Valentine’s Day For The Divorced

What’s it like on Valentine’s Day if you’re divorced? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was never a fan of dating. I always hated having to go through the process. Expose your heart to a girl and get it trampled on as she chased after some guy who was “hotter.” Not understanding how to read social cues is a big problem. Realizing you’re very different from other guys in that you don’t have the muscular appearance at all, don’t care about sports, have an odd diet being on the spectrum, etc.

When I was with my ex, I was relieved in many ways to know I didn’t have to go through that again. What a joy to have someone in your life who loves you for you. Valentine’s Day became a day I looked forward to as I got to show love to the woman in my life especially that day, though I always did that anyway.

Last year, I knew I was heading for divorce and was already living with my parents, but I didn’t tell you all that. I had no wish or desire to shame my ex until the news somehow came out and I still don’t have any such desire. This year is different.

Scripture tells us it’s not good for a man to be alone. Many of us men know that passage very well. We would love to have someone in our lives. I hate sleeping alone. I hate having no one to share my life with. I hate having no one special I can give extravagant gifts to. I miss a hug, a kiss, and the joy of lovemaking.

Recently though, my friend Sam Andreades sent me his latest book Dating With Discernment and I have already started it and find it a great read. One part I’ve read is all about guarding the gold. That includes steps such as avoiding sexual intimacy before marriage, but it’s also about how you see yourself.

It’s the need to see yourself as gold worth being loved by someone special and able to love someone and I try to hang on to that. I try to remember that people who saw me with my ex know that i doted love on her constantly. I wasn’t a perfect husband by far, but if any husband ever loved his wife, it was me.

I try to remember that as we age, that that is the kind of character a good woman is looking for. I would hope someday I could find someone, naturally a devout Christian, but also one with more of an interest in apologetics this time around perhaps. I do also want to still have someone I find attractive, but I hope they will see me the same way as well.

Part of the gold is that a guy like a girl wants to know he is desired by someone. Family can love you because they are family. Friends do so by choice, but that is still missing the intimate component of a marriage. A marriage involves a love that is a giving of heart, body, and soul.

I know many of my friends are still single. I honestly think it’s harder being divorced and single than being never married and single. When you’re divorced, you think about what you’re missing and know you have had. It is also living with a cloud of rejection hanging over your head.

None of this is to be down on Valentine’s Day. I want to celebrate my friends who have love, but it is hard. Still, I have refused to give up on love and my therapist and I talk about it every time we have a session together. I know that I want romantic love in my life again though and I don’t want to hold back on getting it.

To this end, I have also got other books on learning how to do this. Even simple things like learning how to make brief eye contact and smile are helpful and I do get amazed with how many women smile back at me when I smile at them. Assuming I get to move to New Orleans for seminary, I hope I will meet some great girl in that area or in the seminary itself that I can form a relationship with.

To my friends who are single and don’t want to be, I encourage the same. Don’t like being single? Work your hardest to do something about it. Get Sam Andreades’s book and go through it. Learn how to read body language better, which I’m still working on, and talk to other guys who have marriages you admire and get their input.

For me, a woman is still a prize worth pursuing. Instead of being down on myself today, I could just use today as an emphasis to go out there and make sure my next V-Day is so much better. Wouldn’t that be more productive anyway? Yes. There is a time for mourning, but that time is not now. I have had well over a year of mourning.

To those who talk to us, please remember especially to listen to us. Platitudes don’t really help. Consider if you would say the same to a Christian couple who were faithful and heartbroken because they were trying to conceive and having no luck. It’s the best analogy I can come up with.

To my married friends, enjoy your day today. Hopefully soon, I will have a Valentine to enjoy it with as well.

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

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Why is such a day important? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some of you hate this day, and I get it. I used to as well. Then in 2009, Allie came into my life. We spent our first Valentine’s Day together with some snow on the ground and having her Dad take pictures of us outside of her house. I got her a Kingdom Hearts necklace and we went to see Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief.

It always reminds me that love is a gift. Some of you who aren’t married might have various thoughts about it. Many guys will think to the idea that it’s okay to have sex now. That’s an awesome gift, no doubt, but there is more to it than that.

I also enjoy many simple things with Allie. Sitting down and watching YouTube or Hulu together. Going on a Pokemon raid with her or playing some other game. A drive together where we just talk about meaningless matters sometimes. It can be enjoyable sometimes when she gets into a Facebook debate and I jump in and we do it together. Just run of the mill teasing every day is a delight. As I said, while sex is great, just getting to sleep together in the same bed and wake up together is a gift.

Scripture says we become one, and it’s absolutely right. Many of you know a few years ago we had a car crash where it was sadly my fault and someone ran into the car on Allie’s side. We went to separate rooms at the same hospital and when she came to me the first time there, I was in tears I think and kept saying “I could have lost you.” Sometimes after that, she would hear me crying some and ask what was wrong and I would tell her I was thinking about that and how I could have lost her. It really opens your eyes to what someone means to you.

