– by Gretha Wiid
I cannot imagine my life without a cell phone, computer, and television. To have a whole encyclopaedia at your fingertips with the push of a button, or to be in contact with your friends and family, no matter where you are in the world – is a wonderful positive in our lives. However, as with all good things, we must guard against the disadvantages of that very thing.
Technology contributes to our lives, but can also rob from us
The Word warns us that the enemy walks around like a roaring lion and that he comes as the angel of light. He uses everything that is good, that can contribute positively to our lives, and distorts and destroys it; therefore, we must be watchful as children of the Lord! To the extent that technology can contribute to our lives, it can also steal! It steals time, communication, emotion, and can lead us astray onto all kinds of strange roads. To my great sorrow I see how technology destroys hundreds of marriages in the name of relaxation, socialising, and networking. The sad thing is that the situation is not improving!
Really not enough time?
A few years ago, you could close your office door and go home. At home the rice, meat, and potatoes were cooked, and the children’s homework done. Today the picture looks very different. We work longer hours, network with customers, and when we get home, we run into the screens of technology. We complain that there is not enough time for important things and for that meaningful communication in our marriage, but if we had to count all the hours that we spend reading others’ entries, looking at videos, photos, and comments on social media, we could have already gone on leave because of all the work that we could have completed in that time. If some marriages could only benefit from the same amount of time spent on watching sport on the television and in front of computer screens; thousands of families would have ended up very differently!
A generation of emoji’s
Social media may bring us closer to people who we do not see often, but it certainly takes us away from our closest relationships and the people in our very own home. We lie in bed and view other people’s lives via Facebook – and this while we do not always know what the one who lies next to us’ life looks like or what is going on in his or her heart. We become emotionally stunted, speaking to one another less, and do not make eye contact long enough. We are the generation of emoticons. Every WhatsApp has a little face added to it, which must try and convey our emotion. We become wordless, emotionless! It’s easier to choose an emoticon that smiles, cries, or blushes, than it is to talk about the emotion or try to explain it. We are like sheep with the like button, and are masters of the yellow faces. Yet we have lost the ability to share our deepest feelings – something that is a must in a healthy marriage. We need to know each other’s heart, and be able to discuss things.
Be honest with yourself – for the sake of your marriage
The first step towards any victory and freedom is to do introspection and to be honest. That is why you should choose today not to point the finger at your partner who may be sitting in front of the television or working on the computer all day long. Be aware of your own habits. Be aware of your own patterns, and choose deliberately! Just like all technology can suck relationships dry overnight, we luckily can develop new habits overnight too.
Spend time together
You can switch off your mobile phone at night or choose to leave it far from your bedside table so that you are not tempted to look at it first thing when you open your eyes in the morning. Instead, you can choose to spend emotional and physical time with your partner. And yes, I know that it takes more than one person to make a relationship work and that both of you need to the television or your phones off in order to have quality time, but it is a good start if you can talk about it create awareness about the issue in your home.
Social media has the ability to swallow us up, to influence us negatively, and to push us over the edge with everything that we read and watch. It has the ability to change a nice day in the blink of an eye with bad news, or to be the beginning of compromising in what we believe. Proverbs 4:23 teaches that we must be especially careful what we ponder in our hearts and minds – in the end it determines the end our whole life! With the wrong use of technology, we can be caught in the enemy’s trap in the blink of an eye. 2 Tim.2:26 explains how satan does with us what he wants – once we fall into his trap! Our mobile phones can be a dark world where we are secretly busy with things that our spouse is blissfully unaware of. Everything can now be deleted, happen under a pseudonym, or be locked away behind passwords.
Content can have great influence
It is therefore extremely important that we carefully choose the content that we read or watch because it has an effect on our relationships; it can move our boundaries and mess with our head. We must check our hearts and be honest about what we follow on our mobile, computer, and television screens. Is your partner aware of all your chats? Do you follow things and people who are worthy and that has a positive influence on your marriage?
Your covenant is the most important
The most inspiring entries and pictures may give you a boost, but it is still only God’s Word and Truth that truly frees us. Technology may be here to stay, but so is your covenant with your partner! And that deserves a double like!
GRETHA WIID is a relationship expert, guest speaker, and writer. Follow her on Facebook.