Podcast – Technology’s Attack on Marriage: Finding Wise Digital Boundaries

The DFR team discusses the damage that the digital world can have on marriage and how to set up boundaries to keep your marriage safe. Technology’s Attack on Marriage – Finding Wise Digital Boundaries


Podcast #71: Technology’s Attack on Marriage – Finding Wise Digital Boundaries


Originally posted on the DFR page HERE. 

Follow this link to hear our podcast discussing the needed boundaries in our kids’ lives. 

The Myth that Marriage Completes You

Marriage Won’t Complete You

Addressing the “Marriage Will Complete You” Myth


We have likely all heard it before, the classic scene in the movie “Jerry Maguire” where Tom cruise tells Renee Zellweger “You complete me.” It’s this moment in the movie where everything seems right again. The two main characters have finally gotten their priorities straight and have realized how much they need each other. The line is perfect because the audience can’t imagine them living without each other, and their lives won’t be complete unless they are together. Or at least that’s what the director and writers want us to feel.


But this isn’t a new or isolated sentiment, most of us come into marriage and relationships feeling like there is something missing, and that finding that special someone will help fill the void we have inside. Whether it is because we are lonely or conditioned to think being single isn’t a lifelong option, or maybe it’s just the next step in life according to our families or culture. Regardless of the reasons, we believe that finding that special someone will somehow “complete” us.


I remember praying for a girlfriend when I was in high school. I was lonely and that was the only thing I believed would fix that need for companionship. When I actually found a girlfriend, I ditched all of my friends and put 100% of my attention and time into her. It was desperately unhealthy and it was sourced in a belief that is reflected in the quote above.


We take this belief into marriage too, which is often one of the core reasons we have conflict as couples. When we feel like things aren’t right inside or in our world, we look to the one who “completes us” to fix how we feel. The expectations are high and completely unreasonable because our fulfillment can’t come from another person in that way.


The reality is that marriage doesn’t complete us, the best they can do is complement us. Which is good! Complementing someone blesses them and puts our attention in how we can serve, bless and support who we are with instead of looking for someone else to fix where we lack.


The most beautiful and powerful marriages you will see are those where both people choose to complement each other, to look to their partners strengths and weaknesses, and instead of highlighting the bad, fill the gap, seeing the weaknesses as opportunities to care for and support your spouse.


How do you know if you are falling into the trap of looking to your spouse to fix you and make your world complete?

Those times are often displayed by words and feelings like “why aren’t you” or “why don’t you” and for some with softer hearts and words “I wish you would.” Although there are times when these sentiments are legitimate and fair, if you find yourself saying or thinking them regularly it’s probably time for a heart check.


Hardships in Marriage – The Glue that Holds You Together


How many times have you caught yourself wondering why things are so hard? Asking God about a tough situation in your life, or more specifically in your relationship? Maybe you’ve had a death in the family, or job loss that was really hard on your marriage. Maybe one of you has suffered from a long-term illness which has had both an effect on your financial status and your marriage. This might have also affected the kids. A rebellious child is one that we have experienced AND hear stories of from parents all of the time.


My wife and I have gone through a number of things together that could have, and at moments felt like, been the end of our marriage.


Here are a few:

  1. School debt
  2. Rebellious teen
  3. Financial hardship
  4. Stillborn daughter
  5. Terribly hurtful job loss
  6. Moving across the country – twice


And many more. We hear stories from people about the things that drove them to separate or causes such deep problems for each individual that they couldn’t bring their hurt and perspectives together to make them stronger… instead they “grew apart.” Money is a big cause for this, especially if a debt has been plaguing their married life for a while.


I believe, and have found, that hardships are our most effective way to really become united in marriage. Think about it. When your points of view and perspectives are that different, finding a middle ground of understanding is an incredible way to really know your spouse.


And when you consider hard moments in your life, those moments when you know you can’t make it on your own and you need somebody to lean on and to help you through it, your spouse is there. In fact, what better reason is there for marriage, than to have a tangible person in your life that is there for you and will be your crutch when you need it, or help carry you when you can’t carry yourself?


I’m certainly not negating God’s involvement and the reality that he will “never leave you or forsake you”. That’s in a different post… I am pointing out that God has given you your spouse to be a tangible representation of himself on earth – because let’s be honest, sometimes we literally need someone to hold us in real life, a shoulder to cry on and arms that can hold us tight.


I wrote a post once about what I learned by doing the Tough Mudder with my wife – which if you don’t already know, is a hardship that you actually sign up for. But the reality is that our lives will have hardships (John 16:33) and God has blessed you with someone to go through those with you, and someone to remind you that He is walking with you in those dark valleys. You aren’t alone, spiritually or physically.


So consider those tough moments opportunities to grow closer – realizing that each hardship will make your relationship stronger and harder to pull apart.

Your Marriage: A Diamond for the World to See

I love marriage – but for different reasons than you might think.

One of my favourite things about marriage is the incredible illustration it is to the power of the gospel and Jesus’ relationship to us, His church. We are to love our spouse as Christ loves the church, selflessly and with grace and understanding.

I’m consistently convinced that there is NO greater form of evangelism in our current culture. (Eph. 5:25-30)

Think about it, our culture is filled with divorce, broken and dysfunctional relationships. Unfortunately, for some there is a tendency to judge or condemn these families, sometimes going to the extent of pulling our kids out of school or activities in order to keep them from seeing what we might consider abnormal or sometimes sinful.

Protecting our families is good, but pitting ourselves against others may not be the best way to show them God’s love. Continue reading

Strength in Uniqueness: What Makes Your Relationship Strong?

10153697_10154830347970433_2631930839737697553_nI love officiating weddings. I love the wedding day itself, but I also look forward to the 8-session pre-marital program my wife and I conduct with each couple. There are few things more important to me than helping couples establish a firm foundation. As an added bonus, my wife and I get to minister and share together, which is one of our favorite things.

I had the opportunity to perform a wedding at the beginning of October for a couple that I have known for a very long time. I pastored her when she was in high school and met him when she brought him to youth group. She called me a year ago after not having seen them for 3 years or so. She had gotten engaged and was wondering if I officiated weddings.

I was honored and very excited to be invited into their lives, particularly in such a deeply meaningful way. Continue reading