Allie has also become my standard of female beauty. She is the woman who truly takes my breath away. I look over at her sometimes and just think “How on Earth did I get such a beautiful woman?” Amusingly, I’m not the only one who thinks that. I have been told that when my sister was with my mother before my mother ever met Allie, my sister showed her some of Allie’s pictures on Facebook and my Mom said, “Good grief. How did he get a girl like her?”

I take it as a compliment. I still don’t know.

Today, it is a great gift to have love, but as Christ says, it is even better to give than to receive. I love that I have someone I can share all the love I have with. Allie has done so much to teach me what it means to really love someone and made me a better Christian and a better man in the process.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the love of my life. May we have many more together.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Should we enjoy the gift of love? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day. I really did. It was a reminder that I was single and alone in the world. I know you can all say you have friends and you have God, but even when it was man and God, God said it was not good for man to be alone. That was me. I was alone.

Last night, I was getting ready for bed and thinking that I am not alone. For the past 9 prior Valentine’s Days, I have not been alone. I go to bed next to my beautiful wife every Valentine’s Day now. We have spent the past few years building our lives together.

Love is a gift. It is a gift between two people who seek the good of one another. Interestingly in marriage, the good of one another is the other person. In friendships, we can say it’s the company the person provides or a function we serve together or a hobby we enjoy together. In marriage only is it directly that the other person themselves is the gift. It is in marriage that we have the most embodied love as marriage needs the two bodies to come together.

I often tell my wife that my favorite Valentine’s Day gift is her. I mean it. As a man, no gift compares to the love of my wife, but it is more than her physical being. Her physicalness comes with her emotions and her trust in me and her desire for me. All of this is quite powerful.

This is also the idea of God. God designed love and He designed marriage. This isn’t some dirty effect of the fall that we need to move past. The systems were designed for this purpose and God made man and woman to love one another in a unique way.

The romance between the man and the woman also is a picture of the love of God for the church. Everything that we see here is in essence God flirting with us. Picture any good that you have and this is just a clue. It is a hint of what God has coming for us.

When you read accounts of people who have near-death experiences an aspect of Heaven that keeps coming back is beauty. So it is that even here in romantic love, beauty is such a great draw. When I have to think of what is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, it’s no contest. My wife is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen and I admire the handiwork of the creator when I see her.

As it stands, I gave Allie a board game and a game for the Switch for Valentine’s Day today. We had an early lunch date earlier this week and today we’re going to go see Alita: Battle Angel thanks to the donation of some Fandango gift cards to us by a friend of our ministry. Whatever you do today, celebrate the one you love. For those still waiting and wanting, have hope please. I know it seems hard, but I was there once and it seemed hopeless too. Still, it happened, and there is some truth that it happens when you least expect it.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Why do I think today is a special day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day. Back then, I was one who called it Singles’ Awareness Day. It was a depressing time because I always wondered if I would ever find someone who would love me and who I would love. Really, the prospects of that happening did not seem good.

That really changed in August of 2009. I found out about this girl named Allie who lived in Atlanta. She had Aspergers like I do and she was going through a hard time and wanted a friend. I said I could be that friend and started communicating with her. Before long, it was more than communication and we were a hot item. Everyone knew exactly where we were heading and this only after a couple of months. I proposed to her in December and we were married in July, but I did get to spend Valentine’s Day with her.

Since then, every Valentine’s Day has been special. I always make sure to celebrate the day by doing something really special for her. You see, when you go through life and you doubt that you will ever find that love, you want to celebrate it when it comes along. You never want to take it for granted.

Something theological about this is that love is now something we do celebrate. When you read Plato, the whole dialogue of the Symposium is all about a celebration of love because that really wasn’t as much celebrated as it is today. Romantic love was often the exception and not the norm. Many times, a wife would often be just the woman that the man chose to have his main heirs with.

Today, romantic love is the norm. We can’t picture any other cause for marriage than love. At the same time, we often don’t think about what love is. What does it mean to love someone?

Many times, we think that love means we have warm feelings for someone. That can be good when it comes, but that’s not what love is. Love is not about what you feel so much as what you do. The best definition of love I know is seeking the good of the other for the sake of the other.

This means love is in the giving. It’s in the giving of oneself for what is genuinely good for the other. It might not even be what the person wants. A loving thing to do to a recovering alcoholic seeking to overcome is to NOT give him the alcohol he desires. Love can be painful in that sense, but love is there because it is the person seeking the good. There’s always the possibility that one is wrong in the action they think loving, but they are still at least trying to be loving.

As a husband, I am called to give of myself to my wife regularly and sacrifice for her, but with love, it is not often a sacrifice. It is a joy. My greatest joy many times is in knowing I am making Allie happy and knowing she can rely on me and trust in me. If you hear me talking to other men about marriage, what you will often hear is that I wish I could do more.

