42

What’s it like being the meaning of life, the universe, and everything? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today is my special day as today, I have turned 42, which we all know is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Something I was thinking about last night was Chesterton’s idea that each of us is a great, “Might-not-have-been.” The odds of my being here as I am and your being here are infinitesimal, but yet here you are and here I am. Each of you being here is someone who is extremely unlikely.

Oddly though, had I never been at the same time, I would not have been missed. Now yes, I do realize parents miss children that they miscarry, but there is still something different as you have no idea for sure how the child would have turned out. No one around us knows how they would have either. This world could have had several people in it that never got the chance to be through whatever means.

I can’t help but think about abortion at this. Our world could be vastly different today had we not killed millions of people before they got to live outside the womb. Now I realize some could say we could have had another Hitler, but we could also have had someone who cured cancer. We don’t know.

The evolutionary paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould once said if you rewound the clock and started it up again, reality would not come out the same way. Unless you’re a strong determinist in theism, the same is true for us. Even with a God overseeing everything, many of us still believe in free-will and how matters could have been much more different.

I cannot speculate on the unknown like this. It could be interesting at times, but I would prefer to speculate on the known. I am here. That means that everything I have been through, I have survived, be it major back surgery, depression and panic attacks, and a super-painful divorce. I have gone through it all and I’m still kicking. Right now, I’m doing that so much that I’m at seminary living out my dream.

It was also a gift to see how matters went for me today. I don’t publicize my birthday on campus and I wondered if anyone would know. I opened my door and my first thought was that there was a spill of some sort and a stream of water falling out my door, but it wasn’t a stream of water. It was gold streamers. There was a gift card and a set of mini-cupcakes and my door area was thoroughly decorated. The names on a card were my RA and her husband.

All around campus, many people have been wishing me a happy birthday. It’s been something incredible to me. It tells me more and more that I do belong here. I am surrounded by people who actually notice me and care about me. I’m not saying no one else has, but I have only been here a little over a month and already I have found a place that I can fit in. It’s an academic environment, one that I thrive in.

Tonight, when I rest, I hope I will do so a year wiser and a year more mature. Well, the more mature part might be hard. Anyway, I also hope I go to bed thankful, thankful that through it all, I was allowed to be and realize that my life is a gift.

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

Moving On Out

What big change is coming? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am not going to be posting next week. Why is that? Because of the city in that picture. That is New Orleans, Louisiana. That is where I am going.

I have not said much about this aside from recently on Facebook, but it has been in the works and a few friends have known. One thing I decided shortly after my divorce was in moving on, I needed to finish goals I never had. That meant getting my Master’s and eventually going on to get a Ph.D.

I’m a member of a Southern Baptist Church and in talking to my pastor, he said that if I went to a Southern Baptist Seminary, I could cut 40-50% off of my tuition. I asked him to send me a list of such seminaries. One named stood out to me immediately. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

I had been there once before for a Defend the Faith conference and I did enjoy the city. I had many friends there, including Bob Stewart who I contacted immediately. He told me that I could do the program online from my parents’ house, but I would honestly finish the degree faster if I moved to New Orleans and did it on campus.

My Divorcecare leader and his wife came up to talk to my parents about it since my mother especially is concerned, as many mothers are. Still, it was enough to get them to realize this is what I need to do. My own personal mentor says that this is definitely the right path for me to take.

Today will be my last day at the Wal-Mart. This is a big move I am making and I won’t deny, I am awfully scared many times. I am putting a lot on the line. I do have likely a position as an intern for a pastor which could cover my tuition as well and give me a little bit more money each week. I also could be working at the campus post office part-time, but it is minimum wage.

I just know I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and recovering from my divorce has been hard and it has been hard to be passionate for something, but many times, I think about the salvation of New Orleans. Something I told Dr. Stewart when I visited in January was that I had two thoughts at one time. There’s no reason God can’t save New Orleans and there’s no reason He can’t use me to do it.

