Facebook and Inappropriate Relationships

I have been a Facebook user for over 2 years. I thoroughly enjoy connecting with everyone and daily I visit Facebook to catch up on what is happening in the life of family, friends, followers and other partners in ministry.

Facebook in and of itself is amoral. But because we live in a fallen world, every single user of Facebook is a sinner and therefore Facebook is sin filled. There are pitfalls at every turn that we must guard ourselves against.

We must guard against gossip, slander, and complaining spirits. We must guard against judgemental attitudes and being a busy body.

But today’s post is about the biggest pitfall of all – inappropriate relationships.

Within 5 days of being a Facebook user, old high school and college friends had found me and were befriending me. Old names from the past and memories that I had not pondered in 15 years flooded my mind. Some of the people from the past, I had close friendships with and others I barely even knew. But when the “friendship request” came in I felt badly to “decline” anyone a friendship.

So I accepted everyone who requested a friendship for fear that they would know I declined them. I also accepted some friends because I was very curious to see what had happened in their lives in the last 15 years. So I had friendships with both men and women on Facebook…and there were some very awkward moments.

There were moments when men I never talk to at church would start commenting on my status – it felt weird but it’s Facebook and this is what people do so I accepted it and moved on. It wasn’t until I began to hear of marriages being broken and destroyed by these “innocent” Facebook friendships that I began to question “why in the world am I friends with guys on Facebook?”

After a good discussion with my husband about this (who is not a user of Facebook and was not thrilled that I was “friends” with guys – but was too kind to “forbid” it) we decided it was best that I delete every single guy from my friendship list (who were not relatives).

Why did I unfriend my guy friends?  Was I doing something inappropriate? NO, I did not have any inappropriate friendships with men on Facebook BUT I know that “Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8) and I am fresh meat he’d just love to get his hands on! And I want to be “alert” and “on guard“. I am aware that I am a sinful human who is capable of being tempted and falling. I do not want to leave any known cracks in my life where he can sneak in.

Do I think you should delete your Facebook guy friends?  NO, I am not the Holy Spirit. I can not say what is God’s will for your life.  This was right for me.  But I will say, we must be wise and on guard because I know that Satan would love to get a foothold in your life too.

My daily followers know that I adore the “Love and Respect” book by Dr.Emerson Eggerich. His daughter, Joy Eggerich made this video below addressing Facebook and emotional affairs. It speaks my heart so I want to share it with you.

Let’s use Facebook to glorify God! My heart has been filled with joy as I have watched my Christian sisters in Christ love on one another, share verses, encouragement, prayer requests and life. God is using Facebook to spread his truth and gospel and I want us all to be a part of God’s work.

If you are questioning any of your friendships or anything you have said on Facebook as to whether it is right or wrong…let me help you sort it out right now.

Ask yourself:

If the pastor of my church put up on a large screen for the whole church to see – my friends, status updates, comments, and photos – is there anything I would be embarrassed of?

 

There’s your answer – now go and delete whatever came to mind!

Walk with the King!


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Today’s post is a part of the “Put Your House In Order” Series. Please visit the ladies below!

Comments

  1. Jackie Koll says

    I appreciate your post and I can honestly say No to your last question. yes, I have both girl and guy friends but I also filter those as much as possible. Just as some people have trouble being nice on facebook and deal with the backlash from that, I know others struggle with other issues as well. It is the simple idea that whatever you write can be viewed by anyone at anytime so keep it simple, keep it clean, and don't write what you don't want others to read :-)

  2. Nora@The Dollar Hollering Homemaker says

    I really enjoyed this post. My husband and I deleted our facebook's last April and I am so glad we did. It was useful when we were in college ( and only limited to college students) to connect to people in our classes or student organizations. As a married women I know longer feel that it is appropriate. I also think that it encourages actually being more "disconnected" as "friends" will facebook stalk you instead of calling/emailing.

  3. Nicole Auld says

    Courtney–love it! Love it! I am so happy someone decided to attack this. Keep encouraging others and speaking the truth.

  4. Ashley Pichea says

    As I interact with both men and women on Facebook, Twitter, and throughout the social media world, I definitely have to be aware of what I say, how I say it, and to keep certain boundaries in place in my online and offline life. I go through spurts of friends on FB – sometimes I get curious and look up old friends from high school/college, and other times I delete all those on my "friends" list who are not a current part of my every day life. Regardless, I try to always be aware of any situations that could lead down the path of destruction, sharing all online conversations with male friends past "hello" with my husband for full disclosure.

  5. Tami @ ThisMomsDelight.com says

    The Holy Spirit convicted you of something and you also took your hubby's opinion into consideration. That is great!

    It's sad to see so many marriages break apart…

    I do have male friends on Facebook, but have a self-made policy not to befriend anyone on Facebook that was even close to being my boyfriend anytime before my marriage to my husband. That way, there's no question of my loyalty to my husband.

