A guest post from a sister in Christ:
The lightbulb moment for me came in the format of a “threat” to our marriage, actually through my husband’s use of his phone and texting. My husband is the farthest thing from a “techy” person. Very little computer or device use, spends absolutely NO time on social media. Kind of the last thing I would have thought was that my husband would be the one getting sucked in by devices, leading him down a dangerous path. However, I believe the Lord used this to open MY eyes, to how my own use of technology/social media was driving a wedge between us in our marriage, one that I was absolutely blind to seeing, as I was so caught up in creating my own perfect little world where I tried to control everything and thought as long as I did, then I could assure the outcome. How very, very, wrong I was, and I thank the Lord for showing me this!
I was the one in our marriage who spent all the time on devices, having to stay “connected”. I always viewed my technology time as “harmless” and a way to stay in touch with family and friends that I am separated from by distance. Well I guess over time, I started to let my time spent “connecting” with others in this way increase more and more, to the point I was pretty much having a device in my hand most of the time. I would “browse” and “chat” and whatever while I was spending time with my husband and family, thinking I was still “there” with them, when really I wasn’t. I was giving them only what was left, as my attention was always split, and I was always distracted.
Over time, as those devices competed for more of my attention, along with my disrespecting and controlling ways in so many other areas of my life, I was pushing my husband away more and more. I see now it was just another tool Satan uses to drive a wedge in our relationships. I was completely blind to the impact it was having. My husband was already pulling away because of all my disrespect and controlling ways (which I didn’t see then) and this was like another nail in the coffin of our marriage.
He felt less and less important as it was yet another way I was using my time for something else, and only giving him the “leftovers” which wasn’t much with a technology “habit”, a full time job, kids, kids activities, household duties, etc. And then the more he pulled away, the more I substituted the time I should have spent with him, just accepting he wanted to be “left alone” and just turned more to my devices and social media for companionship. It was a destructive cycle. We spent most of our time in the same house just existing side by side, but so little time actually “connecting” with one another. And the more I craved that connection with him that we USED to have, the more frustrated I got, and the more I just comforted myself in time spent on social media where I felt better “connected”. And I was just absolutely blind to the impact this destructive habit was having on our lives. This went on for a long, long time.
Then my husband, who doesn’t hardly bother with any of it, the gadgets, the internet, hates social media, etc. started getting attention from someone that he had met through his work (no longer works with her now, thankfully) who found him “interesting.” This someone was half his age and started bombarding him through text-chatting. First it was a text here or there, then within only days it had grown to a continuous chat where he was ignoring me yet almost hanging on every word in that conversation. It was growing into something fast and furious.
And I, in my perfect little world (or thought so), couldn’t get a word out of him! I was dumbfounded! Hit right over the head. I clued in that something was amiss as his behavior because very hidden and secretive, not like him at all. It wasn’t long before the Lord revealed what was going on to me and I am thankful that He revealed it before it went TOO far (although he had met with her when I wasn’t around as “just friends”). Even though at that time I was not really “listening” to him, I can say that I clearly see this was the moment the Lord was using to show me the dangers and the impact of what the “idol of technology” that I had made was doing to us!
I can clearly see now how this easily could have been me. But I thought my own actions were perfectly fine, because of course I couldn’t see who I was then! The Lord turned it around to finally open my eyes to the self-destructive path I was on in my own life (in many ways), by using the one in our marriage, who didn’t use technology at all in his personal life, to show us how dangerous this idol can be in our lives and what a devastating impact it can have on our relationships!
It was VERY rejecting and hurtful that I had already felt I had lost my best friend over the last couple years in our marriage that was spiraling downhill very quickly, and that connection I desperately wanted back had easily been picked up by someone else when I hadn’t been giving my husband the respect that he deserved in so many ways. It wasn’t JUST that, but it was the pivotal moment, and it was the beginning of the painful truth of how much our marriage was near the breaking point. It was at that point that things really exploded between us and my husband had clearly said he was “done.”
Through that experience, the Lord clearly showed me the truth about so many things about myself, and it was the beginning of a turning point where I finally gave control over to Him and stopped fighting for it. The Lord revealed so many things I could never clearly see before.
- One of the things that came out was my husband sharing how rejected he felt that connecting with everyone else in the world was more important than him.
It was only a matter of time that something (ie. someone) came up to fulfill his loneliness and give him some attention to enjoy that I was no longer giving him. It was a HUGE eye opener. We have now dealt with that issue and I believe we finally have the technology monster under control. I made the commitment to no longer using technology when we were together and if so it’s something that we are looking at together or else it’s off limits.
We both have made the commitment to the phones coming out of our hands and getting left out where each other can see them but they aren’t used. We make the effort to power them off and leave them behind when we are doing something that doesn’t require technology. It is something we have to be diligent about and we realize that, as it’s so easy to not even notice how much of our lives gets consumed by it. While I believe personal technology has been a wonderful, powerful advancement that has helped the world in so many ways, it also has opened so many doors to temptation, the opportunity to connect in ways we couldn’t before, the opportunity to “be” people we aren’t as we hide behind a screen, and if the devil can use it to get his foot in the door to destroy our relationships and make us dishonor God, he will. We must be on alert at all times, or it will happen before we realize what hit us.
I now only use my phone/device for any length of time generally during the time when I am not with my husband/family. I will only spend any length of time on social media, texting, checking email if I have time to myself. I realize now that staying “connected” to the world, is not what I need ALL the time. Staying connected to God IS all that I need. He is the only connection I need to have “open” all the time. Honouring my relationship with my husband and my family is honouring God. I now spend my time with my family without a device in my hand. I’m not perfect at it, but I try my best. And when I feel that itch, pulling me away from what is important, and trying to pull me back into immersing myself in social media, etc, I will continue to turn to God. I know He will help me overcome it. He has been faithful every step of this journey so far and I know He promises to be all that we need if we turn to Him.