Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Book Plunge: God’s Design For Man And Woman

October 22, 2014

What do I think of this book by the Kostenbergers? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I wish to thank Andreas and Margaret Kostenberger first off for sending me a copy of this book for review purposes. Ever since my marriage, I have been interested in reading material that can help me improve in that area. The book certainly starts off with a gripper. Andreas talks about coming home from being overseas and going through his old home and realizing his Dad’s things were gone. It hits him then. His parents were no longer together. His Dad had moved out.

That is a good motivator to make sure you get marriage right. No one wants to have that.

Now let’s be clear about something at the start. While this book is directly applicable to those of us who are married, the Kostenbergers have plenty to say for singles and it’s not just about how to get a mate. When they go through the Bible, they point out people who served God faithfully and who yet were never married. This includes men and women both.

They definitely go through the Bible as well! They start with Genesis and then give a look all the way through the Bible to see how the relationships between men and women are described. They note that the consistent position throughout the Bible is that in the family, the man is to lead and that this would apply to church and government as well. This does not mean women play no role whatsoever of course, but that the main position has been given to the men.

It’s towards the end that they say how this all works out and this is one area I would have liked some more expanding on. For instance, let’s go with the house rules of Ephesians 5 and the Kostenbergers argue for male leadership here. That means that a husband is to love his wife definitely as Christ loved the Church, and a wife is to submit to and respect her husband.

Okay. How does that work?

Because we know too often that there has been the abusive husband who has used the submission passage like a whip. I am absolutely convinced the Kostenbergers want nothing to do with that. There is never a place for a husband to abuse his wife. Yet knowing the misuse of the passage does not tell us the proper use. How would they recommend this be lived out? I would like to have seen more on this.

I was also surprised there was not much said about the sexual relationship between the two persons in marriage. How should they approach this? In light of Biblical submission, this is a topic that is important too. We wouldn’t want to say a husband has a right to sex on demand of course, but then there is the passage in 1 Cor. 7 about not denying your bodies to one another. Perhaps the Kostenbergers have written on this more elsewhere. If so, I would like to get to see it.

I also found the appendices to be quite helpful. The history of feminism was fascinating and it’s certainly led to where we are today. I had no problem seeing them go after Rachel Held Evans either for her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, which I also found to be severely lacking. The Kostenbergers explain the hermeneutical mistakes that Evans makes quite well.

To which, it’s great to see a section on hermeneutics as well. They make it clear that this is not a science per se, but rather a methodology. After all, we may not reach 100% certainty on what a text means, but we can reach a case of high likelihood of what it means. It is not to be seen as an all-or-nothing game.

If you’re someone who disagrees with their view on male headship, you will find your position is treated fairly as well. The Kostenbergers are gentle on those who disagree with them. The book is highly approachable and you do not need to be specifically trained in Biblical studies in order to get a lot out of it. In fact, getting this book could be a great beginning to Biblical studies.

Those interested in male/female relationships and what it means to be a man or woman should get this book and learn it well.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Apostles’ Creed: And The Life Everlasting

October 20, 2014

What awaits those who trust in Christ? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Death is something we often don’t really care for. It’s such a finality to matters. I have been to two funerals this year for instance. One was for an aunt who died. The other was for a neighbor who lived just down the street from us and whose death we were not at all expecting. My wife has lost her grandfather this year as well.

When someone dies, we are suddenly filled with grief if we knew the person well and cared for them. When I walk past my neighbor’s house for instance, I can know that in this lifetime, I will never see him out there tending to his garden and have him wave at me and have my wife and I talk to him about the plants in our garden.

Scripture gives us the promise of life everlasting as does the Apostles’ Creed, but here is another area where we have misunderstandings. This is often done at funerals. As I mentioned in an earlier post, too often, we have made it seem like the goal of Christianity is simply to get to Heaven. That’s a goal very much about us.

Yet the Bible is about what God is doing with His creation for His glory and part of it is redeeming the creation. It is not as if he says “Dang it. Looks like the devil screwed up that Garden of Eden plan. So much for that planet.” Too many Christians have this idea. This world is not our home supposedly. God did not make it to be our eternal dwelling.

Wherever that idea comes from, it is not Scripture. It is more a Platonic sort of idea of an otherworldly experience apart from this world. In fact, Scripture says the opposite. Heaven comes down to Earth in the book of Revelation. It is not the case that people go to Heaven. God comes to dwell with His people. His people do not go to a far off place where He is. In fact, if we are true believers of Scripture, we should realize God is here right now. We are just waiting for His presence to be more manifest and I would suggest the problem is not with Him, but it is with us. After all, it can never be with Him.

Part of that promise is not just going back to Eden, but going beyond Eden. This will be a place that is far better than Eden. This will be life everlasting and of a kind that will eternally satisfy us. Thankfully, it will not be like what we often see in the cartoons. For most of us, if Heaven was simply sitting on clouds and playing harps, most of us would wonder if we had instead gone to Hell. It is why some youth growing up have asked the question of if Heaven would be boring. With our descriptions of it, we have not given them much to be excited about.

Of course, the biggest excitement is that God is there and we interact with Jesus. Now if some of you don’t get excited as you should at that, could it be because we have not made the topic that exciting? We have turned God into some detached far off being that is not really interacting with our world, aside from as a friend of mine said yesterday, to perhaps send a hurricane to judge homosexuals and people attending casinos and I could add perhaps answering that prayer for a miracle and finding that parking space every now and then.

And as for Jesus, well we’ve made Jesus this nice approachable figure from our Sunday School lessons that doesn’t really challenge us which leads to an obvious question. Why would someone crucify this Jesus? For instance, as I read through Five Views on the Historical Jesus, I found Crossan’s essay quite interesting with the ending that Jesus would be seen like someone providing social renewal with a message of love. Okay. Perhaps He did. Here’s my problem. A Jesus like that is not a threat. At the worst, He’s an annoyance. There’s no reason to crucify Him.

Do we really think about Jesus? Do we think about who He is and why He came? For instance, last night I read Psalm 86 with the prayer in there of thanking God for saving them. Now isn’t this interesting? The knowledge of salvation and forgiveness before the cross? But on what basis? Because people were keeping the Law to show their faithfulness to God in response of His faithfulness to them.

Did Jesus really come into a world where the Jews were looking for a way of salvation? It doesn’t look like it. Most of them had a way that seemed to work quite well for them. Yet still He came to show them a new way. What a strange message this must have been. Instead of righteousness with God being found on the basis of the Law which came from Moses, it was found on the basis of this man who just showed up and did some miracles and spoke in these strange parables? Look at it this way, and you can understand why Jesus was not received as well by the leaders of His day. We must all honestly ask ourselves before we condemn them if we would do any better.

Then you can ask also how John the Baptist fit into this. Why did John the Baptist speak out against the actions of Herod? Was he just a political agitator? Or was he concerned about the righteousness of the people and people getting their hearts right in preparation? If he said nothing about the leader of the people openly disobeying what was righteous, then how could He be taken seriously?

