In Happiness and in Health

Should this guy marry or not? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I saw a couple of days or so ago a post on Facebook about a bride who wanted to change her wedding vows. She wanted to take out the “In sickness and in health” part and replace it with “In happiness and in health.” Why? She didn’t want to be stuck with a husband with a long-term illness. She went to Reddit to express this and thankfully, got slammed repeatedly. The story can be found here.

Let it be known also that through my entire marriage of ten years, I had to care for my ex-wife in many ways due to her mental illnesses. If someone wants to come to me and ask if I would be willing to care for someone with long-term illness, I can say I already have. This is not to complain about her either. Had she wanted to stay and work on our marriage, I would have kept caring for her.

We’re going to be looking at key parts of this article.

“Claiming that she hates “taking care of sick people”, the bride said she wanted to “live my life to the fullest” without being burdened with an ill husband.”

Okay. This is mainly being written for this husband. Dude. Take a look at this. She has come out and stated that if you get stuck with a major illness, that you will become a burden. She wants to live her life to the fullest. What is that all about? Her. For me, it was a privilege to get to care for my ex when she was sick. So possible future husband, she only wants you if you are in good health. If you come down with some long-term cancer or something like that, well she will be gone. She is not willing to be 100% faithful.

“While she said she has “no problem” with caring for him if he was sick with a cold or flu, she wasn’t prepared to look after him if he had a “chronic” or “severe” illness such as cancer.

She also outrageously said that she would put any of their future children up for adoption if they had a disability, saying “taking care of a disabled child for more than 18 years is too much”.

The post sparked an angry response on Reddit, with thousands criticising the bride for being “selfish”.”

And look at this. This woman has also said she will do the same with children. Those aren’t going to be just her children. They will be yours as well. Do you want to have to say bye to your children because your wife sees them as a burden? Do you want to have to explain to them years later that you gave in to that kind of treatment?

Reddit users are calling her selfish? Rightly so. This lady is entirely selfish and marriage will not change that. Your marriage will be all about her.

“However, the bride justified her stance, explaining that she’d spent a long time looking after her sick parents and wanted a break.

“This is harsh, but I hate taking care of sick people,” she wrote.”

Traditionally, the parents of the bride pay for the wedding. I can imagine if this happened that her parents are so happy to provide for their daughter who says she hated taking care of them. She is right on one thing. It is harsh.

““My siblings and I were always taking care of our parents whenever they get sick and I just hate it, I’m sick of it and I hate feeling bound or obligated to take care of somebody.

“My life is full of moments and events like this and I just finally want to live my life to the fullest.

“I’m going to be married soon to my lovely partner and the best guy in the world. I’m so lucky and happy to have him by my side.” “

Once again, it’s all about her. Surprisingly at least, she didn’t end this by talking about how she’s the best woman in the world in her mind and her husband will be lucky to have her by his side. She’s lucky and happy to have him, until he gets cancer. Then it’s off to find someone else as he’s keeping her from living her life to the fullest. He’s only the best guy in the world if he’s healthy after all.

“In her post, the bride said her fiancé was unhappy with her request to change her vows.

“We have been thinking a little about our marriage vows,” she said.

“My fiancé is going to have a traditional Christian one: ‘I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.’

“I’m going to have an identical one but without the ‘in sickness’ part, I’m going to replace it with ‘in happiness’.”

I read “We have been thinking” as, “I have been trying to get my fiance to accept my new idea and he wants to go with this dumb traditional thing.” She is right that this is apparently a great guy. This guy is being clear in his vows. She’s wanting to change them meaning she’s not wiling to make the same commitment.

So to the guy again, here’s who is the one who’s least committed to the relationship. It’s the one who cares the least. You can give 110%, but it can still fall apart because of her actions. Do you want to risk that? Do you want to have a future divorce and be paying alimony and only get to see your kids when a judge says you can?

““My fiancé says that he will not accept this and he is very mad at me, he is even rethinking the whole thing.”

Good for him. He should. I encourage him to run for the hills and find someone more worthy.

““I just don’t want to feel obligated to take care of anybody sick for years of my own and only life.