Today, I will be celebrating the love I have for my Princess. If you are married, I encourage you to please celebrate it today, but remember also that Valentine’s Day is not meant to be a once a year event. Celebrate the love you have for your spouse every day. If you are single, you can still celebrate love you have in your life. You can have the love of friends, the love of family, and of course, the love of God. If you want to find romantic love, be assured it can be found. I never thought it would happen for me and now we’re working on year eight of our marriage.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you also Princess. I love you dearly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Loving Things, Using People

Are we a society of users? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

On Facebook yesterday, I saw an old story about a woman in a competition I believe in Poland who apparently had sex with 919 men in a day, and another sad part is she beat her competition by a small number. Ultimately, I see a woman who has cheapened herself and allowed herself to be used just to get a record like this. The story ended with saying that she had sex with her “lucky” boyfriend that evening. Yes. A lucky guy no doubt. He was lucky enough to be #920 in line. Can she truly say she’s saved something special for him?

Isn’t that term interesting? We speak of someone “Getting lucky.” Now I understand what it means. Most any married man especially will tell you that an evening that includes sex is a good evening and naturally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that, looking forward to it, and enjoying it. What is often wrong is that this is seen as the goal of relationships. Why does a guy date a girl? Ultimately often just to get into her pants we think. Now don’t understand. Any guy dating a girl should want to have sex with her. He really should. That desire must be controlled until marriage, but the desire is not the problem. Treating it as the greatest good is.

In a married relationship, one of the biggest goals of sexuality in it is to unify closer together. The main theory is that women need to feel intimate to have sex and men need to have sex to feel intimate. A woman should indeed give sex for the sake of intimacy, but a man should always be doing his part. Men. Please never stop dating your wife and being romantic. We often, both men and women, put forward our best foot while dating and strive to be our best, but then when we marry it’s easy to say “Well I’ve got them now” and coast. Don’t coast. Be keeping up the speed you’re going on and gaining more and more.

If there’s something I suspect leads to this usage of men and women, though especially women in our culture, it is that we don’t have a rite of passage in our society. In many parts of the world, there is a rite of passage where a young man or woman undergoes a ritual or completes a task or something of that sort where they are then seen as a fully functioning man or woman by society. We go so far against that that we have a stage called adolescence and call people teenagers. They are not seen as adults, but they are not seen as children, but they strive to be adults. (Why do even small children play games where they are adults?)

For many men, the rite of passage for them as being seen as a man is having sex. It is “conquering” as it were, a woman. After all, you don’t want to be a prude and be a virgin do you? What does that mean to say you cannot be successful in a relationship with a woman? Are you scared or what?

For many women, it can be similar, but the desire for them is to be loved and know that they are beautiful. Girls. Let me put this to you clearly. When a guy wants sex, he will do or say most anything to get it. (Yeah. In case you haven’t noticed, women have this strange power over men. Wives. You need to realize you have this power too to motivate your man to goodness.) They will tell you they love you and that you’re beautiful and everything. Unfortunately, they will often kick you to the curb afterward. They got what they want. Move on to the next one.

For women, I encourage you to realize something. You are the one in charge. You let every man know how much you’re worth. So how much are you worth? Dinner and a movie? Three dates? A month? Six months? Engagement? Women. You can’t put a higher price on yourself than marriage. You let every man know you’re worth a lifelong commitment and if he’s not willing to pay the price, he doesn’t get what he wants.

What I wish women realized is that you are beautiful and you don’t need to treat that beauty cheaply. If a man really wants you, he will do what it takes and if that means marriage, he’ll do it. If he’s not willing, he’s not worthy. Please don’t also accept this garbage about living together. You can’t have a good relationship if you’re treating each other like a test. It won’t work.

The end result overall in our society is that we have treated sex as a god and used one another as a way of getting this god. Now there is something that we actually have right here. Sex is a transcendent experience. I have a book here written by a pastor and his wife and in it, the authors say something along the lines of that if an atheist ever asks you to prove that there is a God, just say one word. Sex. Give him a day to think about it. If he’s not convinced, he’s told you a lot more about his sex life than he realizes.

There is a transcendent experience there. It is something that gets you out of yourself and entering into something totally unique. It was made to be that way. Sex was God’s idea first. He created it, the engine behind it, and the strong desire for it. One of the big mistakes we have made is to treat it as something dirty. It’s not.

One of my favorite blogs to read is “To Love, Honor, and Vacuum.” Sheila Wray Gregoire runs it and she said recently she is going to stop telling women they need to stay pure until marriage. I was a bit astounded and read to see what she was saying, then I agreed with her! What kind of message is it to say “Stay pure until you’re married and then when you have sex, you’re no longer pure.” You still are pure! Sex doesn’t make you dirty!

So what’s the danger? We confuse the gift with the giver. There is a saying that a finger is good for pointing at the moon, but woe to the man who mistakes a finger for the moon. Picture having a dog and pointing at his food dish for him to eat. Instead, the dog sniffs your finger. He misses the point. So do we. We see sex as an end in itself when really, it’s a great good to lead to even greater goods.