My pastor told me the anxiety is normal and many people who told me about making big changes in their lives have said the same thing. I get that it is normal and in some ways healthy, but it sure isn’t pleasant. I will likely have to stay at the guest place across the street from the seminary for a few days until the apartment is ready and my main concern with that is Shiro, will he be fine in a new place like that until we move into a regular one and then he has to make the switch again? It has to be this week though because my Divorcecare leader and his wife are going down there with my Dad and I to get me situated and they have a station wagon that can carry several boxes as well. My Dad and I will likely split up the driving between the two of us.

If anything also gives me anxiety, it’s money. Now I have a sizable portion in the bank because I have been saving up money from my job. I really don’t spend a lot, though while with my parents I have been covering my own bills. Also, Shiro is a non-negotiable with me. I will only stay a place that allows him. He’s an older cat and I’m the only person he really trusts and I’m not going to abandon him again, especially after the fact that my ex did just that.

Friends. Please do what you can to help out. Here is a list of all the things I will have to provide for and I do need your support.

Rent.
Electricity.
Internet.
Cell phone service.
Gas.
Health insurance.
Auto insurance.
Groceries and day-to-day supplies.
Care for Shiro.
Books for research.
Medications and Doctor Visits.
Traveling expenses, especially to see family on Christmas as I plan on flying back for such events and for other conferences like Evangelical Theological Society.
My own personal tithes to my new church and any charitable giving of my own I choose to do.
Unless I get it all covered, tuition.

I can assure anyone I try to be as frugal as possible. I regularly go to apps on my phone to get the best deals at places like restaurants. When I am grocery shopping, I go and check out the clearance sections immediately. I don’t want to make a dishonest penny. I do programs that are free to try to earn free gift cards also for places like Amazon. My entertainment expenses are also slow and one such as Audible is also educational for me.

Please be praying for me and please be a regular donor. This site includes at the bottom of every post how to be a donor through Patreon. Please do consider it. Every donation gives me more hope and encouragement. I have been praying at night for God to provide as I take this step even if I don’t know where every dollar to provide for me will come from. Please consider becoming one of those suppliers to help me on the journey. I also hope that if enough comes in, that i can start the Deeper Waters Podcast once more which I have missed greatly.

Thank you and I hope to write to you the week after next with good news.

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

Divorce And Reasons for Marriage

Why should someone get married? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Something I have noticed is a lot of you seem to like it when I write something on divorce. I don’t want to talk about it every day, because frankly it’s still painful for me to talk about, but give the people what they want. If all of this can help prevent someone from going down this path or help to revitalize a struggling marriage, then that will be enough for me.

A major problem is that we don’t take commitment seriously enough and marriage is not just a commitment, but it’s a covenant. Our culture already doesn’t place much on it. Want to have sex? That used to be a big incentive to get a man to be married and to invest in the relationship. No more. Men can easily get sex outside of making an actual commitment to a woman.

Does a woman want to be provided for? Again, not a big issue since the feminist movement. Women nowadays can often work hard and care for themselves financially and usually only need a man around when it’s time to make a baby. Oh wait. Thanks to artificial insemination, now they don’t even need that. Add in also that the government is more than willing to do what they can to provide for mothers who are single and not in a marital relationship and they have even more incentive.

When this happens, the question then becomes why should anyone get married? If we consider the first option with men, women who give in to men before marriage are not really giving any incentive for a man to get married. If he can get it and he doesn’t have to risk any kind of commitment, well why not? He can literally have his cake and eat it too. It happens so much that no one really even bats an eye anymore.

Yet something is wrong with it. The breakdown of the family has led to a lot of social unrest in our society. Gangs are often formed when men have no real male figure around that they can call Dad. There are many single women who for whatever reason, even one like being widowed tragically, are raising single sons alone and doing admirable jobs, but the sons are best raised if they have at least some figure in their lives they can consider a father figure, such as an uncle, a teacher, or a coach.