“It’s so stressful and I think he is being very unreasonable right now, it’s just a marriage vow and I have the choice to change it.”

Look at that sentence. “It’s just a marriage vow.” For her, this is no big deal. Just a vow? This is her one and only life and you, hopefully no longer future husband, would ruin things for her if you got sick, which could well be beyond your control.” Note that you are being unreasonable in her eyes because you’re not willing to concede this whole thing to her.

“In response the extreme backlash, the woman said she was happy to care for her husband if he was suffering from a minor ailment.

“It depends on the disease, obviously – I’m going to have no problems taking care of somebody with a cold or some flu or some broken bones,” she said.

“However, if it’s chronic or severe and requires so much time and playing around (diets, restrictions, surgery risk, special conditions, frequent problems…etc) like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, disabilities, cancer… etc then no.

“I had enough of those in my life.””

Again, how much warning do you need? This woman is not marriage material. She is only so much committed. Now let’s look at children again.

“When asked whether she would care for their future children if they had a disability, she responded: “If they are abnormal and the tests detected that, then I honestly would abort them.

“I made this clear to my fiancé before, even though we are both Christians),” she said.”

If this lady wants to claim she is a Christian, she really needs to rethink what a Christian is. Christians do not abort children because they have inconvenient sicknesses. To the man here, she is willing to kill children that are also yours. Get out now, set up blocks on email and phone and Facebook, and never look back.

“Otherwise, I would give them up for adoption. Taking care of a disabled child for more than 18 years is too much, almost like the past repeating itself but somehow reversed roles and worse and I just … I just can’t do that.

“Obviously it’s not for all cases. Like, if they got it when they are [age] seven or eight then I’m definitely going to keep taking care of them.

“It will be very unfortunate but as a mother, I would do my best to make their life better.

“However, if they had a disability at [age] two or three then I’m sorry but I just can’t do that. It will not be fair for them and it will not be fair for me and it will not be fair for my husband.

“At least I would give them the chance for a loving family that is capable of caring for them before getting too attached to me.”

Since the husband is a Christian, husband, consider this. What did Jesus say about the least of these? How you treat them is a picture of how you treat Jesus? This is how she would see her own children!

I will say I am thankful Reddit has been hard on this woman. At least there are still people in this world who see marriage as a serious vow. I don’t know their worldview, but they are treating this seriously. Kudos to them.

To the man, again, get out now. If you marry and things go wrong, you can’t say you weren’t warned. The bride is right about this being a one and only life to an extent. You don’t get to replay this. You deserve better. If you are willing to be 100% committed, find someone else who is. Physical beauty that drives us men so much will fade, but unfortunately, her attitude will stay forever and as appealing as she might be physically, her attitude is just ugly.

Get out now.

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)

Marriage of the Priest

Who can the priest marry? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It’s time to return to our walk through the Bible looking at the topic of divorce and marriage. Today, we’re in Leviticus 21 and this is a long chapter so I urge you to look it up on your device, but it is about the rules of marriage for priests. It’s noteworthy that priests are allowed to marry. That is never called into question. However, there are rules set up about who they can marry.

Someone like myself can wonder what it means when a priest can’t marry someone who is divorced. Of course, I have no desire to marry a priest, but I am divorced. Is something wrong with me? If a woman is divorced, what makes her unacceptable for a priest to marry?

Prostitution I can understand, but even then we could be tempted to say, “Couldn’t this be an example of grace?” Perhaps so, but do we really think Israel was there yet? Israel was still having to learn the basics of following YHWH. If there was any sin Israel fell into, it was sexual sin. This was also connected with idolatry and thus did not need to be even risked being treated as “No big deal.”

So why divorce? The same thing could be going on as well. This was to give the idea of purity entirely. Note that there is a difference when we get to the high priest. A regular priest can marry a widow, but the high priest can’t even do that. The woman he marries must be a virgin.

Why? The high priest must be seen as set apart for one woman and one woman set apart for him. His marriage cannot have any mixture in it whatsoever. Perhaps we can see some foreshadowing of the marriage of Christ one day with His wife who is to be set apart for Him to be pure and pristine.

