you make your husbands want it less. (And with the latter, she asks that you please stop laughing so hard.)

Sheila also says she doesn’t want you to do this out of a task. Don’t make it be “Well I guess I have to do this.” Let it be fun. Think about what benefits can await when you get there. It won’t happen overnight, it will take time, but if you do want it, you will eventually get there. You could put an extra zing into your marriage with this.

Sheila also rightly points out that a man really does have a biological need. Once a man has been sexually active with a woman, his body does start to form a need for that. In fact, if he goes without any physical release for a time, it will hurt. It will actually physically hurt him. His body was designed for at least somewhat regular intercourse.

She also says on location 181 that a man sees a curvaceous woman and he doesn’t notice her intellect first. Yes. This is true. Women. Just imagine being on a diet for instance and walking through the dessert section at the store or the chocolate section. Got that image in your mind? Okay. That’s exactly what we go through every single day in society.

Maybe your husband works from home. Doesn’t matter. If he’s on Facebook, he sees it. If he’s surfing the net, he sees it. If he watches a TV show, he sees it. Heck. I see it just when I watch game shows that I love to watch. I can’t avoid it. It’s everywhere. So picture it from this way. We are surrounded by women all day long. We tell ourselves no to these women all day long. We avoid looking with our eyes all day long. The end of the day comes and there is the one woman we can say yes to who we desire to be with. Then comes back the word “No.” To picture that, again, think of the dessert section or the chocolate section. Think of depriving yourself for weeks and then it comes the time that you have said you will get a treat and asking your husband if he’ll get it for you and he says “No.”

Ladies. You are our treat. You are our prize. You are what we love. When my wife goes to see her counselor, I come along too. Once she was stunned when I said that if you took me to see the Mona Lisa, the Niagara Falls, the Taj Mahal, the city of Jerusalem, or any great wonder of the world or of art that man has made, that I say they would all pale greatly in comparison to the joy I get at seeing my wife’s body.

I really don’t think that’s stunning. I think most husbands would say the exact same thing.

She says on location 196 that men need to feel respected and appreciated. They don’t need to feel nagged. Sex can overcome a lot of this. To change what Peter says, sex covers over a multitude of sins. Sex is the way we feel the most loved and it is the way we feel the most respected.

Sheila also wants to remind women that this can work for them, though it should not be used that way. A man who wants sex will feel more attentive. If he doesn’t think he has a shot, chances are he won’t bother. Men will tend to go where the respect is. If they think they get more respect from work than they do from their wives, they’ll go to work more. A man will spend longer hours at the office if he thinks he’ll be respected there. Make him think he has sex waiting for him at home and see what happens.

In fact, some women when seeing counselors and complaining that their husbands never do anything around the house have been told something. “Seduce him for two weeks and see what happens.” Many times, it’s amazing the change that comes over them. Give the man the sex before anything else, and you will start to see a new man. A man will not see himself as much of a man unless he’s getting sex from his wife more often. (Note in all these cases, I am talking about married men.)

Now comes another point. The man also wants the wife to want him. Don’t just go through the motions. Want him. Be active. Treat getting to be with him as a privilege. This is for you also after all. As Sheila says later, God gave women a clitoris for a reason.

Now I’ve spoken a lot to the women, but I want to make something else clear for the men. Sheila ends each chapter with a section for the men, except for the last chapter, which I did find confusing in that aspect. She wants you to know that she is on your side here and it’s wise words for we men to follow.

Going back to the women, Sheila says your marriage will not be all that it could be without healthy sex. You are missing out. Sex isn’t just meant to be a friendship. Most everything else you want in life, you can get from other relationships. It is only in marriage that sex takes place. That is what makes it unique and that uniqueness needs to be highlighted.

With this, it is best to focus on the giving. Too many wives can say “Well I might want to have more sex with him if he’d do XYZ.” Well no. That’s using sex as a weapon. There is nothing Biblical that says “Wives, respect your husbands if he does XYZ.” No. It’s just respect. (And by the way, there is information in there on the strong cases of pornography and abuse. In this case, your goal is to heal your husband over a substantial issue and/or protect your own safety in a place where you’re reasonably in danger.)