These are the kinds of questions we need to be asking. Who was Jesus? What kind of world did He come into? What difference did He make in it? What difference does He make in it? What does He tell us about God? Remember, Jesus is the revelation of God. He is the one through whom we are to see and interpret the Father. To know Jesus is to know God.

If the prospect of eternity with the Trinity does not excite us, it is because we have not come to fully know them as they are, and indeed this certainly applies to my own self who often does not get excited enough. None of us will have that kind of excitement until we pass over into eternity as we are all still bound by our sinful natures.

The good part is that we will have all of eternity to discover the wonder that we have missed and the wonder that we were meant for. It will never be interrupted. It will never be painful. It will never be sorrowful. It will never be boring. This does not mean we will be passive. We will be incredibly active. We will be working in Heaven, but it will be worthwhile and enjoyable, unlike most of our work today where most of us can’t wait to get home from the evening shift.

To see the analogy, go back to the Garden of Eden. As David Lamb says in his book “God Behaving Badly”, man is placed in the garden and given a job and he is given what many men have called the greatest commandment God ever gave man. “Go forth and multiply.” As Lamb says, he is told to eat a lot of food and have a lot of sex. Now men, imagine going through CareerBuilder or a Monster.com and seeing a job description like this.

“I have a garden that I want a husband and wife to attend to for me. I will cover all of their expenses. I will handle their dental, health, and any other insurance coverage. Aside from one tree I choose, they may eat anything they grow in the garden that they want. I will make sure their clothing and living arrangements are provided for. I will make sure their children are provided for. Oh. One more thing. I also expect the husband and wife to have a lot of sex with each other in the garden. No credentials or skills in gardening needed. I will teach you all you need to know.”

Personally, if I saw a job application like that, I would be applying immediately. In fact, I would probably be reapplying to it every day.

It’s my suspicion that our work in Heaven will be jobs tailor made for us. I suspect someone like myself could be assigned to do research and teaching and I will have the best library of all with all the books ever written and I will get to do that research alongside people like the Apostle Paul and Thomas Aquinas and just think of the conversations we can have.

Also, I do fully believe that this will take place on this Earth. What all that entails for us I cannot say. I get suspicious of people who claim to give detailed accounts of what Heaven is like when Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12 that he could not speak of what He saw. Whatever it is, it is made for us to enjoy and it will be enjoyable because it is our place in God that we find. We find our total completion in Him when we get there.

As I write this, I can confess I do get a hint of that joy and that desire. To use the parallel given earlier, and every man can understand this, imagine being at work one day and it being tedious and boring and you find out on your break you have a voicemail from your wife. You turn it on to listen still kind of in a moping mood and hear something like this.

“Hey honey. I just wanted to let you know it’s been really lonely here and I’ve been thinking about you a lot and how much I appreciate what you do. I sent the children over to grandma and grandpa’s to spend the night with them. I am as we speak fixing your favorite dinner right now and we’ll share it together when we get home and then, we can go to the bedroom together. I went out and got a new outfit today and I think you’ll really enjoy it. I can’t wait to see you when you get home and I hope you can’t wait to really see me.”

I can assure you if I was that husband, my mood would have gone straight up for the rest of the day and I could not wait to get home in the evening. Some of you women might be thinking “Won’t my husband be worried about how much the outfit cost?” I can assure you that will be one of the last things on his mind. In fact, the desire that he has is in fact enjoyable in itself. Anything he goes through for the rest of the day will be worth it in comparison to the joy that he knows awaits him when he gets home.

This is why the Bible compares things so often to a marriage. We are awaiting the full consummation of what is to come. Remember also we are the bride. We are the ones that will have the life of God given to us. What you see happening in a marriage is meant to be a picture of what happens between Christ and the church. This is in fact why we must take marriage seriously as Christians and must take sex sacredly as Christians. To do anything less is to dishonor God.

Keep the faith Christian, and someday, you will be in the manifest presence of God celebrating His great love and never again to be absent or apart from it.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

A View From The Officiant

July 28, 2014

Weddings are beautiful events, but what is it like to see it from a perspective few see it from? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I recently got the honor of uniting my friends Joe and Lacy in holy matrimony. This was the first wedding I have ever performed and I describe getting to perform it as honoring and humbling. I thought that many people might not know what a wedding is like from the perspective of the minister, so I figured why not share it and have it open for anyone else I might train later on in ministry who will perform a wedding some day?

Naturally, I spent most of the time before the wedding with the groom. In fact, I never even saw the bride until she walked down the aisle. With Joe, I was his friend and counselor both who was asking him all the questions that needed to be asked. “Are you sure you want to go through with this?” “Do you know what you’re getting yourself into?” None of this was said to discourage him from marrying, but to let him really think about what he was doing. I also did tell him he doesn’t really know what he’s getting into. None of us do. He would learn over time.

Meanwhile, we also followed the idea that the groom should not see the bride at all until she walks down the aisle. When we passed by the bridal suite, I was Joe’s personal escort letting him know the path was clear and loudly announcing the groom was on the floor. (Yet the bride had so much make-up being put on she probably never came close to leaving the bridal suite.)

So let’s move straight to the ceremony. My own wife did play a part as when I walked in to the ceremony, she was walking right by my side and I got her to her seat before walking up. This I think is an excellent idea as it shows that the minister who is marrying is hopefully also taking marriage seriously.

There is nothing quite like getting to perform a ceremony and it really shows you the gravity of what is going on. In a sermon, you really have to make sure that the audience is paying attention so you spice it up with some humor or points that will catch the audience off-guard and make them wonder what you’re saying. Not so with a wedding! Everyone is already paying attention!

In the case of Joe and Lacy’s wedding, they wrote out their own vows and ceremony. They also gave me a hand in it with some things I wanted to say. (Such as changing the power invested in me by the state of TN and instead replacing that with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They wanted a Christian ceremony, but I guess they wanted me to decide how best to say it.)

I also made sure to put in a part about how the audience has a role to play in the ceremony. We so often think the wedding is just for the bride and groom. It is not. These events take place before witnesses for a reason. The audience is there to say “We believe in the unity of this couple and we are here to support them throughout their marriage.” If we had this building up of support as needed from a community of fellow Christians, perhaps the divorce rate would be lower than it is.

While the audience is paying attention, it was important to speak with volume. They needed to hear what was being said. I also know and tell anyone getting married that wedding ceremonies normally do not go perfectly. Mistakes will be made. Some people will flub over their lines. I know I made a mistake in a line at one time. Keep going. The show must go on regardless and you cannot focus on the mistake. You must go on with the marriage. (Geez. Maybe that’s also a good tip for the marriage. You think?)

There is something incredible in the time when it comes that you pronounce the couple as husband and wife. It’s really hard to describe but even later in the day, I would sometimes be trembling thinking about what had happened. Two people have their lives changed forevermore because of some words that are said, but something in the vows comes back to me as well. No ceremony can create your marriage. It is you who do that through how you live your lives.

