Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Open Marriage or excuse to cheat?

Published:Saturday | August 27, 2016 | 8:54 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston

You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body – 1 Corinthians 6 vs 13.

Recently a popular United States female television personality who has always expressed strong faith in God, had several believers in total shock as she declared she was involved in an open marriage.
An open marriage is one in which  one or both spouses are allowed by the other  to have sex with other people.
The confession that she and her husband has an open marriage had several Hollywood stars confessing that there’s nothing new about that as it has been around for years.
Some couples, however, still go berserk at the thought of either party cheating.  In Christendom, adultery is frowned upon.
Family and Religion reached out to Pastor Emmanuel Azan of the Faith Outreach Church of Clarksville, Tennessee who was on an outreach mission in Jamaica for answers. He was emphatic in his response as he said for him, open marriage is a definite ‘no no’.
“I don’t believe in open marriage as I believe it is an excuse to cheat. I believe they are committing adultery and a lot of them are using the olden days as excuse to do it,” he said referring to the culture of biblical characters to have more than one wives, plus concubines.
According to Azan, there has been a great shift since those days and husbands are now required to have one wife and vice versa.
“The Bible is clear about that, as it warns about even looking at another woman and lusting at her in your heart…so cheating begins even before the actual act,” he pointed out.
Azan said there is also a dangerous side to those who engage in open marriages.
“The wife can fall in love with the other person and end up leaving her husband,” he said, adding that it is then no longer a recreational pleasure activity sanctioned by both parties.
With the marriage broken, if there are children in the union, it will mess up a lot of lives.
Azan also shared that even if the marriage stays intact, a trust issue can also arise from the ‘open partnership’.
“That alone is enough to tell you to stick with the partner you made vows with. Besides, what can you get from the other person that you can’t get from your spouse?” questions Azan.


Seek Counselling

Responding to the question when one partner wants to go that route and the other is against it, Azan said this is where counselling will be required.
“If one partner brings the topic up, then it means the possibility is already there that they see someone they want to explore a sexual relation with or they are finding sex boring in the marriage.
According to Azan, this is the time when an open discussion should take place.
“Find out if they are sexually satisfied and if not, how you can make it better. Don’t be afraid to discuss any intimate details. Remember once you open the door to open marriage, things will never be the same,” warned Azan.
If unsaved couples want to explore that kind of a relationship, Azan said that’s one thing, but when Christians find it attractive for him, it’s a sign that they are already beginning to stray.
“Christians are a set apart people, it’s not everything that is being embraced by the world Christendom should take on. It is wrong, there are no two ways about it. One wife, one husband – no other in between,” he concluded.

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