Robin Rinaldi and The Wild Oats Project

Robin Rinaldi had wanted children and her husband did not. So after 18 years of marriage she decided if they would not have children she wanted more lovers. Not wanting to go behind her husband’s back, they discussed and decided on taking a year off from their marriage. This was so that Rinaldi “could experience life (and by life we mean sex) with other people.” Her book The Wild Oats Project is her account of what she experienced.

What little I know about the book is what I have gleaned from reviews and quotes, which in turn makes me disinclined to know more. There were two things about her experience I found extremely distasteful.

First, the idea that for sex to be both exciting and satisfying one must venture outside of the marriage. Study after study reveals married couples enjoy more sex and more satisfying sex than their single counterparts, who by the way should not be fornicating, which may be why they are not enjoying it as much, guilt, fear of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, etcetera.

And last, I found her cavalier disregard for the seventh commandment of the Decalogue disturbing. “You shall not commit adultery” is not a suggestion and its violation in the utilitarian search for a more satisfying sexual relationship is a betrayal of her marriage despite her husband’s knowledge and permission.

A professor once asked a fellow student, “If you lie to your roommate about something, and he knows you are lying, and you know he knows you are lying, is it really a lie?

This was a discussion about ethics and I should give you some background so you can understand the professor’s point. The difference between saying something that is not true and telling a lie is intent. I may say something that is not true, but believed it was true at the time; I just was not in full possession of the facts. A lie is when you say something that is not true to deceive the hearer.

The professor’s point was, if you did not succeed in deceiving your roommate, did you really lie? The answer from a scriptural point is yes! Lying is a sin because of the intent to deceive whether or not you succeeded in deceiving someone.

I know there are many competing ideas of what a marriage should be, but whether it is in the marital vows or not, an underlying foundational concept of marriage is the mutual commitment to a sexually exclusive relationship. Otherwise, what’s the purpose?

A working definition of adultery is having sex with someone other than your spouse, or if single with someone else’s spouse. Adultery is still adultery even if your spouse consents to your adultery. At the heart of every sin is the intent to disobey God. Rinaldi may not have sinned against her husband, but she sinned against God.

There was a time when we were shamed by our sin, now we write books about it and flaunt it.


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