So what happens when we treat it as the end in itself? We use one another. Lewis once wrote about a man who was trapped with a great lustful desire. People would say he needs a woman. Lewis said that is the last thing he needs. If he came across a real woman, he wouldn’t know what to do with her. What he wants most is not a woman but sex and the female body happens to be the apparatus he wants to use to get that sex. The person doesn’t matter. It is the body that makes the difference.

For the Christian, it’s both. If we say that the body doesn’t matter and taking care of it doesn’t matter, then we are essentially gnostics. The body does matter, but it is not just a body. It is a person with a body. The body is how we perform the acts of love for one another. Do you kiss the person you love? Do you do works of art or fix them dinner or take care of the house or earn a living or anything else? All of these are done with the body.

If you think the body doesn’t matter, then picture this. You are a wife sitting at home and your husband comes in. Normally he comes to where you’re sitting, leans over and kisses you. Today, he leans over and smacks you across the face. Does that matter? You bet it does. The body is the means you use to express the desire of your soul. That is what takes places in marriage. The marriage act itself is the greatest expression of your soul through your body to show how much you love and want and trust and desire the other person.

What’s it going to take to change this? For one thing Christians, please stop thinking that a purity pledge, a single talk from Mom and Dad, and a few verses in Paul is enough to stop raging hormones. It isn’t. Just think back to when you were dating. Instead, your child needs a whole worldview of sex. They need to know what place it plays and why it’s reserved for marriage.

Second, let your boys and girls have ways to know they are men and women apart from sex. Fathers are the most essential at this. Fathers need to treat boys like men and make them into men. Ultimately, only another man can do that. If you’re a single mother, I urge you to find someone who can be a father figure for your sons. It could be a coach, an uncle, or a grandfather.

For those of you with daughters, please always let your daughter know she’s beautiful and loved. Make it so that if she marries a man, he’s going to be a man who treats her in a way easily comparable to how her Daddy treats her. When Valentine’s Day rolls around, order something for your daughter as well. Let her know what a special person she is in your life. Be willing to spend father-daughter time together. Even now that Allie and I are married, her Dad will still come to see her and take her out for some father-daughter time together. I have no problem with that. When we lived in Knoxville, her father-in-law once took her to a church event that was a father-daughter dance. I stayed at home. I had no problem with it.

And when it comes to the marrieds, like my own wife and I, can we still get “lucky.”? Yes. We can. In fact, we are. We are “lucky” because we have one person that gives us that ultimate trust and desire. Sex is the full expression of that love and desire with no fear of holding back. What makes us “lucky” is we have someone who shares that experience with us and only us. I share something unique with Allie and she shares it with me that is not shared with anyone else on the planet. How can I not be lucky? I’m the only person in this world treasured by Allie and who gets to fully treasure her.

Ladies especially, please realize your worth. Many men will want to use you and even good men will be tempted to give in. Be strong. You are worth it. Wait until marriage. You have the rest of your lives then to enjoy that gift together and it is a gift. Be picky. Be finicky. Be exclusive. You don’t need to settle for anything less than a lifetime commitment.

Follow these steps, and it is far less likely that you will use one another. You are not objects. The greatest good is not the sex. The greatest good is the love and joy that is shared mutually. Sex is the way that you get this in a married relationship, but it is not the end in itself.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Valentine’s Day Thoughts for 2017

What are we to do with Valentine’s Day? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Today is Valentine’s Day, which many also do call Singles’ Awareness Day. I do understand it. I used to dread the day, but now I’m married so that changes. As I thought about the day today, I thought about how much has changed since the coming of Christ with regard to romantic love.

One of the mistakes we often make when we read the Bible is we assume the people of the time were for the most part, just like us. They weren’t. Through studies today, we’re learning that the majority world is really radically different and we’re the odd ones out. They function more in terms of honor and shame and we in terms of guilt and innocence.

One way of change also is romantic love. Now let’s be clear. When we look at the ancients, there were indeed times that you would see a man with deep love and affection for his spouse. This was more often the exception. Many a man was seen as more of a man by how many women (Or young boys even) he could bed. The women meanwhile were to be chaste. As we see our culture abandoning Christianity, it’s not a shock that we move back to that idea even more.

Marriages were more often arranged. There wasn’t any going out and dating and finding the right man for you. You were also expected to be married at a much earlier age. Many of our fourteen-year-old girls today could be in a panic trying to decide what to wear to school the next day. Their ancestors would be busy being mothers to children. I really think one of the great disasters of our age is we’ve lost a rite of passage idea into manhood and womanhood and too many of our young people think the way you show yourself a man or a woman is by having sex instead of having the mindset of a man or a woman.