Someone divorced like myself need not think we’re just being shunned. There is nothing about divorced people not being able to remarry, at least at this point. There will be some stipulations later on, but there is something implicit that a divorced person can remarry. After all, if they couldn’t, it would be obvious that you couldn’t marry a divorced person.

I hope to not lose track of this series, but I am reading some other books and plan some reviews so we’ll see what happens.

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

Divorce About A Year Later

How is life today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some of you know I have been applying to NOBTS. If you don’t know that, then obviously you need to subscribe to my newsletter. Recently while filling out the application, I had to explain the circumstances of my divorce. That involved getting out the paperwork and looking at it again. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was this month.

So how is it a year later?

Well, everyday in some ways, it still hurts.  Little things can happen that remind me of something from her. Sometimes, it can even be good things. I can pet my cat and be thinking about missing getting to touch her as well. I can hear someone say something and remember that she used to say that as well. Any time I feel rejection in some way, rightly or wrongly, it brings it back and I think about how I have been rejected.

That’s something that makes divorce so much different than something like death. Divorce is an intentional rejection by someone that is treating you like a problem that has to be eliminated. It doesn’t happen by accident. Sometimes it is justified, but in my case, it wasn’t, and the irony is I had plenty of people, even priests and pastors and others telling me I could get a divorce at any time and it would be biblically based. One priest said a divorce was a godly option or I could remain a martyr in my marriage.

Loneliness is a big problem for me. That’s one more reason I want to move to the campus. I have friends, but very few of them are local, though it is nice for something like Final Fantasy XIV to have some people I can play it with. (If you play too, find me on there. My name is Phoenix Skywing.) It would be nice to have fellow men around who share my theological passions.

Of course, there’s also women to consider. A seminary could be a great place to find a devoted Christian woman who’s looking for her MRS degree. I had hoped that I would never be involved in this search again as it’s extremely difficult being on the spectrum and having to approach someone, but it looks like I am. Add in also that I am completely inept at knowing if someone is flirting with me or not.

It’s really odd to think I’m talking with my therapist about women I am interested in and getting advice. Normally, this seems to come up in most every weekly session. I still hate to this day going to bed at night and realizing that I am sleeping alone. I love having Shiro here with me, but it’s hard to think he’s stuck in one room at my parents’ house since they already have a cat and he only has me. He seems to tolerate my Mom some, and is slowly maybe starting to accept my Dad, but there’s no one he ultimately trusts but me.

There are some people who after a divorce seem to take a view that sex before marriage will be no big deal. I still hold the view that I don’t want it to happen, but having been married before and enjoyed that fruit, I also know what a great temptation it is for me. Fortunately, I have been able to avoid pornography still. That’s not about how awesome I am. There’s a great need to rely on the grace of God and His strength when I am weak.

However, as a guy, this is definitely a great want in my life. I find women to be absolutely beautiful and I don’t want to go through life alone. I also still wouldn’t mind being a Dad someday. Therefore, I do strive to be careful with women and have already set up some boundaries for when I am dating to help make temptation less likely to master me.

I have also become somewhat of an advocate for men going through divorce. One man was inspired to tell his story after I shared mine. I have also set up a Facebook group for Christian men going through divorce or who have gone through it or who are about to go through it.

It’s really sad divorce comes with such a stigma to it. We can think that if many churches today heard that Paul was coming back, they wouldn’t question him about coming behind the pulpit despite having been a murderer, but if news came out that Paul was a divorcee, then there would be serious questions as that had to be explained. I am not saying we should not take divorce seriously. We should. I am saying it is not the unpardonable sin.

Something that also stings in my case is knowing I was accused of being abusive by her. There are plenty of people who knew both of us who would tell you that this is not the case. As I said earlier, I have been told that I had grounds and I have tended to choose to not go into that due to my desire to not shame her. The news came out in September because we thought she had gone missing. A few people knew about it before I went public, but I had kept it secret for a reason.

I would be crazy to deny there was also some shame involved in that. I hate having to tell people I’m divorced. Divorce can be a scarlet letter that you wear.