  6. Anonymous says

    Yay! Praise god! I absolutely love this because I did the same thing recently! I was totally unaware how upset my hubby was until I aske him! I deleted every male he didn't approve of, pretty much got to keep his friends that we are jointly ministering to and praying for! My friends find it weird the relationship my hubby and I have an say he is controlling and I say no he is the head of my household and I am respectful of what he wants because I trust my lord to help him make decisions for this family that honor god! I am thankful to find another woman who has this kind of relationship with her spouse, as I have found it difficult to maintain relationships with women who are not of like mind as me cuz they tend to want to do things that go against what we want for me! Thanks for sharing and I pray u have a blessed day!

    • Margar aragon says

      Hi there. Im fighting with my husband as he requests women at work to be his friend and see there walls. Im tired of it. He has women at work adding him too and knows I don’t like it. God will not bless this. Write me back if you can. I want to delete it all.

  7. Smockity Frocks says

    I LOVE the Love and Respect book!!! Thank you for this post. You really hit on some good things for all of us to think about.

  8. Anonymous says

    My husband and I both have friends of the opposite sex on our FB accounts. We're also both totally open with our accounts too- we know each others passwords- neither one of us has anything to hide. We have a lot of couple friends that we are both friends with- the husbands are friends of mine and Daniel is friends with the wives. It works for us. :o)

  9. Gina says

    You are so wise, Courtney! I recently "cleaned up" my friend list as well. I "unfriended" men who were anywhere near my age. It was hard. But unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way. I actually had a couple of men cross the line of what is appropriate. I got tired of it. These were christian men! Like you, I know I am not above being tempted. So, I unfriended all men close to my own age. Now the only ones that are my friends are students or former students. Young. People will be so bold and brave when chatting or writing, and say things they wouldn't say in person. We must be so careful. Satan is alive and well and looking to destroy!

    Good article!!!

  10. Rebecca says

    I have struggled with this. I am married to the love of my life…we married 21 yrs ago and he divorced me…then, we remarried. During the time we were divorced, I became engaged…..He found me last year on FB….and it was difficult at first, putting those old feelings in the right place.
    However….God used our 'friendship' to help pull his marriage back together. He told me they were having problems. I pointed him to God…and to LOVE/Respect (I LOVE that book, too!) So, we are 'friends'…but his posts are hidden. He can contact me..and I can him. I have been 'defriended'…and that hurt. I have defriended and know that hurt others. So…now, I just hide and juse lists….that way, there are now heart issues and I am protecting myself. Maybe it's an excuse, I don't know…but it works for me.

  11. heidi says

    I enjoyed this post. I respectfully say no to deleting my male friends. 95% of my FB friends are all women. Perhaps more. The few male friends I have on there are more brotherly in that, I simply do NOT think of them that way and it's rare we communicate, and I'm friends with their wives foremost. A couple of the males on my page are friends' sons and where one actually looks to me as a second mom. I have deleted male friends whom I thought were too racy. My children are allowed to see my FB page at all times because what I am online is how I am in real life. Now onto another issue. I encouraged my husband to get his own page because I wanted my husband to send me an I love you message on occasion. I regret that deeply because of those FB online games where you can communicate in real time (farming, yoville, miniplanet) my husband ended up having several affairs. AND being on those pages encouraged him to venture onto other sites. My activity on FB is perhaps boring to most. I share photos with family who have all moved far away and I have family all over Europe and communication isn't easy but FB has made it possible. And it gives me a way to share with family members I really don't want to have much communication with but do because my mom told me to do it. :). I talk to my local homeschooling friends. And I have a few friendships there that I truly appreciate. My husband cancelled his FB page because it tore our marriage apart. My husband is working hard to earn my forgiveness. My heart still aches even as it almost reaches a year. I still do not trust him. He was supposed to be THAT man who was going to love me and only me forever. But the Lord is working in that area. I trust the Lord and know that only the Lord can be everything to me. I had to give it all over to the Lord because I was deeply wounded. I was living in this Christian cocoon where bad things just don't happen. But they do and Satan is constantly on the prowl. This woke me up!! I deeply suggest that if you are going to have a page, make it a family page or a page that if your kids saw, you would still be smiling and not from embarrassment. Okay…after all that, I can say that the best part of all that is that my walk with the Lord grew deeper. I feel that the Lord is doing some serious housecleaning in our family life and I'm truly blessed for that. PS…I NEVER blasted what my husband did to FB or on my blog. I've only shared small glimmers of why I took a hiatus.

  12. Anonymous says

    Thank you for this post. As a pastors wife, I can say that the church, as a whole, is dealing w/ the Facebook problem in a big way. Social media is a very useful and wonderful tool. However, the hurt that some of this brings on is NOT worth it. I encourage you all to please be careful. Please think twice. Please prayerfully consider your involvement and your kids involvement with these sites. Watch your backs, because the enemy is lurking. Blessings to all of you!

  13. Amy Bennett says

    While I don't feel led to remove the guys from my Facebook, good for you to listening to the Spirit on this. There just might be one marriage who is saved from you doing it and it's worth it!! That video is so great and I completely affirm everything she is saying! Satan is so good at deceiving us and giving us excuses along the wrong path. May our eyes be open!!

  14. Just Jen says

    I don't have any males, other then my fiance', on my personal facebook page either. I don't think that it is right to have a good friends SO commenting on my posts.