Also, there is the added bonus that as you perform such a ceremony, you realize how important it is to honor marriage. This was something else I added into the ceremony in preparation as reminding the audience they were there to be supports because marriage is not honored as it used to be in our country any more. Performing this wedding made me want to make sure to honor the marriage that I have even more.

Of course, when all was said and done, while it was nice to get compliments, at that point, aside from signing the marriage license, I was a guest from that point on which included snacks and cake and oh yes, the dancing of course. (That also is another great benefit to having your wife at a wedding. Any excuse after all….)

As I said, this was my first wedding I’ve ever performed and I was thankful that it was done for my friends. My great thanks to Joe and Lacy for letting me play such an important part in their wedding. The ceremony was indeed beautiful, but make sure that what starts off beautiful stays beautiful as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Four Years!

July 24, 2014

What’s so special about July 24th? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

For many people, July 24th is just another day on the calendar. Nothing against it, but it’s just a day. Most people will get up today and go to work and live out their days like it’s nothing really special. Look at the calendar and today is no holiday. That is all true, but for some people, today is a very special day.

Like at our household.

Travel back in time four years from today and go to First Baptist Church in Matthews, NC. It’s a pleasant Saturday afternoon and people from all over have come. Some have come from Tennessee where my family lives. Some have come from Georgia where Allie’s family lives. Others have come from the neighboring town of Charlotte where I live at the time, not so much of a drive for them. Still others have come from Florida, Virginia, D.C., and even one flying all the way from California.

So what got so many people to come to this place at this time?

It was a wedding.

It was our wedding.

It was a quite beautiful occasion. As far as I’m concerned, everything went off perfectly and we still often watch the DVD of our wedding together. It was great to spend time with family and friends. Since many of our friends came from TheologyWeb, I understand there was even a little mini convention that evening. (Somehow, for some reason, Allie and I missed the get together. It’s just a mystery why that was…)

Today we celebrate four years together and I think this past year has been one of the most important ones. Due to our finding an excellent church that really encourages Christian growth and Allie forming such good friends there, she had her depression miraculously removed from her. She has had so much joy in all of this and even her psychiatrist is convinced that her depression is gone. She no longer takes any medication for it.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to worship God in Christ through the Holy Spirit to have marriage run so well, the way it was meant to run. Of course, we still have our struggles and difficulties, but we are learning more and more each day.

Marriage is a great way to come out of yourself and we see that happening. I think Allie would say I’ve become more sensitive and caring over the past four years and I’ve seen Allie come more and more in touch with her intellectual side the past four years. Marriage helps each of us push further and further wanting to strive to be the best that we can for one another.

The adventure has been an exciting one and I’m sure that there are big things ahead for us in the future. We do not know where the road is taking us of course, but we want to go wherever it is that God has for us and we look forward to seeing what He plans for us to do as a team together.

Love to you greatly my Princess! Happy Anniversary!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do Part 2

July 21, 2014

What else does my wife have to say about the claims of right-wing Christians? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

For today, I am going to continue the series that my own wife has written. Enjoy:

I am continuing with debunking the arguments from the article from this page: http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C0 This is a pretty short section, so I’ll just go ahead a post what they said:

“The U.S. government just spent a decade and a billion dollars on failed abstinence-only education programs concocted by Bible believers who live in some delusional world where prohibition works and virginity is next to godliness. Thanks to their influence, straight-faced educators tell teens that a girl who has had sex is a licked lollipop. Instead of medically accurate information and thoughtful conversation about intimacy and childbearing, teens get promise rings and slut shame. The result? Here in the U.S., more than one in four girls gets pregnant before she turns 20, often with heartbreaking multigenerational consequences for women, children and whole communities. More than half of girls who give birth during high school drop out, permanently. Only two percent ever graduate college.”

In high school, I actually did a project once where my partner and I did a sort of debate on whether teaching “safe sex” was a better choice than teacher abstinence. I defended the side of abstinence, but I did do research on the side of “safe sex as well. If you want to see the video (it’s an old video) here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr6aZF7R3ts The reason I put quotations around “safe sex” is because to me, there is no such thing as safe sex. Even if you use contraceptives, it doesn’t always prevent unwanted pregnancies, nor does it prevent STD’s. You also deal with the emotional pain of when you break up. Sex is truly something sacred. Today we treat it so casually. We treat it as if it were the same thing as a hug or a kiss – like it were as casual as a greeting. If it’s something so casual, why do we want it so much? I’ve heard sitcoms say things like “We’ll just have meaningless sex!” We’ll laugh about it but we treat it like it is meaningless, and if it’s so meaningless, why do we want it so much? Why is the sex industry one of the top money making industries in the world? Sex is important. Now, why should we wait until we’re married? Don’t we deal with some of the same issues? People get divorced, so you still deal with the heartache of a break-up. You can still get unwanted pregnancies. It’s still possible to get some STD’s. After all, some STD’s you can get just by touching another person’s skin! I’m sure you took health class, the most common ways to get an STD are unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, and sexual activity at a young age. But if you can have these problems even if you wait until you get married, why wait? What’s the point when you can just go out and have fun now? Honestly, as much as I wanted to wait, sometimes I asked myself the same question. There were many times I came close to losing my virginity before getting married to multiple guys, and when I think back, I’m so glad I didn’t – they all turned out to be real losers! It was really hard to wait, really, I know. I made some mistakes I still regret to this day. But then when I got married, I was so glad I waited until the wedding night because I got to share that moment with the man who truly did love me and I knew he wasn’t going to leave me no matter my flaws were. It didn’t matter how heavy I was. It didn’t matter how many rolls I had or my zits or scars (physically and emotionally), it didn’t matter about my past, he was going to stick with me and still love me. Sex is sacred. God created sex to be sacred. He created it to be enjoyed, but he also created it to be very special. Read the book in the Bible “Song of Songs,” also known as “Song of Solomon.” It’s got some pretty raunchy stuff in there! It’s the king at the time, Solomon, and his lover. But, it’s also a metaphor. See, Jesus describes himself as a bridegroom, and we are his bride. He loves us so passionately and so deeply, that while sex connects a man and a woman, it also represents how we are connected with Christ. We are supposed to love our spouses as Christ loves the Church! Sex is sacred, and when we use it for any other use, it loses its sacredness. It becomes trash. It becomes an idol. Sex is meant to please the other person, not necessarily ourselves. We are to please the other person and the other person is to please us. It’s an act of giving. But we use sex as a means of getting what we want often. That’s why we look at pornography. That’s why children are sold as sex slaves. That’s why there’s prostitution. Because we are looking for our own benefits instead of the other persons. You’re only looking for receiving pleasure. Or if you’re producing/selling the product, your only interest is making money off it. You don’t care who it hurts. It’s what you get out of it. So many marriages end today because a spouse gets involved with pornography. The article talks about high percentages of teen pregnancies and an even higher percentage of them dropping out of school. If they knew how sacred sex was and that it’s worth saving until marriage, there would be less teen pregnancies. If they were encouraged to wait, they would wait. The article talks about heartbreaking consequences for teeage girls who get pregnant. There are consequences for every action we make. Some are good, some are bad. That’s how life is. Teenagers are not ready to deal with pregnancies. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, but there’s no way as a teenager I would’ve ever been ready to be a mother! Teenagers are too dramatic, too emotional, and too lazy. Now some teenagers do actually work hard, but even they are not ready to be parents. How can they be ready for parenthood if they haven’t even reached adulthood yet? Of course there’s always the option of putting the baby up for adoption. But even that is difficult. I’ve heard many stories of even teenagers regretting putting their babies up for adoption. I know if I ever had a baby, I couldn’t put it up for adoption. I would NEVER recommend abortions! In the last note I discussed the issue on child sacrifices. The article accuses the Bible of promoting child sacrifices (which if you read my previous note, it doesn’t), but if anything promotes child sacrifices it’s today with abortions! We get abortions because of convenience. “We don’t want a baby” or “We’re not ready for a baby” or “We have enough kids, we don’t want another one!” It’s all convenience. People yell “Women’s Rights! It’s the woman’s right to her body!” Doesn’t the baby have any rights to their body? You are sacrificing an infant to the god of convenience! We are having more child sacrifices than any other time in history! It’s sickening! The Bible records child sacrifices that went on, but God never wanted it to happen! But I’ve already talked on that subject. Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. The next note will be on:

