This is a powerful episode of Marriage After God. Possibly one of my favorites in that it is such a much needed topic to be covered! In this day and age, with the rapid movement toward social media, it is a conversation every marriage needs to have. We talk about the impacts we have seen play out in our marriage and other relationships because of our relationship with social media.
I will warn you some of the stories we share are sad, but so important that we hear!
We also give some practical tips on creating boundaries for your marriage that protects your marriage!
– Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. And today we’re gonna talk about social media and your marriage.
– Hey, thanks for joining us today. As usual we want to invite you to subscribe to our channel so that you’re notified each time we upload a new episode.
– So I brought up today’s topic to you and I said, “Hey, we should talk about social media.” Not because we’ve conquered this beast, or have figured it all out, but more so because we’re in the midst of trying to figure it out with having kids and seeing the impact in our family life using social media, not that our kids are using it but how we use it and they notice, but also using it for work and things like that, I just felt like it’s an important conversation to have. So I thought, hey, we’ll bring up the topic today, and those listening can maybe further the conversation in their own marriages at home because chances are they either want to be talking about it, or they’ve already been talking about it.
– Yeah, and a big part of us doing this podcast is to start the discussion in our own home. We’ve talked about it in the past, and we’ve tried implementing things, so we’re gonna bring up some strategies, and things that we’re still struggling with. And hopefully, we can find more healthy habits when it comes to social media, especially in a world where everyone’s doing it. It’s like social media is just a part of life right now. We were discussing before we started the podcast, when we were talking about the notes, that we grew up in a world that social media like didn’t exist and then boom! Social media was everywhere, and there was no training for it, there was no preparation for it, there was no studies on it. It just was, and I also grew up, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have a cell phone until I was like 18.
– Yeah, I was like 18, 17 or 18.
– But now every single person has a cell phone. Every single kid has a cell phone, and every cell phone is a smart phone, and it’s got social media on it. And I think it’s just about time that we start evaluating our home life and our use of social media, and the potential dangers of it for our marriages, for our kids, for our health.
– And just so those listening know, when we’re talking about social media, I think everybody uses it in maybe a little bit different way, but it can be–
– Or all of it.
– Or all of it, yeah, some people use one platform, some people use all of them. But we’re talking about Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
– Twitter, YouTube.
– Snapchat, LinkedIn, there’s so many.
– Snapchat, there’s a bunch we don’t even know about that people use.
– Yeah, YouTube, did you already say that?
– Yeah, YouTube, yeah. And so those are all just different avenues that we can have social–
– Connections online, and it’s become a way of life, but the question is how are we approaching it in our homes, in our marriages, and what’s healthy, what’s inappropriate, and I think we should talk about all of those things.
– Yeah, and I don’t want this episode to seem like a downer because it’s not. There’s a lot of good that comes from social media. Obviously, we’ve been able to share ministry online in this way and so there’s a lot of good that comes from it. A lot of relationship building, a lot of connection and healthy connection through using social media, and I think a lot of people using it would attest to that, but I think they also would agree that there are some negative sides and cons that we need to figure out.
– Yeah, and I want to start with a scripture just to give us an idea about this because it’s not like we’re saying social media is bad, you need to just get rid of it, no. For some of you that might be the case. We’ve had friends that just got rid of their social media accounts and just totally checked out, logged off.
– Yeah, or at least for a season they did, yeah.
– But the idea is to have a biblical perspective, a right perspective, a healthy perspective, a sober mentality about social media, so this is in 1 Corinthians, chapter six and it’s verse 12. Paul is saying this. He says, “All things are lawful for me, “but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me, “but I will not be dominated by anything.” And so this idea of yeah, as Christians, we have this freedom in Christ. This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not a bad thing. May be lawful for us, but is it beneficial? May not be lawful for us but are we being dominated by it? And so those are some questions we can ask ourselves and it just helps us look at it and be like okay, may not be a bad thing but are we in control of it or is it controlling us? And so this is just one little bit of scripture that Paul gives us to have a better mentality to be approaching this with.
– So why don’t we share just like a general overview of like where we’re at with social media?