Women themselves? Many women still do want to get married and have a firm commitment they can count on. Too often they are giving sex thinking it will help them get that commitment, but it isn’t working. Men much more easily bounce from relationship to relationship because it’s easy for them to escape the consequences, which is one reason abortion is seen as so essential for so many people. It’s a way to get to enjoy a sexual relationship without consequences.

So with all of this, some could be asking why someone like me would still want to get married again?

It’s because I consider myself a Christian realist.

I think reality is that sex is meant for a covenant relationship in marriage. I actually think it’s a great evidence of Christianity when I consider its sexual ethic when it’s so counter-cultural in every way, even from Roman times, and yet it’s consistent too. I think a man and a woman go together physiologically and in every other way.

I also think every person is worth a lifetime commitment and to get sex from a woman without making that covenant before God and man with her is to demean her and lower her. She is worth nothing less than that lifetime commitment upfront and then she is the exclusive person to be with. The same applies to men in reverse.

I do think a man should want to provide for a woman, no matter how much the woman can provide for herself. A man will still on some level want to provide and care for someone. A woman meanwhile will often still want to be a mother and still give a good home and raise her children well and bring joy to her husband.

Ultimately, I look at the fruit of the sexual revolution and see that it doesn’t work. Right now, I have high hopes that with abortion being removed, we will hopefully get to a place where we will actually start taking sex seriously and thinking about what it means and what role marriage has in our society. Our culture is not in trouble because we have a high view of sex, but it is because we have a low view of it. We have taken one facet of it, the pleasure of the act, and made that everything.

For the church, if we are to change, it starts with us. Christian marriages have to be stronger than ever. I say this as one who has been badly burned in a marriage, but I still uphold marriage 100% as a good gift from God and to be celebrated.

Those of you who are married right now are the ones who can best demonstrate that this is true. Those of us who are looking for marriage again can meanwhile honor it by how we live. For me, it is still abstinence until I remarry, no matter how painful that is. I trust that assuming I remarry again, God will honor what I have done and make it worthwhile.

If we want to change the culture, it begins with us.

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

 

A Personal Update

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

For those of you who might not follow me on Facebook, I wanted to give a personal update. Some of you might suspect this is about the divorce, but no, it is only in a tangential way about the divorce. One thing I decided early on was I was not going to be a victim. I could lie down and be bitter and mourn, but that would do me nothing.

Keep in mind I am not denying there was no mourning at all. There was and that is good and healthy. There were and are a lot of painful emotions to work through. Even to this day, the divorce hits me hard on some level everyday and I notice ways that I am different as a result, such as I do tend to be much less trusting of people nowadays. After all, someone who made a major promise to me shattered that promise.

One night in talking to some friends on Facebook Messenger, I remember somehow the suggestion coming up about how I could continue my education as well. I have gone down that path and I do have a job where I am earning money, even though I do not like it, and I have been saving up. I am still quite hopeful to get scholarships, but I have completed an application process.

My pastor told me that since I attend a Southern Baptist Church, which I found through DivorceCare, that my tuition would be automatically reduced if I attended a Southern Baptist Seminary. I asked him for a list and saw that New Orleans Baptist was on the list. I knew a number of people down there and their strong apologetics focus so that meant my path was decided easily.

I believe it was a week ago today that I got the news that I have been accepted. I was also told that I would get my degree faster, which is the goal, if I were to move down to New Orleans myself. Right now, I am trying to do all I can to find out about employment, a church home, scholarships, and where I will live on campus.

So this update is also a request to those who want to contribute to this cause and have supported me on this journey and want to keep supporting me. I think the only furnishing in the apartments they have is a desk, so no doubt, I will need much of my own furniture so someone who is local and has something they want to donate, that would be fine. As I said, I have been saving money, and I am frugal, but I do not know for sure about scholarships entirely and there are living expenses.

