On The Duggars

What are my thoughts on the Duggar happenings? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. Let’s state some things up front.

I understand the Duggars have a TV show. I’ve never watched it. I don’t really care to. It doesn’t interest me at all.

I also of course know about the information about Josh Duggar molesting his sisters when he was younger. I happen to know that most people didn’t mind broadcasting that everywhere though I’m sure his sisters certainly didn’t appreciate it.

I also know that Josh Duggar had a position with the Family Research Council. I am saying nothing about them other than their being seen as a conservative organization. I also know that he had an account on Ashley Madison and was unfaithful to his wife Anna. I think everything I’ve said so far is accepted and there are no major debates on those issues.

So let’s get down to what it means.

First off, Josh Duggar has been charged with being a hypocrite. That charge is absolutely true, but there’s something interesting about it. The only way you can be a hypocrite is if you really do have some moral standards that you are expected to live by. In this case, Christians are therefore expected to honor the union of one man and one woman in marriage. We are supposed to be champions of the sanctity of marriage whether we’re married or not. We are supposed to walk as Jesus walked. If you are someone who does not have any moral standards at all, you cannot be called a hypocrite.

Second, the things that Josh Duggar has done are in fact evil. Let’s not deny that for a second. Let’s not pretend that what he’s done is no big deal. No. It is a huge deal. Molesting sisters at a younger age is a big deal. Being a hypocrite is a big deal. Engaging in sexual sin and being unfaithful to your wife who you promised to be in a sacred covenant with is a big deal. There are reasons why people do such things of course, but there can be no justification for them. When Christians speak of justification, we never mean to say that sin is justified. Sin never is. We mean that sinners are put in right relationship with God. They are forgiven, but they can only be forgiven if they have done something that needs to be forgiven and they have repented for.

So let’s get down to some major issues.

There are many critics of the marriage movement today that talk about how Christians are all for the sanctity of marriage supposedly and yet they have a high rate of divorce and adultery and any other sins in their own marriages.

Let’s not take that lightly.

Yes. I know about Shaunti Feldhahn’s research on Christian marriages that shows that marriages that attend church together, study the Bible together, pray together, and just take Christianity seriously together are far less prone to divorce. I know about this and I agree with it. That does not change the reality that Christians divorce. Whenever divorce happens, we should see it as a tragedy.

“But Nick! Sometimes women and children are being abused in marriages by husbands who are just awful and the wives end up divorcing so they and their children can be safe. Are you saying that’s a tragedy?”

Yep. Absolutely.


It’s a tragedy that two people who enter into the most sacred union between a man and a woman and make a covenant before God and men to love and honor each other until death do them part and give themselves to each other in an exclusive union reach the point where they can’t even live together and especially because of fear of serious harm to one of them. That is a tragedy. In fact, even in cases where I would have recommended the woman clear out of there and get a divorce to keep her and her children safe, I would still say that it was a tragedy because marriage should never have to come to that.

Yet at the same time, there is something highly admirable about what Josh’s wife is doing. She is working to forgive and to move on. You know what? This will take time. This is hard no doubt, but marriage should be a place where forgiveness is a virtue held in high esteem. Anna could easily leave Josh right now and frankly, she’d be biblically justified in doing so, but while divorce is an option in her case, it is not a necessity and she has indeed chosen to honor marriage. It’s easy to honor marriage when both parties are doing everything that they ought to do right. It’s not as easy when one or both is not doing so.

In marriage, you are to forgive and you are to live in grace and that is honoring the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is a union where you honor the other person. Too often in marriage, we look at what the other person is doing for us. Instead, we must always ask what we are doing for the other person. You see, if people say we were damaging the sanctity of marriage first through divorce and adultery, they’re right. We were doing that. If we weren’t, we were allowing it. Now of course, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have grace for people who sin and repent, we absolutely must have grace.

In fact, that could be part of the scandal of what’s happening.

You see, the world is starting to learn that we Christians really believe in this thing called forgiveness. When the shooting happened in South Carolina, we saw that Christians were rushing out not to condemn but to forgive. With Josh Duggar, when he repented and confessed, that was enough. Sure, he might have consequences like losing his job and such and sure, he will lose trust, but that does not mean we want to punish him. We do not delight in bringing about suffering to him. Christians actually believe in reconciliation.

We believe in it because this is what Jesus did for us.

Anything we do to one another, we know that it cannot compare to what we have done to God. Whatever we might do to one another, we have done far worse to God, and God has forgiven us in Christ of all that we do. If God forgives us, we are obligated to forgive one another. For the Christian, forgiveness is not optional. It is mandatory. Walking as Jesus walked is not an option. It is a requirement. Christians are to be people whose lives are marked by forgiveness and we can only truly do that when we realize just how much we’ve been forgiven.

