If I Had Two Months To Preach

What would I speak on? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Someone messaged me asking what I would preach on at a church if I had two months to preach on an apologetics topic not necessarily political, but it wouldn’t be race either. What would I preach on? I immediately answered sex and marriage. I was asked if there was anything else since this was two months. I stated that I think this is two years worth and I stand by it. Why?

Let’s start out with getting people into the church. Imagine if on the sign outside the church you had the announcement “Come join us these next two months as our pastor preaches on sex and marriage.” Would you get more people in to see what was said? Yes. That could even include people outside the church.

After all, ask which people if they had to choose one, which they would rather see a TV movie about? Would it be the Sermon on the Mount or would it be David and Bathsheba? I know a lot of Christians would choose the former, but most on the other side would choose the latter, and let’s face it, a lot of Christians could very well choose the latter.

Not only that, but one of the greatest problems we have today is men don’t want to go to church. Church has become way too feminine. I would like every pastor to read Why Men Hate Going To Church. Many of our songs about Jesus could be what a girl sings about her boyfriend and guys don’t care about that, but if you talk about what men are interested in, they will come. Not only that, but statistically, if the father/husband comes, he brings the rest of the family with him.

Next, this is a topic our whole culture is confused on. We want to treat sex like something that you just do for fun, but when one person sleeps with someone different, the idea is that cheating has taken place. Kissing someone other than your lover can be cheating, but this brings it to a whole new level.

We know there’s something different. If the couple kisses or goes on a date, that’s said to be nice, but the goal really comes when they sleep together. Then you know that they are a couple. I am not saying that I agree with that, but I am saying that’s the perception.

Another reason to talk about this is this is a great cause of people leaving the faith. If there is any moral reason people abandon Christianity, it’s because it interferes with their sex lives. People don’t really like the stance Christianity takes on sex, and many times, that includes those of us who are Christians.

This is especially so with young people who we’ve sold a false bill of goods to. Many of us have told them that if they have sex before they marry, they will feel guilty. They might. Some do. Some don’t. Those that don’t wonder what else the church has lied to them about.

Another problem with this is purity culture where we have told women especially that if they give themselves away before marriage, they are damaged goods. I certainly think women should save themselves, but they are not damaged goods. We also have this strange idea of purity until marriage. No. You should stay pure after marriage. Sex isn’t something dirty that taints you.

For many men, pornography is a huge issue. Sadly, many more women are starting to get into this as well. The understanding I have is that one in three men in the church struggle with pornography and it’s probably more than that. This is also destroying many marriages. Why is it so many men are struggling with pornography and we never talk about it from the pulpit?

Our young people especially need a worldview of sex. Why not sleep together if you’re in love? They need a whole worldview of sex, and so do so many of the adults as well. I got after the guys about pornography, but the women need a message to. Too many women are engaging in sexting, that is, sending intimate pictures of themselves on their phones. They can think it will go away, but it won’t. I say this especially to the women because let’s face it, a woman’s body at the intimate level is much more appealing to people than a man’s is.

If a young man and a young woman are on a date, they need more than a few verses in Paul to stop them from going too far. They need a whole worldview. This could not only teach them good thinking about sex, but good thinking about everything else. Good thinking carries over after all. If you learn to think well in one area, you can do so in others more likely.

Also, our marriages need enrichment. I realize that Shaunti Feldhahn has dealt with a lot of myths about Christian marriage, but too many are in trouble and need help. We need whole sermons on the topic. Having a seminar every now and then is good, but we need more.

This also does have political ramifications. Teach on sex and you touch most everything else. You wind up addressing abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism. You will get people learning what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

We also have many failures recently in this area. How many pastors who are prominent have fallen because of sexual temptation? Do I need to mention Ravi Zacharias again? He used to be one of my heroes and today, the first aspect of him I think of is the scandal.

Scripture speaks about this constantly for a reason. We should listen. Our young people and the rest of the church get to hear the world’s message on this topic six days a week. We have one day a week and we don’t use it.

So again, without hesitation, this is what I would speak on. It covers a multitude of topics and it is not based on race. Actually, all races could benefit from this. Last I checked, we all reproduce the same way.

And maybe you’re not a guest pastor, but you’re the actual pastor. Could it be time to update that sign outside the church?