My apartment will be one that is pet-friendly. My cat is a non-negotiable as he has been my companion for about a decade now and I refuse to leave him behind, especially since now I am the only person he truly trusts completely. He has been abandoned by enough people in his life and I’m not going to be one of them. However, I will be paying for vet care for him and other such necessities. If they have a Banfield down there, great, as I am part of their program. If not, I will have to do something else.

Of course, there’s other needs. I don’t know if the apartments include coverage of electricity, internet, water, etc. at this point. There is health and dental and vision insurance. There is auto insurance. I also have to keep up my cell phone and groceries and other living expenses.

While I am seeking employment down there, the ideal would be able to have enough coming in that I can do full-time ministry work. That way I can do all the work for my classes easily and I would be thrilled to get the podcast up and running again and have more time for writing ebooks. I also would like to be able to pay someone who can help me make YouTube videos.

At this point, I do receive a good number of donations, but the more that come in, the easier it gets for me. There are two ways you can donate. You can regularly donate through Patreon. That can be found here. You can also contact Mike and Debbie Licona and ask how you can donate in a tax-deductible means for me.

My plan for now is to be working on a Master’s in Philosophy first. I plan on focusing on my Thomism and learning how to better defend the existing of God and the reality of miracles. While doing that, I will continue learning Greek as I have a New Testaments scholar friend who teaches me and if I find someone there who can teach me in person, all the better. Then when I get both of those taken care of, I plan to do a PhD on the New Testament on the topic of the resurrection of Jesus.

Even if the semester hasn’t started yet, I plan to move down there as soon as I can. I want to get settled in, work at a good church if possible, make new friends, and I have no objections if I find a special lady down there who wants to partake of the journey with me. Thank you all for your support and prayers in this.

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

 

Theology on the Spectrum talk

Ready to talk about Autism and the church? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. This blog is going to be half-done in a sense so that my ministry partner can get it out, so come back later. Tomorrow at `10 AM EST, I will be doing an interview on David Popiden’s show again with my friend Erin Burnett, whose book I reviewed here, on Autism and the church.

The link can be found here.

Please do be watching!

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

Sharing My Debate

Where can you find a debate? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Just wanting to quickly plug this debate I did for today’s blog. You can watch it here. Please leave a comment on the video as well and I appreciate any feedback.

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

Virgin Birth (Which I do affirm) debate

How did the debate go? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Not a lot of reading today, but some viewing. Check out a debate I did with John Richards on the virgin birth, which I do affirm.

You can watch it here.

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

ETS 2021

What did I think of the conference this year? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So the reason there wasn’t a blog last week is that I was at ETS and way too busy to do a blog. ETS is the Evangelical Theological Society and they have a meeting every year. This year, it was held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This was the second time I had ever gone to ETS and the first time I had gone to Texas.

So at the start, what I saw of Texas, I loved. The people were really nice and the layout of the area I was in was beautiful. I could walk down the streets and feel very safe and there was not really a lot of traffic either. If things in our country get really bad, I wouldn’t mind moving to Texas someday.

On a historical note, the hotel we stayed at was also the last place JFK stayed at before he was assassinated. The area of the convention also used to be known at the start of the last century as Hell’s Half-Acre. It was called such because there were several businesses allowed to run that shouldn’t have, but they supported the economy so the law was more lenient. Gamblers like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp came through, but so did villains like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and it was referred to as a Den of Sin. Now here we are over a century later and evangelicals have redeemed it for a conference.

Also, when I said we stayed at a hotel, I shared a room with Mike Licona. My former father-in-law thought it would also send a good message to the society that there’s no bad blood between us. We got along well, although we did have to get used to him being an early bird and my being a night owl, but we managed to adapt well and I slept fine through the night.

Now a benefit of ETS is certainly getting to hear great talks. I really liked one I heard on the resurrection and does the body keep score. Could we have disabilities still have the resurrection? Will we remember the evils that we went through in this life? That might be a theoretical question for some of you, but for someone like myself on the spectrum, it isn’t. If anything, I would hope I can keep some of my Aspie traits even in a new and glorified body. I also went to a panel discussion Mike was part of on the minimal facts and talks on Aquinas and on Muslim relations and one on if Christ knew He was impeccable.

