“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 NRSV)
I like to think I’m fairly aware of most trends that are out there. it’s all a part of being a pastor who wants to speak Biblical truth into the world. But here are some things of which I’m not aware, and to be honest, I can’t really say my life is enhanced by knowing them. There is something to be said for being blissfully ignorant.
Such is the case with Ashley Madison. Until a week ago I might have assumed that Ashley Madison was Dolly Madison’s more preppy younger sister. Now of course I know different. This Madison has nothing to do with flags, or snack cakes.
Ashley Madison, in case you were unaware (and if you were I apologize for dragging you into the light) is a website company designed to promote extra-marital affairs. The idea is that you pay to be a member and then you can browse all the other members. If you make a connection I assume you pay then, as well. Again, I’m thankfully unaware of the mechanics.
It’s big business, this discreet cheating. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, the website has been recently hacked and thousands upon thousands of names of those using the website were revealed on the internet. Names, credit card account numbers everything. Basically enough information was sent out that it would be difficult for those named to claim it’s all a mistake.
The fall out was predictable. Divorce lawsuits rose, people threatened to sue the company for not protecting their anonymity, even rumors of clergy being caught and of some committing suicide.
Look, we all get it’s an awful seamy situation. Let’s just take that as a given. So let’s look beyond the company and look at why we, especially as Christians, ought to speak out more against adultery in all it’s factors. And before you get too comfortable, knowing you’ve never had an affair, those of you looking at porn? Those of you in an “emotional” relationship that isn’t your spouse, I’m talking to you as well.(Take a gander at what Jesus says about lusting in your heart in Matthew 6-7)
First The Bible is clear that all good things given to us in life are to point us back to God and to His character. In other words, God calls us to be faithful in marriage because He is faithful. When we choose to be unfaithful it’s as if we deny God’s fidelity. Or at the very least hide it from the world. Marriage and lifelong faithfulness are given to us to help us see in a very concrete way how God is faithful to us.
Faithfulness in a marriage, marriage itself really, is a gift from God. He made it. Thought it up, designed it and gave it to us. It’s not ours to abuse. When we abuse the gift of faithfulness in marriage its as if we trample a gift from God under our feet.
You were designed for monogamy. I hate to break it to the James Bond’s of the world, but we were created to have life long monogamous relationships. It’s how you were designed. Every Scripture passage I’ve looked at, and every study I’ve seen point to the idea that rather than love waning over the years, that love and passion and intimacy actually increases and deepens the longer one is married and faithful. No matter what the world tells us monogamy does not equal monotony.
If you doubt the above, I’d like to point out that the owners of Ashley Madison, a married couple, said they would never use the site or cheat on one another, because it would devastate the other person and end their marriage. Even they sense they were created for something better than what they pander.
You are a part of the Body of Christ. You marriage is a reflection of the Body of Christ. Genesis says we are made one. So let’s dispel the idea that as long as no one knows, no one gets hurt. When you cheat, by an affair, the internet, that harmless flirtation you are hurting the body of Christ. In particular a part you have chosen, and promised to cherish above all others. If you are one you carry them into the affair. If you have kids, guess what, you take them as well.
This blog was a little longer than usual, but bear with me for just a moment. I’m coming to the good part. First let’s all take time to be thankful that we have a God who is faithful even when we aren’t. Secondly if you are in a faithful relationship, be thankful for the person God has given you. Love and cherish them. Begin to see that how you love one another is a devotional to God. And if you are struggling please know this. Jesus loves you. He will forgive you. He can heal you and restore that which is broken. I’ll take HIs faithfulness over what the world offers every time.
Rev. Dr. Brian Jones <><