With the swirling whirlwind caused by the Ashley Madison adulterous spouse information dump, the blogosphere has been full of articles talking infidelity.
Relevant Magazine recently reported that the Ashley Madison data dump may have caused up to 400 church leaders to resign their positions last Sunday due to these individuals using its adultery facilitating services.
Infidelity has truly hit the church.
And hit it hard.
In response to this scandal rocking the church, a notable Christian blogger posted some thoughts from his wife on these matters. I have seen this article swirling around my Facebook feed and have decided to offer a few of my own reflections on it.
The influential Christian blogger is Tim Challies. It is his wife, Aileen, who penned some thoughts on the recent infidelity scandal. These thoughts were published this past Monday, August 31st, on challies.com under the title, “My Wife’s Plea to Christian Men.”
Without dissecting each piece, I have just a few general comments to make about the post:
A) I appreciate how Aileen Challies does a good job highlighting the agency of the men choosing to cheat in the article. She calls them to make better choices. She calls them to stop. This is good, and I applaud such calls. Adultery and infidelity is not about the marriage but about the sin in the heart of the adulterous spouse (see my thoughts on here).
B) The post bothered me as well. Ironically, an admitted former unfaithful spouse–Alise–highlights some of these issues in her post entitled, “How Complementarian Views of Sex Lead to Infidelity.” I do not agree with everything Alise has to say in the article. However, I do agree she is right to point out the problem is broader than just men with porn problems. She points to an evangelical culture whose teachings about sexual desire are broken and leading to more brokenness.
My biggest problem with the article is how it makes faithful husbands invisible. Hence, I have entitled this post with an important reminder:
Mrs. Challies, Women Commit Adultery As Well!
Infidelity is not just a male problem. Both men and women commit adultery. In fact, it is impossible to commit heterosexual adultery without both a willing man and a willing woman.
My heart hurts as I read articles like the one on challies.com.
It hurts because the author treats faithful Christian husbands as footnotes at best. The article continues the evangelical narrative that infidelity only really victimizes Christian women and thereby presents faithful Christian husbands as practically nonexistent–or worse–as responsible for their wives’ infidelity (see link here).
I know it is not “just” Christian wives devastated by infidelity. Christian husbands are, too.
The article actually angers me for committing this major oversight.
To be fair, the Ashley Madison scandal hit mostly men. Also, the post’s author may not have much contact with faithful Christian husbands. I get it.
But I do have that contact.
In fact, I am actually one of those faithful men whose former “Christian” wife committed adultery against. I do not appreciate being treated as invisible. Nor do I appreciate this issue being treated as only a sin issue caused by cheating Christian men. Women cheat as well.
Infidelity is a heart problem.
And such sin is an equal opportunity employer. It is not a problem unique to women or men.
This is a human problem.
A sin problem.
And it ought to be addressed accordingly.