At the same time, I try to not let it dominate my life. Many people can think about getting revenge on their exes. This is actually how Sue Grafton’s alphabet murder series came about. She kept thinking of how she could kill her ex and then thought, “Why not turn it into a book series?” For me, I don’t really want that. There is a part of me that wants justice, but I want mercy also for her. I have decided personally that the best revenge is a life well-lived.

Even last night, I had a dream that we found out she had to go to the hospital again. This is just a dream, of course, so don’t take this as a fact, but I woke up from it and going back to sleep, I began praying for her again and her well-being. Can I say she has hurt me more than anyone else ever has? Yep. 100%. Still, I try to think of how I have treated my God and then I remember I too have rejected too many times one who loves me so much and I pray for mercy.

Going to work five days a week is a pain as well mainly because my job requires nothing that gives me any challenge intellectually, but is instead a lot of socializing. It’s one reason I am working on making Deeper Waters self-sustaining so that I can just do apologetics work full-time. Again, please consider becoming a donor to help make this so. The more free time I have, the more I can do the important things, like hopefully starting up the podcast again one day.

This is a season in my life. It’s a sad season, but it is still a season. It will pass. The thing is that when people say that, it doesn’t really help that much. You don’t want to have to wait for the season to end. You want it to end then.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of people have been in my corner. I haven’t really lost relationships. If anything, my pain has been something that has helped some other men, and for that, I am grateful. I have one really good friend who has gone down this road and has interacted with me regularly. He had someone do the same for him. I am helping someone else down this road now and hope to help others down it too.

Still, I can’t deny the pain is real. You have to choose to keep going. There were times early on when it was sometimes tempting to just quit. That was never the answer though, although everyone I understand thinks about it at some point. I have chosen to face my pain consistently, but never doubt that it is very much there.

Sometimes people will reach out and say things that I also know are meant to be supportive, but they have the exact opposite effect. Some of it can even be true, such as the importance of being thankful for what you have. I am and should be, but I also do acknowledge there is a real loss on my end and a real desire for other gifts, like a remarriage some day.

Honestly, if you haven’t been through a divorce, one of the best things you can do is just listen. I might just need to vent a bit at times and then I can come to my own conclusions. Naturally, pray as well.

Thanks to so many people who have been there for me. I hope many of you never have to go through the pain of divorce, justified or unjustified. For those wanting to know about seminary, just follow my Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter for updates.

Thank you again for everything.

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

 

 

What Is A Woman?

How do we answer this question? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For all interested, my Dad is doing much better. He actually got to come home Tuesday of last week. I was betting on him being in there a lot longer, but no. We have also been regularly been having some fun with him on things he said and did when he was delirious such as asking me if I was an angel when he didn’t recognize me and how he was watching HGTV and asked my Mom if she had remodeled the house.

Over the week, we also had the fun of a new meme featuring Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in that she said she could not answer what a woman is because she is not a biologist. Funny? Yes. Many of my fellow conservatives were glad to see that she went to biology for the answer, which is something seen as being objective.

So yes, we all should know what a woman is. However, I also think we should ask in some ways what a woman is and I think this shows a deeper problem in philosophy today. It is a problem of not understanding essences.

Consider a small child. The child does not generally have training in philosophy, He sees his family has an animal that has four legs and tends to bark a lot and he is told this is a dog. He is out walking in the neighborhood with his parents and he sees several animals in the lawns of the neighbors. These creatures he sees are different sizes and colors, but yet he is told that they are all dogs. In the windows, sometimes, he sees these small delicate animals and if he could hear them, he would hear meows from them. These would not be dogs, but they would be cats.

The boy is not a philosopher per se, but he is learning something about reality. He is learning about essences. There is something essential that all these creatures have in common that makes them dogs and not cats, but they differ in other areas called the accidents that are non-essential. These are conditions such as size and color. A dog could even lose a leg and still be considered a dog.

Nowadays, we don’t know that. We have philosophies today that can question if the world is really real. The east has often had this, but it hasn’t been as common in the west. Now, it is becoming more and more so. I personally see this as coming largely from the influence of Descartes. Centuries ago, there was no field known as epistemology. Now there is.

