Saturday, 20 December 2008

How NOT to save your marriage

Just recently, I'd been researching facts and figures about the UK as a whole, and the Herne Bay area specifically, in order to develop a final "Cell Group Training" session at Beacon Church. This particular evening was intended to help us understand our culture a little more and seek God's guidance in how to engage with the people who live around us. Amongst the myriad of astonishing revelations (and there's plenty), there was one article I came across that really got to me...

... you see, there's a website called "Illicit Encounters" (*), where over 220,000 MARRIED members have signed up to meet like-minded others for sex. And 200 more are joining each day. The idea is, apparently - as 71% of said individuals stated when questioned - that they'd rather have an affair than divorce. So... "walking" is out of the question but so is "talking", eh? It just saddens me to hear people say that. I'm not commenting on the state of their marriages or on the difficulties they may have from their spouse's attitude or behaviour. I don't know their circumstances. But what I DO know is this... that God's blueprint for human sexuality - heterosexual intimacy within the sanctity of exclusive marriage - is pure, perfect, and right flipping brilliant. It's hard sometimes - Jen and I love each other to bits but we're both flawed and born in sin, in case you hadn't noticed - and I guess that's why so many couples find it easier to split, or even easier to have an affair. I dread to think where we might be now (or not) if it wasn't for God's transforming work in our lives, instead of celebrating nearly 15 years of marriage and still touchy-feely and loved up...

The Biblical "cord of three strands" (Ecclesiastes 4:12) adage is often used as a picture for Christian marriage, and it rings so true. Sure, we have a 3rd party involved in our marriage - like so many others these days, it seems - but ours is different. It's me, Jen and God. God's involvement in and intention for our marriage, our family, our sex life - God's way is old-fashioned and uncool. But it's also the best way; it brings mutual security, support, encouragement, exclusive intimacy, appropriate male and female input into a child's upbringing and the best expression of God's intention for mankind. In an age when this blueprint is continually under attack (check out the latest venom being flung at Rick Warren over Barrack Obama and the same-sex marriage debate: Al Mohler's blog), then we as Christians need to stand firm in our views, despite the criticism hurled our way, and know we honour Him as we do. It's hard, and we must never judge or patronise those that oppose us - we need to love them and let our lifestyles be our witness - but letting God's view of marriage - male/female in exclusive and committed union - be the light that shines. For His glory.

(*click here for an Illicit Encounters article - and there seems to be a whole lot more similar sites appearing in my google hits when I was searching for the latest figures on the subject...)

3 comments:

Blaney Bible Blog said...

Apart from being immoral, I guess the other small problem with the Illicit meetings idea is that I doubt very much that it works! My gut feeling is that it would only make things worse.

Liam Thatcher said...

Wow! That is terrifying... :S

A Married Guy said...

Personally affairs are on the increase and I'm not in the position to judge anyone. I came across another blog from a free illcit encounters type site, with free statistics on the amount of people currently looking for affairs it was astounding.

http://loveisthebug.wordpress.com