When we go to the letter to the Ephesians, we can get into a lot of arguments about a woman submitting to her husband. What we often forget is the shock that would come to the men when they heard the command to love their wives and give themselves for them. They would have thought that Paul was on the crack of his day.

Through Christ, we learned immensely about sacrificial love and men learned to be chaste and be only with their wives sexually. This became a reigning paradigm for some time, but sadly we’ve seen ourselves moving away from it. Just yesterday in fact, I read a statistic about how 30% of women doing online dating sleep with the guy on the first date. You have to wonder at that point if anything is sacred.

Valentine’s Day is a day for us as Christians to show the world a different and a better way. I always encourage Christians who are married to live out their marriage. If we look at the world as dishonoring marriage, my fear is that the world does it because the church did it first. If we want the battle for true marriage, we need to not only defend marriage as it is, but we need to live it as it is.

I don’t know what your plan is for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, but if you are a husband, love her as Christ loved the church. If you are a wife, love him as the church loves Christ. Seek to give of yourselves. There is no place in marriage for looking out for yourself. In fact, we are told to look out for the interests of others above ourselves. If you can’t do that in marriage, where can you do it?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thoughts for Valentine’s Day

What makes this holiday so special? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Admittedly, I wasn’t always a fan of Valentine’s Day. This was especially so back when I would have joined in with others and said “Singles Awareness Day.” As one can imagine, that has changed. At the same time, I understand the longings of those who are single and are not happy being single and want to be married. There are times in the church we look down on people who are single as if there was something wrong with them. (Was there something wrong with Paul and Jesus?) Some people just don’t want to marry. God bless them. Some do, and for those who do, we should not look down on them but help them be the best future husband or wife they can be and perhaps help introduce them to someone who would be a great spouse for them. After all, my wife and I were introduced to one another by a mutual friend.

And I want to stress to singles wanting to marry that a real relationship is what you want. A friend of mine recently sent me a link to an event called cuddlecon, which will involve numerous people getting together and cuddling. As I pointed out to him, nothing beats the reality. There is something very special about snuggling up with your loved one perhaps to watch a movie at home or just lying in bed at night. It is possible to cuddle together without sex for instance and still have it be completely intimate. (Although the man sure won’t complain if it leads to sex.)

In fact, just this morning, when I woke up I got my Bible after a prayer and had started reading when I felt Allie’s arm go around me some. I was surprised by this and said the first thing that came to my mind honestly. “Have a bad dream?” “No, Just wanted to.” It’s been hours later and I still remember that event so ladies, keep in mind your husband doesn’t always need the full deal for support and encouragement. Just a little bit can keep him going. (And in fact, it could be to your advantage to tease him a little bit, though remember if you tease, you must eventually deliver.)

Love like this has been one of the most life-changing events for me and I am sure many people have noticed changes that I have not. My work in ministry I think has improved as I have someone who affirms me constantly. I can safely say that the more I am affirmed, the better I am able to do what I do. I had no idea when I got married that the things that mean so much to me now would in fact mean that much to me.

On the other hand, there’s also the notion of sacrifice. I find myself giving and giving and giving and if I give so much that I bring a bit of joy into Allie’s life and see her truly happy, then I celebrate with that. It’s also found in doing things that are just good manners. It means opening the car door for her. It means pulling out the chair for her and not sitting down until she sits down. It means (GASP!) helping out with housework at times.

Why do it? Why do you give everything to your spouse? The reality is they give everything to you. Through covenant, they have committed their lives to you. Through physicality in the sexual union, they give their whole bodies to you. They make a vow to not see any other person in a romantic light and not be loving in that way with anyone else. They are to run from even the thought of that.

And that running can be hard at times. This I think is especially so for guys who are visually oriented. Of course, women see bodies on men they can desire, but men are more notorious for this. We are more like microwaves. Turn us on and we are ready to go and it doesn’t take much to turn us on. That is a great desire in us and it must be controlled and directed to the only one in our lives who truly deserves it, our wife.

Women give also. Women make themselves entirely vulnerable to men, who are usually more powerful than they are, at least physically. If you’re also the husband of a wife who you’ve had a child with, consider what she has gone through for you. Oh of course women can long to be mothers and want that, but that does not mean they enjoy the process. There is a period of up to nine months of vomiting, strange food cravings, pain, emotional mood swings, etc. Then of course, there’s the actual childbirth itself. I have told Allie before that I am sure if we ever get to that point, it will be incredibly difficult for me. I mean there will be all the crying, moaning, groaning, screaming, yelling, and on top of that, I’m sure she’ll be making a lot of noises too.

Women are the ones who often leave their own families and come to form a new relationship. In the case of Allie and I, many of you know that Allie was practically fresh our of high school when I found her and I had been already living on my own and living with a roommate both for some time and then Allie and I fell for each other. Her parents had no objections whatsoever to the relationship and when I asked them for her hand in marriage (Men. If possible, always do this) they happily consented. Yet I had to take her away from her family. She had to get used to a new identity and a new way of living that was totally foreign to her.