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

Book Plunge: Ordeal

What do I think of Linda Lovelace and Mike McGrady’s book published by Citadel Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The book is called Ordeal and reading it is certainly one. It’s not because it’s a bad book. Quite the opposite. It’s because this book is a real-life horror story. Unfortunately, having read other books on sex trafficking, it’s also a pretty common story.

Linda is an ordinary girl at the start who meets a guy who sweeps her off of her feet. Sadly, that’s how it normally begins. Before too long, problems show up. The man, Chuck, has a bar and he takes Linda there one night to see a lot of topless women and sex acts. One case involves a woman with three men doing different things to her at the same time.

Linda is disturbed by this, but before too long, Chuck takes her to a hotel where five men are waiting for her and the same thing happens to her. The degradation keeps going more and more. Chuck speaks abusively to her, points a gun at her a number of times, threatens to kill other people in her life, etc.

Chuck always wants more and more and is pushing the envelope constantly to see what new activities he can come up with, which even includes having Linda be involved with animals. Linda’s big break came with a porn movie she did called Deep Throat. Unfortunately, that movie also came to define her. Before too long, whatever she did was based on that and if she tried to get other acting roles, they expected her to do a nude scene at least once. This was after she had escaped Chuck and she always said no.

Reading this book shows just how broken a person can become. This is something that can easily happen in the porn industry. If you are someone who watches porn, there’s no sure way to tell if the person is there against their will or not and one could be unknowingly supporting human trafficking.

This book is not for the faint of heart. The language is also very raw and profane a number of times, but that’s because that’s how it happened. It’s meant to show the evil of the industry and people involved, people like Chuck.

I sincerely hope that someday there will come an end to the pornography industry. There are too many Chucks in the world who want to take advantage of women and use them. There are too many people that treat other people as just means of entertainment and nothing more.

Parents especially need to watch their daughters. This was the world back in the time of Linda Lovelace. It has only gotten worse since then. Anyone can be a Linda Lovelace and any guy is capable of being a Chuck. Be on guard.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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Book Plunge: Addicted To Lust

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

I heard about this book on a marriage blog I read and decided to check it out. Something interesting about the work is that I suspect Perry is a Christian, but it is not explicitly stated that I recall in the book. Also, the book is not coming out all guns blazing against pornography. The writer is striving to be as accurate with the data as he can be.

He starts off talking with the nature of addiction. I find it beyond dispute that some men are addicted to pornography. Many, sadly, have marriages that are suffering for this. I know of the stories of guys who have to watch a video or read a magazine in order to be able to perform with their wives. I have no doubt that the reason I hear so many commercials for treatment of ED around here is because of pornography.

Like I said, Perry tries to be fair. He states that some people do see benefits to their lives from pornography. Perry’s writing is not meant to persuade to a view one way or the other. It is to present the data.

He focuses on conservative Protestants because we do take Scripture seriously, or we’re supposed to, and that includes its sexual ethic, and because we make up a majority and tend to be people of the book the most. Sometimes, those outside like Catholics on the one hand and atheists and agnostics on the other are covered. However, those on the outside will still find this book helpful.

He also states that we in the church do tend to point out the problems of sexual sin. Of course, we should make a big deal about this, but we don’t often seem to emphasize so much pride or greed or dare I say it, gluttony. Perhaps if we focused on the latter, especially pride, we would have a lot less of the sexual sins.

There is a section on masturbation as well. If one goes with a strictly Scriptural interpretation on this, there is nothing one way or the other. Scripture does not say “Hands off” (Pun intended) nor does it say “Go for it!” There is also debate as to whether the rules are different for married men or single men. Not only that, there can be an interesting idea where men can be told to not do so, but a woman is so she can know what she likes and how her husband can better please her.

In the end, Perry gives no answer, as that is not his intent. He is merely presenting the different views. This is something that men definitely need to think about and really consider.

He then asks what happens when porn is left unchecked. What happens if we keep using it regularly? This is especially a battle today because in the past, you had to go to the video store or the magazine rack, highly public places, and get what you wanted. Everyone would also know why you were there.

Today, all you have to do is go look on your phone. You can find whatever you want right now. A teenage boy with a smartphone can easily be up at night in his bedroom watching pornography and his parents are none the wiser.

Unfortunately, it’s harder and harder to judge the results of porn on society because there are fewer and fewer men who have no involvement with it. It’s my thinking that our society will go further and further downhill the more we allow this. The sexual revolution has been one of the most destructive forces in society.