– Yeah, our life?
– Yeah, because we’re never on social media.
– No, actually what’s funny is social media is a part of our job, right? Which we, I often use as an excuse.
– I do too.
– Why I’m on social media.
– It’s definitely one of those justifiers like, well, I have to do this.
– Yeah, like I need to keep up, I need to make sure that I’m watching what’s going on and responding to people. Because we do legitimately use social media for our ministry online. Everyone that’s watching and listening to this episode probably found out about it through social media, so it’s definitely important to what we do but it’s not everything we do. And so right now I would say I personally definitely have an unhealthy relationship with social media. I would just say that outright. It’s actually something I’m currently, I was literally just laying in bed last night, praying about it.
– Oh, really?
– Yeah. So it’s something that needs to be dominated by me and not dominating me, as that scripture in 1 Corinthians says.
– Yeah, that’s good.
– And so it’s something that I’m trying to adjust and figure out. I can definitely tell that I’ve got an addiction to it. Like I said, we grew up in a generation where social media just came out of nowhere and we weren’t trained, we didn’t have parents that grew up with it and said oh, you know, limit face time, limit screen time, limit all this stuff, and we didn’t have any of that so it just happened.
– There’s something about that infinite scroll where you just like, I don’t know about you but–
– Mindlessly scrolling?
– Yeah, sometimes I stop myself and I’m like what am I doing? I’m not even looking at what I’m scrolling through, I’m just addicted to the scroll.
– Yeah, like what’s next, what’s next? There’s this, there is actually those pleasure hormones being released when you’re on the internet. Studies have shown that it can be addictive. They haven’t done enough studies on it but they’re doing more and more and they’re finding that it’s social media itself, social media use is being tied to mental health and depression and anxiety and we can see that on a small level because there’s times that we see someone else’s life. We’re like oh, that’s nice.
– Get stuck in comparison.
– Yeah, which absolutely if we do that day-to-day and like if we don’t have a healthy relationship with the Lord or with our family, like that could just fuel a fire that doesn’t need to exist. But where I’m at is I definitely am on social media way too much and the reason I know that, because I can easily justify and say well, I need it for work and I need to be on. You know, yeah, it’s unfortunate that I need to be on so much but some examples I can give you and you could probably pull out some examples too, being on the phone doing nothing, just mindlessly scrolling when I should be hanging out with my kids. When I’m supposed to be working, mindlessly scrolling. Like in bed next to you at nights when I could be with you or talking with you or being intimate with you or having a conversation or whatever, I’m scrolling.
– Okay, so can I share a story real quick? I just thought about this. I wasn’t going to share it but ’cause I didn’t know until you just said that.
– If I don’t like the story, I’ll cut it.
– But just go ahead.
– So the other day, it was probably like two weeks ago now I think, I was walking out to the car and you were already in the driver’s seat waiting for me and you were looking down and I knew you were on your phone.
– Because I’m always on my phone.
– Well, yeah. And I got in the car and I remember saying hey, can I tell you something and you’re all “What?” And I’m like, well, I used to really like it when I’d be walking out to the car and you’d be watching me because I would try and do something funny like dance or make a funny face or just knowing the fact that you’re watching me walk out to the car, there was something, I don’t know, reassuring and loving about that.
– Well, I think you’re missing it ’cause you know, now you’re recognizing it existed and now it doesn’t.
– Exactly and so now there’s even times where I go to dance or go to do something and I realize you’re not looking at me and so then I feel kind of foolish but then I feel sad.
– Which is really sad.
– And I just remember telling you that I like it when your eyes are on me and I think that’s one of the detriments to social media is our heads are always down, the eye contact is lost, and we miss those little opportunities or moments to be with each other even if we’re walking to the car. I know it sounds silly but–
– Well, it’s ironic it’s called social media. I feel like it’s antisocial media, it’s like–
– Yeah, we have less real connections in life and I have a bunch of friends on Facebook. You know, oh, so many people liked my comment and my wife sitting next to me not liking what I’m doing. You know? It’s really unfortunate. And this is us really talking about what we’re dealing with. How are you, what’s your relationship with social media right now?