3. Demeaning and subjugating women is evil.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Who Won The Feminist War?

June 3, 2014

When women started fighting for liberation, who won the war in the end? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I’ve been thinking more about my virginity post. There has been some reaction online, quite likely from people who didn’t really read it. Consider for instance, James Lindsay (Who by the way has refused to have a debate on TheologyWeb with me on the topic of if Jesus rose from the dead.) who wrote on his twitter feed (And I’m Apologianick on Twitter if you want to follow me) that

“The whackjob apologist talking to me now wants us all to know why #virginity matters. Cracked. #ModestIsHottest
https://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/why-does-virginity-matter/ …” See the tweet yourself here.

To which you can find him saying that I say

“According to the apologist, it’s for something even greater and grander, infinitely important magic morals because God hates sex.”

Because God hates sex…

Yep. Because I, as a married man, want to give the idea out that God hates sex.

Because, you know, as soon as you say sex is something sacred, that’s automatically a laughable idea.

And keep in mind, the Christians are supposed to be the ones that have the low view of sex.

What strikes me as most ironic in all these discussions is how many women go along with this idea. So many women want to say that there’s nothing sacred at all about sex. I have been told that it’s just an appetite like anything else. It’s a natural desire like anything else.

Of course it’s an appetite.

Of course it’s a natural desire.

But it does not follow that it is like anything else.

You see, our culture is a culture that is big on equality. We like things to be equal and we don’t like people to be treated differently. So when we see men and women being treated differently, we can often think that there is an equality going on. The mistaken notion is to think that if men and women are not equal in everything, then they are not equal in worth.

This would be like saying two breeds of dogs are not equally dogs or two breeds of cats are not equally cats. Differences does not always mean a lack of equality when it comes to worth and nature. Differences are instead something that celebrate the great diversities. Do you want a big dog to be a guardian? Great! Get a German Shepherd or Pit Bull or a dog like that. Do you want a small one to be a companion? Great! Get a beagle or a chihuahua or something like that. There are all kinds for all people.

Now here comes a shocker to many people today.

Men and women are different.

No really. They are!

And this goes beyond just our bodies. Sure, we have different genitalia, but we differ in so many ways. The way my own wife thinks is so foreign to me. I do not understand it so many times. The way her emotions work is something that makes no sense to me. Learning to communicate with a spouse is sometimes like learning a foreign language and some of that you don’t learn until you enter into the marital covenant.

Now here’s the other part of that. Men and women are different, and that’s a good thing!

We could see these as opposing differences, and in some cases they are, but we could also see them as complementary differences. When the two work together, they are capable of doing something that neither one of them could do on their own. The greatest example of this of course is sexual intimacy. When the man and the woman come together, they can have a joy and a passion that neither one of them would have attained alone.

And oh yeah, they can also make a new human life.

But women had this idea that they were not on the same playing field as men. The largest area was in that of sex. After all, a woman can get pregnant, something a man cannot do, and she can bring a new life into the world.

But this process takes about nine months and in that time she’s not as available to the world and after that time, well she might actually want to do something bizarre like, oh, I don’t know, bond with the baby.

How can you be a career woman in that?

And if you don’t want that, how is it you can have sex without consequences in such a society?

Enter abortion into the picture. Now if all else fails and you get pregnant, no big deal! Just go and have a little routine operation so that that little intrusion won’t be a problem.

The baby is a human life? Well nonsense. That’s just a fetus after all! It’s not a life! Never mind that we know of nothing else that it could be. As far as we know, if all things are equal, these things actually do turn out to be human beings in the end, but hey, details. Who needs them?

Yet consider this. What if being able to give birth is something that makes a woman distinct from a man, which it could very well be since after all, only women give birth. If a woman instead ends up killing a baby in her womb, isn’t she in fact doing the exact opposite of her role as a mother? Isn’t she rather being an anti-mother?

If giving birth is something radically feminine, killing a birth is radically anti-feminine.

So now we move on and we get more and more of a divorce culture especially with no-fault divorce. Now men and women could split easily without having a real issue. It can just be on a whim. Of course, this meant in the long run a man had to make no real commitment to a woman whatsoever. That commitment could come apart at most any moment and for any reason and if that is the case, well it’s not much of a commitment is it.

Today then, we live in a culture of shacking up. After all, we want to make sure our commitment does not become one of those so let’s live together first! Let’s see how well we work out! This will naturally mean trying each other out sexually.

Because there’s no harm in treating another person like a car you take for a test spin as we all know.

We all have heard the old saying of why should someone buy a cow if they can get the milk for free? Why is a man going to be driven to make a commitment to a woman if she’s willing to give the man what he wants most at no cost? Well it might cost something sometimes. Maybe it costs dinner or a movie or something of that sort. But after that, hey. Go ahead. That’s the price and you’ve paid the price for the totality of having a woman’s whole being given to you. Enjoy. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to pay something such as your entire life?

In our culture today then, women are often seen as simply eye candy. The sexuality of a woman is even more emphasized than it has been. The moment of victory in a sitcom, movie, TV drama, etc. is when the man and the woman have sex, which frankly doesn’t cost that much. The marriage doesn’t mean as much. Not as much changes because, hey, they were already having sex and most often living together beforehand.

So the women had their movement to make sure they were treated equally. Who won it?

The men did.

Sorry ladies, but if you went by this model, you lost.

