The data is overwhelming: Facebook is having a negative impact on marriages.
Let me be up front about this: It’s not Facebook’s fault. Facebook can be a wonderful supplement to your existing relationships. It can help you connect with people you love but don’t get to see regularly. It gives you a chance to share your life with people you don’t see or talk to regularly. When used properly, it can be valuable.
The Facebook problem is a symptom of a greater disease: we’re not doing married right.
At Vortex, we’ve spent the last few weeks examining God’s blueprint for marriage, and we’ve all been challenged, convicted, and changed by what Jesus has been teaching us. If you haven’t been with us, I encourage you to give those four talks a listen to: vortexchurch.com – blueprints audio.
A few day’s ago I shared “5 ways to do Facebook wrong”, so I thought it might be nice to follow it up by giving a few suggestions on how we can get it right…
#1 – Kill the idea of privacy.
In a healthy marriage there are no boundaries of privacy. I realize that statement flies in the face of what most of us practically want, but it’s God’s design not mine.
If you have individual accounts, your spouse should have the username and password for you account. If you’re generally posting the same things, you might want to consider having a joint account. It’s not enough to follow them, because (as with any social network) there are activities that happen out of the view of the following public.
If you have a problem with the idea that privacy needs to be killed in your marriage, reflect on this with me: As Genesis 2 closes, after God has created Adam and Eve then united them together in the covenant of marriage, the scriptures tell us this: “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:25) As the first (and prototype) married couple, they were so intimate that not even a millimeter of clothing was going to separate them.
#2 – Celebrate and honor your spouse publically.
My wife taught me this important lesson: It’s quite nice to have flowers waiting for your wife when she gets home. It’s altogether meaningful to show up at her workplace with those flowers and honor her publicly in front of the people she spends her days with.
Facebook gives you a venue to celebrate and honor your spouse publically.
You might be thinking: “I don’t know what to celebrate. I’m really disappointed in my spouse right now.”
Let me suggest that honor works a lot like the cork-in-the-bucket principle. Honor your spouse, as you believe they can be, not as they are. The more you honor them, the more water goes into the bucket. The cork rises to level of water. In the same way, our character often elevates to the level that we’re honored.
#3 – Create technology-free times & zones.
Here are three times you don’t need your phones (or Facebook):
When you get home from work. Make the choice to put the phone down and have a conversation regularly when you arrive home. Taking fifteen minutes to communicate will set your evenings up for success.
When you go to bed. This is a struggle for most of us, but studies show that exposure to the brightness of the screens actually hurts your sleep. This is again one of those important moments where conversation is unexpected and needed. The absence of distractions could also benefit your intimacy.
When you’re on a date. My wife and I have had a rule: When we go into a restaurant to eat dinner together on a date, the phone’s stay in the car. Dating is all about facilitating intimacy, and intimacy is bred in conversation. Don’t rob yourselves of that.
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What did I miss? What’s helped you do Facebook more successfully as a married couple? Leave a comment and share it with us!