Adultery Made Easy

When Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, he probably understood the standard they set would be hard for folks to maintain. That’s never really changed—and contemporary culture’s technology makes it even easier to go astray under the guise of being "discreet."

For example, this article from the Valentine’s Day edition of "USA Today" online, highlights Web sites that specialize in the business of adultery. Ashley Madison, along with similar sites, allow married individuals to create private profiles that can be viewed by other married individuals. The idea is that those who need "more" than their marriages provide can find a "discreet" partner for everything from talking about troubles to sexual relationships.

While the Ashley Madison’s founder (who compares setting up extramarital relationships to a sports agent finding international teams for his client) claims his site is helping to save marriages, most of the experts quoted in the article disagree. As one noted, 

This idea that you can sneak around and still have this wonderful life is really problematic. Where is the personal accountability? Where is the respect for your relationship? Not every couple is meant to stay together, but ideally you exit a relationship with the same respect as you entered into one. 

 As I read the article, I was struck by four thoughts . . .

 1. Adultery Web sites cater to the lack of restraint that marks our "me-centered" humanity. One customer who used Ashley Madison to cheat on her husband and meet  her current husband, providing a telling quote:

 I was lonely in my marriage. I wasn’t thinking long-term. I didn’t want to hurt my family. I was just thinking of me at the time, and because their promotions are all about the discreetness of it, I felt no one was ever going to know.

 "I was just thinking of me at the time." That could be a battle cry for many individuals in our microwave society that downplays the benefits of delayed gratification and working hard to find solutions.

2. The idea that affairs actually benefit marriages is built on faulty logic and hypocrisy. The woman quoted above eventually destroyed her first marriage. Instead of strengthening that marriage, her husband was deeply wounded and "kicked her out." That doesn’t sound like "adultery as marriage enrichment" worked well in that situation.

Likewise, Ashley Madison’s founder and his spouse categorically state that they would never cheat on each other. His wife said, "We wouldn’t do it to each other, but we can’t judge how somebody wants to live their lives." But that really does beg an important question: If extramarital affairs are so helpful, why the aversion in their own lives? Apparently, their marriage is strong enough that adultery isn’t necessary, but other marriages don’t have the same potential.

3. The issue is not just adultery. It’s the health of current marriages. As one expert noted, "There’s a bigger social issue going on—people aren’t taking care of their marriages." As believers, we can (and should) stand against the anything-goes message of sites like Ashley Madison. At the same time, we have to do all we can as individuals and churches to strengthen the foundations of the marriages around us.

4. There are theological considerations both adultery facilitators and the experts quoted in the article ignore. At its very essence, adultery is wrong because it violates God’s way of doing things. Regardless of the pretty packages in which we might wrap sin, it’s still ugly and it still wrecks lives. God’s Word does not change, and that has to be our primary filter as Christ followers.

While not every believer is called to marriage, those of us who are have a responsibility to glorify God through our relationships. And, for those of us with children, we have the added responsibility of modeling healthy marriage before our kids. Marriage is hard work, but it is important work.

Much too important to let our culture determine what defines success or failure.

TLW in the News

 

roses in a vase.jpgFor many couples, February means Valentine’s Day. But for families and leaders in local churches, turning the calendar often includes turning attention to purity and the message of True Love Waits. That interest in TLW has led to some media covera ge during the first few days of the month.

 

As an example, check out this article about True Love Waits in the Christian Post. If you see other articles related to purity or True Love Waits, don’t hesitate to share them with us.

Model Quits Victoria’s Secret in Favor of Faith

This video from the "Good Morning, America" Web site includes an interesting interview with former Victoria's Secret model Kylie Bisutti. The 21-year-old says she decided to leave the company's runway because she was struggling to … [Continue reading]

Girls Ministry Conference

Today (January 16) is the last day to get the early-bird registration rate for the LifeWay Girls Ministry Conference, which is set for February 24-25, 2012. For more info about the event, check out this link. … [Continue reading]

New Sexting Research

The December 12 issue of "USA Today" includes this article related to the true danger of sexting. Earlier studies, which have labeled "less rigorous," found that as many as one in five teens have either sent or received photos … [Continue reading]

Do Benefits Really Have Benefits?

Our friend Brian Housman of Awake to Life shared this link via Twitter from Psychology Today's Web site. The gist of the Q&A column is that our teens' "friends with benefits" culture isn't as beneficial as our kids might … [Continue reading]

TLW responds to NYC sex ed plan

Recently, officials in the New York City school decided to move forward with a controversial sex education plan. To read more about the plan and the response issued by TLW's Dawn Cornelius, visit this link from Baptist Press.     … [Continue reading]

LifeWay National Youth Worker Conference

[Continue reading]

No Place Like Home . . . For Teen Sex

Our colleagues at Living with Teenagers magazine have blogged about a story that came out recently that challenges what TLW 3.0: A Path of Purity is all about. Here is LWT blog. We would join in seeking your thoughts.  … [Continue reading]

Book Reports

Think you know what your kids are reading? One study indicates your tween or teen may be getting more than you think.Thanks to Pam Gibbs of LifeWay's Girls Ministry for passing along this article from Fox News on the sexual nature of a growing number … [Continue reading]