– I would definitely say that I spend too much time on it and that’s after cutting out, like being aware and trying to cut those times out so that I’m not on it as much. And having four children now, I am recognizing that my time is limited and very valuable and so I’ve been trying the last couple weeks to leave my phone in the bedroom during the day when I’m with the kids so that I’m not even on it but I still find myself looking for it or going back to it and bringing it out, asking one of the kids to go get it for me. But one of the biggest things that I’ve tried to implement recently was when I had Truitt, I had the baby. And with all my past babies while nursing, I would scroll on social media ’cause it was like downtime. I don’t know why I just saw it as like this time where I have a free hand, the baby’s nursing, everyone’s fine, I could just scroll.
– Yeah, like what’s the big deal?
– Yeah, what’s the big deal? But with this–
– When people used to read books and like learn something new or…
– Yeah, I’m just mindlessly scrolling. But I realized very quickly that with this experience with nursing, it’s been incredible. I haven’t had any like pain or hardship with nursing and so I’ve really enjoyed it, so I found myself not picking up my phone and then making that a more intentional thing, so now every time I go to nurse–
– Like watching the baby, talking to him.
– Yeah, I keep my phone away from me and I look at him, I make eye contact with him, and I feel like there’s this connection that needs to be there especially with nursing moms. And so that’s just been a huge encouragement to me and a recognizing of I need to stay off my phone more.
– Yeah, another example of why it’s probably super unhealthy, our relationships with our phones, is when we don’t have our phones, the anxiety we feel.
– Yeah, that’s a problem.
– Where, I don’t have my phone. Where is it?
– Where is my phone?
– I think I do that every single time we get in the car.
– No, you do this. You’re like, Aaron, I think I left my phone in the house and I go inside the house and I come back, you’re like nope, it was in my pocket.
– It was in my pocket, I’m fine.
– It’s happened like 100 times.
– Sorry. You’re so kind to always go back and–
– I know, I go look for it, I’m like it’s not where you said it was. And you’re like, oh, it was in my jacket pocket, I’m so sorry. But yeah, those anxieties you’re feeling. And I bet everyone that’s listening has experienced that. Like oh, where’s my phone, or mindlessly scrolling. Like it’s a common thing now. I almost feel like if we didn’t do it, like if we just turned our phones off, right, I know we would go through withdrawals because I felt it before when we tried going like no technology for a day. It’s hard. But we’d be weirdos.
– Yeah, because you’d go hang out with friends and all your friends are gonna be on their phones and you’d be like hey guys, you want to talk?
– Okay, this has happened to me before and I remember looking around going, okay, I guess I’ll just go on my phone.
– Because everyone else is.
– Everyone else is.
– Oh, so I want to give an example. You just brought something to memory.
– Yeah, the one that just happened?
– Yeah, it just happened. So we have a really good friend over and she’s, we haven’t seen her in a while either, and she’s talking to us about something, she’s just telling us a story. This is why it’s so bad, I don’t remember what she was talking about. She’s telling us a story and I’m on my phone. I didn’t even realize I was on my phone. And I heard myself going huh, yeah, yeah. And she stopped and she said “Am I just talking to myself?” And Jennifer was on her phone.
– No, I wasn’t.
– You weren’t listening though.
– I was with the baby on the couch.
– Yeah, but I think you were looking down or something.
– I was not zoned in, yeah.
– But I was on my phone and Jennifer was like focusing on the baby or something and she just stopped and she said “Am I talking to myself right now?” And she was very kind about it and kind of funny and I looked up and I was all oh my gosh, I’m really sorry. I put my phone down, turned it off, pushed it away.
– Don’t you just want to throw it away at that point?
– I felt like a jerk.
– You’re just like let’s just set this thing on fire.
– She was literally standing right next to me and I couldn’t even listen to her. And I hadn’t seen her in a while and it was so disrespectful.
– How often does that probably happen and people don’t say “Am I just talking to myself?” They probably just move on and feel like not valuable.
– Yeah, Simon Sinek did a TED Talk.
– I was gonna bring this up.
– Was it TED Talk or was something else?
