Keeping a Godly Marriage in an Ashley Madison World

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This subject is not one I am approaching lightly. I realize it’s a touchy one so I pray my words come across the way I intend and aren’t taken out of context.

Here goes…

There are approximately 151 million men in the United States. I spent a good bit of time trying to find a reliable statistic on how many of those men are married however, that proved tricky. Some studies say as few as 30% of American men are married, some as high as 60%, so for this post I’ll use 50% for argument sake. With that figure in mind, let’s say that there are 75.5 million married men in the US.  Thirty-seven million of those have paid Ashley Madison accounts. That’s roughly half. Think about that. As many as 1 in every 2 of your married male friends had an account for the sheer purpose of cheating on his spouse. That’s a staggering number. That, my friends, is the break down of the American family.

Now, before I go any further, let me first say that in no way am I putting the blame for this on anyone other than the men who were unfaithful (or tried to be unfaithful with the fake female profiles that the website let them meet.) These men are solely to blame for their actions. I do, however, have a theory on why so many men and women are seeking attention outside of their marriage…lack of biblical submission. In the book of Ephesians Chapter 5:22-24 we find this passage:

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Most people stop quoting there, but if you read just a bit further into verse 25 you find this…

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Biblical submission is a two-way street. Yes, we wives are supposed to submit to our husbands, but husbands are to do two things. 1. Submit himself to God and 2. Love his wife as Christ loves us. This is the ideal Christian marriage. Women, submitting to your husband does not mean that you are owned and don’t get an opinion. I am half of a submissive marriage. When we have a big decision to make, we both discuss our feelings and opinions. My husband, who loves me like Jesus does, cares what I think, he values my feelings and my opinions, and he takes that into his heart when making final decisions. He does this out of service to me.

When people go out of their way to put their spouse’s needs above their own, marriage works. We need to love each other more than ourselves. Can you imagine if all spouses put each other’s needs before their own? How many would pay to cheat? If your spouse’s spiritual, emotional and physical needs are being met on a regular basis in your marriage, what need would they have to seek those things outside of marriage?

When my husband and I were first married we were not connected to God. We lived a different lifestyle and we didn’t put each other first in any capacity. Our marriage suffered for it. About 3 years in, we found ourselves pregnant with our first child and as far away from each other emotionally and spiritually as we could be. We knew that we had to do something or we would end up divorced raising a child. We both loved each other, we just couldn’t seem to connect. We found ourselves in marriage counseling. The counselor was a nice man, a Christian, and he helped us see how badly out of whack our priorities were. Slowly, we were able to strengthen our marriage as we let go of some habits from the past and started truly investing in each other. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. I’m sure you’ve seen the Facebook post that says “Marriage is just two people who refuse to give up on each other,” that was us. We wanted it to work so we worked at it.

It is true that some people just don’t have monogamy in them. They will continue to cheat regardless of what you do to fill their needs. Those men shouldn’t be married, and if you’re married to one I suggest serious counseling before continuing in a marriage with them.

Several years ago my husband and I watched the movie Fireproof. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. In fact, I think every married couple should watch it together at least once. The basic story is simple. A young couple is struggling in their marriage. The wife is tempted to have an affair at her job and the husband has grown to resent his wife for various reasons. They are angry and bitter with each other, fighting constantly. The husband, played by Kirk Cameron, talks to his father about divorcing his wife and dad offers some advice. He tells his son to do something for his wife every day for 40 days. Serve her daily, even if he doesn’t want to and see how he feels about her after the time is over. He begrudgingly agrees to try. He starts small, halfheartedly and his wife sees through his attempts. He’s frustrated but with his father’s encouragement, he continues on his Love Dare. Within a couple of weeks of serving his wife daily, she begins to serve him back, without knowing why he’s doing any of this. In fact, after the 40 days, they keep serving each other. Their hearts have softened, they have found the love they once had simply by putting the needs of each other above their own. Small sacrifices can have a profound impact on your marriage.

I realize that a lot of people equate serving your husband with waiting on your husband. These are two very different things. When you serve your husband, it’s out of love, not out of obligation. Why is it a bad thing to make your husband happy? When women take care of their husbands,  we are looked upon as weak or controlled. That’s simply not the case. It takes a strong woman to understand and tend to the needs of her husband. Today’s society tells us that we should take care of ourselves first, our needs are more important. Ladies, I’m here to tell you, this new age view is not biblical. It’s not healthy either.

Serving your spouse is easy. You don’t need to come up with big, romantic gestures. Do something small. If you see he’s low on undershirts, wash some. Make his coffee in the morning, pack his snack so he doesn’t have to. If you notice he left his phone in some random place pick it up, and put it where he’ll find it so that he’s not rushing around the next morning. Sometimes my husband and I put toothpaste on each other’s tooth brushes. It’s a small, silly gesture but it lets us know we’re thinking of each other. Text him for something other than a problem. Let him know you’re thinking about him. Give him something to look forward to when he gets home. Let your home be his safe place. Smile and kiss him when he comes in, rather than running through the days problems. Heck, just give him 15 minutes to change his clothes by himself when he gets home from work, that will change the rest of your evening, I know that from experience. And men, after dinner, clear the table for your wife. Wash a load of dishes occasionally. Let your wife know that you understand that her day is hectic too. The demands on her are different than yours, but they are demands none the less. Keep the kiddos at home while she grocery shops or grabs coffee with a friend. There are so many little things you can do for each other that will go a long way in improving your relationship. Enjoy it, these are the best years of your life!

So how did we get to a place in society where nearly half of all married men are cheating or trying to cheat on their wives? Is it not obvious that something is completely broken?Ashley Madison is a repulsive website, however, the site itself is not to blame for these 37 million broken marriages. Think about all the wives out there, the children who are crushed and embarrassed over this scandal. There have even been reports of a few suicides in the aftermath. This is a big deal. We need to take back our marriages. We need to make the relationship between spouses a priority. We need to serve each other tirelessly. But above all else, we need to seek God. We need to put Christ at the center of our marriage, you’ll notice that the closer a husband and wife get to God, the closer it brings them to each other. This is the only love triangle that is healthy for your marriage.

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Ephesians 5:31:  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to how wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

 

 

 

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