As many of you know, my husband and I have tinkered around in social media a bit…
Our Story: In 2007 my husband started a blog, called The Vineyard Journey, not because he was excited about blogging as much as he was about getting me to blog. We had just been planning to plant our vineyard and he was talking about the hardships, the lessons learned, etc… So after a few months of editing his content, I gave in and created the “old” Leaving a Legacy Blogspot. I went through seasons of more engagement than others, like many people who blog do, I guess.
Then in 2010, I was encouraged by fellow comrades of my husbands’, through work, as well as women from church, to start posting specifically on marriage. They also asked for a special FB page to be created for the wives. What is interesting about this idea, though it was brilliant, was that I wasn’t on Facebook. Isaac and I had very strong beliefs against all social media until November of 2011.
We went through a business re-branding and were told by “professionals” that social media wasn’t going away and that it was the future of all businesses and ministries regarding expansion, exposure, and impact. We gave in and both of us joined so that there would be safety and accountability. That’s how us Tolpins role. We do as much as we can TOGETHER!
If you join any online community or social media group, you need boundaries.
The boundary that Isaac and I have had from the beginning with all social media was that if he was going to be on, I was too. I have access to all of his messages and his friends. I can monitor it all, and visa versa. He has complete access to my accounts as well. There is a unique accountability within marriage. No one knows you better than your spouse.
We have always proactively tried to involve one another in all aspects of our lives. I am involved with Isaac’s work enough to be his most trusted advisor and He reads all I write as my proofreader/advisor in Chief.
Ultimately, being in the social media world together, focused as a team, helps hold us to a higher accountability of integrity. Like with blog posts, I have my husband read them first, for accountability. With Twitter or FB, I know he sees everything and he knows I see everything, so there is accountability.
I know of women who are on social media without their husbands, and I feel compelled to warn you against that or at least find an accountability partner.
God placed your husband as your head, your protector. The social online world is a world, a community and you NEED to have your husband’s protection, guidance, and accountability to having integrity with the time you spend on it as well as the content you post.
If you are a lonely wife at home, kids are away at school and you start-up what may seem an innocent relationship… that is NOT okay. It can become a form of escapism. Please be careful! Set up boundaries that involve your husband.
Likewise, I know of men who are in different social media communities without their wives. This is equally just as dangerous in my opinion. The temptation is great and we need to put up safeguards BEFORE we are living with regrets.
Wives out there, I know that some of you think, “I don’t know the first thing about social media and I don’t have the time to figure it out.” My advice is this: YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME NOT TO FIGURE IT OUT. You need to know who and how often your husband is interacting with people. He needs to know the same for you.
Some marriages have chosen to not have one or the other online for one reason or another, I can respect those reasons, but then in regards to the other spouse. They probably shouldn’t be online either. The reality is it is another world. And you are still married, therefore you should be a part of the world together. For integrity’s sake. If that is not possible because of work or something, the spouse online really needs to be CAREFUL by getting accountability partners and still have their spouse look through their accounts.
If you & your spouse are struggling with online addictions that are eating at your marriage… namely pornography… check out this website CovenantEyes.com
Regardless of how you want the future to look for your family, technology is moving at a crazy fast pace and if you have kids, chances are by the time they are living on their own as young adults some of them will be into social media if they are not already. Many work environments and even college classes require them to be on certain social networks. This is a reality.
In regards to email, I have been able to have access to Isaac’s email our whole marriage. WHY? For accountability and integrity! We are married, therefore we do not hide anything from one another, we are one flesh. You must be thinking I am a busy lady, huh? Yes, I am! However, because I am in the same communities he is in and we have mutual friends, if ever something weird was to happen, I know I would hear about it. And likewise, he would hear about it from our friends as well. That is part of the accountability of both being on there together.
ACCOUNTABILITY~ INTEGRITY~ IMPACT
Advice to the single person: So you are on facebook, twitter, or some other social community online, but you aren’t married? If you are living at home, the obvious thing you need to do is allow your parents to hold you accountable. You should give them access to your account, etc…
If you do not live at home, still a great idea to go ask your parents to be your accountability partners online. If they are not online and aren’t interested, or for some other reason that is a bad idea. You need to proactively seek out a mentor you can trust who will be your online accountability partner. They get access, passwords, all of it. So think about it carefully. Don’t just choose another young friend, who might not have the guts to speak up when they see you lacking integrity. Choose someone in the season ahead of you, someone who cares about you.
Have Integrity and Be Intentional when you are participating in your online communities. Encourage People, Be Honest, Be REAL, Be YOU. God made YOU BEAUTIFUL. Go Shine His Light! BE CAREFUL AND CHOOSE ACCOUNTABILITY!
Wanting God’s Best for You~ Be Safe
I would love to connect! Leave me a comment or let’s chat on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Before you go, please remember to share this post. We need to teach more about marital accountability today.