We should be mindful of how we use social media and consider how our online interactions can impact our relationships with others, including our spouses, families, and even God.
Whether we like it or not, social media has come to stay. And more importantly, it has become an integral part of our daily lives, providing various benefits ranging from improved communication to entertainment and networking, and possibly much more in the future.
However, it is increasingly clear that social media also has negative consequences for people and their relationships, particularly in the context of Christian marriages.
Excessive social media use can lead to increased marital conflict and decreased marital satisfaction; some divorces are even caused by social media. There are numerous cases where social media has had a bad influence on marriages involving people from across the world. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that responsible and mindful use of social media can help mitigate these effects.
While it is essential to be aware of the potential negative impacts of social media on Christian marriages and families, it is equally important to recognize the benefits social media offers in contemporary times.
Importance of Social Media in Contemporary Times
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have changed how we communicate, obtain information, and connect with our surroundings.
One of the biggest advantages of social media is its capacity to connect people from all over the world. This is impressive as it breaks down geographical barriers and boosts communication and collaboration around the world.
Social media has also made it simpler for people to stay in touch with spouses, relatives, and friends who live or work far away, offering a sense of connection, community, and support that might otherwise be impossible.
Social media can provide opportunities for learning, growth, and spiritual development in your relationship.
Platforms like YouTube and podcasts offer a wealth of resources for Christian couples seeking to deepen their understanding of the Bible and grow in their faith. Christian bloggers and influencers offer insights and inspiration that can help married couples live out their faith in practical ways. It can also provide valuable resources for seeking knowledge and understanding regarding ways to improve their relationship.
Social media can be a powerful tool for sharing and spreading the gospel. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok offer opportunities for Christians to share their love stories online and give inspiration to others in new and creative ways. Also, by using hashtags and engaging with others, Christians can reach a wider audience and share the good news of Jesus Christ with people who might not otherwise have encountered it.
Jesus Himself spoke to the importance of spreading the gospel, with Matthew 28:19-20 stating, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
With thoughtful and responsible use, social media can be a powerful tool for connection, growth, and positive change.
Positive Impacts of Social Media on Christian Marriages
It is necessary to recognize that social media, like any other tool, can have positive and negative implications for Christian marriages and families.
While certain potential dangers and pitfalls are associated with social media use, there are also many positive ways social media can benefit Christian relationships.
Couples who share their relationship online by posting pictures and status updates about their partner could develop higher relationship satisfaction. Social media, if used decently, could also positively impact families and relationships, possibly by facilitating communication and creating shared online experiences.
Since communication plays a vital role in keeping and boosting the longevity of a marriage, couples who use social media to stay connected and communicate during times of separation, such as during deployment or long-distance relationships, can stand a chance of achieving higher levels of marital satisfaction and lower levels of divorce.
I believe that social media can positively affect Christian marriages and families when used responsibly and with care.
By fostering connections and communication and providing opportunities for learning and growth, social media can help strengthen our relationships with our spouses, families, and God. Therefore, as we navigate the double-edged sword of social media, let us seek to use it for good and for the glory of God.
Negative Impacts of Social Media on Christian Marriages
While social media can offer many benefits, including increased connectivity and access to information that can help your marriage blossom, it can also present many challenges and temptations that undermine the health and stability of your relationships with your spouse and children.
Let's explore some key ways social media can negatively impact Christian marriages and families, drawing on examples and teachings from the Bible.
Comparison and Envy
One of the most common negative impacts of social media on Christian marriages and families is the tendency to compare our lives and relationships to others online, leading to feelings of envy, inadequacy, and discontentment.
This is often exacerbated by the highly curated and idealized images that many people present on social media, which can create unrealistic expectations and standards for ourselves and others.
As the Apostle Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 10:12, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." Instead, we are called to focus on the unique blessings and challenges of our lives and relationships and be content with what God has given us.
Addiction and Distraction
Social media can also be highly addictive and distracting, pulling us away from our responsibilities and relationships with our spouses and families. In many cases, social media use can become compulsive and interfere with our ability to be present and engaged in our daily lives and interactions with our loved ones.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." We must be mindful of how we spend our time and prioritize our relationships with our spouses and families above social media.
Infidelity and Temptation
Social media can also present many opportunities for temptation and infidelity through direct messaging, communication with others, and exposure to sexually explicit or provocative content online.
This can erode trust, intimacy, and commitment in Christian marriages and lead to devastating consequences. But Jesus warns in Matthew 5:28, "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Therefore, as Christians, we must guard our hearts and minds against the temptations and distractions that social media can present and remain faithful and committed to our spouses.
Conflict and Misunderstanding
Social media can also contribute to conflict and misunderstanding in Christian marriages, especially when communication online is not clear, honest, and respectful. Misinterpretation, miscommunication, and even cyberbullying can undermine the trust, respect, and love essential to healthy relationships.
As Christians, we must be mindful of the potential negative impacts of social media on our marriages by remaining focused on our relationship with God and family.
We can navigate the challenges of social media and build strong, healthy, and loving marriages to the honor and glory of God.
I believe that social media is a double-edged sword because, while it has the potential to bring couples together and help them build a strong and healthy relationship, it can also lead to conflicts and even destroy the relationship when misused.
Like any other tool, social media can be used for good or evil. We should be mindful of how we use social media and consider how our online interactions can impact our relationships with others, including our spouses, families, and even God.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Ridofranz
Emmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.