I've heard people complain that spending too much time on-line can cause problems in your marriage. Couples who were "doing just fine" suddenly have issues because he is always online playing fantasy football and she is always online adding more and more pins to her boards on Pinterest. Before too long, she Stumbles Upon an old flame and sparks begin to fly. In the mean time, he is so busy playing with his new ipad, he doesn't notice there is a problem until she has changed her status from "Married" to "It's Complicated".
After considering these thoughts, I couldn't help but wonder if that is what went wrong with King Henry the Eighth. Think about it, while on the throne, King Henry VIII went through six wives, so perhaps the problem was all the time he was spending twittering Anne Boleyn when he should have been home comforting Catherine.
KingHenry King Henry 8
Let's face it, if King Henry had not had all the distractions that come about from the internet, surely he would have had a successful marriage with Catherine. Or at least the second time around with Anne Boleyn. Or surely in the third one with Jane, after Anne was beheaded? Right? Surely, the reason his marriages were so tumultuous was because he lived in a time of too many modern conveniences and too much temptation.
It really is ironic when we blame a tool for the havoc that occurs in our lives. The internet, on it's own merit, doesn't have the ability to make my marriage good or bad. Just the same as my oven--on it's own accord--lacks the ability to make my dinner tasty.
The ingredients that I pour into my marriage are going to define how it is going to come out. If I pour into my marriage an attitude of selfishness it doesn't matter if I am blogging, knitting, or rebuilding the transmission in my car. The thing that is distracting me is merely a tool for this age. There has always been distraction.
Ephesians 5:15-17 was the scripture used by the Pastor in our church this morning as he was encouraging us to slow down and aim for a lifestyle that is not characterized by busyness.
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
As he was sharing the verse, I immediately began to write down "making the most of every opportunity..." and before I could even finish my scribbles, he said
"Most people focus on the words: making the most of every opportunity. And they don't look at the words before it. "
Wait. What? I had to drop my pen and just stare and listen. Everything in the media, everything in the world--especially in the great big LAND OF OPPORTUNITY tells us to "seize the day!"And you want me to listen to the words before it. What the heck were the words before it!?
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise"
The bottom line is this. Having more and more available to us is all in vein, if the more and more is taking us away from being the person we are supposed to be. God created me to be in a relationship with Him. That is THE MOST important relationship that exists for me. The second most important relationship is the one with my husband. So, if I am not meeting my husband's needs because I am blogging, or because I have to check in with my 6500 friends on Facebook, my priorities are out of whack. However, if I am not meeting his needs because I am spending 12 hours at the gym--the same rules apply. If I am selfishly pulling away from him to have my needs met elsewhere, that is the problem.
It's not the media or the social networking that pulls us away from our spouses. It's selfishness.
Linking today to continue my count of the 1000 Gifts in my life, with a nod to the theme for today on Media Mondays: Media and our Marriages, and Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. I leave you with this:
76:: Time uninterrupted, used wisely
77:: A husband who wants me to sit on the couch and watch a romantic movie
78:: The OFF button on my computer
79:: Post it notes, to save my thoughts for later
80:: XXX Church, a website and an organization to help men be accountable for porn addictions.
81:: A husband who reads, and loves, my blogs
82:: The days that we spend away from the house--completely unplugged
83:: The fighting we do not do...thanks to humility and GPS.