Want a Better Marriage? Get off Facebook

According to a recent study social networking may not make for healthy marriages.

A highlight from the study: Couples who don’t use social media sites at all reported being 11.4 percent happier with their marriage than heavy social media users. Heavy social media users were 32 percent more likely to think about leaving their spouse, compared with 16 percent for a nonuser.

Can I just tell you how not surprised I am?

As a Pastor, I hear complaints more and more often about what a spouse did or said on a social networking site.  Or, who a spouse "friended."  For all the "defenses" I so often hear Christians making regarding their Facebook time, I must admit the dangers appear to me to outweigh the good benefits.  Common sense tells me that "flirting" is far too easy on social networks.  Accountability is sadly lacking between spouses.  And it only takes one inappropriate comment to wound a spouse and deeply damage the trust which is foundational to healthy marriage.

The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; the tongue is among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell . . . no one can tame the tongue (James 3:6-8).

A Christian husband or wife who takes this Scripture seriously would have some major boundaries set and clear accountability in place.  Right?

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its lusts (Rom 13:14).

A Christian who takes this verse seriously would not "friend" old boyfriends or girlfriends, high school flings, or one-time stands, or the cute co-worker in the adjacent cubicle.  Right?  At least not without major accountability in place.

Can I just tell you how much I appreciate ladies in my church family who email me but make sure they copy their husbands?  Or, single ladies who email me and copy my wife?  This thrills my soul and brings God great glory!  These women inspire me to be more careful myself, to copy my wife or other pastors or husbands when I communicate digitally.  The church is awash in relational decay and trust between brothers and sisters in the same local congregations seems to be at an all time low.  May God help us think seriously and biblically on these things.

While we're on this subject, let me encourage the members of Corydon Baptist Church to prayerfully consider giving up something that has a significant hold on your life this month.  Call it the Protestant version of Lent if you want.  The concept itself is good, so long as we are being driven by God-fearing motives saturated in our continual need of Gospel Grace in Christ.  Why not have "digital free" days every week?  Screen-free days?  TV-less or movie-less days? A coffee-less day. Give up FB for a week.  Try it!  This is the only way you'll know just how strong a hold a habit has on you.  Give up something and spend the time you would have spent doing that thing in prayer or Bible reading or talking with your spouse eyeball-to-eyeball.

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor 6:12).

For by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved (2 Peter 2:19).

by Keith McWhorter