The bookstore is also a great place to go there as many books are there and on sale. I also had a good friend of Deeper Waters who showed up and told me to go to the bookstore and buy what I wanted. Even then, I tried to not get a whole lot. I didn’t want to take advantage. He also provided to have them FedExed back to my house and they were waiting when I got here.

That brings me to the best thing about ETS. The people. I found it easy to interact in the crowds of others and to chat. Many of my Aspie traits were just not as relevant then as they normally are. There were plenty of people on a humorous note who came up to me and told me that they affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and several have started saying that. On a more personal note, many people also came up to me and told me they were praying for me and sorry about all that I went through with the divorce and am going through. Two of them prayed right there with me.

Every day was a blessing to be there and when Thursday night came that matters were wrapping up, I started to have the sadness come to me. It’s like the letdown you have when you’re a kid and you wait for Christmas so eagerly and after it’s gone, you miss that time. I really do. Saturday when I was back here in Tennessee and back at work, I was already hating it again. It’s again why I would love to be doing the kinds of things I was doing at that conference full-time. (Although, Shiro has had a talk with me about how he never wants to see me leave for that long ever again)

Now as for the people, I know I will leave some out, but I remember being at the bookstore and seeing Mike Winger and getting to talk to him about how much I appreciated his video series on divorce. Bob Stewart and I had several interactions and I always told him how handsome he is. I don’t remember how that joke got started, but I remember Mike sharing it with me and I don’t forget a joke.

Ed Komoszewski and Rob Bowman and I had several interactions. Ed and I have talked multiple times together about the divorce. It was also good to meet Sam Shamoun and I ran into David Wood and Tim Stratton. Speaking of Tim, Tim McGrew and I met one time and he greeted me with a big hug, one of few people I would allow to do that without reservation. I also had some time with Paul Copan. On the plane to Dallas/Fort Worth, I sat next to Christian Cuthbert who I had never heard of before but saw he had a theological book and asked if he was going to ETS. He’s a scholar on Jonathan Edwards so I pried him with several questions before our plane took off. Matt Jenson gave the talk on the resurrection body and he and I and a couple of others went to lunch together after to talk about it and to affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. I also saw Craig Blomberg, Ken Wolgemuth, Hugh Ross, Greg Koukl, Brett Kunkle, and got to meet others like Robert Plummer, Bill Mounce, and Jonathan Pennington. I am sure I left some people out. Please don’t take offense at that if you were one.

Next year it will be in Denver with the theme of holiness. I am planning on submitting a paper on divorce and the spectrum. Why don’t you consider coming to? It would be great to meet you as well.

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

Things Not To Say To A Divorced Person #5: I Know How You Feel

Do you really understand? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is one of those statements that applies in so many situations, but it also applies to divorce. There is one exception to this like the others. That is with someone who has gone through a painful divorce. No two divorces will be exactly alike, but at least there is some relationship there.

So if you have gone through a break-up, you do not know what it is like. If you and your boyfriend or girlfriend have been lovers and lived together and broken up, you don’t know what it is like. If you have lost a spouse due to an unintentional and unmalicious death, you don’t know what it is like. All of these may bear some similarities, but they are still different.

What the intent is:

The intent is to show sympathy with the person. That is a noble attempt. The problem is that you can’t do that. If you have not walked in those shoes, you do not know how it feels. I hear across the board from people that divorce is worse than the death of a spouse. With death there is closure and you live on good terms. The love is never questioned. With divorce, the opposite is true.

I think of a friend who a few years ago told me of how his first wife died. Someone meant to have sympathy for him and said, “I know how you feel. My cat died recently.” The death of a pet is hard, but it is not the same as the death of a spouse.

Why it’s wrong:

As said, you don’t know how it feels. Divorce carries with it a personal rejection and a breaking of the covenant. This is something that makes it different from other break-ups. A marriage covenant is a solemn promise to not betray one another and to stay with that person until death. This is not to say that no one can ever justifiably divorce, but I argue in those cases, someone else has already broken the promise.