You see, now a man has even more reason to treat a woman like an object. After all, sex is just something you do together. It might as well be the same as playing tennis together or watching a movie or belonging to a book club. You do all those things just to have some fellowship. Well now you have sex for the same reason. It’s just what you do together. No real commitment is involved. The man doesn’t have to treat the woman like a woman. He just has to be willing to give what he’s got.

Which surprisingly, isn’t much of a sacrifice for a man. A man doesn’t have to have much to motivate him to have sex. All a woman needs to pretty much do is go up to a man and say “Would you like to have sex?” and the man is willing and ready to go.

In the past, a man would usually have to fight and prove himself the man to earn the right to the woman. That woman was a treasure and she was treating herself like one. She was the one who set the price and if she set it high, well the man would reach and go as high as he could because what he wanted was worth it. If it was not worth it, then the woman could move on and find a man who would treat her the way she was worth.

But now since sex is no big deal and it’s just something common, well what a shock that marriage is no big deal either. Just get a divorce. What’s the big deal? Just change the nature of marriage. What’s the big deal? Marriage after all is all about making the people involved in it happy. If you split up, you split up and you’ll do better next time. There’s no incentive to stay in because hey, a guy can find a woman willing to have sex very quickly. Just go down to your local bar. They’re there.

If sex is no big deal and marriage is no big deal, it’s not a shock that human life is no big deal, and abortion already has shown us that. Men and women are simply sexual beings like animals. Now of course we are sexual beings, but the word simply does not belong. Our sex does in many ways define us but it is not the sole purpose we serve. A woman can be fully woman and be a nun for instance. As some have said rightfully, she even has a sex life. Everything she does, SHE does. SHE does it as a woman. Her vows keep her from having sexual intercourse. They can never stop her from being a woman.

So what happened? Well our society went from one where women did not want to be treated like objects to where women are eye candy in all the media and men don’t have to make any real commitment to have sex and can get out of a relationship at any time.

Sounds like the men won.

After all, if a man is using a woman just for sex, he’s sure not respecting her. If he was a respectful man, he’d go for a woman who has a high price. He’d go for a woman where he actually has to be a real man. A woman who does not challenge him and make him earn her love is not going to be a woman who will challenge him to be a man. A woman who gives in too easily will not only lower herself as a woman, but she will lower the man.

So while we could say both lost in the long run, the men still get the better part of the deal because they got all the perks that they wanted and the woman were nice enough to remove all the costs to them.

Let’s go back and see if we can change this.

Start with this. Sex is good. (Amen and amen) God does not hate sex. God loves sex. God created it. (To which all we men can give abundant praise someday when we stand before the throne.) Just really think about that. Sex is God’s idea! Everything that you love about sex if you’re a married person is something that God created. He designed the body and the system that builds up that pleasure and intimacy.

When we say we value virginity then, we don’t mean we value virginity for the sake of virginity. Giving up sex for a time is not an end in itself. It is a means. It is a means to a higher end. If you give it up also, note that you are saying that it is something you perceive as a good. After all, if you ever sacrifice something, for it to be a worthwhile sacrifice, it has to be something you view as a good. You don’t sacrifice your freedom to go swimming at your local sewage treatment plant. You want to avoid that. You don’t sacrifice your freedom to eat bugs off of your living room floor. You don’t want to do that. If you instead do something like sacrificing time spent at the pool or sacrificing pizza or some other food, now that is a real sacrifice.

So whenever a Christian or anyone else gives up sex for some time for something else, they are saying that that something else is a good worth sacrificing for and to show how much it is worth sacrificing, they will sacrifice something that is extremely valuable. For those who are able to sacrifice sex in this lifetime, well more power to you. If you can keep it, you have indeed made a real sacrifice. At the same time of course, that does not make you more spiritual or more Christian than anyone else. After all, some of us do have to marry and Paul said there were some of us who would burn if we did not marry. Yeah. He knew how strong that drive was.

So what happens if we treat sex as something sacred? It’s no longer a common good and a woman becomes once again a prize to be won. She becomes the princess that the knight must go and fight for. If he proves himself to be a man, well he can have access to the garden of the princess. If he does not, well good-bye, because there will certainly come along another knight who will earn the hand of the princess. (In fact, to this day, I still call my wife my Princess. Check my phone sometime and you’ll see she is not listed by name but listed as Princess.)

What happens then? Well marriage becomes sacred again. A guy has proved himself a man and the woman treats him like a man. The best way she does this is by giving herself to him and trusting him and knowing that there is no one else. The man does not take advantage of this. Instead, he works everyday to make sure she knows how much he appreciates this and how delighted he is to be her men. Note this women. A real man will always strive to be a real man for you.

Then after this, life becomes sacred as well. Life becomes something beautiful because humans are not cheap. They are immensely valuable. The medievals said that one human being is worth more than the entire universe. They were right. Had there been just a universe, there would have been no need for the death of Christ. Enter in one human being in need and there’s a purpose to the plan of redemption.

The ultimate change of this lies with the women. It lies in them realizing that in many ways, they should be treated as equal, but they should also celebrate their differences from men. They should learn to realize that they are not cheap. They come with a price and that price can be as high as they want it to be. Worried about finding a real man? A real man will earn you. If a man is not willing to pay the price for you, then he is not a man. Period.

Another essential part of this is that this is what we have to start teaching in churches. Our churches do not talk about sex enough, which is problematic since everyone in the world talks about it constantly. Like many men, when I often see another woman, I look away or my eyes glaze over. Recently I was walking at a mall when I saw another woman. To avoid the temptation to lust, I instead look to my right. What do I see? The display for the local Victoria’s Secret. Yep. It’s everywhere. A man will be tempted with lust relentlessly. Even if a man doesn’t watch TV shows and movies, if he is just out going grocery shopping, he will be tempted with lust.

And we somehow think that 2 or 3 sermons a year will be all it takes to help a man in this area?

Our young teenagers are being constantly tempted. Many of them in high school have friends who are already sexually active and the question they’re being asked is “Why not you?” When a Christian boy and girl are on a date together and they’re alone on a couch at a parents’ house, do we really think a few verses from Paul is going to be enough to stop them?

Look at it this way. Many of us know the Bible verses about dealing with temptation and about other aspects like not worrying and how to avoid careless spending and how we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

If that’s all it took for us to do those things, we would all be a whole lot better, but it’s not.

Yet when it comes to the most powerful natural appetite that a man and woman has, we somehow think those few verses that we have will be enough to overpower them.

If you think it will be, you are a naive fool.

This also starts in the home. Parents need to model a healthy sexuality. Of course, I’m not saying invite the children to the bedroom. That would be stupid and destroy the sanctity of the bedroom. I’m saying the parents need to live before the children a life that shows a loving marital commitment. The parents should never make the children the focus of the marriage. The wife’s focus is the husband and the husband’s is the wife. Make the children the focus and you will have a marriage fall apart. This of course does not mean the children are unimportant. They are immensely important, but they do not take first place.

