What is hurting marriage most?

Like a lot of you, I was dismayed, but not surprised, when the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the new law of the land several weeks back. It’s not that I have anything against gay people. Jesus loves them, too, no more or less than me. But the Scripture makes it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. For the life of me, I cannot get past Jesus’ declaration in Matthew:

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?

But the purpose of this post isn’t to debate same-sex marriage. It’s just that the Christian community has been continually outraged since the SCOTUS ruling, especially with the Kim Davis fiasco going on in Kentucky. There are legitimate arguments on both sides regarding Davis’ refusal to do her job and issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples. But the purpose of this post isn’t to debate that, either.

So let me get to the point. Around the time of the SCOTUS ruling, hackers who had broken into a highly popular website designed specifically for married individuals looking to have an affair (no, I’m not going to name the website here) released the identities of those who had an account on the adultery website. What is striking is that there were 37 million users. That’s 37 million married individuals registered on a single website actively seeking to cheat on their spouses. I’ve heard very little said about this in the Christian community other than the fact that one of the cheaters happened to be a member of the famous Duggar clan.

Granted, same-sex marriage is a blight on the sanctity of marriage, but advocates of same-sex marriage are correct in arguing that we Christians must address adultery a bit more forcefully if we are truly concerned about the sanctity of marriage. In terms of sheer numbers, same-sex marriages represent a tiny minority. The number 37,000,000 is a much larger slice of the married population. So if we are going to get torn up over watering down marriage, then we will have to address adultery.

We Christians talk a lot about forgiveness. And we should. We all need it. But let us not ignore the fact that adultery is a sin. I would argue that adultery is, in fact, a far bigger sin problem within the Christian church than homosexuality. You’ll find that even our Christian leaders sometimes succumb to the sin of adultery. Often, a Christian leader who is found out will make a big production of repentance and the need for forgiveness, and the faithful will then circle the wagon and offer forgiveness and all is well and good. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but we’ll condemn homosexuality and same-sex marriage without wavering, and so I have to ask, if this is you, are you not bothered by the enormous number of married people engaged in adultery, even in the church? As for me, this bothers me at least as much as same-sex marriage.

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