Bad Marriage Advice: Stop Looking and Start Dating

Sunday the New York Times Magazine ran a front cover article entitled: “Married, With Infidelities.” Writer Mark Oppenheimer navigated the marriage advice from an unlikely source–gay activist Dan Savage. Savage, the author of a relationship advice column in Seattle entitled “Savage Love” weighed in on the whole issue of monogamy and sexual purity in marriage.

Savage recommended openly that some married couples need to embrace sexual exploration and expression over the restraints of sexual faithfulness in marriage. In his own “marriage” he has been unfaithful to his partner nine times over the course of their “marriage.” In the article Oppenheimer noted the stark differences between how men and women view sexuality. He points out many men can honestly say of an infidelity “She meant nothing to me–It really was just sex.”

Sadly this kind of thinking tears at the very fabric of love and marriage. For a wife, giving herself to her husband in an act of love is rarely “just sex”–it is the ultimate expression of love and vulnerability. In many ways Savage’s advice is truly “savage love.” In fact, I don’t believe you can really use the word “love” to describe the kind of self-centered attitude he advocates. Love puts first the needs of the other. Marriage thrives around “we” not “me.”

In a secular society that has thrown off the “old fashioned” values of a biblical world view, we find the marriages of our country being encouraged to take a wrong turn down the wrong path to love, fulfillment, and happiness. I believe God had it right from the beginning when Moses wrote:

24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:24-25 KJV)

Cleaving to your spouse and to your spouse alone creates the “oneness” only found in a faithful, monogamous relationship. Don’t buy into the lie that a fling will help not hurt. Instead of a fling–do start dating again–start dating and pursuing your spouse. You might be surprised at what a little perfume, a single red rose, a romantic poem, or walk at sunset might do.

I will close with some sage advice I heard from Andy Stanley during a recent sermon on staying in love:

“Stop looking for the ‘one’ and be the ‘one’ for the one you love.”


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