  15. goodgirlgonehome says

    Courtney, it's awesome how you can choose topics that are so relevant. Not too long ago we were arguing about facebook. I did have male friends on there and guys from high school/college. I see it as innocent because I trust myself but it really bothered my guy. :( I finally deleted all the guys who weren't related. I trust him but I also feel uncomfortable when he has many single female friends on facebook. Thanks for this post.

  16. Laura @ Just For Love says

    Courtney!

    This post was so timely for me. My husband and I were just having a discussion about FB last night in bed. You see, I used to have a FB account well over a year ago and deleted it because I felt led to by the Lord. Best decision I ever made. I loved not knowing everything going on with people I didn't even talk to in real life. It was freeing and just felt right.

    Well, fast forward to now (a year later) and I have a FB again. I too, like you, want a Facebook account as a tool to connect with others in a positive way, and use it as another connection for my blog followers. But, here's the problem…it totally bothers my husband. I DO NOT want to upset my husband or go against his wishes–it's wrong!

    Anyway, last night I asked him if he would like me to delete it again and just be done with it because I could sense it was bothering him. He's so sweet, he pretty much did the same thing as your and wouldn't forbid it, but that's because he's trying to be kind.

    I think this is such a great solution for us, and totally an answer to prayer. I was seeking the Lord about it and I think I found and answer here today! Thank you!!

    P.S. If I feel like it STILL bothers him after deleting the guys on my list, I'm just deleting it all together! I love him too much : )

    Thanks again!
    Love,
    Laura

  17. Jenifer says

    Great post Courtney! Facebook can be a very harmful thing. As you mentioned, satan is seeking to destroy us and facebook can easily be used for that. I have seen marriages fall apart. I have seen gossip started. I have seen friendships ruined. The list goes on and on. We must really watch what we say and do and that includes on facebook. Every single thing we post (pictures included) are out there for all the world to see.

    On the flip side, facebook can be a good thing. Yes, I use it to connect with family and friends from church, but I also use it as a witness. I post scriptures and enocuraging words. It is wonderful to see an unsaved family member or friend be encouraged by a scripture or song God told me to post.

    We need to watch ourselves! Thanks for this post.

  18. Lora says

    Oh, i have been LOVING your blog these days. Thank you so much for bringing up such controversial and "taboo" subjects to share and walk closer to that Father in. You are so sweet and such an awesome example!

    This post is crazy to think on. :)
    Can you imagine mary m. wondering if she should remove Jesus from her facebook friends? :)
    Oh, what does He think of us and all that we've become? Facebook, texting, ipads at the breakfast table…
    Thank God for His faithful mercy!

    Evaluating my choices with an open heart to God's convictions, and moving in the direction I hear Him calling whether I understand it or not is a practice that lead to the conviction to get rid of my facebook almost two years ago… letting go of facebook was one of the best things i ever did for my LIFE and for my friends.

    It saddens me the way that the use of Facebook promotes such ugly sinful heart and character exercises, and leads to an addiction that is so easily ignored,

    Until I walked away i couldn't really see how it was hurting me, my character, my focus, my family, my walk with God, my TIME.

    There are safer, healthier, more loving ways to connect with our brothers AND sisters in Christ.

  19. Olivia says

    I love this. Thanks for sharing what God has put on your heart about these things. When you mentioned being a busybody it hit me for the first time that some of my facebook usage could probably classify me as one, and that's something young women are specifically supposed to set themselves up to avoid (1 Tim 5:13)!! Sometimes it's hard to recognize how "busybody characteristics" can show up when we have an idea in our minds already of what a busybody is…and think we would never be one! :)

  20. A Mom After God's Own Heart says

    Courtney, this is probably one of my favorite posts from you in the last few months. It hits home a little too much but it is very important for ALL marriages. two years ago my husband began an "online affair" with a woman he met on Facebook, through a game. It was completely innocent at the start. Heck, I even knew of her. However the line was quickly crossed from friend to emotional affair. I was devestated. However, I am very happy to report that he has since cut off all contact with this woman and we are well on our way to healing and our marriage is better than it has been in years. Part of the reason for things getting the way they did is we were having problems and drifting apart and he began chatting with this woman! Since our situation he has gotten rid of most women (non-relative) on his friends list and I have chosen to get rid of most non-relative men. It is a real blessing to make this choice to protect our marriage. Thank you Courtney for making your readers aware of this important, and very real situation, for Christian families!

  21. Kasey says

    I'm a blocker on Facebook, if you might bring things to mind that needn't be there anymore I block you : ) Last night I accidently stumbled across a picture of an old flame who wasn't tagged in the picture, therefore not blocked, I felt sooooo guilty even though it was inadvertent; through that one simple picture I gleaned more information of his life than I should care to know. That part of my heart that once was closed was pried opened ever so slightly and now I'm dealing with trying to ram the door shut again.

