“My Affair Saved My Marriage” – Say What?

Forbidden Fruit The headline on MSN Live Today caught my attention: "My affair saved my marriage."

Nice.

The tagline beneath it read: Until she had an affair and they went to a therapist, her husband
couldn't understand that his behavior was a major contributor to her
straying. That counselor saved their relationship by reminding them how
much they really cared about each other.

Really?

The logic of the article go like this: Feelings of neglect=affair. Affair=getting his attention and a trip to therapy. That=reconciliation and the marriage you always wanted.

The underlying message of the article truly is: If your marriage isn't good and you feel lonely or unfulfilled, an affair could help. After all, it worked for the couple in the article! It sounds to me a like using sin and sex as tools of manipulation and power. The article also implies that adultery can actually be morally superior (or at least morally equal) to what the author puts forward as neglectfulness.The article concludes: "So when people say that affairs saved their marriages — it's not as
ridiculous as it sounds. Sometimes a big catalyst is necessary to move
a relationship forward."

Yes it is as ridiculous as it sounds. I don't want to be overly presumptuous about the situation. I know only what I read in the article. However, I feel the need to say this pretty clearly:

AFFAIRS DO NOT SAVE MARRIAGES!

Affairs can certainly ruin them, though.

It's true that spouses can contribute to a spouse's desire to stray. Marriages should be rooted in Christ and sacrificial love for one another. Christ should anchor and empower marriage to be vibrant and full of Spirit fruit. Sometimes, however, spouses allow the self to reside at the center of marriage. This can lead spouses to be inconsiderate, neglectful, or worse. When spouses act in an ungodly ways toward one another, there can be a temptation to stray–either to fulfill unmet "needs," to get back at him/her, or get their attention.

Nevertheless, when a person chooses to do such, it is sin. Sin never helps marriages…or a person's walk with Christ. The ultimate responsibility for that sinful behavior lies with the adulterous spouse. They are not forced to commit adultery. They choose to–whatever the reasons may be. Adultery is extremely serious, which is likely why it is the only explicitly mentioned cause for divorce in the New Testament.

Having said that, adultery does not have to end marriages. I've seen God salvage many marriages where a spouse has been unfaithful and make them vibrant again–yes, sometimes even more vibrant than before. Spouses can forgive each other. God is also always willing to forgive.

God's work never ceases to amaze me. I rejoice when I see Him heal broken marriages. If that's where you are, thank God for his healing power. May Christ be Lord of your marriage…

And know that it was not the affair that saved your marriage.

It was God's grace and healing.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.