She also says you can help your husband in holiness with this. If he has an affair, that’s his own fault, but you can help remove the temptation by good sex with him. You can also better enable his mind to focus on other things. Many women can complain the only affection they get from their husbands is sexual affection. That can be because he wants it so badly that if he gets close to you that’s all he thinks about. Give him regular sexual affection and regular non-sexual affection will be easier because he can rest assured it’s coming soon.

In fact, she talks about a nurse who said that unless you’re driving down the highway, when he asks say yes. The time you spend arguing about it will be longer than the time you would have spent just doing it. You’ll make your husband happy and avoid an argument. Think that’s worth it?

Some women have a problem with sexual abuse in their past. I really recommend if that’s you, get Sheila’s book. She has some advice on how to cross over that hurdle. Some of you have dealt with rejection. She also has something on that.

Sheila also correctly points out that God made sex. It was His idea. Again, we come back to the clitoris. He made this just so women could enjoy sexual pleasure. There’s no other purpose I know of certainly for this part of the body. There’s even a book of the Bible, the Song of Songs, dedicated to sex. Let’s cut the stuff about how it’s a metaphor for God and Israel or Christ and the church. Maybe on some level it is, but first and foremost, it’s a book about sex. God’s not ashamed of it. Neither should we be.

It’s also important to Sheila that you not place burdens on it. Don’t have it be “If you buy me something I really want, we’ll have sex.” That can get the man thinking that he himself is not enough. Don’t let sex be conditional. Let it be something that you do just because you want him.

Sheila also has an excellent suggestion on how our society opposes men. Think about how we have removed competition and encouraged people to be “nice.” Now of course, I’m not saying that men should be jerks, but have you seen how men talk to each other? Men get together and insult each other constantly and you know what? We’re best friends as a result of it! My own wife is just mystified as to how my friends and I can interact with each other. “That’s mean.” Yeah. We do it anyway. It’s in fact the way we bond. Men are the ones who in fact usually bond by roughhousing. That makes no sense to women.

Men are also competitive to a fault. I remember sitting around with some guys where I worked once and talking about painful experiences we’ve had in life on a physical level. Before too long, I realized each man was trying to top the other one. That’s what we do! (I think I won since I have had major back surgery.)

Men are told we need to not be aggressive and we need to have empathy. That goes against so much of what beats in the heart of a man. A man is a go-getter by nature and a man thrives on competition. Our society though panders to more feminine attributes. On top of that, we’re told we’re not to see women as sex objects, despite the fact that women can often wear clothes that accentuate their curves profoundly and wear their pants around their hips.

The odd thing is most women don’t even realize they’re doing this. They just want an outfit that feels good on them. Many a pastor even can have a hard time preaching a sermon because there’s a woman in the front row wearing a low-cut blouse and she doesn’t even realize what a source of temptation she is. I remember a man at a church once saying how he couldn’t really think about what a woman was saying once because her skirt was just so short.

You see women, your physical appearance does matter. Now I would be superficial if I said it’s everything, but I would be wrong if I said it was nothing. We are not Gnostics. You have a body for a reason. How you treat that body is also a gift to your husband. In fact, one of the great motivators I have had to treat my own body better is being married. I want my wife to get the best of me. Strive to give your husband the best of you.

Sheila also says wives need to initiate. If a wife doesn’t do that, then her husband will always feel like a child at the candy store begging for candy. Your no may be just a no, but not to him. It’s a huge rejection. Again, it is hard for him to feel like a man you believe in outside of the bedroom, if he doesn’t think you’re the man he believes in inside the bedroom. Sheila has a wonderful quote from a husband I want to quote in full.

The most important part of making love, particularly for the men, is that it is not about us getting pleasure, but rather the high we achieve by giving pleasure to our wives. It is our way of giving love, but when it is apparent that the person receiving our love is only there to “please” us, then it becomes rejection of us personally.

This deserves to be written in gold. Women may find it hard to believe, but the greatest pleasure a man gets is out of knowing he is a source of pleasure to his wife. The constant saying of no tells us we are not a source of pleasure. It is a rejection.