So we come to the question of “What is a woman?” There are many ways we can explore this. It has been said that many a man asks himself the question “Am I a man?” There is no indication that he is talking about his biological features. He’s not going to take off his pants and look and say “I guess I am. Good to know.” Instead, when he asks this, he is more asking if he has the character that a man is supposed to have in his mind.

We can also go another way and just simply ask “What is a human?” Aristotle said it was a rational animal, but if we found another animal that was rational, would we say that was a human? Fans of science fiction and fantasy can easily think of material creatures that are rational, but they would not be considered human.

The problem in our culture is we don’t really think such essences exist anymore. Nominalism has taken us over and most of us don’t even know what that is. It’s one reason we think you can surgically alter a man enough and lo and behold, he becomes a woman and starts winning swim championships.

I’m not saying no one is talking about it this way, but I haven’t seen it. For most teenage boys, I suspect they would say “I may not be able to define in that way what a woman is, but I know one when I see it and I like it.” Perhaps beyond biology, we should have a deeper conversation about philosophy, something our culture has sadly lost sight of. When that happens, it’s not that we cease to do philosophy, we just do it exceptionally poorly. (Consider how a great intellect like Stephen Hawking can say “Philosophy is dead” in a statement teeming with philosophical nuances and all of it bad.)

I’m quite certain that some people will comment on my post at least on Facebook who hold to a sort of scientism. They often think they’re making powerful arguments, but they’re not. This is not to attack the sciences, but to reailze science has limitations and when it comes to essences, that is a limitation of science.

In no way also does this held the so-called transgender ideology. If anything, it tells us we can’t change our gender any more than I could take my little cat Shiro and do mass operations on him and turn him into a dog. We can change the appearance all we want, but it doesn’t change the reality.

Perhaps this would then be a good time since everyone is asking to think “What really is a woman?” What do all women have in common that is absolutely essential to them? What do all men? What do all humans? If someone wants to say “Nothing. It’s all subjective”, then there is no feminism or transgenderism any more at all. After all, if being a woman can be made to mean anything, then it really means nothing. (This is one of the dangers of trying to change what marriage is. If it can be made to mean anything, then it really means nothing.) We already started down this road decades ago when we decided to redefine what a human baby is and allow abortion. It’s not a shock that when one people group wants to destroy (The Nazis) or enslave (Slavery in America) another group, they often dehumanize them.

So in one sense, Judge Brown got a softball question and she failed miserably at it. On the other hand, she also got a complex question that we should all consider asking ourselves and pondering. Perhaps it’s time to return to Plato, Augustine, Plotinus, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, etc. and see what we can learn. Maybe the past can actually inform us today.

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

Why Not Watch Porn?

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

In a recent post on waiting for marriage again, I wrote about a recent conversation with two co-workers. That conversation about why one should wait until marriage also included talk about pornography. The guy in the conversation was definitely stunned that I don’t watch porn, though a lot of women have been stunned about that too.

The sad reality of today is it’s considered axiomatic. If a girl starts dating a guy, she will usually assume that he is caught up in watching pornography on some level. Even sadder, too many times, she’s right.

Now I being a formerly married man have got to rightly see a woman’s full body before, so what’s the harm? Why not go back to that? I mean, sure, these are women I don’t know, but why should this suddenly be forbidden grounds once again?

First off, let’s consider that rule about women thinking that their men watch porn. This is unfair to the woman as the woman will often then start watching if anything, just because she thinks she has to compete against what is on the screen. Newsflash: She can’t. What is on the screen is fantasy and acted out entirely. What is going on in reality is not acted out. It’s real flesh and blood and there are no retakes of a scene or anything like that. There are no airbrushed bodies either in reality.

No woman should think in anyway that she has to compete with a woman on a screen. Even if you’re not watching porn, I urge you married men definitely to not talk about an actress on TV or the movies that you think is attractive. That can make a woman think in a social media world that she has to compete.

Second, we don’t know the story of these women always, but many times they are caught up in sex trafficking, which still goes on here in America. Watching pornography can further aid that. Would you want to take part in anything that could enable the sex slavery of women?

