An Ounce of Prevention...

June 3, 2024 Mario Villella Discipleship

Here is a bit of marriage advice. In fact, this advice can even apply outside of marriage; It can be applied by a child with their parents, or even between Christian friends who are accountability partners.

But I think it will most often be applied to marriage relationships and can be an important step in shoring up a marriage to withstand temptations toward adultery and other kinds of wickedness. So, first, I’ll give the advice. Then I’ll explain the “why” behind it.
The advice: Let your spouse have access to your phone whenever they want.

It’s pretty much that simple. Don’t keep your texts, emails, and phone logs a secret from the person to whom you are married. In some cases, this would mean not having a password on your phone so that anyone could pick it up and see who you’ve been texting. In other cases (perhaps for people who keep sensitive banking information on their phone) it might mean giving your husband the passcode to be able to access your phone while still keeping your information safe from people you didn’t marry. Additionally, it might mean giving your wife the password to your email or your Instagram. If you have multiple devices, this advice would include giving your spouse access to all of your communications across all devices. Giving them access to just one method of communication, but not the others, would miss the point of this exercise. The idea is that you don’t keep your communications a secret from your spouse.

I do realize this advice may not be able to be applied by every single individual in the entire world. For instance, an FBI or CIA agent may have some kind of device that he needs to keep off limits from the rest of his family. But the general idea, is to have as few secrets as possible from the person “God has joined together” with you. (See Matthew 19:6)

Heidi and I have done this from the beginning of our marriage. There has never been a time that she couldn’t look through my phone records, my Facebook messages, etc. There was even a period of time when I asked her to occasionally check my internet history and see what I’ve been looking at. (I told her that I wouldn’t delete my history and therefore she could see whatever was really there.) The purpose was to help me make sure I wasn’t looking at anything that I would be ashamed enough to keep a secret from her. (There was a habit I was trying to kick at the time.)

Heidi and I have had this “no secrets” relationship for so long now that I had forgotten that this isn’t the normal way that people in our world behave. You know how it goes. Your family does a particular something for enough years, that you just kinda’ assume everyone else does it too. But every once in a while, I am reminded that our “phone-openness-policy” is not universally practiced.

I will tell you when I usually am reminded of this: marriage counseling. As I talk to struggling (and often recently separated) couples, I wonder things like: How did she not know you had a girlfriend? How did you not know that she was in love with someone else? Why didn’t anyone know there was so much porn on that phone?

It seems to me that every time I’ve heard about marriage struggles, especially one where a spouse is committing adultery, the situation involves a phone that is inaccessible to the other spouse. People will even tell me weird stories about how their husband couldn’t leave their cell phone on the coffee table for even a few minutes; he would have to take it with him on all occasions, even a quick trip the bathroom.

I think that’s nuts. This is the person that you’ve joined yourself to for life! (Actually, Jesus said that God was the one who did the joining. See earlier Scripture reference.) So, why hide yourself from them? You combined your life with theirs for a reason.

Now, before anyone thinks I’m adding a command to the Bible, let me be clear that this is advice, not a command. I am not saying that Christians who have not shared their email password with their spouse are in sin. Instagram and smartphones did not exist when the New Testament was written so, of course, it doesn’t address this issue directly.

However, there is an important principle here. If God wants His people to keep their vows (and He does) and if God wants people to abstain from adultery (and He does) it makes sense that we would want to put behaviors in place that help us to cooperate with His will.

I am not saying that I have made it impossible for myself to betray Heidi. I would guess that I’m capable of any sin anyone else commits. But I am saying this: I’ve made it very difficult to do so. If I even text something small that could be considered step #1 on the road to betrayal, she could easily know about it. That is a powerful tool.

It’s also helpful in that she knows my schedule and she helps make sure I don’t miss out on any appointments that I’ve agreed to by text. 😊

I submit this to you as wise counsel. Do with it what you will. 
The person who wrote this article. Find out more information about them below.
Mario Villella

Lead Pastor / Elder

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