One way she got used to a new identity was when we got her a new cell phone after we married. She was leaving a recording for her voice mail message and said “Hi. You’ve reached Allie Licona.” I caught her on it instantly and then she realized what she said. Her name is Peters now after all. It’s not that the Licona family doesn’t matter. Of course it does. It’s that she is part of a new family unit.

A new family unit. Isn’t that something magical about the whole thing? You see, true love is creative, and one thing it creates is new family units. Even if a family for whatever reason does not have children, there is still a new family unit involved. These are two people that share no blood relation to each other, but have a relation that could be tighter than any blood relation.

That love transforms and yes, love is transforming. It makes you into something else and something for the better. The Apostle was right. Love builds up. That’s what is to happen when marriage is done best. Both parties are to work to sacrifice for the other. It’s fine to know what makes you happy, but don’t seek your happiness first. Seek the happiness of your spouse first. Odd thing. If both of you are doing that, and both of you knows what makes the other happy, well guess what. You’ll both be happy.

And remember, like all other loves on this Earth, marital love in all the ways its expressed is meant to be a shadow of what is to come. Don’t make your spouse an idol. Only God deserves the highest place. For you men, especially those of you who are planning a very romantic Valentine’s Evening, remember that what you experience even in the bedroom together is meant to be just a tiny clue of what is coming. You can picture God saying “If you think this is so awesome, wait until you’re in my presence.”

So this year, yes, I do celebrate Valentine’s Day. I hope you will be as well and even if you are not married, celebrate where you are in life and give thanks. God can use you where you are just as much as He can use married people were they are.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

How I Met My Princess

What is the story of the love the Princess and I share? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

For today’s entry, I’d really like to go personal and share the story of how my Princess and I came together, seeing as it is Valentine’s Day as I write this. The story starts in the year 2009. I believe it was August.

That day, I had got off of work at the Christian Research Institute and was heading back to the apartment where I lived with my roommate. Gary Habermas I had heard was teaching a week long module at SES where I was a student. Gary and I had talked a number of times since he’d spoken at the church there. I had always had a problem of being my own worst critic which I considered a symptom of emotional doubt. I wanted to know if he could help me with that. My friends who knew me before Allie can tell you that, yes, this was a HUGE problem for me.

So I stop by to see him and get there early. We meet in the lobby and he asks me if I know about Mike Licona’s daughter. I say no, but I’m intrigued already. He tells me about a hard time she’s going through and how he was talking to some fellow apologists about it and the topic came up of her having Asperger’s to which someone at the table said “Nick Peters has Asperger’s.”

Gary gave me her email and suggested I talk to her. At the start, neither one of us was looking for romance. She especially was not. In fact, she was hoping she could win back another guy at the time. Knowing what she was going through, I had decided to get her in touch with some older female friends of mine and Allie and I just kept chatting.

Except she started really developing a liking to me. Today, she’d say it was because I was like Christ to her. I was showing her great love and not getting upset with her about matters. It was something really unusual to her and she was thinking more and more about me.

I was starting to do the same.

And on Labor Day, we started going out.

It was a month later when I finally got the chance to drive down for the first meeting. We also had the first kiss, which was my first one as well. Our first date was to go to the Georgia Aquarium together. We even had a homeless person on the street ask us how long we’d been married on our first date!

There are pictures of me there touching some of the fish in the water which led one of our friends to say “That’s how I knew you two were going to work out. If she got you to touch something, it was good.” On the way back, we listened to music in the car together and I found she even liked my Final Fantasy music. It was just incredible.

That evening, we watched together at her parents’ house “Beauty and the Beast”. It was my first time to see that as well. Normally, Allie’s parents would have been nervous about her dating a much older guy, as I’m nearly ten years her senior, but her parents already knew about me. Mike had seen me at SES a number of times and liked me.

There is a funny story about Allie and I watching the movie together downstairs. Seeing as we were trusted, her parents gave us a wide range of freedom. That first night when we were watching the movie, her brother wanted to go downstairs by us to the kitchen to get something and her Mom said “Nick and Allie are downstairs on the couch right now and they’re cuddling. You might not want to go down there.” (By the way, for all concerned, Allie can assure anyone I was a gentleman the whole time. Cuddling was not anything inappropriate.)

We never saw her brother the whole night.

I honestly don’t remember much more of what happened that weekend, but I know she was depressed when I had to get back and get to work, and I was sad about it too. I’m sure I called her almost as soon as I got out of the driveway. I don’t remember if that’s when we first told each other we love each other or not.

I have been told that when I got back, my roommate told a mutual friend of ours that he might have to start looking for another place to live.

At the end of the month, Allie and I got together again. When we weren’t together, we were bombarding each other with IMs and emails. In fact, we would often have LOOOOOONG phone conversations at the end of the day, staying up past midnight. Could I tell you what we talked about in these conversations? Nope. Not a bit. Neither can she.