The children need to see that Mom and Dad have a loving relationship. They need to see their parents kiss. They need to know that their parents are going out on dates. The husband needs to show his sons the right way to treat a woman and show his daughters how it is that a good man will treat her. The wife needs to show her daughters the right way to respond to a man and show her sons how it is that they should treat a lady.

When it comes to single people, if they want to be single, let them be. Don’t treat them like an aberration. If we do that, then we get them into the mindset of “You’re not having sex? What’s wrong with you?!” If they are fine with that life, then let them be fine with it. They are not less as Christians or less as men and women. If they are wanting to get married, then by all means help them. Teach them the advice you have on dating and marriage. (In preparation for my marriage, I spent time with many men asking them questions and getting advice. Today, I try to offer the same kind of advice to men who are preparing to marry. If you’re on Facebook also and you’re a Christian man marrying or planning to marry or hoping to someday marry, I also have a Facebook group dedicated to helping you learn how to be that kind of man.)

In fact, that advice just given works for men and women who are married. Get together with people of your own sex who are married and talk about the issues that you face in marriage and what’s the best way to overcome them, because marriage takes work. If you’re a married couple, get together with other married couples who want to build up their own marriages and learn what you can from them.

In the end, men and women will be different.

But that’s okay. We were supposed to be.

But we will also all treat each other with a bit more respect and value.

Who will win that battle?

The men will.

But so will the women as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Why Does Virginity Matter?

May 28, 2014

Does virginity really mean anything in our society any more? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I have been on Unbelievable’s Facebook page in a debate about Tim McGrew vs. Peter Boghossian and saw another thread asking what the big deal is about virginity. The poster stated that he was on a bit of a “sex kick” (This is also translated as being a healthy male). This was a thread that I decided I should certainly play a part in.

Now to be sure, virginity is not to be valued for the sake of virginity itself. If one chooses to have a celibate lifestyle, one should choose that not because they value celibacy, but they should choose it because they value something else and are giving up sex throughout their lives for the sake of that something else. Celibacy should not be seen as a means to itself. It is sacrificing a good for what one thinks is an even greater good. One should also not practice chastity (Chastity being waiting until marriage instead of abstaining your whole life) for the sake of chastity. One practices chastity for a greater good.

For some, virginity is not that big a deal. Sex is just another biological activity. In fact, these think that you should sleep with the person you’re dating before you get married to them. After all, you need to make sure that you are sexually compatible. As you can imagine, I reject this view entirely.

Quite amusing also was to read that virginity is a way to control women.

Yes. Because if men wanted to control women, the best way they would do it would be to make sure that men had to wait until they married a woman until they could have sex with her. Because, hey, we all know that we men are notorious about setting up barriers to keep us from having sex.

Of course, no one would deny that sex is a biological function. It does fill a necessary gap in enabling the human species to reproduce. It also serves other purposes. One obvious purpose that we tend to think of immediately is pleasure. There is nothing like the joy that comes from the unity of the male and the female together in this way. While we can say we disagree with the sexual morality that we see on TV shows and movies today, we certainly can understand the pleasure aspect of it. If sex was not a lot of fun, there would not be so much of a drive to do it.

Sex also serves another role. It serves to unify and solidify the love between a husband and a wife. Let’s face it. If it wasn’t for sex, men would quite likely not get married and the human species would die out. A woman costs time, money, and effort. What benefit would the guy get for that? Well in sex we have an answer. Now does this mean a woman’s only good is sex? No. It just means that this is the initial draw between a man and a woman.

This draw in fact is to build up the love. When the man unites with the woman in this way, then he is put in a position where he will desire to please the woman because she has done so much to please him. The relationship builds more and more that way. The woman will also in turn grow to trust and to love the man. That will in turn lead to more sex which will in turn lead to more sex and the cycle grows and grows.

The reason that we guard the sexuality of ourselves is not because sex is dirty or sinful. May it never be! I’m a married man. Does anyone really think I’m going to say sex is sinful? Heck no! But it is because sex is something sacred. It is on its own terms something more powerful than any nuclear weapon. It is something that you’d better handle with care because if you go wrong with sex, the ramifications are deadly.

Sex is also the way a woman determines what she’s worth. Generally in a relationship, the woman makes the decision about when sex will be, although the man sure does try to let her know when he wants it. (Hint for women: Always.) So what is a woman worth? Is she worth dinner and a movie? Is she worth a week? Is she worth a month? Is she worth half a year? Engagement? Or is she worth a lifetime commitment? I have written about this elsewhere.

Now someone might say “Well would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive.” No, but here’s the point. People are not cars. The car will not care if you don’t like it and take it back to the lot. The car will not have hurt feelings. The car will not call up all of its friends and ask why it is that it was not found pleasing in your sight. People are not machines and they do not behave like cars.

When I think back to when I proposed to my wife, I can just imagine the reaction had I made a similar suggestion with her. “Well, I’d like to spend the rest of my life with you, but let’s have sex first and then I also plan on having sex with other women. After all, I want to make sure you’re the best fit for me. If you end up passing the test, then you and I can go on with marriage plans.”

She would have rightly rejected my proposal then and there and her parents would definitely make sure I never crossed her path again.

Now someone could ask that if you have zero experience, doesn’t that make things difficult possibly? Do you want to go to the honeymoon without experience?

But we all have to start doing things without experience. The first time you drive a car, you do not have experience. When you go to college for the first time, you do not have experience. When you become a parent for the first time, you may have experience with babysitting, but you do not have experience in directly taking care of your own children.

And that’s one of the joys of waiting until marriage. You and your spouse learn together. Sure you’re going to make mistakes and not be the best right at the start and will get better and better over time. That’s okay. You laugh and learn about the mistakes that you make and learn more and more about what pleases you and what pleases the other person. (And yes, it is not selfish to know what pleases you. How else can your spouse best love you unless you know what it is that brings you the most joy?)

My wife is not a test object. She is not an object period. She is the woman I pledge my life and love to until death do us part. She is not just someone I go to when I want to have my pleasure and then disregard the rest of the time. The desire for sex is not just a desire for a pleasurable sensation, but a desire for spousal unity and to be open entirely with the woman that I love and to give and receive love without walls between us.

Naturally, men and women have different attitudes with sex. For men, sex is usually seen as a necessary aspect of the love. For the women, love is seen as a necessary aspect of the sex. This is not to say men are opposed to love in sex. We know love should be a part of it in marriage as well. Women also know that sex is a part of love in marriage. It is just in the ranking. A man cannot really imagine a time of great love and affection with him and his wife that does not have sex. A woman could much more easily.

All of this much more easily flows in marriage. In marriage, there is a system whereby sex can happen and happen without risk. There is to be no fear of rejection. No person is being tested. You are to know that when you wake up the next day, the other person will still be there.