Third, when I listen to the radio many times, I often hear ads about products that deal with ED. I strongly suspect the reason this has risen so much is pornography. Some men have been turned on so much by porn that they need something stronger and stronger in order to be able to respond to a beautiful woman. There are men in their 20’s and possibly younger that are struggling with this already and some that I have known like this have been struggling with pornography. Pornography has it that you need more and more to get the same sort of reaction and it has to be harder and harder. It’s the law of diminishing returns and you are damaging your brain further and further.

Fourth, this really makes you less of a man. There’s no need to go out there and really impress a real woman. Nope. Just go and watch a woman who doesn’t even know you take off all her clothes in front of you on a screen. That doesn’t make you a man. You might feel like one, but if anything, you are less of a man. You are really telling yourself you are incapable of getting that in reality, so you might as well go to porn.

Personally, I see a woman as a privilege and I want it to be that assuming I remarry, which I definitely hope for, that a lady will know I waited for her and when she shares her body with me, there is no competition. She doesn’t have to compete against a computer screen. She is the one and only.

And ladies, if your man is watching porn, declare war on it. Don’t accept it. It’s either you or porn. I’m not saying he will necessarily quit cold turkey. It’s a struggle. Still, he has to be willing to get help. It’s a form of adultery in the marriage and it should not be tolerated.

And always, please do work on your marriages. I can tell anyone easily that divorce hurts. In some ways, it hurts every single day to this day.  Please work on your marriage so none of you has to go through with this.

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

Waiting For Marriage….Again

Should divorced people wait again? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The whole thought seemed incredulous to them. Seriously? You’re not going to have sex again until you marry again?

I was talking to some co-workers yesterday, one a guy and one a girl, though not in any romantic relationship with each other. They both seemed stunned at first that I would be waiting until I got married again for sex.

I was stressing that this was part of being consistent with my views on sex and marriage. I’m not doing this because I like the idea. I really don’t. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. I also say this because some of my friends have never married and when I was married, I could say “Save sex for marriage” very easily because I had someone I could be with. Now, I have to say the same thing again when I have no one. The rules of reality don’t change based on my personal circumstances.

I also stressed why I was doing this and without even citing a single verse of Scripture. It was just a simple way of stating that a person is worth a lifetime commitment. I personally focused this on the girl the most since women really control the market and it seemed to be effective. Why? Because I think every girl wants to know that she’s worth a lifetime commitment. Too many women sell themselves short. Because they sell themselves for less, should they be treated as less? No.

I showed my phone as an example and said I could sell this for a penny. That would be stupid, but I could do it. That would not mean it is worth a penny. A woman can give herself to a man for less than a lifetime commitment. That does not mean she’s worth less than a lifetime commitment.

This also means no pornography. For some men, that’s really hard. For me, for the most part, it has not been a challenge. I never engaged in it before and although there have been some times of temptation, by the grace of God those have been few and far between and I have relied on Him and overcome them every time.

However, I do plan on remarrying and when I do, I want whoever I am with to know that I was faithful even when I was unmarried and did not do anything that I should have saved for marriage. This person will know that she is also worth a lifetime commitment. After all, talk is cheap. I want a girl who will say “You don’t get to be with me until you actually go through the promise and make a lifetime commitment to me publicly before God and men.”

Why say all this? First off, the standard doesn’t change for divorced people. It’s not “Well, you’ve been married and had sex before so no big deal. Do what you want?” I plan to take further precautions when dating this time around to make sure I don’t fall into temptation. The first way to highly increase the chance if not make it certain is to think that you are above it.

Second, I want my single friends who have never been married to know I am following the hard path as well. It’s not because I like it again. It’s because I’m convinced it’s the right thing to do.

And also, to my friends who are divorced, I share the burden with you. Someone did ask “Well what if you never marry again?” yesterday. Then that means I don’t again. I don’t like that, but that’s what it means. Sex is a great gift, but my happiness and well-being does not depend on it. I can’t make it my god or else it becomes a demon.

Yet I will continue to hope that love like that can be a reality again and I can have a special lady to share my life with. if I find that, I want her to know I was faithful in singleness. That also gives all the more reason to trust me in marriage.