  22. Angie says

    I will have to disagree with this post. God does not say that if you are female you can only have female friends. As far as FB goes, that is in the hands of the operator/subscriber. It is all in the comfortability of the operator. Me, I love FB, and I also love communicating and interacting with new people (of both genders). How do you meet new people if you shut them out? How do you build friendships if you shut them out? Are we suppose to hide within a shell for fear of thinking FB is a sin? Are we suppose to hide our light? And to answer your question. I have nothing on FB that I would be ashamed of. I am an honest, care giving, inspirational user.
    Matthew 5:13-16

  23. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    Angie – I do not feel that this is to be every woman's conviction as I said in the post – this is my conviction and I wanted to share it in case it helped another woman. Most women are using facebook innocently – to connect with friends, relatives and many use it to post verses and spread God's truth! I LOVE that! That's why I use it! So we are like hearted!

    I wrote this post for one reason…
    my pastor of my church said that facebook has become a problem in counseling and is playing a part in marriages breaking up. So I want to use my voice to warn women that this is a reality.

    So it's only a warning call…but in no way a condemnation as I LOVE Facebook!!! :-)

    Thanks for sharing your heart and asking ~Much Love, Courtney

  24. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet says

    Thank you for this post! Dh and I both went through ours about a year ago and deleted a bunch. We have discussed which ones are appropriate and which are not.

  25. Chelsea says

    My (Christian) parents divorced after 25 years of marriage a few months ago. Facebook is much to blame for the destruction of their marriage, and my husband and I have decided to put up hedges to protect our marriage. We have agreed to only post PUBLIC messages on facebook with people of the opposite sex. No private messages whatsoever. If either of us ever receives private messages from someone of the opposite sex, we disclose it to the other. We also have each other's username and password.

    While I don't think every woman needs to only be friends with women on facebook, I have a lot of respect for you for deleting your guy friends and putting your marriage first.

  26. Christy says

    That's how I have felt all along. I felt a little hesitant at first to ignore friend requests from those friends from high school and men from church but it got easier. :) I just thought that either they were just curious (or nosy) about what was going on in my life or, more likely, they were just adding any name they were familiar with so they had lots of "friends". I don't have any of my girl friends' husbands as friends either. I'm very careful about my relationships with any man other than family. It's a hedge that I put up a long time ago in real life, so it's only natural to use it in the eworld too. On the other hand, my dh is the person who doesn't want to offend anyone and accepts almost every friend request he gets.

  27. The Working Home Keeper says

    I'm not on facebook. I have thought about joining for the coupon offers I see posted at blogs. But then I think, it's not really worth it. And your post confirmed that!

    A few months ago, I ended a friendship with a male co-worker. We would go to lunch together often and talk about work, family and common interests. While nothing inapproriate ever happened, I felt it was best not to put myself in a position where something could. Part of me feels bad for ending the friendship. But a larger part of me feels that it was the right thing to do.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  28. Amanda says

    I personally am not going to delete my facebook guy freinds… but mostly cause I dont really use facebook that much and dont follow others and dont update much so for me, there is NOT that tempation there!! BUT!! That being said… I LOVE the premise behind this and love that you are willing to do what the Holy Spirit has convicted you of and LOVE that woman are drawing a line in the sand between relationships that *might* and might not be healthy for Christian men and women. (talk about run on sentence!)

    Well done!
    Amanda

  29. Messy Craftster says

    Excellent post!!! I read through the responses and something that stood out for me is that the commenters all were like "Oh I'm okay because my DH knows", and "there are only older / younger men" or "I only have 'brotherly' relationships" etc etc. I'm not intending to bash anyone here but just want to add something to think about … What if you are feeling brotherly but that man is taking your comments and chats differently and is building an emotional attachment that isn't there for you? What you may deem as innocent could be causing harm to someone else's relationship. Younger, older and married men are all susceptible to this.

    Maybe their wife is jealous of your 'friendly' conversations with her DH, even if you are friends with her – odds are you wouldnt know it until it had bubbled over outside of their home.

    I think it is about modesty and gaurding your heart, your DH's heart AND their hearts. Of course, you can't walk around in a bubble but you can live your life in a way that tries to guard where it can.

    Again, it is not my intention to attack nyones comments or say tey are wron gfor how they approach this issue, I just want to add a possibility one might not think of.

  30. Anonymous says

    I deleted my facebook account over 6 months ago and I'm so glad that I did. Most of what I read on there, I really didn't want or need to know. Don't miss it AT ALL!!!

  31. Amber@ClassicHousewife says

    Spot on!!
    From the beginning I was very careful about who I added.. I didn't add but a very few carefully selected men from church (for example, my pastor, because he shares links and stuff to things he writes, but not the husbands of my female church friends because even in real life I don't feel the need -or appropriateness- of making friends with them more than on a very basic basic level.) I didn't even add all of the people from high school if I didn't know them that well. And then a while back I felt the need to cull that back a bit more and I deleted some more of those high school friendships and some lighter acquaintance friendships (men and women both.) It's important not to forget and let Facebook (or anything online) become surreal and disconnected and get lazy with our attitudes and behaviors. We still need to glorify God!
    One more thing I did, I do still have few male FB friends but I have chat turned off. When I turn it on I have a specific list of friends and family members I created that I can turn on and still be offline to everyone else. I don't chat or message with other guys on Facebook. My husband knows how choosy I am about friending people and he knows that I always have chat turned off. I don't want to ever create a situation where he was to worry what I'm doing secretly where he can't see. What he sees on my FB page is all there IS to see and everyone can see it and keep me accountable.

