With the rise of social media and the barrage of technological connectivity, marriages can become endangered if proper precautions are not in place. Operating from numerous devices and connecting through various mediums, we are able to connect with people in a host of ways. The ability to have pseudo-community with other people is at an unprecedented level and will continue to increase.
Through numerous inboxes, we set ourselves up to meet, dialogue, and reconnect with all types of people. While these tools in of themselves are not evil, they can lead to evil practices that can harm your marriage.
The easiest way to protect your marriage in an online world is to share your passwords with your spouse.
If you feel defensive to such a concept, you might be in more danger than you realize. While living in a secretive, individualistic society, you must resist the trend towards isolation and commit to complete transparency within your marriage. God never described marriage as two individuals being roommates while keeping private lives. The oneness present in marriage (Gen. 2:24) should spill over into every arena of our lives.
Jesus said that “nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17). So, if there is a secret life going on behind technological doors, it will be exposed one day. If you make yourself available to your spouse, you are creating trust in your marriage and diminishing the opportunity to walk past the lines.
Sharing your password with your spouse willingly provides complete access into your media activity. If you feel like such a move creates distrust in a marriage, I want to propose that it might create even more trust. By such a move, you aren’t accusing your spouse but being wisely proactive.
You may trust the person but not trust the environment.
- Protecting a recovering alcoholic from a bar is not distrust – it’s wisdom.
- Locking your doors when an escaped convict is on the loose is not spite but care.
- Picking up a fearful child when a stray dog runs up is not restrictive but protective.
So when you open yourself up to your spouse to maintain integrity for what you might do or what someone might try to do to you, you are showing trust in the person but not in the environment.
Transparency can’t prevent sin but it can protect from sin.
If you want to sin, you will sin. No amount of barriers can stop a rebellious will. But when you take a measure like sharing your password, you are putting up another hedge of protection.
Marriage deserves an open-door policy. There should be no more thought of mine versus yours mentality. As one, there should be no area off-limits to our spouse.
Among counseling needs within a church, I have always been an advocate for installing windows for places where doors need to be closed. In one situation, as we installed doors in the pastoral offices, someone inquired if there was a situation we were addressing. I responded that we didn’t have a problem, and we wanted to keep it that way.
By providing your spouse to have free range through your life, you are creating an open-door policy for your marriage. While you will have to interact with other people in your life who are not your spouse, where a door must be closed, cut out a hole for a window. In an effort of transparent trust, provide your passwords to every device and platform you have. Feel free to share with others regarding your stance to broadcast that others don’t have a chance to separate your marriage.
What areas do you need to cut a hole for a window? What passwords will you give to your spouse?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.