Ashley Madison is not your friendly eHarmony website. Sure, it’s promoted as online dating and a social networking site, but Ashley Madison goes after married individuals. Their tag line says it all: Life is short. Have an affair.
For most of us, the awareness of this site is both new—and appalling—but Ashely Madison has been around 14 years. And it has been a very profitable business. (Before the database hack, it was estimated to be worth close to a billion dollars.)
Where did all that money come from? Approximately 32 million subscribers. Of that mammoth number, 90-95 percent were men , which tells me two things:
- Men are way more interested in infidelity than women.
- A lot of men may have signed on, but nothing happened beyond an emotional affair in a chat room (likely with someone who was paid to talk in chat rooms).
I am not excusing this website or the wandering eye of some husbands. But since mid-July, when hackers broke into the Ashley Madison database and made good on their threat to release the names and personal data of the subscribers, a lot of men have been nervous. This revelation has led to divorce. The loss of a job. And suicide.
On August 24, John Gibson, a Louisiana pastor and seminary professor, took his life as a result of his struggles, including pornography and the Ashley Madison website.
I’ve heard people refer to these events and quote the Jewish law—”You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23)—but I’d like to add some other passages:
- Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (Jas. 5:16).
- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph. 4:32).
- Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted (Gal. 6:1).
Ashley Madison did get one thing right.
Life is short.
Instead of wasting our short lives on anything that leads to sin and regret, grab a new tag line for your life:
- Life is short. Have a date with your spouse. Rekindle that relationship. Recapture what led you to your spouse in the first place. You can read my own approach to this in my blog on being a hopeless romantic.
- Life is short. Have a cup of coffee. Sit with a friend over coffee or lunch. Encourage. Talk about life. Talk about Jesus.
- Life is short. Have a mission. Invest your life in others. Meet needs. Go overseas. Introduce people to the grace and love of Jesus Christ.
Life is short—but it is eternal. I want to make my life count for Jesus Christ and His kingdom. I hope you’ll join me.