The question that I want to pose is: why do people want what AshleyMadison.com offers? The site’s explicit purpose is for married dating. So the answer to the above question is that married people, apparently a very large number of married people, have unmet desires in their current marriage. Those unmet desires do not necessarily have to be sexual in nature, obviously. There are other reasons that a married person would desire to date other people rather than their spouse. And it is certainly understandable that if you were in the position of desiring to date other people while married why you would want such dating to be discreet. Makes sense to me. But let’s look at the logic behind the slogan: Life is Short. Have an Affair.
So with the brevity of life, with no guarantee of tomorrow, so the argument goes, for that reason – have an affair. An affair, you know - the thing that people do that can lead to complete ruin and destruction of their marriage and family. That thing. So let’s fill that in to the equation and run it back: Life is Short. Ruin Your Short Life. Or Life is Short – might as well destroy what you have. In an analogous way, perhaps: Life is Short. Swim with Sharks. The argument to have an affair because of the brevity of life isn’t very solid.
Life is indeed short, AshleyMadison.com – so why on earth, with those precious few moments, would I not want to be fully given, exclusively, to my relationship with my wife? After all, she, not a mistress, fully satisfies me relationally, emotionally, sexually, etc. I am certainly not saying that I do not face relational, emotional, or sexual temptation like every other male – that would be disingenuous. But it would also be disingenuous to not state that amidst such temptation that I, along with many, many other men, have found relational, emotional and sexual satisfaction within the bounds of covenant marriage. So I want to call married men to respond to the AshleyMadison.com situation with humble courage, using the words of William Wilberforce in the movie Amazing Grace (when Wilberforce is speaking to a member of parliament after winning a hand of cards) when he remarks: You have nothing I want.
Ultimately, on the issue of marital fidelity, sexual temptation, sexual satisfaction, and beyond that, marital satisfaction in general, there are clear factors (listed below) that predict such marital satisfaction. However, living out these things independent of God do not work as they were designed, because humanity was designed to have marital oneness functioning amidst a personal relationship with God. So the AshleyMadison.com situation is ultimately more about living independently from relationship with God than it is about anything else; the discreet affairs are a by-product of hearts that are disconnected from God. Let us, therefore, be sobered by the AshleyMadison.com situation, and let it drive us to examine our own relationship with God, along with our own relationship with our spouse.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. (Psalm 73:25 ESV)
*Factors Predicting long-term successful marriages
II. Sense of Larger Perspective
III. Group Cohesion
IV. Health Interactions