Longtime readers know I’m a big advocate for remaining faithful to your spouse. I got a little spun up on it late last week and needed to do something with my agitation, but it actually played rather well into a larger post series I’m preparing. So I’m thankful for that too. And it’s got me chewing on a point I don’t think I’ve ever made on the issue on BoWilliams.com before.
Back when I was eagerly making video recordings of television programming I thought I’d want to be able to watch forever (an assessment I almost never got correct, by the way), I grabbed a replay of an early episode of The Phil Donahue Show, on which outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair debated “The Preacher of Bourbon Street” Bob Harrington. It was mostly forgettable. But one thing that has stuck with me was that at one point, Harrington said that he heard regularly from people who advocated a Christian lifestyle as simply an easier, fuller way to live (implicitly irrespective of any theological considerations). He asked O’Hair whether anyone ever shared similar sentiments with her about atheism.
As I recall the question went unanswered, but it’s a question that has occasionally recurred with me over the years as I’ve considered different issues. And it’s one I think is germane to the issue of marital fidelity. I advocate for it passionately for a lot of good reasons. But I’ve never pointed out that, even beside any moral or other value-based point: it’s so much easier to do it right than it is to do it wrong.
How? Well, is it not a simpler, more satisfying life when you don’t have to worry about leaving your email at home up, or your phone unlocked, or the hamper or the car unpoliced? When you don’t have to periodically manufacture a travel history?
When you don’t have to remember anything because you just tell the truth?