  32. Anonymous says

    Thankyou for posting this! I think it is an issue that needs to be talked about. I deleted my FB over a year ago. It was hard, but I really felt the Lord telling me to delete it. I knew too much about people-people from my church I didn't know very well, I feel like its almost like gossip. I know marriages are being torn apart. I know someone personally who is very addicted and has had emotional affairs. Though it was nice talking to my friends and seeing what everyone was up too, I see the devil using it more for his schemes. You are smart deleting your guy friends. You do have to be careful b/c when you think things are "ok" and "innocent" it can turn into something else before you know it.
    Love your blog, Courntey!!!

  33. TerriG says

    Courtney:

    Your blog name says it all. "Women Living Well". This post reflects your desire for others to experience that. When I used to be on facebook I was constantly being 'vexed' by inappropriate comments. I had always felt awkward when I received friend requests from guys. My worldly and 'Christian' friends boasting of their latest indiscretions was too much for me to bear. My heart was burdened for them. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

    This was a very important post, but you have touched the Golden Calf. Try encouraging a facebook fast and see how many people disagree.

    Keep posting, you have a beautiful way of saying things

  34. Brandy @ Brandy's Brood says

    Absolutely LOVE this post. My husband and I get a LOT of slack from people for the way we handle things online. He always asks permission to follow certain females on Twitter before following them … and I do the same about males. He never emails another lady without having me read it first AND sending me a copy … and I do the same about any males I may need to email.

    Even though we both know each others passwords and are completely open about what's going on online!

    When he was on FB, we did the same thing. No one of the opposite gender was friended unless the other knew about it. And if it was someone of the past, we told each other of that past first too.

    Then he decided to leave FB. And I began to wonder WHY some of these people were on my friends list (male and female), so I started cleaning stuff up. Even though Jason knows my password and can access my FB at any time, I just don't feel comfortable having ANY male on my friends list if they're not family.

    It's been hard. I've gotten refriend requests … and I've gotten messages (some a little nasty) … but I just have to ignore them.

  35. Anonymous says

    On the topic of the purity of a wife’s thought life, it’s my opinion that Love and Respect Ministries is better described as part of the problem than as part of the solution.

    The teaching coming out of Love and Respect Ministries does a great job of explaining to wives the importance of meeting their husbands’ sexual needs. But there is no corresponding counsel to husbands about wives’ sexual needs. This leaves wives vulnerable to temptation.

    I Corinthians 7:4 reads: The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

    Where – in any of Emerson Eggerichs’ five books on marriage – is the second half of this verse taught?

    Is a wife responsible before God in the face of incomplete teaching to her husband? Of course! But how much better it would be if a marriage ministry like Love and Respect taught the complete counsel of Scripture!

  36. Sharon Wang says

    What a great topic to post on! I have not heard this topic addressed anywhere else so far. Courtney, thanks once again for addressing the hard issues that so many shy away from.

    I cancelled my facebook account a couple of years ago simply because of the time I wasted on it, "stalking" people I never even talked to! (I also seemed to be picking up a lot of viruses while I was on there). Closing my account was the right decision for me and I honestly don't miss being on there.

    Mary Ellen: I did create a facebook account that I use to get coupons from companies, but I used a new email address that nobody who knows me has and I created my user name out of that email address, which doesn't include any part of my real name. So there is no way I'll get a friend request from anyone I know (and I don't believe I've gotten a request from any strangers either).

    I also left all the profile information blank. So I have zero friends on that account and only use it to "like" companies to get coupons, which means I only log on for a few minutes a few times a week. It has worked great for me.

    P.S. If a company asks for personal information, such as my name, address etc to mail out a coupon, I never give it to them. I just bypass that offer.

  37. erin says

    Courtney, thank you very much for this great post. It really spoke to my heart. Although I do not personally struggle with FB relationships or appropriate content, I know some friends who have had the very same struggles you mentioned–particularly re-kindled feelings for exes. I think it's so important to be ever-vigilant with the choices we make regarding what we put out there on FB as well as what we let in. I loved your suggested guideline of "pastor-approval" prior to posting! Thanks again!

  38. Sarah beth says

    What a great post Courtney!!!

    I actually disconnected my fb for awhile, it was really hard to see all the drama started to stir and seeing what ppl would write. It would drain me. I connected my fb again and had to delete alot of ppl. I am a private person and when I do spend sometime online I want to be lifted up and not see filth~

    I love your question!

  39. {esther} says

    Courtney,

    LOVE THE POST! My husband and I both have had FB accounts for several years now. My husband never got on his most of the time, and well…we chose to combine our accounts! It's been like this for about a year now. {Hubby still isn't on it much, hardly ever leaves a status, but he and I both feel very comfortable with combining the accounts.}

    I hardly ever communicate with any males, only family. I don't want to stumble nor do I want my brothers in Christ to either!