One other aspect he covers is that this is usually thought to be a man’s battle. Not so. More and more women are getting involved. The problem is at many recovery groups, sex is all men talk about. For women, sex is hardly talked about in these groups. Women who engage with porn are seen as out of the norm. A woman can find it hard to talk to someone and she can’t normally go to her pastor because he’s normally a man as well. Definitely, more needs to be done for women who struggle.

What about marriage? Some people count heavy porn use as infidelity, and I really don’t blame them. Many a woman hears about her husband using porn and is shattered thinking “Am I not enough for you?” Many women have an idea in their heads that they must compete with what they see on a screen which is always fantasy and no, reality in these cases is always easily trumped by fantasy since we can make it to be whatever we want.

This happens on a lesser level also. Many girls who are dating and having sex with their boyfriends think that they have to compete with porn. Some start watching porn so they can get an idea of what their boyfriends will like. I don’t know how long our society can function like this.

The last major chapter is on treatment. In this chapter, Perry looks to see if Biblical Counseling is, well, Biblical. He looks at what good programs like Covenant Eyes do. Hopefully, those wanting to get past this will find resources.

Now if you’re skeptical and want to know about how Perry did his research, good news. That is covered in the appendices. Since this book is published by Oxford, we can be sure it’s not lightly researched. It certainly isn’t. Perry’s book gives a lot of food for thought. It is very readable and even-handed and should foster better discussions.

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

On The Fall of Ravi Zacharias

What does what happened to Ravi mean? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and fall out.

Not too long ago, RZIM released a statement saying that it looks like allegations of sexual misconduct against Ravi Zacharias are true. I am sure some of you are still skeptical, but we can’t do all of our own investigations into Ravi and for the sake of argument, since RZIM is saying it and I have no reason to think they would want to make up something about the founder of their organization whose name is on them, I want to ask what it means. Even if you don’t think the claims are true, consider it at least a for the sake of argument discussion.

Concerning Christian truth, it really means nothing ultimately. Ravi was a man like any other man. Christianity did not stand or fall on him. If your faith was built on Ravi Zacharias, you built it on the wrong man.

Concerning ethics, well that’s a different matter. It’s not that any ethical truths stand or fall with Ravi. What matters for this is how one should live their life, especially if they’re in a ministry capacity.

Regardless of where they stand on the issues, I am convinced someone would have to be a fool to think we don’t live in a sex-crazed society. Even as I do something simple like play Words With Friends on my phone, something even my wife’s grandmother does, I see ads popping up for games that are meant to appeal to lust in some way. It has really become unavoidable.

This is also one reason men especially need to be careful. We are not the only ones who can fall in this area, but it seems we are more prone to falling. It’s one reason why when Allie has been in the facility getting treatment, unless they were related to me or with someone else, I have not allowed a woman into the apartment. I do not drive alone with other women unless they are family.

Apparently, Ravi didn’t live up to the sexual ethic along the way somewhere and sadly, his ministry will suffer for it. For my part, I keep thinking about a lady who heard him speak who was a skeptic and when asked on the way home what she thought of the talk said, “I wonder what he’s like in his private life.” Sadly, we now know that private life wasn’t consistent and if your private life and public life are inconsistent like that, your witness for the kingdom will suffer.

Not only that, but anyone connected with RZIM could suffer. What about the memory of Nabeel Qureshi? He traveled frequently with RZIM. Will this damage his reputation even though he quite likely had nothing to do with it or even knew about it? Time will tell. It’s not fair if it does, but sadly, it’s what happens.

We also sadly remember a man’s failures much more than we do his successes. We remember fondly King David’s battle with Goliath in the Bible, but what’s the next story everyone remembers if it’s not the first one? David and Bathsheba.

Earlier this year, it’s believed that Mike Adams committed suicide. Sadly, when I think of him now, I don’t think of all the good he did, but remember how he died, which seems to be common with people who commit suicide. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. When people fail, we remember it.

In some ways, you could say our society delights in it. Perhaps we think it makes it easier for us. “Hey! If Ravi Zacharias can’t live this kind of ethic out, surely I can’t be expected to!”

None of us is off the hook though. We’re all expected to honor our bodies and those around us properly. Perhaps when one gets in a position of fame, which is a kind of power, then one becomes prideful and thinks they are above the rules and can hide indiscretions.

We can’t.

This is not to say the Christian ethic is easy, but it is possible. It’s doable. There are plenty of people who do it. You and I have never heard of them, but they do it. Several people save sex for marriage and stay faithful to their spouses. Several people can still avoid pornography.

