In this day and age of the “post-modern” society, it seems that we should recognize and affirm that our marriages are, in part, influenced by PC’s, laptops, notebooks, flat-screens, CD-ROMs, mega-bits, micro images, flash-card readers, DVD burners, clock speeds and huge amounts of storage! Whew!
Yep, some might think that cyber-technology manuals and PDF documents might even be as influential as the greatest marriage manual ever written ? the Word of God.
I don’t think so!
Let’s backup a bit and monitor just how many hits this technology has taken on our marriages:
From the day we first selected the person we love to become our mates for life, we decided that we wouldn’t mouse around, but instead enter into a life-long committed relationship designed by God called marriage. A life webbed together in a site we call home — our sanctuary filled with memory, images of personal development, hard drives, tons of FAQ’s, crashes and (for some perhaps) even cradles, the inhabitants of which later seem to escape our control.
I believe that God would have us do a scroll-lock (pause) and screen all of our marriage processing through His filter called the Bible. There we could search for applications that can be applied to the mainframe of our marriage ? the heart! His word can prompt us to avoid possible viruses such as lust, anger, infidelity, indifference, complacency and boredom. These conditions not only could byte, causing TIFFs or possible breaks in our connection with one another, but may also require technical assistance from professional counselors or moderators.
Proverbs 4: 23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Do you get that message, “Above all else”? As related to our marriages, I interpret that passage as meaning, “Before anything, make this a priority, nothing compares, or this is numero-uno!” Can you imagine how much more God-honoring our marriages would be if we consciously “guarded our hearts” from temping or enticing cyber-influences and relied instead on God’s word for dependable authentic guidance?
While it’s true that (in some cases) the Internet has greatly enhanced our quality of life, we must “guard our hearts” by being very discriminating when replying on net content which is available 24/7/365. Aside from sites that display hard-core unmet expectations, other sites could contribute to decisions (while seemingly subtle) that may negatively affect our marriages.
Articles and sites pertaining to spousal roles, finances, parenting, physical/emotional intimacy, religion and much more are accessed daily by wives and husbands alike who are searching for answers and solace. The caution still remains – know the source of those concepts and assess whether the information presented is based upon society’s myths and standards or truths from the Creator of marriage ? God.
Even harmless chat-rooms can work their way into marriages, as they can be a subtle substitution for communicating with our spouse. Some “community” participants could become dependant upon responses from others while sharing feelings of loneliness, sorrow or frustration. Although exchange-postings may include encouragement filled with paraphrases offering affirmation and sympathy, one must “guard their heart” to avoid repeated gratification while seeking pseudo communication from these “cyber” marriages rather than actually experiencing appropriate intimate communication with their own spouse.
In a recent conversation with Shannon Ethridge, author of “”Every Woman’s Battle”, she summed it up this way: “Where the heart goes, the body will follow!”
If our hearts are guarded and filled with the guidance, examples, models and truths about marriage as outlined in the Bible, the “wellspring” of our lives will overflow with grace, respect, honor, forgiveness and unconditional love designed for our own “real” marriage as God intended.
“Above all else,” Proverbs says, “?guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”. Nothing could be more important, less confusing and unconnected to cyber-technology!
In that assurance, you can remain COM (oops!- I meant calm!).
If you would like to investigate more the truths found in the Bible, visit our Spiritual Channel.
Copyright © 2003 Duane Careb, used with permission.
Duane is on staff with Growthtrac and is a regular contributor to our featured article library. He and his wife Erika are voluntary marriage mentors for pre-married couples within their church. They also serve Growthtrac as seminar leaders and teachers of various Bible-based marriage topics. They have five married daughters and seven grandchildren!