A Christian response to AshleyMadison.com’s ’Have an affair’ campaign

Life is short. Have an affair.

Before you shoot the messenger, I don’t agree with this statement. I’m just repeating a slogan that’s popping up on billboards and TV slots around the country. AshleyMadison.com is a “cheating Web site”–specifically designed for unhappily married people to find each other and . . . well . . . you know.

I hope you are recoiling in horror and disgust that such a service exists–and so we should. Applauding and encouraging infidelity is a darker demon even than the casual sex mantra that so many of us fought in our college years (and beyond). However, one of the saddest commentaries on this dark cultural shift is how this Web site is being marketed.

Noel Biderman, president and CEO of AshleyMadison.com, states, “I don’t think a billboard is going to convince you to commit adultery. It just makes you aware of our service. People come to us because we offer them a lack of judgment. Step back and look at marriage and divorce rates. Monogamy is obviously up for debate.”

This statement is being lauded by many news outlets as a “good point”, which should give Christians cause for concern. Current statistics show that 45.8% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. The unnerving side of this number is that it’s the same percentage, whether spouses claim to be born-again or not.

As Christians, we need to stick to what God says about monogamy. Obviously, in His eyes, it’s not “up for debate.” The third commandment is “You shall not commit adultery”.

While those without the Lord can attempt to justify their actions, He has given us clear warning about where this path leads: “But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself”. (Proverbs 6:32)

Christians need to take a stand for traditional marriage and a value system that puts love and respect back into marriage, the way God intended. If we as Christians are not willing to be a great example of God’s love and his plan for us, how can we shake our fingers at the world? The world is desperate for us to prove why we are different, and why marriage is worth fighting for.

As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

God has given us wisdom for fulfilling marriages and a clear blueprint to share with the world. Christian marriages are called to rise above the cynicism and lust that surrounds us, and embrace the joy and intimacy that God intended in all marriages. We are human and we will make mistakes, of course, and we certainly have reason to be outraged at such blatant infidelity and irreverence. But where do we go with this righteous indignation?

I believe Christians need to fight this culture war by pouring even more effort into our marriages, that we “may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

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  1. loveGodandneighbor said:

    Great article. As a Christian marriage and family counselor, I’ve net met clients who said they were glad they committed adultery. Ever. And the notion that adultery should be used to comfort unhappily married people is just plain stupid. Pleasure never fixes anything. Adultery, outlawed by God Himself in the 7th commandment (not third), begins another relationship of two people who: 1) know they are disobeying God. Their conscience condemns them (Romans 2:15), and 2) who haven’t improved on any of their own weaknesses that contributed to their other spouse’s unhappiness. Those Christian marriages today that are failing at about the same rate as non-Christian marriages do so because those Christians are behaving just like non-Christians in marriage. They use the same vulgar swear words when fighting (words I never heard my parents use toward one another), they lust after money (living in homes they cannot afford), they engage in Internet pornography freely and unchecked, they communicate with anger, name-calling, bringing up the past, and defensiveness. Some suggestions for restoring the actual practice of godly behavior between husbands and wives (which means it must be taught): 1) The number one way wives feel closer to their husbands is when the husbands empathize with them instead of trying to fix their problems. 2) The number one way husbands feel closer to their wives is when they are in the same room or area and not saying anything.

    September 18, 2009

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