Watch a sitcom or movie today and it will look like everyone, including the women, want nothing more than to jump in bed immediately and have at it. Everything also always works perfectly. If there’s one piece of advice I give guys who are virgins who are about to marry concerning this, it’s to consider everything you see in movies and TV because it’s totally unrealistic. Unfortunately, this also does set up a norm.

What is needed is for our society to really think about sex and sexual ethics. You might think we do that already. That’s the problem in our society isn’t it? We all think about sex too much. No. It’s really the opposite. We think about it too little if we do at all.

Oh we dream about it. We fantasize about it. We talk about it, watch it, and just plain do it, but think about it? Hardly. We don’t think about what it is, what it means, and what it’s for. Very few of us have a worldview of sex. We could just see it as a happy accident that the universe worked out this way to give us this experience.

It’s even worse though if we’re Christians. If we are, we should realize God is the one behind all of this and seek to want to know why he made the system the way He did. It’s all His idea after all.

We also need to build one another up in this. We absolutely need to have other Christians to hold us accountable. I have Christians I can talk to about my struggles, including while it is that my wife is away at this time. It is either my passions are going to control me or I am going to control them.

But it is doable. One can control their passions and in the end, for the sake of the holiness of sexuality, I am convinced it’s worth it.

As for Ravi, it’s hard. For me, Ravi was my first apologetics hero. I look over and see the gift that he had given to me and my wife on our wedding day hanging on my wall right now. I know I have several of his books on my bookshelves. It doesn’t mean what is in them is false. Still, perhaps everything he wrote will be viewed with more suspicion now because of his own personal sin.

That is a tragedy.

And yet then, I think of the saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Scripture tells us if anyone thinks he stands, he needs to be careful lest he fall. It further tells me I want to live by the Pence/Graham rule as much as I can. We all have only one shot at building a reputation in life. When my time is done and people look back on my reputation, I hope it will be something that people will be pleased with. I hope even my opponents intellectually would be able to say that though they disagreed with me intellectually, I did live my life honorably.

And to my friends who have been supportive of me over the years and been my confidants and mentors, I thank you greatly. When I was with my folks this past weekend for Christmas, I showed my Dad the final speech of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory with him receiving the Nobel Prize with his wife. He said something in it along the lines of how he used to think his accomplishments were his own, but they were also the accomplishments of those who stood with him, including his biological family and his family of friends. I fully say the same thing. Everything I do here is not mine alone.

I have played the Final Fantasy games for most of my life. What you learn from those in one sense is you need a party. No one fights alone. I don’t either. My friends mean everything to me and I am grateful to them all and hope I can be just as good a friend to them as they have been to me.

In the meantime, pray especially for Ravi’s family. One can hardly imagine what they are going through with these revelations coming out. Then learn to watch yourselves. If you are in ministry, do so especially. Your failure would have far greater ramifications than that of many others. Be careful.

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

PornHub Under Scrutiny

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

Of all places, even the New York Times has apparently had an article against PornHub. The charge is that the site is infested with rape videos. There looks to be no denial by PornHub that this has happened. Of course, this would be a very tough denial to pull off. Just last year, a missing teenager was found when sexually explicit videos of her showed up on the site.

What do these changes mean? Not much I suspect sadly. A number of things could happen here. Maybe they won’t be held up. Maybe instead people will find work arounds to get such material up there as you can’t go to each person in each video and just ask and even if you could, many could know they have to lie. If it leads to the site shutting down due to competition, then it could very well be because the competition is even worse and doesn’t have any censoring of any kind.

The only cause for rejoicing here is that even in the secular world now, a closer look in the proper way is being given to the porn industry. Unfortunately, even then one wonders how effective it will be. With so many men in the world participating in the industry even if only consumers, getting information against it is going to be difficult.

The danger of people going to other sites also is very real, especially since these sites could allow for rape videos. In the porn industry, what is needed from consumers often is novelty. Something new is needed that hasn’t been seen before and like any drug, when the prior dosage isn’t enough, a new high must be hit.

The real danger is to the women involved. Our culture has reached a point where women really are giving sex more and more to get love. This is one reason I don’t have an account on SnapChat. I know the stories of women sending topless pictures of themselves and I want no part of that. It’s not because of any lack of desire for female beauty on my part, but because I think such is reserved for the marriage covenant.

