The spouse walks into my office. She tells me that she has found some disturbing images and texts on her husband’s phone. He has been talking with another woman on social media. He has sent and received pictures that really upset her. As she tells her story, she informs me that this is not the first time. It started with pornography about three years ago. She realizes that his new fling is a real woman he knows. She is not sure if her husband has had physical contact with her. She is not certain that this is the only woman. She is scared and devastated.
As an Army chaplain, I hear the story shared above on a weekly basis. Social media is a great gift. It allows us to stay connected in some degree while we are apart. For military personnel, this is wonderful. Many of us can remember what it was like to deploy and go weeks and months without talking to our loved ones. At the same time, these little devices have opened the door for us to connect with people and things that we should not.
Our smart phones are not the problem. Each of us has in us a desire for those things we cannot have in life. In the Bible, King David could have had any woman in his kingdom as a wife. Instead, he chose a woman who was already married to a good man. He murdered her husband after he got her pregnant. In the long run, this caused David and his entire family a lot of pain.
Our desires are not always a vice but many times even our desires get the best of us. Most people lack self-control in some area of their lives. It might be food and overeating. It might be physical fitness and working out too much. It might be alcohol and never stepping away from the bar. If we lack self-control our vice will continue and can spiral out of control.
Everyone’s vice is different. Sometimes what we struggle against is not so detrimental to ourselves or others – or at least we think that way. Most men and women need support with whatever they may be struggling with in life. This includes handling vices as well. Having a support system holds you accountable and gives you encouragement. The Bible tells us the prophet Nathan held David accountable for his actions. He helped David admit his wrong and turn from his painful ways. Ultimately, David turned to God to create in him a clean heart and live a life of self-control and victory over his vice.
What are you struggling with today? Who do you have supporting you with your vice? Have you asked God for help? He is more than willing to forgive you and help you with new life.