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

Being Asked About Divorce

Should divorced people be questioned about their divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As readers should know, I am applying for seminary and right now, answering questions about my divorce. When my work manager asked about my application and I told her I was answering questions about my divorce she told me that she thought that was none of their business. I understand that sentiment honestly, but the more I thought about that, the more I thought it’s entirely their business.

It’s strange that whenever I have gone for a job interview, no employer has ever asked me questions about morality and my worldview around it. Would I want to hire an accountant who was a master with numbers, but did not think stealing was wrong? Would you want to see a doctor who thought that it was okay to commit murder, or worse a surgeon who thought that?

Why does this matter for the ministry? Because ministry is an aspect where you are meant to live a holy life. If so, I should not mind being questioned about the life that I have led and since marriage is one of the most important questions, I should not mind being questioned on that.

I understand some people feel frustrated when years later after being remarried and showing themselves to be a faithful spouse, they are still questioned about the previous marriage, but we are talking about people who do not know us as well as people who have known us for years. If we have done nothing wrong, we could consider it a bother, but in the end, why not be grateful? These should not be seen as quests to out us on something, but quests to see if we are fit to hold a leadership position in the Christian ministry community.

I also think this should not apply to just divorced people. It should apply to marrieds and never marrieds. If a man is a pastor in a church, I think he should have accountability software on his computer and devices and should not be allowed to have devices that don’t have monitoring. These would not be used to spy, but simply to report behavior that could be pornographic in nature, for example. I also think if he is married that he and his wife should be required to have their marriage status questioned regularly to see how things are going and if they are both living holy in their marriage.

Many of the same would apply to someone who is single. If he starts dating someone, he should have someone also he can be held accountable to to ask the nature of the dates. This is not to get personal information, but to make sure that purity is being kept up. Is he following the steps and not playing loose with sexual temptation?

Now why do this? Because holiness matters and consider how much damage it does the Christian church when we hear about someone who has betrayed that trust? The most egregious example out there is without a doubt, Ravi Zacharias. There are many others who this has happened to and barring the return of Christ, there will be many more this happens to and how many of these could have been caught early if we had been practicing accountability?

Does that mean I like being questioned about the status of my divorce and how it happened? No, but I also don’t like going to the doctor and getting a shot if I am sick with something. I also don’t like having to go to work when I get tremendously bored there. There are many things I do that I don’t particularly like doing, but I know that they are good for me to do.

The same applies here. We are in the business of walking and talking like Jesus did and we need to be held accountable. It would be better for us to be held accountable before our fellow Christians and thus not stumble, than to not be held accountable by them, stumble, and then be held accountable before the world.

So to my fellow divorced people, when you are questioned, I understand it’s rough, but be thankful somewhere or try to be. These are people wanting to make sure you are living holy. They do not know you as well as the people who have known you for years and you are often coming in with them blind to who you are. Be understanding and appreciate being held accountable.

In the past, I would have loved to have been a man like Ravi. Now, I want to make sure I am not like him. If that requires accountability, I should gladly take it.

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

The Seduced Slave Girl

What happens if a slave girl is seduced? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As we go through Leviticus, we come across this law in chapter 19.

“‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

So what is going on here?

First off, nothing is said here about how the sleeping together came about. Most likely, it is not rape, but seduction. It also says nothing about who it is that has slept with the girl. It could actually be the master himself. It could be just a way of saying anyone who does this, including the master.

Why is the death penalty not put in place here? It is not because the girl is a servant, but it is because she is not married. She was to be redeemed and to be a wife and she hasn’t been and when men wanted to redeem wives, they generally wanted to redeem virgins.

When it comes to the money that is paid, it is not clear who it is that gets the money. Is it the master or is it the husband-to-be? I also think it’s worthwhile to point out the woman doesn’t have to have any penalty on her. Instead, it is the man who is to take responsibility. Even if this is seduction and it take two to tango, the man is seen as the one who has done the seduction.

Also, if the marriage was called off because of this, what happens to the girl? She remains in the household of the master and likely he has to keep providing for her. This would mean a master better think twice if he wants to be the one who is sleeping with the slave girl.

