In light of the recent Ashley Madison news revealing 32 million people have been outed regarding their participation on an extramarital affair site, the idea and sanctity of marriage continues to be caught up in a whirlwind. Hackers acquired secret personal profile information of married men and women who were actively participating in—or considering—an affair, held that information for ransom, and then released it on public record.
Honestly, the idea that sites promoting adultery like this exists isn’t surprising. The reality that the site was hacked and people were exposed, or brought to light, is not surprising either. However, what IS surprising to us is simply this: 32 Million.
If we think 32 million is a big deal, just consider that this is only one website. In all likelihood, that number of men and women looking for physical gratification outside their spouse is significantly bigger.
Although we personally are not participants of that site or represented in the 32 million who have been made public, we are a representation of the many other millions of men and women who have experienced adultery in marriage. Perhaps many reading this are currently entangled in an affair, and unlike those 32 million, your sin still remains a secret. I want you to be aware that the pleasure associated with the sin of adultery is short-lived. As I (Montell) was a repeat offender entrapped within the world of lusts made readily available to me in the R&B music business, I painfully came to understand the satisfaction we are desiring from our spouse, or expecting someone outside our spouse to fulfill in our marriage, can only be filled by God.
For years, I was unfaithful to my wife, and for even longer, I hid in the trap of secrecy, believing that it was better to hide my actions, instead of choosing to come clean. Later in life, my wife was unfaithful and unfortunately, again chose to hide her actions for a long time. We can say to you with full confidence, no matter how scared or ashamed you are, nothing good lives in the darkness.
Tom Cruise lied.
The Jerry Maguire “You complete me” moment is a fake. It’s just not reality. If another person could actually complete us, why would we need to get married? Two people would be able to get the job done without the altar. The answer to that question rests in the creator of marriage.
Marriage was originally God’s idea. This means any man and woman who enters into the covenant of marriage, Christian or not, is committing to the covenant instituted by God.
Kristin and I believe the breach of the website is simply a physical representation of the spiritual breach that is happening within marriages across this nation. 32 million husbands and wives are seeking counterfeit solutions to feel alive physically while they remain dead spiritually. Often, these men and women are seeking to fill a god-sized hole with a man-sized solution.
Many affairs occur as a result of unmet physical and emotional needs in both men and women. Sadly, when we are unfulfilled by a spouse, many look to find resolve in darkness rather than to light, believing the lie that there is safety in darkness. Perhaps porn will complete us, or masturbation, or fantasy, or an affair. To be covered in darkness by sin and shame and condemnation means that just like old school Kodak film, something is being developed in the darkness. We can assure you that when sin is developed in darkness, anything beautiful that comes from it may only be appreciated once it has been exposed to the light.
Many have probably heard the old saying, “what is done in darkness will come to light,” and the scripture Mark 4:22, “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.” Those words are true. True happiness simply cannot come from anything done in darkness (or secret!).
Those 32 million men and women may not immediately appreciate the beauty that the recent public exposure of their hidden sin presents. Kristin and I know from personal experience that freedom may only be achieved outside of darkness. Hopefully, the men and women whose names were revealed in that list and those watching the developments, like us, will find that exposure to light and truth, ultimately lead to exposure to God. He is the only one who can complete us.
Where Jerry lied, Jesus tells the truth.
“I complete you.” God
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)