– It was some sort of viral Facebook video.
– And it was so convicting. And he was just saying, he’s like the moment you pull your phone out.
– Even if you’re not on it–
– You’re telling everyone in your presence that they’re not as important. And it’s so true. And I know like the feeling I had when she said “Am I talking to myself right now?” Because she literally was talking to herself. I was ignoring her and I was standing right next to her. And how many times has that happened with our kids?
– Yeah, okay, you gotta tell them the story with Elliott. I didn’t want to point the finger at you.
– Guys, we have a bunch of really sad stories when it comes to social media because of how bad it is and this is why we’re talking about it.
– But this is how people feel. Like people feel this way, kids feel this way, so share. Elliott’s five. Go ahead.
– He’s five years old and I don’t even know, was it while he was five?
– Yeah, it was this year, you were outside.
– I’m outside and I walk out there and he’s playing and he always wants me to play with him. And I have my phone in my hand of course and he just he goes, man, kids have a way of like stabbing you right in the heart. So he’s like “Dad, what do you love your phone more than me?” And that was a legitimate thing he said and it wasn’t like he’d ever heard someone say that before. That was hims telling me like hey, I’m right here and you’re on your phone, what are you doing? Like I want you to play with me.
– That was a wake up call for both of us.
– I don’t know why my son has to be so intrinsically like thoughtful, like the way thinks and he’s just got a way of being, he’s super intelligent. And I looked at him and I said no. I said of course not but Elliott, you’re right, there’s no reason why you would think otherwise. And I put my phone down. I said of course I love you more than my phone and I’m gonna work on not being on my phone in front of you. And so just we’re not getting to our strategies yet but one of the things that we’ve done is we’ve told our kids that they’re allowed to tell us to get off our phones.
– Yeah, well, because we’re–
– Dad, get off your phone.
– We’re like in training as parents. We’re like trying to figure this out.
– Yeah, we have to figure out how to rightfully and correctly and soberly use our phones. Because social media is not bad but it’s bad.
– And we have to know that we’re setting an example for their hearts. Like how are they gonna feel as they grow up when they get their phones? They’re gonna remember mom and dad are even still always on their phones and I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be that way.
– And it’s bad. So because of these kind of events that have happened, we’re becoming more aware of it and we have got to figure something out. It’s got to be fixed, like we’ve got to put our phones down. And we’ve tried making rules like not having our phones on us when we’re around the kids or not having them in our bed. You know, we’ve dropped the ball on a lot of those just because of how connected we’ve been to social media.
– But I am, as sad as these intimate moments have been with these people that we absolutely love, I feel like they’ve been wake-up calls for us and I feel like that is what’s starting the change. And I’m glad that you’re willing to share some of those stories because I feel like people listening will hear those and think, oh man, does my child feel that way or does my friend think of me this way? And maybe they just haven’t said anything. And maybe that would be–
– Well, lots of people feel that way. I know even though I do it, I feel that way when someone does it to me. I’m like hey, I’m like are we talking, what’s going on? Are we gonna be on our phones? Something that we’ve kind of incorporated within the group of friends that we have is saying who you hanging out with right now?
– And it’s like this cue of like, hey, we’re all doing something together and you’re on your phone. Are you hanging out with your phone and people on social media, or are you hanging out with us? Are you being present? And so it’s like our cue to like, oh no, I’m not hanging out with anyone, put it away. Sorry, I’m hanging out with you guys.
– You guys can use that if you want.
– Yeah, that’s a little tip for your friends. Yeah, who you hanging out with? Just a little vocal reminder of like get off your phone and hang out with us. We know some people that have done like phone baskets where everyone puts their phones in but we haven’t done that but I know other people have.
– Yeah, okay, so moving on. Do you have any stories of like social media and specifically our relationship and maybe how it’s caused some either tension in our relationship or temptation for sin?
– Well, yeah, like I’ve struggled with pornography my whole life and social media didn’t make that any better.
– Gave more access.
– It gave me more access to things and it’s still a danger and can have temptations involved with it, but I don’t give in to those temptations now. But one of the things that has always been hard is like you would be on my, ’cause we have access to each other’s phones, you just knowing like oh, he’s following that girl or who’s that or who’s that? And just the things that you would see might make you feel insecure. And then I remember for a while, there were certain people that you would follow and I would ask you like why are you following that person? And we had a good conversation about it a while ago. What was that about?
– So yeah, there’s this girl that I was following and I was following her because I liked her lifestyle and I liked how she looked. It was all vanity in my opinion but I didn’t realize that I was even doing it. And I don’t know if I was talking about her or he looked over my shoulder and saw that–
– I think I looked over, you were in bed scrolling through her feed.
– Scrolling through her feed and you just asked me like, well, can I ask why you’re following her? And that was the first time that I had to stop and consider why I was following someone and really think about it. And I wanted to really think about it because I thought it was an important question. And I thought, you know what, I was even honest with you. I said I don’t know why I keep going back to her feed but I’m jealous of her. I think she’s really beautiful, she has a beautiful family, they go on these vacations.
– Did you feel like you’d coveted like what she had?
– I did, I did. And I would often go back especially in times where I felt discontent or whatever and I don’t know why it made me feel better just to go look and see what is she up to? How is she happy? And I remember after telling you that, you said you should evaluate whether you should be following her or not. And after that, I decided not to follow her and it’s actually been healthier for my heart.
– Yeah, not that that woman was doing anything wrong.
– No, it wasn’t her fault, it was my own heart condition and I had to check it.
– Yeah, and there’s a lot of things that we do. Like so something that I’ve made a commitment to on my social media and I told you about this is I went through and I unfollowed every girl. Not that any of them were immodest or anything like that but I just, I made a decision. I said there was first of all no reason I needed to be following any girls. That was just for me personally. Like if it was a friend of ours, right, because I even unfollowed our friends, I followed usually their husband. And if there was something that I needed to see, you followed them and you’d be like hey, so-and-so did this, did you see that? Or you could share it with me. But I just realized, I evaluated like why am I following certain people, which this goes back to how social media is developed and evolved and what it’s convinced every single person of. It’s convinced us that if we don’t like someone or follow someone, then we must not be friends with them. Right? When I have a lot of friends outside of social media that I don’t follow on social media and I actually have great relationships with them.
– Do you feel like it forces you to stay in communications in other ways with them?
– Yeah, I mean–
– Like better ways?
– In some ways, but again like the women, I wouldn’t contact them privately.
– Oh, right.
– So why would I be following them privately? So I got to, I just realized, I evaluated who am I following and why am I following them? You know, is it actually adding benefit to my life? Do I need to be following them? Like I like to follow family and some friends and to see what’s going on their life because I can’t keep up with them all the time, which is totally fine. So I unfollowed all the girls on both Facebook and Instagram. You’ve been through there. You’ve seen there’s no girls anymore. And in reality, I didn’t need to. If I needed to know something about a friend of ours’ wife, you’ll let me know. And usually I don’t need to know, thanks, it doesn’t matter. But that’s just one thing that I did and that was something I did for myself and also something I did for you ’cause I was like I don’t need my wife feeling insecure about anyone I’m following. Not that you are trying to be insecure or that you’re jealous but doing those things inadvertently do cause those situations.
– And I’ll be honest, knowing that you’ve struggled with pornography in your past, knowing that you had social media accounts was in itself an insecurity because I would always question what are you doing? Who, why? And that was hard for me for a really long time but regaining that trust with you and seeing that you haven’t been with that struggle for a very long time now, that we’ve rebuilt that. And so I’m not as insecure.
– But you’ve also seen me make decisions with social media that match that purity.
– Like you having access to it, me showing you, me talking about it, me not messaging people privately, me not following girls at all. Those are just fruit of the way I’m walking in. It’s my way of protecting myself because if I know I’m prone to something, I’m like, well, I should avoid that, right? And so trying to find those healthy boundaries. But again, even on the not being tempted with the lustful stuff, I still struggle with the scrolling. Which could be just as destructive, you know.
– Yeah, okay, so in talking about social media, one thing that you really wanted to touch on was idleness. We both have struggled with this at times and so–
– Right, it lines up with the idea of just mindless scrolling. So the word idle, a lot of times we usually define that as like doing nothing, right? But it’s actually broader than that, it’s more than that. It’s doing something that’s meaningless or doing something that’s fruitless, right? So it’s not just like sitting in your chair doing nothing. That’s not necessarily being idle. Being idle is doing things that are worthless.
– So filling up your time with things that don’t matter.
– With busyness, right? And so in Proverbs 19:15, it says “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, “and an idle person will suffer hunger.” So there’s just this idea of like, the Bible talks a lot about laziness, a lot about idleness, a lot about slothfulness, and this idea that like don’t be unwise, a foolish lazy idle person. And there’s another scripture I’ll get into. But it says an idle person will suffer hunger, right? Now we can look at that and just on the practical reality side, an idle person that’s filling their time up with nothing, like I’m just doing hobbies. Well, I need time for my hobbies. They’re not gonna be productive, they’re gonna, you know. We live in a city that is known for its adventure sports and we always hear about like during the summer, people calling in sick because they want to go bike riding. Or in the winter, people calling in sick because they want to go snowboarding. And that to me is idleness. Eventually someone who has an attitude of that is just gonna get fired, right? So just on the practical side, being idle is not gonna produce income, right? You’re gonna be lazy, you’re not gonna have a job. But the other kind of hunger I think of is the word, right? An idle person that’s filling up their time, me, and this is what I’ve been struggling with is I’m scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Then I realize, I’m like why did I just sit here for 20 minutes scrolling when I could’ve been in the word of God? I could have been praying.
– That’s good.
– I could have been spending time with you. So the hunger, I look at on a whole ‘nother level of like spiritual and emotional and physical, right? You know I hunger for time with you and yet I don’t give you time.
– That’s really good, babe.
– So I look at the the depravity and the danger of idleness and that could be what social media is for many people. I know it is for me and I’m just confessing that, that I can find myself being idle and I’m recognizing it now. Now I go in the bedroom, I’m like oh, I’m gonna read my Bible, I bring my Bible and I bring my phone in too.
– And then you get a notification, ding.
– And like I just gotta quickly, ding. And then like 30 minutes went by and like what did I just do? I just wasted my time. So the next scripture is also in Proverbs. It’s in Proverbs 31 and this is talking about the Proverbs 31 woman, right? But it’s just another way of describing what I’m talking about. 31:27. “She looks well to the way of her household “and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Right, so we go back to like a Proverbs 31 woman looks well to her home and doesn’t eat the bread of idleness, right? Which is funny ’cause the last one talked about hunger and this is saying you’re eating the bread of idleness, like idleness is a food you’re eating but it actually gives you no sustenance.
– That makes sense in what you were sharing and how it’s not that you’re just sitting there not doing anything, you’re doing some–
– It’s an activity you’re doing.
– You’re eating something, it’s just not filling you with nutrients.
– Right, and so in this situation for this woman who’s trying to manage her home well and bless her husband and her children.
– Are you hinting at me?
– No, well, maybe. This is for both of us, right?
– I know, I know.
– You know, she is sacrificing the health and well-being of her home for nothing. That’s literally what she’s doing.
– That’s insanity.
– It’s crazy.
– It’s crazy.
– So we just want to like look at these and say okay, are we being idle? Is this fruitless? Is it taking away from my relationships, my relationship with God? Is it’s getting in the way of my relationship with my children? And those are some serious questions we can ask ourselves about social media. It’s something that I’m asking myself currently, something that I’m praying about regularly, and I’m trying to make changes in. And so maybe what we can go into is some of the strategies that we’ve implemented, some that we want to implement, just to give like a good idea because the people that are listening and watching might want them because I’m sure that they deal with this too. We just live in social media-ville. It’s like life right now.
– It’s true. Okay, so one of the first ones that we started out doing when we first got on Facebook was we share passwords and we’re very transparent with giving each other access to each account.
– And this is just a good overall, being one in your marriage and protecting each other is access. Like my wife knows that she can get on my phone, we have the same password for our phones and for our computers. She can look through my search history, she could be on my phone, she can see whoever I’m following, she can see things I’ve liked, she has access. Now we’ve had marriages and people say I don’t need to do that, they just need to trust me and blah blah blah. Like they take it to a negative level. That’s fine, you want to be that way, go ahead. I’d rather be safe. I’d rather my wife feel like she can trust me, I’d rather my wife. Now you almost never even check.
– No, but in the past there has been moments where I’ll see something that triggers this curiosity of like do I trust you and what are you guys talking about? And I’ll click on stuff or visit and then turns out it was nothing and that affirms me. And yeah, I’m at the point now where I don’t really need to check in but–
– And the goal even if you did–
– But I know that I can.
– Even if you did check in, the goal shouldn’t be to see if I’m wronging you. The goal should be to see if I’m sinning because you are my wife and you’re my helper. And the advice for us, I shouldn’t be checking because I’m like jealous and I want to make sure that you’re not talking to anyone. I’m checking to see if you’re being safe and my whole goal would be to reconcile with you and to help you walk in purity and vice-versa, right? Not because I just want to see if I’m being wronged here. And so sharing passwords and giving access and verbally giving access, meaning hey, if you ever want to grab my phone. Our pastor does this often. To the men, he’s like you have access to my phone. Like he wants the other men to be accountable or him to be accountable to us and he just says if you want to look at my phone, go ahead. I mean, that’s what’s good about being a part of a good community. So what’s the next one?
– Another one is talking about your experiences on social media, so this is kind of a two-parter. So it’d be like, hey, I saw so-and-so on Facebook say this or do this, did you see? Or you know, just inviting each other into those spaces. So the other part of this is sharing your experiences from social media and feelings that you have because of it. If you’re wrestling with insecurities or comparison or–
– Or getting mean messages from people.
– Yeah, are you talking to your spouse about those things and are you inviting them into that space and just talking about it?
– Yeah, so being open and transparent with your experience with social media so that it’s an open conversation, that’s good. So what’s the next one?
– So another one is permission to ask questions. This is one that I feel like you’re really good at, that we’re both really good at in our relationship and it has helped protect our marriage and protect our hearts. And that’s just, you know, asking those hard questions. When you asked me why are you following so-and-so, that’s a hard question and it made me really consider why.
– Yeah, and when you’re asking the questions, is that before you ask the question on both parties, the husband and the wife, ask yourself why you’re asking the question. Are you asking because you’re insecure yourself or you’re jealous or you’re fearful, or you’re asking because you actually are interested in the well-being and the purity and the holiness of your spouse? Which doesn’t mean if you feel those other things, don’t not ask it, it means reconcile first and say okay, I’m feeling a certain way, I need to let them know that. Hey, I just saw you looking at such-and-such and actually I’m feeling a little insecure right now and I want to know why you are following that person or why you were looking at that. And we’ve had couples, we’ve had wives and husbands talk on both sides, say hey, my husband just won’t stop following these girls that I’ve asked him not to follow. And he says why, they’re friends from school, it’s not a big deal. Wives following old boyfriends and vice versa. So there’s got to be an openness not only for the questioning but also a permission to be like hey, I actually would appreciate if you didn’t follow so-and-so.
– And that’s one of the other ones was being willing to delete those relationships that are just really unnecessary. Because your marriage is the most important thing.
– Yeah, and here’s a good warning sign. If we’re being defensive about unfollowing someone on social media, there’s a problem.
– There’s a problem.
– Because guys, it’s social media. Unfollowing someone and unliking someone’s page and not seeing their posts online does not make you not like that person. Doesn’t mean that you don’t have a relationship with that person. Now if the only relationship you have is online, then all the more, why is it a big deal? So if there’s a defensiveness welling up like what’s the big deal, you need to ask yourself why you’re being defensive.
– That’s really good.
– Like why are you trying to protect this social media thing over here versus your spouse who has a concern?
– So recently I’ve been telling the kids when they’re arguing over a toy or just upset at each other, I always tell them that toy is not more important than your brother’s heart.
– It’s true.
– And so I just think about that in context to marriage and social media and just think like social media is not more important than your spouse’s heart.
– It’s not. Guys, marriages existed for thousands of years without social media.
– It’s probably better off without it.
– Right? So we just remember that social media is, if we’re getting defensive, there’s probably an addiction there to the platform itself. There’s probably some sort of connection to whoever you’re being asked to stop following. You got to ask, you got to pray through those things. You got to ask yourself why am I being defensive with that?
– Another way that we’ve been really good at protecting our marriage through social media is whenever someone messages me that is a man, I’ll usually say please contact at Husband Revolution and I’ll tag you right away. Or if it’s a friend of ours, we’ll just tag each other in that message so that everyone’s a part of it and there’s transparency there.
– Yeah, we haven’t been perfect doing this every single time but again we talk about things so if someone messages me that’s a friend of ours, I’ll let you know. Hey, so-and-so messaged me, just want you to know. And so there’s an openness there. We have a pretty straightforward rule on just not having private communications with the opposite sex online. So you know, I get people, being on social media, being a social media ministry, I get women all the time messaging me and I usually give very short answers or no answer at all, right? So there is no long-term communication. If they ask for advice, I don’t give advice. Just say oh. So one thing I’ll answer and this is an example, just so you know. Someone will ask like what Bible version I use. I use ESV.
– Yeah, really like to the point.
– Yeah, there’s no conversation, there’s no, okay, cool. If you want to know more, message Unveiled Wife. And so very short or no answer at all and that’s just kind of where I’ve landed the plane on not getting myself in trouble.
– Yeah, nope, same here. Okay, so the last one that I have on here is be willing to put it away, whether that’s a season of like not logging in or if it’s just a daily hey, I’m gonna go put my phone away because I want to be with you, I want to be present with you, I want to be with our children, and be willing.
– Yeah, I think I would take that. So the willingness should be good, like this is another thing. We’ve given each other permission to say put the phone away. Which is hard because we get defensive, like what’s the big deal? I haven’t had, I’ve been on all day.
– Okay, okay, I don’t sound just like that.
– And we’re like fighting. I didn’t say you did. You just told everyone you do.
– I know, I do, you guys. I get really defensive sometimes.
– We both do. You’ll ask me to put it away and I’ll be like I’m not. And then I recognize I’m being defensive and I’m like So giving permission to tell each other please put the phone away. But the willing to put it away part, I think it should go even further and we should be proactively putting our phones away, getting off social media. I think I need to be putting in the other room and not having access to it when I’m with the kids so that they don’t see me picking up my phone and you know, oh, it’s checking it. ‘Cause I’m always checking it for no reason. Like there’s nothing. And like I said, like Simon Sinek, you’re just letting everyone in the room know that they’re less important than your phone.
– It breaks my heart, you guys, it’s so sad.
– Such a good quote. Actually the whole document, we should link to it.
– Yeah. So that’s what we have for you guys today and, you know, we just want to remind you that a marriage after God is one that values their marriage relationship and like I said earlier, social media is not more important than your spouse’s heart. Social media is not more important than your heart, Aaron.
– I know.
– And I want to treat you with that respect and love and concern and value.
– And so from this day forward.
– Till death do us part from our phones.
– I promise to do a little bit better. -We are gonna work on it.
– We are.
– We have to work on it because I don’t want my kids growing up feeling less than because of our phones.
– And I don’t want to feel less than. I mean, I don’t want you to feel less than, both.
– Yeah. The other thing a marriage after God should be willing to do is to evaluate these things and look at every aspect of our lives and say okay, what needs to be changed? What needs to be cut out? What needs to be destroyed, put away? And so social media might be that or at least needs to be re-evaluated and put into check, right?
– Which means as we wrap up this episode, go call your spouse or unless they’re watching this with you, listening with you–
– Yeah, watch this first and then put your phone away or your computer.
– Oh, ’cause they’re on social media. My point is go have that conversation, go talk to each other about some of the strategies that you can implement that will help protect your marriage.
– Yeah. Alright, we thank you for joining us this week and we look forward to having you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.