Also, how is all of this information coming about? We can seem to gloss over that idea, but if we are talking about finding out who did what and making proper restitution, what does that entail? That’s right. An investigation. This would be a matter that would be looked into.

Why is that important? Because this is nothing silent, but it is something that is public and the man would have been seen as having done a shameful thing. If the woman let herself be seduced, this would ultimately be her own punishment as everyone would know about what she did. If a man doesn’t want to see his love life come under scrutiny like this, it would be wise for him to just avoid interacting with the girl altogether. (For an idea of what that could be like, think back to any major affair that has happened whether it be Ravi Zacharias or Bill Clinton.)

Again, all this shows that the Bible treats sex and marriage seriously. We would be wise to do the same even if our laws are different.

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

Book Plunge: Dating With Discernment

What do I think of Sam Andreades’s book published by Cruciform Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

How many pastor/scholars do you know that write books on dating that are practical and have deep theology? Odds are, that number is zero. Change that number to one now. Sam Andreades has written such a book that is practical and yet founded on great theology.

So how does one date wisely? You might be surprised, but the first chapter is on how to break up with someone. What? That’s like writing a book on how to be good at a sport and then a chapter on how to lose or how to win at video games with discussing all the ways to lose a life. Does it really make sense to have a book on dating start with a chapter on how to break up?

Andreades asks this question at the beginning and yes, yes it does. He says you need to be willing to go for the best in this area and that can mean ending relationships that are not good. You do not need to be in a relationship to be in a relationship. If you can learn to say no to a bad one, you are upholding your view on how much you are worth.

This section already got me considering about the rest of the book. Yes. I am worth a good woman in my life who does want to be loved and treasured. Yes. Whoever she is, she is worthy of a man who will love and treasure her. This gets into the other way this book works.

Andreades regularly writes to both persons in the relationship. He tells women how they can best please a man and tells men how they can best please a woman. He points out our differences based on gender, his main specialty area, and shows how these are the design of God.

This also includes saving sex for marriage. Andreades refers to this as guarding the gold. By saying no to sex until marriage, you are saying you are worth a lifetime commitment. Words and a ring are really good, but without the covenant, they are just, well, words and a ring. It is when you make a promise before God and man and any other spiritual beings watching, that you are in the covenant and then, have at it.

To this end, Andreades says that men will often show interest in a girl thinking “I’d like to have sex with her.” Refreshingly, Andreades does not condemn this thinking as he knows that sex is God’s idea, but he also tells men that sex is about more than sex. What happens physically is meant to mirror deep spiritual and emotional connections. If you view sex as purely physical, you are missing out. This is also one great reason why it is contained in marriage. Andreades does not condemn the drive in us men, but instead encourages us to use that drive to go further.

All of this is also rooted in good Trinitarian theology. Andreades regularly points to the interactions in the Trinity and then tells us that this is how we are to relate to one another. Why would you discuss the Trinity in a book on dating? Because dating is all about establishing relationships and the Trinity is all about how God is relational and all relationships are founded on that relationality.

Andreades encourages men to be leaders and sacrificers. The man should be the one to ask someone out and be willing to put his heart on the line. The man should be willing to protect his wife and help her feel secure from all the threats, be that external or internal.

A good wife is one who is willing to submit to her husband’s leadership even when she disagrees, excepting that he does not call her to do anything wrong. If he makes the wrong decision, it’s still his decision and the wife can still esteem him without constant “I told you so’s.” A man deeply wants to be respected by the woman in his life.

Also, meet the family as soon as possible. No, it doesn’t mean you’re walking down the aisle. It just means the family knows you. I know in my marriage, this happened quickly as seeing as she lived in Atlanta and I in Charlotte then, I had to drive over and meet her parents before I could take her out. (And her parents and I are on good terms to this day.)

This book is written for people dating or hoping to date, but I think it would be good for married couples. They could look at this and ask “Are we doing this for each other?” This is also a book that uses good theology and all of us could use that. I contend many of the personal struggles we can have in life are rooted in having poor theology in some area, and all of us do.

If you are dating, get this book and read it. If you are wanting to date, get this book and read it. If you know a couple who are dating, get each of them this book and have them read it.

Pretty much, just get this book and read it.

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