    Again, LOVE the post!
    Our Simple Country Life

  40. P31 Mom says

    I love this and there is lots of great advice.. The only thing I would do different is tell the men why I'm defriending them! I don't think I'd feel comfortable with hurting their feelings. I'd worry that they thought, that I thought they had done something inappropriate, which is probably not the problem:(

    BTW, I'm more likely to talk to someone of Facebook than at church. I'm rather shy, and it's easier on FB for me…not to mention it's quicker than talking in person and I'm home 24/7 with the kids so it's convenient.

    Thankfully, my husband and I are safe about ex's, lol. My husband never dated any other girl and I had only 1 other "boyfriend" for 2 weeks and we never went on a date!

  41. Anonymous says

    I have to say I respectfully disagree with unfriending men on facebook and I honestly have never seen so much drama as I have here in this post! I love hearing about my old and new friends', male and female, lives. I congratulate them on new babies, marriages, moves, promotions. Maybe I only have nice friends as I don't, in my 200+ friends, ever feel tempted, insulted, hurt, sinful by people's posts. Maybe my personal filter, my intelligent brain, lets me know what to take to heart and what to pass over.
    I don't understand why women can't have men who are friends or at least acknowledge that men exist in society! If you are at a party, a church gathering, a school function and a man you know begins a conversation with you, do you turn and walk away for fear of being tempted? I think God also gave us another trait…self-control. I am seeing posts here where men are being defined as being unable to control their lust. I guess I married a good one because I have never seen him chase every (or any) women that might tempt him. It almost seems at times that men are viewed as animals, unable to control their need for sex. I have no problem with my hubby talking to, in person or on facebook, with another female nor does he have the reverse. More than likely, if one of us where chatting or posting with a friend, male or female, the other would be listening to the posts read aloud and would add their own quips! I think my husband is completly in control of his "lust"…he has self-control as do I and therefore we can trust each other.

  42. Christy says

    My husband and I just talked about this same thing! These guys keep asking to be my friend that I don't even talk to very much. I have ignored some but I have also created a "limited profile" where they barely see anything, just as a protective wall. Good for you for staying strong!

  43. kimmya says

    Thank you Courtney for following your conviction on this and not judging others who dont feel the exact same way! I dont think any of us can deny that fb can be a tool used to destroy relationships and can also be a huge time waster! Although I dont feel led right now to unfriend all my male friends I did unfriend males that I had close relationships with in the past..they probably wont even notice as I didnt converse with them at all in general but I felt it was the wise thing to do for me. And I would hope my husband would do the same if he had a personal page. However I loooove FB in general as a social networking tool when I plan socials and it has been so useful to me when I want to get to know someone outside of my own little neighborhood…I have friends (female) on there from all over the world who I would love to meet in real life one day. I have no guilt now over any comments I've made or any friends I have however I will now be open to the spirit and willing to obey if it comes down to unfriending anyone-male or female. Thanks for your honesy girl:)

  44. Joy Eggerichs says

    To Anonymous:

    I've noticed you have brought up my father's book a number of times on this site and his lack of teaching "all of scripture." You are fully entitled to hold that opinion and I admire your passion on the topic.

    My assumption would be that you have not read all of my father's books and attended a conference. It is my belief that my father covers this and is one of the most fair and balanced teachers on what scripture addresses. He does cover this verse.

    As a woman who has looked at research and scripture, it seems that on a whole more men struggle in the area of sexuality and their need for sexual release. Scripture calls out men more than women on their need to be careful sexually. Must we both be pure sexually before and in marriage? Yes. Must we both be fair sexually in marriage? Yes. My father has never preached anything other than that.

    The reason he addresses a man's need for sexual release is because the book seeks to unpack how God has designed men and women differently. The book then addresses the importance of meeting your spouses greatest needs. Just because my father is saying something is generally more of a consistent need for men does not mean that he is saying something against women. I would assume that as an intellectual and someone who can look at a big picture, you would see that too.

    But at the end of the day, we are all entitled to interpret books, scripture and science how we desire. I agree with what you are saying and I know my father does too. I think you have misjudged him a bit, but that is totally up to you. Again, I admire your passion for justice and equality and making sure women are not put into some type of vulnerable situation.

    I can speak for all of Love and Respect when I say that we strive to empower women.

    Respectfully,

    Joy Eggerichs

  45. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    Anonymous #2 – I did not say in this post we all should delete our male friends – I said "I" decided to delete my male friends.

    There is no condemnation in this post only a word of caution. I am sure that every single marriage that has been broken as a result of facebook never saw it coming.

    No one intends on getting too close to a friend's husband or past friend from highschool…but it happens.

    Since you know that all of your relationships are on the up and up – this post was not for you. This post is for your Christian sister who right now is in the middle of the beginning of something that she knows is wrong…and maybe needs to fix before it's too late.

    So let's encourage her to be cautious together…let's root for strong families so we can raise a strong generation of children who will carry the rod of faith to the next generation!

    Much Love,
    Courtney

  46. Darlene Schacht says

    Hey, I found this "Ask Joy" online the other day. She's so entertaining. I love it!! So true about our imaginations and getting out of control. It's such a dangerous slope.

  47. Anonymous says

    Two questions:

    1) Does your husband have a facebook?