Also, many women do find themselves in the human trafficking industry. I recommend books like Rebecca Bender’s In Pursuit of Love or Annie Lobert’s Fallen. Their stories of how they fell in in ways that seemed innocent enough at the start and how they managed to escape are gripping.

Josh McDowell has said the porn industry is the greatest foe the church has ever faced. He could very well be right. This is because it is a great depression on our values and our view of men and women and sex and thus, the building block of society, the family. Our young people are the hardest hit with many women who might not even watch porn thinking they have to do more and more to please their men and it usually being assumed that the young man is watching pornography.

I can’t tell the future of what will happen, naturally, but I do encourage Christians to start acting now. Parents are the first stage with learning how to talk to their children about sex and that will be different for boys and girls. The next stage is going to be the churches where pastors actually need to do sermons on porn and make places accessible for men and women affected by the industry in any way to seek recovery. Beyond that it will be contacting your state representatives and asking them to do something about the porn industry.

We can all change matters if we do something.

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

You Don’t Have To Live With Porn

Does porn have to be part of your life? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My friend Sheila Wray Gregoire has a blog post today on emotional immaturity and porn. I am going to be addressing this largely assuming a male user of porn. I realize there are women that struggle with porn use, but I am speaking to men.

Let’s start with some looking at what I think is “natural” for men. Men by and large have a natural drive in them for sex and that is not wrong. Men also like the sight of a beautiful woman and that is also not wrong. I also don’t think it’s wrong that men have a natural curiosity about sex. They grew up with girls throughout their school years and all of a sudden when they get around middle school or so, they start wondering what those girls look like under all those clothes.

Let’s face it. Women are beautiful and God made us to notice beauty. It is not wrong. Now what you do beyond that could be. If you just treat that woman as an object such as all that matters is her body, that could be a problem. Honestly, what starts off a lot of dating relationships is looks, but if your relationship stays there, you’ve got a problem. You should never lose sight of the beauty of your mate, but you need to find more than physical beauty.

Porn is the answer many guys turn to, but it is the wrong answer. They get a distorted view of masculinity, of a woman, and of sex. As I drive around the Atlanta area listening to the radio, I listen to several commercials for ED. When I have watched ScrewAttack’s Death Battle recently, there have been ads for a medicine like Viagra. I seriously doubt senior citizens are watching Death Battle en masse.

Why would this be? I suspect a lot of it is porn. There are a number of guys I’ve heard of who have to have a dirty magazine nearby when making love to their own wives because that’s the only way they can be aroused enough. You don’t want that to be you do you?

In a proper marriage, when the two come together, the union is complete and no outside sources are to come in. One can have friends and family, of course, but for emotional and sexual needs, your spouse is supposed to be the one to complete the circle. Looking outside in porn is saying you are inadequate.

Many wives have this happen to them when their husbands confess to them about using porn. One common question is “Am I not beautiful enough?” She feels like less of a woman. Now ladies, you are fully justified in believing that, but walk a fine line here. You need to be honest with your spouse about how much this hurt you. You need to let it be known that you will not tolerate porn use and this is one rare case where I think it’s justified to withhold sex. On the other hand, if your husband has confessed and is truly repentant, be willing to work with him on this process. By coming to you, he has done the right thing. Don’t leave him regretting it.

Now for guys who are single, I do think there is some emotional immaturity here. Porn is an easy solution to a desire. Looking up a woman who is willing to just take her clothes off like that requires nothing of you. You have no risk. You do not put yourself in danger of being rejected. It’s not like the woman on screen is going to suddenly see you and go “Ewww. No!”

But the thing is, she also doesn’t know you. She doesn’t care about you. While you treat her as just a body, you are also treating yourself as just a body. You are treating yourself as someone who is incapable of getting a real woman so you go and get a fake one instead.

And really, is this a woman you would want? Would you want a woman who just takes her clothes off for anyone who makes a click? Would you want your wife to do that?

While saying that, I want to fully realize some women sadly have no choice, and this is something men need to keep in mind. Some women are trapped there because of human trafficking. This is a very real situation in America. I have some books here on the topic that are autobiographies and they are heartbreaking. These women are often just as much looking for love.

If you’re a single man, tell yourself you’re capable. If you want a real woman, go out there and be a real man and win the heart of a real woman. When you do get to be intimate with your wife then, it will be your real woman sharing her body with you and giving you the fullness of her love because she believes you are worth it. That’s much better than porn!

