I do not normally keep up with celebrity gossip, but as a golf fan, I haven’t been able to avoid the Tiger Woods scandal. At the time of this writing at least 11 women – mostly a combination of porn stars, cocktail waitresses and clubbers – have been intimately attached to the married golf star.
I think most people – even those who are not religious – find Tiger’s actions reprehensible; if the accusations and rumors are true, he appears to have engaged in extra-marital relations on a very frequent basis with many, many women. He seems to have no control over himself and his desires and little respect for his marital bond. Obviously I too condemn such behavior, but we would miss an important lesson if we just thought this was a problem unique to Tiger or even to celebrities.
Tiger engaged in adulterous behavior on a wide scale because a wide scale of women were available to him easily. As the comedian Chris Rock cynically noted, “A man is only as faithful as his options”. I don’t agree with this statement as it doesn’t take into account the power of grace, but there is truth in it. How many men in Tiger’s place would have been able to remain completely faithful? I think we can answer that question by looking at what is available to most men on a wide scale easily: pornography. Considering the tremendous commercial success of pornography, it is ridiculous to think many married men are not engaging in it. Yet every time a married man views pornography, he is engaging in adultery just like Tiger.
For both Tiger and the average husband viewing pornography, he is committing adultery when it is convenient for him to do so. For Tiger, that involved real physical contact with woman. For the average husband, it involves virtual contact. Christ told us that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully commits adultery with her in his heart: so how is the married man who views pornography any different than Tiger?
Tiger’s family life is imploding very publicly right now, but pornography is causing many families to implode silently. We should pray for Tiger and his family and also for all husbands struggling with pornography.