In our culture, we have treated sex like a common good. Sex is not cheap. It comes at the price of the totality of a human being being given to another. That is not cheap. Sex is sacred because people are sacred. People are sacred because they are created in the image of God, the most sacred one of all. Our sexuality should reflect the nature of God in how we behave. God made us sexual beings and made us to enjoy that gift, but He made it to be enjoyed on the right terms and when those terms are followed, the gift will be the best of all.

So is virginity something worthwhile? Yes. The person who holds their virginity for someone is making a claim about themselves and for a Christian, they are making a claim about God. We have had this strange idea that God is separate from many of the things that we do in our lives. In reality, God has something to do with everything in our lives and I agree with Peter Kreeft. We need more and more a theology of sex.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What Only You Can Do

October 30, 2013

Is there a task of the Christian husband that only he can do? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I love doing apologetics. It really lights up my day. There is a great joy in getting to enter the arena of debate. There is a fascination about learning all that you can do and being able to walk with confidence in your worldview having done the sufficient study. There are extremely exciting times when the truth of your worldview really hits you and it ends in rejoicing. There’s something special about getting to help someone out of doubt. Of course, being an apologist has many struggles, but it has many blessings.

But I also know that I’m not the only one doing this. There are thousands of others out there in the world doing what I do. We all have to work together as we all have one common goal. That common goal is that we are to defend the faith once and for all delivered to the saints and we are to affirm Christianity to a world in need of the gospel.

If I was seriously incapacitated for a time, I know several other people who I could count on who would be willing to do blog posts for me here if need be. That would be no problem. I know others would be doing the debating. That would be no problem. I could find someone else who could host my show for the time being. That would be no problem.

Yet there is a work that I have (And work is not the best term to use still) that no one else out there can do.

No one else can be a husband to Allie.

Allie and I have lately been going through Love and Respect, which I checked out at the library for us. We read a chapter every night and it’s being a firm reminder to me on how I need to be a better husband. I did disagree with something said last night in asking who should make the first move. Should the wife be more respectful or should the husband be more loving? The real answer to that question is “Yes.”

Who makes the first move? Irrelevant. The fact is as soon as you learn what you need to do, you move. A wife should always be seeking to grow more in respect of her husband. A husband should always be seeking to grow in love for his wife.

And so I’ve been reading this book and getting convicted more and more on how I need to be more loving than I am, (And Allie already does consider me a very loving husband) and this is especially so because no one else can do this job. Allie’s parents can love her as parents. Her in-laws can love her as in-laws. Her brother can love her as a brother. Her friends can love her as friends.

None of those relationships is like the one that she has with me.

I am the one who is to sleep by her side every night. I am the one who is to present her before the throne on the day of judgment to see how I’ve done with my family. I am the one who is to provide for her. I am the one who is to protect her from harm. I am the one who takes her to the hospital or doctor if she’s sick.

Now some things others can do to an extent. Other people can listen when she has problems for instance, and they should. Others can handle doctor trips if need be at times, but there will definitely be no replacements for things like, say, kissing my wife every morning before I get out of bed. Sorry guys, but no one else gets that privilege and she’s not accepting applications anyway.

I have told many men in my field that if you go out there and you be the best apologist that you can be and answer every question and have every opponent quaking at the thought of having to deal with you, but you fail with your wife, then I count you as a failure overall. Spouse comes before work and career.

If you know me on Facebook, it’s even why I started a group today on there for Christian men who are married or plan to get married so we could come and help one other to fulfill the calling that we have to be good husbands to our wives.

Marriage is being under attack from the world today and it’s of utmost importance that we defend it. We cannot truly defend it unless we are truly living it. One of the best ways to get people to honor marriage today is if we seek to honor it more ourselves.

People in any kind of ministry, please remember that you do not have to save the world of everyone else, but you are to save the world of your wife. You are the greatest hero she has and your first priority will be to her. Let others take the slack in ministry if need be and count on them to help you, but make sure she knows she can count on you to love her properly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Sexual Ethics Foundation: Marriage

September 18, 2013

What happens when you’ve said “I do.”? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I took a break yesterday from this series to write a review of a really bad book. Today, I’m going to get back to our look on sexual ethics. I have repeatedly said that for the Christian, it’s chastity for life, or marriage. No middle ground. If you want sex, well you have to sign on the dotted line and say “I do.” If you don’t want to do that, then you live a life of chastity.

That person you marry? Till death do you part, that is the person that you are allowed to enjoy sex with. No one else. This is a serious message indeed and it’s one that the disciples were shocked about when Jesus shared it.

So now you’ve made it to that point. What are you to do now that the two of you are husband and wife.

Well here are some general rules I recommend.

First off, don’t do anything that one person is really unwilling to do. Something could leave someone feeling uncomfortable, but if they’re willing to do it, then they’re willing to do it. Perhaps they want to overcome their discomfort. There should not be any force when it comes to the sexual relationship in marriage.

Second, don’t do anything that would be harmful to your spouse. Suppose a man is married to a woman who has a medical condition at the time and it would be dangerous for her to have sex. If that’s the case, then the loving husband will have to abstain for the time being.

If you’re wondering about other forms of sex, then the best thing I can tell you to do is to do some research on the matters and talk to your doctor. If there’s a serious health risk involved, the loving thing to do is to avoid.

So what else is there after that?

Anything you want.

And if you think that could open you up to some incredible experiences, well that’s kind of the point.

Are there any other mistakes couples make at this point? Yep. Sure are. We’ll usually keep making them and there are many ways I can improve as well, but here are some observations.

Men can have a tendency to treat women as objects to fulfill their sexual desires. Instead, the woman should be viewed as your life partner through all that you go through. If you ask who is the most important person to me in my ministry, it’s going to be Allie immediately. I could not do what I do without her support. I consider her as the person who helped me open up more than anyone else.

A woman needs to be romanced throughout the day and shown how much she’s loved repeatedly. An excellent way to do this is to read the book “The Five Love Languages” with your spouse and work out what your love language is and what your spouse’s is and then learn to speak that language.

A guy should not come home from work, prop his feet up, grab the remote, have his wife personally bring him dinner, and then somehow expect that she’s going to want to be romantic with him when it’s time to go to bed. Try instead sitting down together and watching a movie together or maybe playing a card or board game together.

If men can overemphasize the sexual aspect, the danger for the woman is to downplay that. If a man was having all his desires fulfilled alone, he wouldn’t get married in the first place. The man wants something that he cannot meet on his own and that is best fulfilled in the loving sexual relationship.

Perhaps now just isn’t a good time. Okay. If that’s the case, then why not tease a little bit. Give a little hint of what is to come. Meet a man’s desire immediately and that’s nice for the time. Tell him that he’ll get what he wants in the evening and ladies, he’ll be thinking about you ALL DAY LONG.

Women by and large don’t really realize the power that they have over their men. In a Christian marriage, God is the #1 influence on the man’s life. Who’s #2? The wife. Love the man that way and you’ll empower him to go out and conquer the world for you.