    2) Does he have non-nonrelated female friends in his "friends" list?

    Just curious…

    For the record, I'ce had an account since I first started, when it was for college students or alumni only.

    Since they allowed anyone to join, I deactivate dmy account.

    So, I fully understand about unecessary drama that can occur as a result of someone who chooss to use facebook in a negative way.

  48. Ann@StringerMama says

    Wow! What a great post! To be honest, I've never really thought about it as it pertains to ME! However, I do have a friend who is thinking about ending her relationship with her husband due to rekindling a flame on facebook. It's sooo sad! Thanks for helping me put up my guard when it comes to facebook friends!

  49. CJ says

    I have a FB account that I don't tell anyone about. My husband and children know about it but they are not my friends. I used to belong to a tight knit online community of scrapbookers that closed the doors just over a year ago. I am on FB solely to keep in touch with those sweet ladies. I am not friends with anyone of the male persuasion. My husband has a FB account, mostly to keep track of our kids – he is not friends with any females unless they are relatives. Both of our college aged children know that we check in on their FB pages regularly. All about accountability!

  50. Mr. and Mrs. Smith says

    I don't mind my husband having other women on Facebook, but I do ask him who they are and how he knows them. He does the same when I add a new male friend. However, my husband and I decided not to "friend" anyone that we used to date.

  51. Anonymous says

    Being unfriended can be quite hurtful, especially if it is just because of an unchosen characteristic such as age or gender. With my husband's knowledge, I have kept in touch with close friends of any marital status or sex. Now that I am widowed, having these relationships continues to be comforting and appropriate. Of course I avoid private messaging or other communication that could be misunderstood.

  52. Kim says

    That was good! A friend of mine lives outside of KC and has a husband and wife law team as neighbors…they say 95% of their divorces right now are because of Facebook…wow. Satan's job is to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY and he'll do what ever he can and he'll use what ever he can to do that. It's been very difficult for me but over a year ago at the direction of the Lord, I deleted my Facebook account…I still struggle with it at times since everyone is on there but I know that the Holy Spirit wanted me to leave for a reason so I trust Him. Thanks for doing this post…it is MUCH needed.

  53. Ashley says

    My parents found a great solution for the problem of people of the opposite gender friending them on facebook. They made a joint account. I've seen others do this as well and it seems to be very effective. Both husband and wife can see everything on the account and many times choose together which friend requests they accept. Just an idea…

  54. Mrs. U says

    Excellent post and I am sharing it with many others!!

    Me? I'm not on FB. My husband, son and I are the only ones I know of NOT on FB!! Oh my!! Everyone keeps telling us we're missing out but then I read a post like this! Oh my!

    His,
    Mrs. U

  55. Anonymous says

    Thanks so much for this post! My friends who do facebook don't understand why my husband and I don't. My husband feel it is a danger to married relationships. Myself, personally, it is not important to me because I don't have time for it, and I really am not interested in what people I knew 20 or 30 years ago are doing now!

    I wish others would think about this before it is too late.

  56. Kenna says

    I had a similar problem and became very guarded about facebook and updates. We have the additional issue of OPSEC (operational security) with the military regarding. It became easy to delete friends that made my news feed difficult to read. I also only friend men who are also friends with my husband so he can also read their posts and only after I ask his permission. It is something we can both agree on. We did discuss it and he is not friends with women if they are really only my friend, say in a couple. The other way we keep this area free of conflict is by letting each other know our passwords. Thanks for the great post.

  57. Love Bears All Things says

    I admire you for this post and for taking the action you did…there is also the gossip that might result from conversations with friends on facebook even if innocent.
    I have ignored friend requests from acquaintances and relatives..I go on facebook to read about the lives of my son and his family, my 3 grandchildren. When I want to comment or send a message I make it private…I have already heard of one person reconnecting with an old girl friend, starting a relationship and marrying…He was already divorced…I fear that will not be the case with others…I think Facebook gives some men the courage to act on impulses and feelings they might not act on in person, women too, of course.
    Good for you,
    Mama Bear

  58. Stephanie says

    I have to say that I've never really thought about FB in terms of re-kindling relationships or whether my being friends with other married men is appropriate or not. I guess because I'm an MK (missionary's kid) who knows a lot of people (many of my "friends" are pastors my dad and grandpa's age who supported our family while on the mission field), I have a lot of friends of both genders. There are only a few males who I comment on regularly or who comment on my posts regularly and they are usually previous teachers of mine from when I lived in Brazil or friends I grew up with in Brazil or mutual friends of my husband and I. My mom and grandma and other aunts and uncles are also my friends on FB. My dad is my pastor and he uses my mom's FB account. I can definitely say that I wouldn't look back and take anything off my FB because at the first sign of anything inappropriate, my mom would let me know! lol. I do agree that it can be a tool used by Satan though and I have unfriended some people due to the simple fact that I got tired of their statuses coming up with inappropriate things. I'm on there the stay in touch with old friends and my family who lives all over the US. My husband has an account but never really puts anything up on it. He gets on and looks at his friends but never posts comments to them or even to me! I wish he would. He would let me know if any of the men I'm friends with bothered him as would I let him know. It's definitely something you have to be careful with but also not go to extremes if there is no need for it. I do not feel that there is a need in my life to delete all my male friends as most of them are also friends with my mom. I enjoyed reading this post though and appreciate your insight and where your heart is. You really do show a heart of love towards other women and set a wonderful example of living a Godly life! I look forward to reading all your blog posts! And I follow you on FB!!! :)

  59. Karen says

    AMEN, AMEN and AMEN!!! I have been saying this exact thing for over a year now! I deleted my account all together about 6 mo ago too, it just wasn't worth the problems I saw it causing in relationships of all sexes and ages. The comparing, the jealousy, the "clicks", it all felt so high school ish!