Like all acting, porn is fake. Get out of it if you are in it and if you are not, stay away from it. It is a real temptation, but you do not have to live with it. There are groups that help with porn. Celebrate Recovery is a great place to go. There are also plenty of programs like Covenant Eyes and XXXChurch that can help you.

And guys, women are a real beauty and treasure. Any time you use pornography, you treat that beauty as common and disposable. Don’t do that. Women deserve better and so do you.

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

Book Plunge: Boys and Sex

What do I think of Peggy Orenstein’s book published by Harper? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m convinced that today, there is a war on boys. Much of our society is geared towards the feminine and traits considered manly are often looked down on. Consider something as simple even as how schools are run. Girls often have a much easier time sitting at desks for prolonged times. Boys tend to need to be more active.

We have terms like Toxic Masculinity going around and then there is the MeToo movement, which I suspect had noble aspirations, but quickly became a way to get any man in trouble. Men are also put in a dangerous position when it comes to female beauty. Compliment a woman on her beauty and you are objectifying her. Say nothing about it and you are ignoring her.

Peggy Orenstein decided to study the topic when it comes to sex and boys and her boys she interviewed were mainly high school and college age. A lot of what she saw dealt with the hook-up culture and pornography. How do guys view this and how does that differ from girls?

This is also written from a secular perspective so much I will not agree with upfront such as not being favorable towards abstinence only positions and support for the LGBTQ community. Despite that, this book is quite insightful. Any parent should read it, even if you don’t have boys but have daughters instead, so you can know what is coming.

It also highlights for me that this is an area we are deeply lacking in. Most people today hardly ever think about sex. Yes. I seriously said that. They don’t. But don’t I watch TV or listen to the news or listen to music today? How am I missing it?

Easy. We talk about it. We dream about it and fantasize about it and watch it and just plain do it, but we don’t think about it. Most of us don’t have a place in our worldview for sex. It’s just a recreational thing that we do together.

So it is that boys and girls think very differently about sex. Porn was one of the first topics covered for boys. It is extremely rare to find a man like me who never struggled with that. The result? Our boys grow up with a twisted view of sex. They think they have to perform a certain way and can often have sexual problems as a result. They can also think all girls really want it and when they say no, they don’t really mean that. They just want the boys to push harder.

Some boys had even gone so far as to get a flip phone to be able to avoid porn. Pornography is controlling so much of the thinking in society about sex today. It’s no wonder there’s so much chaos in this topic and young boys need to be prepared for this. Of course, I’m listening to this and wondering “Why not realize that the boys aren’t the problem, but the porn is?”

Boys also worry about experience like I said. They can get nervous when with a girl for the first time and they think it’s going to happen. What if the girl has more experience and the guy is unprepared? What if he makes a mistake? (News flash guys. You likely will with your first time.) Some guys are either hesitant to perform or can’t.

There is another problem behind this. Guys are trained to not talk about feelings or emotions or express them. For me, I think of a guy like Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII who shows no emotion even when tragedy strikes repeatedly. Men who show emotion or weakness are told to man up. Most men don’t go to their guy friends to talk about problems because that’s not something guys do. (Again, thankful I have guys I can talk to about problems.)

There’s also a section on how guys can also be victimized. Yes. At parties where guys get drunk, they can be victimized by girls and many of them don’t like it, but how are you going to speak out? Your guy friends will say something like, “Dude. You got laid anyway. Why complain?” They do complain because believe it or not, many guys want sex to be special.

Also, a guy can’t help it if his body responds to sexual stimuli just like a girl can’t help it if hers does. A girl can have reactions to sexual stimuli even in rape. That doesn’t mean she likes it or wants it. A man does not need to be shamed for his body functioning. As someone told me recently, “If you’re a man on the beach and a pretty girl goes in front of you in a bikini and you don’t notice, it doesn’t mean you’re more spiritual. It means you’re dead.”

However, guys too often are doing the assaulting. They are too often of the mindset that the women really want it when they don’t. Of course, a lot of this talk about the necessity of consent could be greatly lowered if we would just encourage people to wait until marriage, but for some reason that’s unrealistic. Guys can cause great damage to girls without realizing it or intending it.

One great takeaway from the book also is contrary to what you think, guys want older men, including their Dads, to talk to them about sex. They also want a real conversation. They don’t want a quick five minute event and that’s it. There should be regular ongoing communication.