Throughout the day now, I am constantly reminded of how I am divorced by so many things. A small event could remind me of a joke we shared together. Seeing a happy couple together can remind me of the longing. Going to bed at night and waking up in the morning reminds me that there is no one else there.

Being in society doesn’t always help much. My job is one of the most public places I go to and it can be one of the loneliest places of all. It’s a very real reality to be in a crowd of people and feel utterly lonely. I can say through the two other major trials in my life, I didn’t have the fellowship that I have now, largely through social media. The internet has been a great boon to me in developing relationships.

Do not try to relate if you cannot relate. Accept it. That doesn’t mean that you can do nothing to help.

What to say instead:

I thought originally of “Tell me how you feel”, but then that sounded too forceful. Instead, a simpler answer could be “Would you like to talk about it?” If it could help the person, take them out for a glass of tea or a slice of pizza and just meet and discuss it.

I realize this isn’t the traditional guy approach, but sometimes, I want my male friends even to stop telling me what to do in a situation. Instead, listen. Listen to my concerns and listen to my issues. Perhaps there will come a time later, but speak too quickly and it can seem like my concerns are being dismissed. I certainly realize that is not the desire, but it is what happens.

Sometimes, the best thing to say also could just be absolutely nothing. When my friends want to get together with a game night, that is just fine for me. I think one benefit of something like Final Fantasy XIV is for awhile when I am interacting with people on there, I am not the guy going through a divorce. I am the tank or the healer or one of the damage dealers. This is also one reason gaming can be so beneficial for me now. I get to play a different role for a time than the one I am in now.

Now for those who have been through divorce before, many of our conversations now are invaluable. Right now, I am dialoguing with someone in email who has another similarity to me in that his ex-wife had BPD as well. For those who have been divorced, the more similarities there are in the cases, the better. He too, was accused of abuse. That, by the way, is something that makes it even worse. Everyone who knows me knows I would be absolutely aghast at the thought of hurting her. Unfortunately, after years of giving, this is what I have been given in return. It’s betrayal on top of betrayal.

My plan now for this blog is to go through Scripture and see what it says about divorce. I don’t plan on this answering every question. People like Mike Winger and Craig Keener have done much more on this than I have. Still, I want to attempt to answer some questions people have for me, including about the Bible and remarriage after divorce.

Thank you again, fellow travelers.

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

Things To Not Say To A Divorced Person #4: God Will Send You Someone When You’re Ready

Can a promise of hope be more of a judgment? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am pretty sure I have been told this one a few times. It is one that when I think about it deeply stings. I remember talking to another friend who has been divorced and is now remarried and he told me the exact same thing. This is when people say “God will send you someone when you’re ready.”

The whole idea is to not be out there trying to find a spouse. Now I was told to wait at least a year, which I have done. However, the whole idea here is to not try. Whether one is ready or not is not the issue. Let’s look further then at this statement.

The intention:

The intention I think is to give hope. It is to talk to someone who wants someone to love and all the joys that come with that and to tell them that there is someone out there for them. It’s to invoke the blessing of God on the person. They are not abandoned. God will send them someone when the time is right, which is when they are ready. What could be wrong about that? Isn’t that good news for someone who wants a spouse?

Why it’s wrong:

Let’s start with an easy one. This is claiming to speak where God has not and promising what He has not promised. Now I realize that most people who want to remarry do and that means that the odds are in my favor, but that doesn’t necessitate it. For example, I could die in a car accident and then God certainly wasn’t going to send me someone when I was ready. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it’s a possibility.

We should always be cautious of people trying to speak the words of God when God has not spoken or trying to give divine authority to their actions, words, feelings, etc. This is one reason I have a problem with the idea of “feeling led.” It can be a way of thinking that our emotions come from God and have divine authority.

