Don’t Waste a Crisis: What Ashley Madison Taught Us

It’s been a few months now since the Ashley Madison hackers released user info that ruined lives all around the world. Subscriber info is sketchy — there are some prank accounts, fake accounts, etc. — but the stats I heard asserted there were more than 39 million account holders in over 50 countries.

That’s a lot of marriages down the tubes.

Never mind for a moment that these relationships were obviously in disrepair to begin with. No one creates an account on a website whose tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair.” unless there is trouble in paradise. And never mind that there actually existed a moment when a dude was thinking about all the people who had affairs and came up with a business plan to profit from their brokenness. It’s sick.

The fallout is widespread, stomach-churning, and difficult to grasp. The reality of it all has really nagged at me in the wake of the news breaking. This has all been well-documented and covered the past few months. But like I said, never mind all of that. Let’s turn the page. Some time has passed. I’ve done some reflecting. It’s said you should never waste a crisis. Let’s not waste this one, church. Let’s not waste this one, husbands and wives.

What did we learn?

MAIN-ashley-madison-shattered

(Photo Credit)

As a follower of Christ, as a man, as a husband and dad, I have a choice when I see headlines like those pop up on my newsfeed…again. I can either wag a judgmental finger in the direction of my laptop or I can absorb the reality of what has happened and leverage it as a cautionary tale. I’m going to try and choose to do the latter.

You see, I’ve not stooped to the level of purposefully seeking out an extra-marital affair. But the biblical mandate for faithfulness to my spouse is much stricter than that, and there are ways that I’ve failed to live up to that mandate. I may be sinfully flawed in ways that are different from the high-profile kind that makes the news, but I’m sinfully flawed nonetheless.

Aren’t we all?

I’m certain of a few things: I don’t want to be a news story. I don’t want to ruin my marriage. I don’t want my legacy to be synonymous with a moral undoing. I don’t want to sin against God. My deepest desire is to stay faithful to Christ and my wife until my last gulp of air escapes my lungs. Michael Hyatt broke down the cost for us if we do otherwise. Here’s the key, though:

Faithfulness doesn’t happen by accident.

I’m not perfect, but I’m not stupid either. My wife has all my passwords. She can access my laptop and cell phone any time she wants. It’s her name on the Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts. She knows what I watch and when I watch it. She can get on my Google account (which displays web history, YouTube history, etc.), Twitter account, Facebook account, and Instagram account. We don’t have any secrets. She can check my e-mail.

Some may say that a foundational tenet of any marriage is trust, and by giving my wife such access I’m demonstrating that she shouldn’t trust me. On the contrary, I think that I’m earning trust. Since she can examine how I behave day in and day out, she can have greater expectation that I’ll remain faithful when I am in a situation where I could secretly sin. And by setting up my life with that kind of accountability for myself, I’m much less likely to have a lapse in judgment and do something sinful.

When I think about the past couple of months and all the blogs and news items that have followed in the wake of the data breach, I’m resolved to arrange my life in such a way that it’s much more difficult for me to do something that would heap shame on myself, my Savior, and my family.

Some wise philosopher once said, “Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone.” They sure do. We know that all too well.

So don’t have any.

What do you do to protect your marriage?

 

One comment

  1. Those are good protections, but sadly, there are plenty of men and probably women too who give their spouses those same things and then have secret email addresses and all the rest. It’s all too easy to live a double life. Deciding to be faithful takes much more than giving your spouse access.

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