What I would like to see more in future works is what sex means really to guys. As a married man, I know what it means to me. It is more than just a recreational activity and more even than just having children. Guys need to understand this. Of course, girls do as well, but this book is about the boys.

I said at the start that while the book is secular, I think parents should read this, including Christian parents. Girls even should read this to learn about what you’re going to be experiencing. Christian parents especially need to read about the hook-up culture and the damage that it is doing to our children.

Dare I say it, but churches need to be talking about this too. Youth groups especially should be preparing our young adults for adult life and marriage if they choose to go that route. By all means teach abstinence, but teach why we do that instead of just the don’ts. Give youth a whole worldview of sex so that when they’re with their significant other on a couch, they have more than just a few verses in Paul to keep them from getting their game on.

Bottom line. Read this book and learn from it.

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

Book Plunge: Passion Principles

What do I think of Shannon Ethridge’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Usually when I find any book on marriage on Kindle for sale, I try to get it immediately. This one was no exception. Ethridge’s book is geared more towards women, but men who read it will find it very helpful as well.

Ethridge wants women to have the freedom to enjoy sex in marriage. At the start, a lot of stories are told about women who struggle with this and then stories are told about women who have found freedom. It is not the case that sex is made just for the man. Women are meant to take joy in physical union with their husbands.

Of course, it starts with God. Ethridge lays down the theology first saying sex was all God’s idea. He created it and made it the way it is for married couples and to show how He relates to His people. She looks at the Old Testament first focusing on the Song of Songs and Hosea.

From there, we go to the New Testament. Here we look at what Jesus has to say about sex and how sex relates to spirituality. She also asks the question about if sex will be in Heaven. There is no chapter explicitly on Paul which I would have liked, but that doesn’t mean he’s not covered at all.

Many chapters from there start to have a shift as much more is not so much about the physicality of sex as it is the emotional, mental, and spiritual side. It is still something worthwhile to be covered as Ethridge places more of the therapist hat on, including dealing with people who have a sexual past and people who have affairs either physical or emotional on their spouses. There is also material on overcoming pornography and why Christians should not use pornography.

Towards the end, we get back more into the physical side with questions about the bodies of the persons involved. What can you do or not do in the bedroom? What about oral sex or sex toys? What about when you have children?

This is a good book for women to read and I urge them to do so, although men will get something out of it as well. Your marriage is meant to be a place of joy and as is your marriage bed. If you want good advice to get there, this book is a great place to start.

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

Book Plunge: Jesus Is Better Than Porn

What do I think of Hugh Houston’s book published by Jesus is Best? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

From the moment a guy hits puberty, one of the thoughts that goes through his head is the wonder about what certain women look like underneath all those clothes. A guy can see the girl and think that there’s only a thin barrier keeping him from viewing paradise and that barrier is clothing. A guy desires to see that beauty.

This is not an evil desire in itself. Women were made beautiful and God knew what He was doing. As a married man, I am always happy whenever my wife trusts me with all of her beauty. There is nothing like it in all this world.

Well, there could be something out of this world that’s even better, and that’s Jesus. Hugh Houston thinks so and does so as a man who wrestled with pornography usage for decades. He started as a young boy and it continued even into his marriage.

One of the hardest moments was having to tell his wife the truth. I am not going to begin to understand what this is like for a woman. It is a form of cheating and it leaves the person thinking “Am I not enough for you?”

Houston then describes his life of escaping from porn and the lies that pornography told him. He describes being in recovery groups and what men and women go through. He also says that porn cannot deliver on its promises and does so with Scripture, reason, and other Christian writers.

There is great advice here on overcoming addiction and it would help someone with any addiction, not just porn. Houston writes in a personal style practically begging the reader to not get involved in the addiction. He also has several helpful resources to help a person on the path to escaping addiction.

He also does stress the pain that it causes the other person if you are married. This is important since there are even some pastors who have told couples having sexual problems to try watching pornography together. It might work some in the short-term, but in the long-term, it will do more harm.

As I have said, when I drive around the Atlanta area here, I hear many ads for men struggling with ED. I am convinced one of the main reasons for this is porn. Men have been so aroused by fake women over and over that they find it hard to be aroused by a real one right in front of them.

The book is also a short read and it would be great for people struggling with porn, or who have spouses who struggle, to read together. Each chapter ends with questions at the end for discussion. If you are struggling with porn or know someone who is, this is a great place to go to.

In Christ,
Nick Peters