Marvin Olasky

Pro-lifers say the Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade is about life. Pro-choicers say it's about sex. Both are right.

 Many of my baby boom cohort are still greatly conflicted about sex. Some of us publicly avow a biblical worldview but, when it seems that no one is watching, fall back into the Playboy bait-and-switch philosophy. The bait is physical pleasure and a sense of psychological conquest. The switch becomes evident over time, when young bodies become old and loneliness swamps lust.

 Purely through God's grace I've been married faithfully for nearly 30 years instead of trying to build up stats concerning one-night or one-week stands -- but it was a close call, and I still remember the appeals of the other side. Some baby boomers, still wanting it both ways, refuse to abide by the wall of separation between family and adultery.

 "Open marriages" almost never work, for two reasons: They violate God's commands and violate the nature God gave us. (We're made in the image of a jealous God who can't stand spiritual adultery, so why should anyone think we can smile through physical adultery?) Sometimes choices really are either-or: Become attached to one person, or practice non-attachment with many.

 I'm not pointing the finger at non-Christians. Churches are supposed to be the alpha that leads us to the omega, the starting point for godly redirection that propels us toward the finish line. Instead, some church members pursue adultery and others wink at it, while the abc's of alienation, brokenness and confusion take their toll.

 We don't have solid data about the frequency of adultery, but pollster George Barna found the divorce rate among evangelicals similar to the overall divorce rate -- and you can bet that many of those divorces came after adultery. Some church members become debilitated by disease or complicit in an abortion, but even those spared such traumas generally become sad, perhaps never understanding the long-term satisfactions they have missed.

 It's all so sad. The Westminster Confession of Faith states accurately that our purpose in life is "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever," and forever begins right now, enjoying the gifts God has given us -- such as the gift of terrific sex with a lifelong spouse. Adultery leading to divorce is a tragedy for the husband and wife, for their families, and for other couples in the church who may have troubled marriages and now think there's an easy way out.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
Be the first to read Marvin Olasky's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.