Forgiveness does not mean we condone the wrong that was done. We don’t. It means we value the relationship involved more and we don’t want to focus on the wrong that was done. That doesn’t mean that we’re foolhardy. It doesn’t mean a woman immediately reconciles with an abusive husband, but it should mean they are open to taking those steps if possible. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. It does mean that there should be change on the part of the person who has been forgiven. It means that they should go and sin no more and when we realize that someone forgives us of a great wrong, we should seek to want to properly honor that person. We should all seek then to immensely honor Christ for what He’s forgiven us.

Marriage should be one of the main places where that happens. Marriage should be a place where we seek to please each other more than we seek to please ourselves and any time any of us look to our own pleasure and don’t seek the pleasure of our spouse, we are really ceasing to do marriage. Reality is we will all do this from time to time. This is also why it’s important to know how best to love and honor your spouse. Try and find little things even you can do that will help them along the way.

The reason the world does not honor the sanctity of marriage is that we went a long way to treating marriage like something common instead of the amazing and incredible union that it is. Part of having a good apologetic for marriage is going to be our doing marriage well. The best we can realize is to know what the way is and to walk in it. We are to do what we are told. We have too many people breaking apart because they do not feel like they are in love any more or any other such reason like that. It does not matter if you don’t feel like you are in love. Your marriage is not built on you being in love but on you being in covenant. That covenant should produce love, but the covenant is the foundation of the love.

If we want to present an excellent apologetic for marriage, one of the best ways to do that would be to be living great marriages out and part of that is going to be the scandal of forgiveness that takes place and living forgiveness out. We must make marriage a place of love. It can too often look like we didn’t care about marriage until the homosexuals came for it. It looks more often like we’re more interested in chicken sandwiches and Duck Dynasty than we are in marriage.

That must change.

We must never condone what Josh did, but gosh, maybe more of us could be like his wife.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What Stolen Photos Say About Us Today

Is the greater concern in America that photos are stolen or what we do about it? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Okay. I really don’t pay much attention to celebrity news. I don’t really care about who is dating who and what number marriage X is on with Y and how many guys a certain female has had children with or anything like that. I have zero interest whatsoever in the tabloid section of the supermarket. I’m too busy living my own life to care about the love lives of people I’ll never meet and have no real impact whatsoever on me.

I do care about moral issues.

I don’t care for celebrities as celebrities, but they are still people, and I do care about moral issues so why not write about something like that today?

It was on Facebook that I first heard the news about Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos being put on the internet. The term used often is leaked. They weren’t leaked. They were stolen. Her account was hacked into by some sleaze who really needs to get a life and then distributed to other sleazes who repeated his crime.

Yep. No intention of holding back on this one.

And honestly, I couldn’t even tell you who Jennifer Lawrence is. When I first saw a headline of an internet article about how the writer didn’t want to see Jennifer Lawrence naked I thought “Who’s that?” Yeah. I really do pay that little attention. It wasn’t until I read the article that I realized that she was an actress who’d had nude photos of her stolen without permission and then plastered all over the internet.

Too many people are blaming Jennifer for this. Jennifer did not do anything immoral in the affair. Perhaps when she took the pictures of herself she might have done something immoral with them, but there is nothing immoral about taking a naked picture of one’s self. Now you might say storing it on your computer could be foolish. That’s one thing. Foolish does not equal immoral. If you lock your keys in your car, that is foolish. It is not a sin you need to repent of.

Let’s suppose I was away from my own wife on a long trip and she knew I was lonely and missing her and to give me a sudden burst of cheer, she sent me some “pictures” that she took of herself. Now my wife wouldn’t do this due to that fear, but we cannot say that that was something immoral. She’s my wife and I am allowed to see her as she is. She has done nothing immoral in doing that.

You want to know someone who did something immoral?

It was the boy who hacked Jennifer Lawrence’s photos.

Yes. I know some could say it was a man, but someone who treats a woman like this is quite simply a boy. You know who else did something immoral?

Anyone else who went to look at them.

I don’t care if you distributed them or not. If you looked at photos that were got through illegal means, you are guilty of a sin against that person. Right now, there is someone who has had one of the most intimate aspects of her being displayed all over the world and she will never experience the world in the same way, especially since she will never know when she’s walking down the street which guys she comes across might have seen those photos.

And to those guys, Jennifer Lawrence is just a very attractive piece of meat.

I don’t care about celebrities as celebrities, but even then they are people, and they are not just objects. Someone doesn’t cease to be a person just because they become a celebrity.

Now on the one hand, I do understand our obsession in our country.

Most of us have come to a conclusion across all times and cultures that has stood the test of time and been practically a universal. That conclusion is that sex is just awesome.

What’s another conclusion we have come to? The female body is a beautiful work of art.

You’re not going to get any disagreement from me on any of these. 