However, let’s look at the other issue. What you are talking about is a person who is going through something extremely hurtful and yet if they are thinking about remarriage, they have desires. Speaking as a man, love and sex rank right up there as strong desires. I am also a great admirer of beauty and I miss having the beauty of a woman in my life. I miss being desired. There is something about the male ego that we love the attention of women, starting with our mothers growing up and then moving on to a female partner one day.

A woman meanwhile could long to be provided for and cherished. She can have the exact same desires as a man. I remember well talking about the desire for sex that men have in DivorceCare and one woman saying “It’s not just men.” Yes. Women have desires as well. Therefore, let’s just look and say that whatever the reason, a person wants to get married again.

What this is telling them is that God will get them remarried, but they have to do something to get ready and then God will bless them. Until then, their efforts will end in flames and they’d better not even try. What is this? They don’t know and the person talking to them doesn’t. Therefore, God is giving them some secret goal to meet and they have to find that goal and then meet it to get someone.

Imagine having that requirement for something.

When it’s put that way, it’s like God is dangling a carrot on a stick before them and not letting them get it until they do something that they don’t even know that they need to do. God is in a sense withholding from them a good blessing. Now God can do that and if He wants to withhold a spouse until they do something, that is His prerogative, but it’s quite another for one of us who doesn’t know to claim that this is what He is doing and outright stating it to someone.

I earlier stated this rule to imagine saying something similar to these statements to a Christian couple trying to naturally conceive a child. Imagine if you said, “God will send you a child when you’re ready.” If the idea is to not even try until then, well then the couple abstains from sex. I can guarantee you that they won’t have a child that way and odds are, they could start to break apart too as Paul did condemn withholding from one another except for a short time and by mutual consent.

In this case, it could be God wants to see them reach a certain point before He will open the womb and allow a woman to give birth, but we do not know that and cannot say that. I won’t rule out a bona fide word of knowledge coming to someone, but it needs to be backed by solid evidence. There is no wrong with the couple still trying to conceive a child naturally. I do realize a couple could adopt, but I am explicitly talking about natural conception through intercourse for a reason.

What to say instead:

Listen to the desires of the person first. Understand what they want and understand why they want it. Ask genuine questions if you want to understand and do not ask them in an accusatory fashion. Encourage the person to also seek therapy if need be, and I think most everyone who has gone through a divorce needs therapy to some extent, and yes, that includes me and I do have a therapist.

If the person wants to marry, help them out on how to improve on that path to be a better spouse. I have spent time talking with people to learn more about interaction with the opposite sex and reading books. When I talk to people now, I am making a lot more eye contact and I am smiling a lot more than I did in the past. These are small steps, but they are major ones for me, but I sure wouldn’t mind some other men coming alongside of me and helping me to understand how to interact with women even better.

Heck. If you think they are ready and you know someone who is fitting for them, you could even see if you could set up a date for that person. For some of us, it could be a struggle to ask someone out again because we are thinking about what the rejection was like from our last spouse. I can say on my end, it’s extremely frustrating to not have much income and be 41 and be on the spectrum and be having to look again. It’s never where I wanted to be.

For both sexes also, offer to help them maintain sexual fidelity too regardless. That means definitely no pornography. I can say on my end that I have avoided it even after being away from her, but I can also say there have been times I have been strongly tempted and I have had to just wait for it to pass. I can say there are times that I want to scream internally because maintaining the proper lifestyle can be hard. It’s probably one reason I’m doing so many other things.

While historically men have been the biggest users of porn, women are using it more and more nowadays. Both sexes need the help of that. I know that when I remarry, I don’t want any future wife of mine to have to compete with several images that I have seen in my head before. Part of abstaining from pornography and any other sexual behavior is maintaining faithfulness also to a woman I haven’t even married.

Overall though, when you see someone going through this, again, be Jesus to them. Expressing caution about a desire I think can be fine, but I don’t think any good comes from throwing cold water on it entirely. That desire can be something that is keeping them going. Find a way to help them please Christ with it.

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

 

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