When we got together again, we were visiting my parents this time so Allie got to meet them and she got to meet my grandmother, who passed away about a year later. I have been told that when the time came for us to leave, that my mother wanted her good-bye hug. I told her I had to get Allie in the car first. She later called one of her friends just so sad about it to which she was told “Nick’s found someone special and you’re going to have to accept you’re no longer the #1 woman in his life.” Of course she did, but I understand it was hard.

Just so everyone knows, my parents are great parents. Both of them have done all that they can to help us out and we try to get together regularly. For instance, on Saturday nights, they like it if we come up and watch Huckabee with them. Some Saturday nights, I forget. Often times, my mother will help us with cooking and some household things, seeing as we’re not the best in that area. I say this because I want everyone to know that I greatly value my parents.

The next time we met was at the Apologetics Conference in November. Allie was there before I as she had to work that day. She tells me how she liked how then president of SES Alex McFarland had introduced her (Seeing as she was with her Dad) as “Nick Peters’s girlfriend.” She thought it was such a joy to for once not be introduced as Mike Licona’s daughter. My friends there were surprised that I only bought two books that year. Hey. I had more important money investments to make.

I remember waking up so excited the Saturday of the conference that I’d be with Allie again soon and after the conference, I was talking to the mother of some twins who were friends of mine and realized then, I would not find another girl like Allie who was so devoted to me and understood me so well and who I enjoyed being with. My decision was clear.

I also recall being at work and coming through a hall and hearing someone there talking about me. Apparently, someone had asked who I was with and I heard the person answering saying things like “Match made in Heaven.” “Wonderful couple.” “Great how God brings people together.” “Probably going to get married.”

He knew how true that was when I asked if he knew a good jeweler in the area.

In fact, my rooommate at the time messaged me at work one day saying he’d found someone who needed a roommate and he was going to take the chance and said “Besides, if I’m reading the tea leaves right, you won’t want me around much longer.” I told him if he was reading them right, he wouldn’t want to be around much longer.

I think he got a good inkling of where it was going when we went to the mall one day so he could get some jeans and I was checking out jewelry stores.

To which, I saw Allie around Thankgiving that year and her mother knew what I was planning. She gave me a stone to use in the engagement ring. It was a pink sapphire that was a family heirloom. I was quite secretive about this and especially with Allie. In fact, Allie and I went to the mall and went to some jewelry stores. While there, she wanted to try on rings “just because” and told me about the stone saying her Mom said I could use it, totally unaware I already had it. When we got back and her Mom asked how things went, Allie told her about the stores to which I said “Yeah. Allie said something about some sort of….pink sapphire…that I could use. Can I look at it later?”

Allie has definitely learned that I am incredibly sneaky.

The next month was December. I called her parents then as I was as traditional as I could be. I got them both on speaker and they hid themselves from Allie as much as possible. I told them I knew Allie and I hadn’t been dating for long, but I adored their daughter and I wanted to ask her to marry me and I wanted to get their blessing.

Guys. If at all possible, do this before you propose please.

As you can imagine, they happily gave it.

On Christmas Eve, Allie was flying in to the Charlotte airport. I got off work at Noon. I had the plan all worked out. I had been practicing what I would say and everything. Her flight was to arrive at 1:04. I got at the airport at Noon. Her flight actually got there early and I saw her at 12:49. I helped her get her bags and said I wanted to show her something before we left.

Outside of the airport, there’s a statue of Queen Charlotte who the city is named after. It’s a fountain statue with a star-shaped pool around it, and I took my Princess (As I call her) out there. While showing it to her, I was fumbling around in my pocket. I had the ring in the box and I wanted to make sure I didn’t open it the wrong way.

Okay. It’s right.

So I released the line I’d been preparing for.

“So Princess. Have you ever thought about being a queen?”

And she answered “Only if you’re the king.”

So I said “I guess you’ve made this easy for me.”

And her mouth opened in stunned silence as I got on my knee and opened up the box and said “Allie Licona. Will you marry me?”

And she said yes. We were both stunned.

Especially since my cell phone went off during my proposal.

Of course, I had ignored it, but now that she had the ring on, we decided to see who it was. I thought it was my Mom. She ALWAYS calls at the worst times.

Half right. I had the wrong Mom.

Allie’s Mom had wanted me to know Allie’s plane had arrived earlier. It is something we have said we would always be teasing her about.

I suppose with this blog, we can definitely say “Mission Accomplished.”

We drove to Knoxville with her calling everyone. I called my roommate and got a busy signal. I called someone else and then checked back to see my roommmate had left a voicemail. He wanted to congratulate me saying that Allie’s Mom had already put it up on Facebook.

Yeah. There was some excitement.

When we got to our first stop for Christmas Eve celebrations, I told Allie I was going to do things strategically. We walked in with I on the left and her on the right. There had been bad weather and we had to take a longer route so everyone was together when we got there.