    Anyway, THANK YOU for posting this !!!

  60. Lea H says

    I totally agree. Since I joined a couple of years ago, I don't accept friend requests from any men at all, even cousins :) Only man on my list is my husband! :D

  61. Tara O says

    I am so proud of you for posting this! This was my rule when I first opened my FB account…only family members. That's still true for the most part but I deeply hurt someone and decided that I could have a discerning mind when it came to accepting male friends as FB friends. I have very few male friends who are NOT family. I have one male friend, who was an old neighbor in Germany, that emails me privately through FB because his command of the English language embarrasses him. Pat can check my email or FB accounts anytime he wishes. He has the passwords. I also discussed the situation with my husband and he said he didn't care if I had male friends on FB. He also told me he felt it wasn't worth hurting a friend over and to please add that friend.

  62. Renee C. says

    My husband and I both have a facebook account, and have friends both male and female. We know each other's password (they are both the same-lol), and talk about our friends requests. We are also friends with each other's best friends and their spouses, and haven't had any problems so far. I know personally that when talking with them I make sure that I comment in a way that what I say won't be taken the wrong way.

    What blows my mind sometimes, are the status updates and comments of good friends of mine from high school. I had to block one friend of mine because everything she said was so sexual in nature and frankly just disgusting. I didn't need to know about her and her husband every time they had sex and what they did! What shocked me was that their children were friends of theirs on facebook, and I can't imagine what they think when they read that garbage about their parents! If it embarrasses me to read it them I'm sure it embarrasses them too. Such a shame.

  63. Jan at Jewelry4Change says

    This is a very interesting post. I have been very selective who I 'friended' from the start. Even so, I've unfriended a couple of people because of posts I saw on their sites which I felt were inappropriate. This brings to mind a song I learned when I was very young, "… be careful little eyes what you see…"

  64. Anonymous says

    Im not on facebook.I think its a tool that can open doors that are meant to be shut. My husband hasn't got an account either.

  65. Anonymous says

    As a married women I believe its not wise to have male friends.no one is beyond tempation and boundaries need to be in place. Just because God didn say it doesn't make it right. Proverbs says can a man take coal in his bosom n not be burned? Boundaries that word that people dislike.boundaries are there to protect.God placed adam n eve in a garden which shows boundaries. Each one will have to decide for themselves.

  66. Amber says

    I did the exact same thing, Courtney. It was a very difficult decision. Recently, God convicted me of giving up my fb page all together. I have experienced scrunity over it but my relationship with God comes first. It was amazing how much more time I have to spend with God and my family! Thanks for addressing issues most people would not. God bless you, sis.

  67. Anonymous says

    Facebook can definitely be a blessing or a curse, depending on how it is used. While I have some Facebook friends who are men (friends of mine in real life as well), I have also declined friendships with ex-boyfriends and guys that I do not know very well. When someone asks to be my friend, I always ask myself two questions before I accept. #1: Am I close enough friends with this person in real life that I want them to have access to my pictures and personal details? #2: What is the reason this person wants to be my "friend" on Facebook? If they are just being nosy, I decline. But if it is someone I truly wish to re-connect with, I will accept and immediately send them a private message instead of just "facebook stalking" them. I have been truly inspired and blessed by some of my Christian friends on Facebook, learning about good books to read or how to integrate a quiet time into my routine. I try to use my status updates to keep family and friends informed ("…still not in labor yet!") or to inspire them as well ("thanking God for this beautiful day and all His blessings!")

  68. Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy says

    I understand where you're coming from, although I've never thought of it in that way. I think of FB as real life in microcosm in some ways. For example, if I know someone in real life (guy or girl), there's no reason why I shouldn't be their friend on FB. I'm thinking of the guys I am "friends" with on FB and most of them I know IRL and have very casual friendships with them (conversations at church mostly). We have the same kind of relationship on FB – an occasional passing comment on a picture or status but that's it. OR they are my overseas friends that i wouldn't keep in touch with otherwise and FB provides a way for us to keep each other in the loop as far as how many kids we have and what we're up to. My DH and I are friends on FB and we see everything that goes up on each other's walls (plus we have open access to each other's email addresses), so there is that accountability (which makes a difference in your situation). I think the question is more of what are you doing/how are you interacting with your FB friends than who they are (guy or girl).

  69. Susan says

    Thank-you, Courtney, for this post. I am a pastor's wife with friends and family scattered throughout N. America & