Accountability, Challenges, Commitment, Love

Is Social Media Causing Sin In Your Marriage?

I’m not sure there is enough space in this post to write about the affects of technology on marriage, but here’s a bit about my personal struggle with it lately.

Conviction

Lately, I’ve been feeling convicted about how much time and attention I give social media in my life.

I’m disheartened by how much my confidence and peace come from how much affirmation I get from responses to a photo or status update.

Even more so, how much I compare my life to other people’s online. The internet is a new battlefield full of bomb’s waiting to destroy lives whether it be pornography, cyber-bullying, or emotional affairs. The internet is, as Ryan calls it, “the wild west.”

Encouragement from a friendNever stop learning how to love.

Last summer Ryan and I had the privilege of hanging out with Jennifer Smith (Unveiled Wife) and her husband Aaron (Husband Revolution). These two are dynamite!

As Jen and I were driving together, we got into a conversation about how social media breeds anxiety, especially in us ladies – wives, mom’s, or singles ready to mingle.

Jen said something I will never forget, “It’s funny because if you had the ability to look outside the frame of that friend’s “perfect life” Instagram post, we would probably see a mess of things.” What’s outside the frame? What’s just to the left or to the right?

In other words, their reality probably isn’t far from our own reality.

Uncovering the truth about social media

Social media allows us to show pieces of our lives – and only the ones we choose to show, which are often just the greatest pieces and moments. This is not a bad thing, however the trouble begins when we start perceiving these as reality and not simply a beautiful moments in time.

Too many times I stumble into coveting something in that person’s life (coveting: to want something someone else has – yeah, it’s a sin and part of the 10 Commandments). Be it peace, financial wealth, cute clothes, a husband who intentionally thinks about cooking dinner or bringing home flowers…whatever it is, I somehow find myself comparing and coveting (which is a sin!).

How I’ve chosen to fight

I recently removed the Facebook app from my phone as this was continually adding to my insecurities and stealing precious time with my sweet baby girl and amazing hubby.I treasure every moment with you.

Constantly checking it, constantly scrolling through feeds – it makes me crazy, gives me anxiety and makes me feel discontented with my life, my family… my situation. It starts to steal the joy of today’s blessings.

Reading Colossians 3:2,5 (ESV) brought some perspective and alleviated the pressures from social media that I was letting run my life.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (5) Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

God’s Word provides us with instructions on how to live, how to prioritize and the reasoning behind the why. Let’s step into His Word, daily, and obediently follow His lead. He knows best, loves us the most, and His burden is light and yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30).

What to do about it?

Social media isn’t intrinsically bad. I do believe it can help build relationships and keep us connected to people we love. It becomes bad, however, when it becomes a source of false security or a force for imbalance in our lives.

Is social media causing you to sin? I know it can have that effect in my own life. Thank God He’s not done with me, and he lovingly brings me back on course when I deviate away from Him.

Maybe you feel the same way I do. Maybe it’s time to take a personal inventory by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. Where does my validation come from? 
  2. Where does my confidence come from? 
  3. Where is my stress coming from? 

It’s easy to find validation in things that steal our attention, social media is just one of those things. It’s my prayer that I would give Christ all the power and weight for defining ME… for giving me worth, and giving me purpose.

I also pray that you would do the same.

My prayer:

God, thank you for your Word, for your instructions that you lovingly placed here on this earth for your children. Help us to continue to following you and fighting fiercely for our marriages by putting social media and any other “idol” in it’s place. I pray for myself, that you would help me to not allow moments to be stolen, to realize the weight of each decision. I pray for my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ, that they will hear Your voice and confidently obey, knowing that it is because you love us, that you ask us to follow you. Thank you for another day, another moment of life and freedom to breathe in your blessings everyday. In Jesus’ precious and mighty name, Amen.

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(Photos by Jeff Marsh)

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  • Braden Cox

    This is great! Being married for 5 months I can see how social media fits the description you have described and also how it can put unneunnecessary walls up between Lauryn and I. We have separate Facebook accounts, and we both agreed we weren’t going to merge accounts and kind of laugh at those who do. But we also find value in looking at Facebook together. If she is on her phone on Facebook, I’ll lay down next to her and look at mine and share the “highlights” with her. We talk about the people we know and end up talking a lot about high school or church because of how we know our friends. We keep up with extended family and they are doing.
    I think doing it that way helps her and I stay accountable for what content we bring our lives. It provides a forum by which we continue to learn about our past and what we currently are interested. She knows what music I am into this week because she watches videos with me on YouTube and I know what crafts and DIY projects she wants to do because of Pinterest.
    I’m glad you didn’t sham Social Media because I believe God sees value in this platform in spreading His word and love. Thanks for the article!

    • Selena Frederick

      Thanks for this! I hadn’t thought about doing it “together” which I agree, it can be a great platform for conversation and catching up with family, etc. — Ryan and I definitely are able to keep up with friends and extended family b/c of things like FB. Thank you again, and appreciate the encouragement.

    • Jerry Dugan

      Key thing is “together”.

  • StephIreland

    I’m not married yet (next year-yay!) but the anxiety and discontentment that comes from looking at everyone else’s lives was the reason I came off Facebook altogether. Thankful for the way this post was written and the radical honesty:)

    • Selena Frederick

      Thank you for the encouragement – I’ve often times felt like getting off Facebook altogether and can understand where you’re coming from. I definitely spent time and prayer on this post and it was sitting for a few weeks before it was shared. Thanks again,

  • Fiercely Loyal

    Yes social media is exploiting a lot of things and people, it is bad, but I would have never found you if I wasn’t exploiting myself!!!

    • Selena Frederick

      Haha =D for sure, we agree – I think social media has it’s place, but when it becomes the deciding factor for why we do things, or it becomes an “idol” and we start getting our confidence, etc. from it and not from God — that’s where problems begin. — thanks for sharing, this is great.

  • Duane Cornett

    Great post! Social Media can definitely be a source of sin for sure. I’ve found myself jumping on FB when I should be focused on my wife or the kiddos….I like the idea of deleting the FB app from the phone…Thanks for the great posts you and Ryan have been putting up…Also, on a side note, how about an image with “I still can’t wait for forever”? I sign this on all the cards I give my wife…thought it would make a good one on here. God Bless!

  • Annette Holbrook

    I have had to “cut the cord” for a time when I’ve found myself consumed with Facebook. I live far from all of my family and most of my friends, so I value it’s ability to stay connected and share pictures of my young daughter. However, I forget that it’s sin creeping in when I am coveting so and so’s Caribbean vacation or spa days or whatever it should happen to be. Your article is a good wake up call for me. I’m going to have to be far more aware and as always, try to spend less time utilizing it.

  • Steve Mallory

    Great post Selena and extremely timely! Thanks.

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  • Joe Phenorkee

    fb has caused problems. But I trust without wavering (much) and try to forgive

  • Amy

    Thanks for this. I personally have so much more joy and less stress on the days I don’t check my FB page :) It amazes me really !! thank you for sharing this and your heart ! Blessings ~ amy

  • I found myself rolling over in the morning and scrolling through FB first thing, and even if I just spent 5, 10, 15, (30?! :/) minutes, I felt so stressed and insecure. Once I got up I would have devotions, but my day started out fearful of world situations and sicknesses in friends and family life, so my devotion time was really just trying to get it together. Finally last week I deleted it all together. I feel so much peace and freedom! It’s not bad in nature, but I was letting it determine my mood from the get go.