One more comment from Sheila is worth pointing out. She says as well that sex gets better the more you have it. I am convinced in my own life that this is true. This month Allie and I celebrate six years together. I enjoy this area a lot more now than I did then. I am convinced I’ll say the same five years from now.

Does this mean that change will happen overnight if you desire it? No. If you’re a woman who wants to improve your sex life and you buy this book and read it, it doesn’t mean you’ll get over all the hurdles in a day, but it does mean you’re on the path and if you let your husband know you’re on your path, you can be assured he’ll go to bed that night celebrating and looking forward to the future.

Did Sheila get inside the mind of a man? I think so. Now it’s time for the wives to get inside their husbands’ heads and the husbands to get inside their wives’.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Marriage as Private and Public

Is marriage private or public? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently, I was doing some more thinking about marriage, which isn’t a shock to most readers of the blog. There are some things I don’t think you really learn well about the institution until you’re in it. In this case, I was thinking about honor and marriage and the public and private aspects of marriage.

You see, a marriage starts off with a very public ceremony. In fact, it’s seen as kind of a necessity. No doubt, others have known about the love of the bride and groom for a long time, but now they publicly announce it and make a pact. At this point, they declare there will be no one else. It is the two of them together. This is done in the sight of God and man.

From there, shortly after you have a very private aspect of marriage. This takes place sometimes on the wedding night, but some couples do wait until the next day. Sexual intimacy is again a central part of marriage. In this case, the last thing the lovers want is for their relationship to be private. It’s not because of a shame of the act or themselves, although that can happen for some people. It’s because of a unique trust.

There is a unique trust in a woman trusting her body to a man and a man trusting his body to a woman. Both couples share something secret of themselves that they share with no one else on an intimate level. It’s also something that the details are not discussed. All that needs to be known about couples is that this is going on. There are two great demonstrations of this.

One demonstration is the love that is shown in private. It’s not just love, but it’s honor. A wife honors and respects her husband by saying “You alone I trust with this most vulnerable part of myself and you alone do I feel comfortable with.” Men respond to honor and respect for the most part. Nothing builds them up.

You see, my wife is working with me on a fear of water that I have right now. I absolutely panic when I get into a swimming pool. It’s going to take time. You know what one of my biggest motivations is for improving? It’s realizing that my wife trusts me so much that she gives me herself. How much am I willing to do for my wife back?

This is also part of the beauty of the mutual giving of love. My act then can motivate her to say “I’m so proud of my husband. How can I best show him how proud I am of him?” The beauty of marital intimacy is that it becomes a cycle that regularly increases the love and the trust. The more you have intimacy with your partner, the more you will grow in love and trust. The less you have intimacy, the harder it will be.

Oh. Please note that guys. The best part of this relationship is the intimacy. Sex is more than the physical sensations. It’s the connection you realize you’re building with your wife. It’s not just about getting something in the body, but getting something in the relationship.

I said that one way this love is shown is through the love the couple has for one another in public. What happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom but the results should be seen in public. One clear result often seen in public is children. One way the topic of sex is public happens whenever you see a human being. When that happens, you know that two people have had sex at one point.

Of course, not all children are the results of loving unions, which is a shame, but for the most part we’d think they are. The reason you are with your spouse right now if you’re married is because in part, your parents had sex one time and their parents had sex one time. The result was you on one end and your spouse on another.

The ideal of marriage then is to have that honor shone in both places. Husbands and wives should strive to honor and build one another up in public. In turn, they should do so in private where the most honor can be shown. As I said, it’s a great build up. I have regularly told my wife that I think my ministry shot off after I got married because I had her in my life and got to receive that private honor.

Marriage is not just a part of our lives that we compartmentalize. It affects everything that we do. I have often said that if we want to be good apologists, then we need to be honoring marriage. If you’re single, maintain sexual purity until you marry and honor marriage and respect the relationships of your married friends. If you are married, love your spouse as you’re supposed to. If couples should compete in anything, it’s to outdo one another in showing love and affection.

In Christ,
Nick Peters