No. Sex is not all that men think about. (Seriously. Give me a few hours and I’ll eventually come up with something else that we think about.) Yet it is something that we do think about a lot and when that desire is fulfilled, it also enables us to better focus on those other areas of our lives.

What needs to be realized in marriage is that marriage works best when each spouse puts the needs of the other above their own. (Yes. I do still stumble on this one.) When you do that, you are trusting in your spouse to meet your desires. Of course, there is nothing wrong with admitting your desires to your spouse. How else are they going to know? There is nothing wrong with you wanting something for yourself. What is important is that you come to your spouse and admit what you desire. Good communication is essential between a husband and a wife.

A great description I’ve seen of marriage is two people sharing one life. My spouse supports me in the ministry that I do and wants to see me succeed at it greatly and expects nothing less. She’s a strong incentive for me to succeed. (We recently won a two-week free membership at a gym. When I saw her going by yesterday while working out with the personal trainer I was assigned to, I did ask him to up the weight some that I was lifting.) Nothing motivates a man like a woman does.

Men can also be that for the women. The woman can be a success at what she does to and she should be. It could be a career, but it could be she wants to be a housewife and/or mother, both of which by the way are divine callings. We have too often said a woman is missing out if she does not have a career outside the house. Balderdash! A woman can be just as fulfilled working at home being a wife and mother. That could be her dream as is.

Note also that much of the change in marriage is not going to be about sex, but about the little day to day things that you don’t always think about. It’s ultimately about sharing and sex is the highest end in this as that is the direct sharing of two persons with one another.

In marriage, you learn to share a bed together not just for sex, but for sleeping and waking up together. You learn to share the food in the kitchen. You learn to share the money. You learn to share the remote control. (Okay. That last one could be stretching it….)

This means sharing as well your hopes and dreams and fears and desires. It means sharing your very self. The sexual aspect is so important because if you can share that, you can share everything else with someone. The exposure of bodies together is meant to mirror the exposure of hearts to one another.

Marriage is a gift from God. It should be treasured as such. Your spouse is also a gift from God. Treasure them. Seek to make the most of your relationship together. Pray together and worship together. Keep in mind a passage like Ephesians 5. The husband is to present his family to Christ one day to speak about how He did. The wife is to support her husband as well. If a man wants to say he’s the king of his castle, he should treat his wife like a queen.

Now in marriage, you do have the place for your desires to be fulfilled together and let that help you grow in love together. Instead of wading in shallow pools of sex with multiple people, you spend the rest of your life diving into the ocean of one with each of your learning to appreciate each other more and more over time.

Enjoy what you have and realize it’s a dream to have for the rest of your life.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Sexual Ethics Foundation: The Single Life

August 30, 2013

What does the Bible say about you sexually if you’re not married? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

A friend suggested that sometime after a series on sexual ethics, I should do something on the single life. I figure why wait until the end because even if single Christians are not to have sex, that does not mean that they don’t have sexual ethics to follow. As he said, I have spent most of my life single so maybe I have some things to say about my prior state.

So let’s clear up something right at the start.

As long as you’re single, one rule is clear. No sex.

Now there are some people who are single because they just don’t honestly want to get married. Some have never married and they’re just fine with staying that way. If you’re one of those people, God bless you. We need to realize that the life of Jesus really changed the world and one aspect that it did was it made the single life a viable lifestyle.

In the church, we can be too quick to look down on those who are single as if they are incomplete somehow and think that we have to find just the right person for them. Now if someone wants to get married, this can be well and good and highly appreciated. Many a marriage starts by one person introducing two people to each other. In essence, that’s how my marriage started.

We dare not look at single people as if they are lesser people. They could just have a different calling in this life and they think that if they are married, that might slow them down in their service of the kingdom. Maybe they just don’t have a lot of sexual desire and they look at something like sex and think “Yeah. It’d be nice, but it’s no big deal.”

If these people are willing to accept the rule of “No sex”, then let us encourage them.

On the other hand, some people want to get married. These are people who do happen to have strong sexual desire. When I was single living with a roommate, he did know that I was a guy who was very interested in getting married someday. Of course, there will be more on that later, but it was something I thought about often. There’s no doubt for me that lack of a spouse was indeed a lack in my life that needed to be filled.

If you are someone who does want to get married, then by all means go out and search for a spouse but until you find one, no sex. That’s the rule for the Christian life. Of course, how that will work about as you are dating is something that we will discuss later, but in the meantime, what are you to do?

If you are to follow the path of no sex, you are to be consistent and avoid lust. A definite sign that you are engaging in lust is the practice of viewing pornography. That’s a negative for the Christian. To view pornography is to treat the opposite sex as if they are an object meant to satisfy your desires alone. One of the beauties of sex in marriage is to realize both persons are there to satisfy the desires of the other person. If each person seeks to please the other, both will be happy.

It also definitely means respecting the opposite sex. By all means have friends of the opposite sex, but don’t date. Dating is for people who plan to marry. If you don’t plan to marry, then it is just dishonest to someone of the opposite sex to date them.

Until you get married, learn to be happy where you are and make the most of it. I am happy to be married now, but I wish I had done more with my single life. Marriage does require something of you. The person who is single does in some ways tend to have more time and I wish I’d made more of it looking back.

A difficult step to follow, at least for me it was, is to try to not be jealous of your friends who are getting married. This was a difficult one for me as I watched my friends around me get married when I first lived in Knoxville and wondered “When will it be my turn? Why am I being left behind?” Ironically while in Charlotte, in my circle of friends, I was the first to get married, and in fact out of my circle of friends there, I’m the only one still to be married. None of the others have said the “I do” yet, and I’ve made it a point to not really press them on it. If they want it, they’ll go for it when they’re ready. If not, then that’s their choice and I respect that. If any of them want to talk to me about married life, I’m more than happy to do that. In fact, it’s something that I quite love to talk about.

When you see your friends getting then, try to be happy for them. I liked that at our wedding, my best man I am sure was genuinely happy and might I add, gave the best toast that I have ever heard given at a wedding ceremony. I think Allie quickly became part of the inner circle by them and we would often have good discussion times. She did enjoy watching them come over and seeing us do something like Super Smash Brothers Brawl together or watching the final season of Smallville. Celebrate your married friends and realize that they still want to be friends with you, but their first priority is still going to be to their wives.

I used to get together on Sunday nights with some friends in Charlotte and play on the Wii and then do something like bowling together. Allie understood that it was a guy thing then, but if she really needed me, she gave me a call and I came straight home if need be. My other friends understood that.

Of course, you should also realize that there are times when your married friends don’t want to be disturbed. That’s okay also.

So as long as you’re single, with your mind and heart, honor the people of the opposite sex in your life. Avoid pornography and if you plan to get married, good for you. If you plan to stay single, good for you also. Live the proper life in each path and seek to serve God to the fullest with wherever you are right now.

In Christ,
Nick Peters