I am a married man. I love to see my Mrs. I cannot think of a more beautiful sight to me in all the world than when I get to see my Mrs. I love sex also. There is not an experience I can think of that can compare to it. I often think of my single friends and want to say “Oh I just can’t wait until you get married and get to experience this.” (Note. Some don’t want to marry and if they don’t, that’s fine, but if they want to, I look forward to them getting to have this experience.)

And you know what? To be a man and to desire to see a woman naked and to have sex with her is no sin. It is natural. Now if you turn her into an object, that is the problem. That is lust, but I know when I was dating my Allie, I was definitely having those desires. Naturally, I contained them until we got to our wedding night.

Sex really is a transcendent experience and dare I say it, a great evidence that God exists. If there was one aspect of Intelligent Design I could go with, it’d be sex. It didn’t just happen. It wasn’t a random accident. Everything about it and the way the two systems work together fits so well and to add in, as Chesterton points out, it’s fun. We have to eat to live. It doesn’t mean food had to taste good. We could live in a world of black and white. We live in one of color. We also could have reproduced without it being fun, but the blessedness is that it is fun.

Someone I know once said the problem in our society is that we think about sex too much. Many of you might look at this scandal and think that that is true. The reality is, it isn’t. It’s a total mistake. The problem in our society is we don’t think about sex enough.

Oh we have plenty of sex! We do that constantly! We fantasize about sex all the time! We dream about it! We watch it! We talk about it! We do just about everything that can be done with sex!

Except think about it.

Do we really think about what we’re getting ourselves into with this experience, or do we just see ourselves as animals getting together in wild passion? Sex is an ultimate and complete surrender to another person. It is not just a woman making herself vulnerable to a man. A man is just as much making himself vulnerable to a woman. 

It is truly a transcendent experience. Why do we seek it so much? Because next to God, it is quite likely the greatest joy we could ever experience on this Earth. It’s why Chesterton said that the man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.

Unfortunately, when someone engages in the behavior of looking at someone naked without their okay, then they are in fact lowering that person and in fact, reducing any future joy for that person without some good counseling. 

So a man violates a woman for a moment of pleasure and leaves her with a lifetime of pain.

Is it worth it?

When sex is put at the top of the list as the highest good, they could very well think that that is the case. When people see each other as just animals, then that will also more likely be the case. Say there is no Heaven to gain or Hell to shun and there is no ultimate judge and if you can get away with the pleasure, well why not?

Note in all of this I am not telling us to love sex less. May it never be. I’m just telling us to love God more and to love our fellow man more. Our fellow human being is not just an object for our sexual pleasure. Our fellow human being is someone created in the image of God. They are not just an object of pleasure, and true sexual expression between a man and a woman does not focus on the pleasure of the man or the pleasure of the woman.

It focuses on both.

It has the man being focused largely on the pleasure of the woman and the woman on the pleasure of the men. (And yes women, those of us who are married can assure you of this from our perspective. The greatest pleasure that we get out of sex is in fact knowing that we have brought great pleasure to our women.) Now of course, each person has to know enough to know what they like, but then they count on the other person to fulfill that. 

The acts done at the expense of Jennifer Lawrence or anyone else like her are entirely self-serving acts and each time, the person who is the true victim will be suffering something that could take years for her to heal while the victimizer takes a moment of pleasure. That is a very very costly moment.

The sad thing is people like Jennifer Lawrence suffer the abuse of her victimizers and then they suffer the abuse from everyone else who says “You shouldn’t have done such a thing!” Okay. Maybe she shouldn’t have and maybe it was foolish, but she does not deserve the suffering that she gets from it. Had she distributed the pictures herself, she would be guilty of victimizing herself. She did not. Someone might as well have been hiding outside her house taking pictures of her changing clothes.

Sex is a great good. It is a good we can seek if we do so choose. Let’s not do so at the expense of our fellow human beings. If you treat a fellow human being as an object, you not only wrong them, but you also wrong yourself. If they are just an object, so are you.

While I’m at it, let’s point out this is a mistake the church often makes. We are way too negative about sex. That is why so many people identify us as prudes. I hope it’s noteworthy i have said nothing negative about sex in this post. That would be foolish. We too often in teaching our youth give them only a negative message about sex and when they discover all the positives, they think not only were we wrong about the negatives, but geez, what else could we be wrong about?

This is a mistake. In our teaching about sex, we must teach that it is something good, but like all good things, it must be treated in a sacred way. Sex is sacred indeed. I consider sex like nuclear energy. If you use it right and channel it properly, the results are wonderful. If you use it wrongly and treat it haphazardly, the results are disastrous. 

Please remember sex is sacred and don’t take it lightly. Treasure the spouse you have in your life and if you are not married, then note that you are to willfully give up sexual pleasures with a member of the opposite sex. If that is something you can live with, more power to you. If not, then go out and pay the price to get to see and treasure a member of the opposite sex. Marry them in a lifelong commitment.

People are people. They are not just objects for your pleasure. 

In Christ,

Nick Peters