Infidelity is Not “For Better or Worse”

There’s some serious planking going on here.

I wasn’t going to write about the Ashley Madison scandal. I figured enough bloggers were doing that.

But the reaction I’m seeing from some Christian leaders has my blood boiling. For people who passionately tout the sanctity of marriage and denounce the evils of the sexual revolution, you’d think they’d be at least somewhat livid at the scores of Christian men who were caught spending hundreds of dollars on a website to elicit an extra-marital affair.

Instead, it’s all, “We should forgive them” and “What about grace?” and “Let’s examine our own sins first.” And when the wives–who have been horribly deceived and betrayed–come forward to seek a divorce, the same leaders have responded with, “Hey. You pledged to marry him for better or worse.”

But infidelity is not “for better or worse.”  Continue reading

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Don’t be Fooled: Our Culture is Lying to Us

Image from seniorplanet.org

A few years ago, I watched a powerful documentary entitled America the Beautiful. In it, filmmaker Darryl Roberts explores America’s obsession with physical beauty–to the point where even 8-year-old girls are succumbing to bulimia. But the thing I found most intriguing about the film was Roberts’ own confession of how cultural standards of beauty affected him as a young man: He broke up with a charming, intelligent, beautiful woman whom he loved very much just because she didn’t look like the models he saw in magazines. Only years later–after his dynamite lady had married someone else–did Roberts realize he was chasing an impossible fantasy.

About three years ago, I started following the blog of a woman in Colorado. She and her husband had been married for about 13 years, and their sex life was starting to feel a little stale. They decided to try an open marriage to spice things up. (She started the blog to document the experience.) Within six months, her husband left her for a serious relationship with another woman, throwing the lives of their 3 school-age boys into turmoil. Betrayed and desperate for some genuine affection, the woman sought it in the casual hookups she made during her open marriage. This only wounded her further, as the men expected only one thing from their relationship: sex.

Every day, our culture bombards us with a variety of messages: Continue reading

The Problem with Porn

He’s already seen it.

Porn has been called “America’s #1 addiction.” And it’s not hard to see why:

1. This year, researchers in Canada had to cancel a study on the effects of porn after they couldn’t find a single young man who hadn’t viewed porn for their control group. Their initial search revealed that, on average, young men first view porn at the age of 10!

2. Statistics show that at least half of Christian men (including pastors) view porn on a regular basis.

3. Approximately 1/3 of Christian women access porn regularly; 28 percent of all self-reporting porn addicts are women.

4. Twenty-nine percent of born-again Christians believe it is acceptable to watch sexually explicit movies, yet nearly 60 percent of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue within their congregations.

5. In 2003, 2/3 of divorce lawyers reported that for more than half of their cases involving Internet issues, couples cited online pornography as a significant factor in their divorce. Continue reading

Christians and Sex

When it comes to the topic of sex and Christianity, there exist three viewpoints. Let me know if any of these sound familiar.

The Fundamentalist: “Sex is only for marriage between one man and one woman. The Bible says that whoever sins sexually sins against his or her own body. Premarital sex defiles the marriage bed and carries a lifetime of regret. A person who has been promiscuous has squandered his/her purity and, therefore, has little of value to offer his/her spouse. A defiled marriage is doomed to have serious problems.”

The Average Christian: “Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to have sex outside of marriage. But it’s really hard to adhere to the Bible’s commands. I mean, if I love the person and think we might get married, it should be ok, right? God will forgive me if I ask. After all, He understands what I’m going through. Besides, I know too many people who married before being sexually intimate, and they later discovered they weren’t sexually compatible with their spouse. I don’t want that to happen to me.”

The Agnostic: “I’m so sick of the whole abstinence issue! When are people going to wake up and realize that the Bible is totally irrelevant to the lives of modern people? I’ve slept with a few different people; so what? I used a condom and everything turned out fine–no STIs or unwanted pregnancies. I even enjoyed it. All this guilt-tripping over sex only hurts people. Young people need to know their own bodies and discover what they like in bed before committing to someone permanently. Otherwise, they end up trapped in repressed marriages with no self-confidence.”

Talk about some widely differing views! Yet I have to say, for the record, I don’t wholly agree with any of them. Continue reading