Anyway, we walked in that way because I was covering her hand with the ring. This was the first time several of them had seen her and so I said “I want all of you to meet Allie. She and I have been going out for a few months now and as of X hours ago, she’s become somewhat more important.” As I said that last part, I would remove my hand to show the ring.

I then say I dove out of the way to avoid the onslaught of women wanting to see that ring.

I honestly don’t remember too much in the months after that. Everything was in a rush getting set for the wedding. It was also difficult when I lost my job in that, but friends did come through and provide for us to get things like a bed and a honeymoon. (We went to Ocean Isle Beach.)

I remember speaking with my roommate in his new place one time and telling him I wanted him to pick us up at the hotel the day of the wedding as her parents had arranged for us to have a hotel stay on our wedding night. I remember him kind of shrugging about it. Then I said “I figure you can either pick me up there that morning or else just pick up a couple of honeymooners the next day and take us to our car.”

I remember his eyes opening big and opting for the first option instead.

Our wedding really was a dream wedding. Things went off so well. The theme to Superman was playing as we walked down the aisle together. A lot of people thought since I’m the Smallville buff, that I was the one who thought of that. Wrongo! It was Allie! She wanted to surprise me. We had “Wait for Me” by Rebecca St. James, “Love Story” by Taylor Swift, and a song that is still “our song.” That one is “Eyes on Me” which is actually from Final Fantasy VIII. My sister sang that and Allie’s Mom played the piano. (My sister got some good teasing in January of 2011 when she put up moments of the past year that made her smile and my wedding was not shown at all!)

My roommate also had the best wedding toast ever. I am posting it here in its entirety.

As we were moving Allie’s things into Nick’s apartment, my foot struck an object embedded near the creek. It turned out that they were a set of golden plates, curiously arranged. On them appeared writing; but it was of an unintelligible nature. I quickly realized that this was Nick’s writing; which, as most here know, required the gift and power of God to translate. I have done so—and here is what I found.

AND IT CAME TO PASS that Nicholas did meet Allie in the last year of the reign of George.

And it came to pass that while Nick did reside in the region of Mecklenberg, Allie didst reside in the far-off city of Atlanta, named after the Roman goddess of traffic jams;

And it came to pass that they didst fall in love with one another, and this love was confessed; nay, confessed and shown morning, noon, and night;

And it came to pass that their courtship did blossom like unto kudzu; nowhere to be seen one day, and is everywhere the next;

And it came to pass that Nick didst begin to contemplate a future of more than just phone calls and AOL Messenger chat; lo, he didst envision the prospect of Marriage, and a Family.

And it came to pass that he set about achieving this goal.

And it came to pass that he did quest within the Queen City for a band of metal wrought like unto the work of the smiths of old; from the City East to the City West to the Park of South didst he look. And lo, he found one.

And it came to pass at the Eve of the Feast of the Nativity that he didst finally pop the question;

And it came to pass that she said yes.

And it came to pass that many quests and trials didst they pass to get to the altar. Verily, the gifts and talents of much family and many friends didst they obtain, and grateful were all at the giving.

And it came to pass that they did get hitched in the second year of the reign of Obama, to the delight of all; lo, though those in charge come and go, Nick and Allie’s love shall not, lo, nor will they let their affection do the same.

And it came to pass that they did endeavor to be an Example, and for the radiance of their love and virtue to remain unsullied even should the years pile up like books; and they did also desire to be a reflection of the splendor of the Trinity to all they did meet.

And it came to pass—or at least, it better come to pass—that all their many friends and family did support them, and did offer counsel, aid, kindness, and wisdom.

Thus ended the text on the plates.

Kidding aside, I do not think that either of you could have found anyone more well-suited. Therefore it is my distinct honor to propose this toast:

First, to your holiness: because all else rightly flows from this. May it remain undimmed through many, many blessed years.

To your marriage, that it fully reflects that greater Marriage between Christ and his Bride. May this marriage be an image of the joy of His return!

To your virtue: that faith, hope, and love grow stronger and deeper from this day forward; that your temperance, prudence, justice, and fortitude become an example that none can see without admiration.

To your health: or rather, to your attitude towards it. Good health you will not always have, nor is it guaranteed; yet may you have the perspective to face both blessing and trial with grace.

To your home: may it be Godly, and happy, in that order; and may all who enter it be washed and renewed its resonant blessedness.

And in all, may God receive the praise and glory. It is my desire that your marriage should seem fitting of praise; yet it is also my desire that you do not keep it for yourself.

Nick and Allie, thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding.

Thank you.

We left the wedding in a limo her parents had arranged. That was on July 24th, 2010. There have been bumps and hurdles since then. There have been good times and bad. We still have the financial struggles as before. We still have issues we’re working on. Still, to this day, my Princess is still my valentine and she is still the love of my life.

To my Princess, Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope reading this will make you smile as much as writing it made me smile.

In Christ,
Nick Peters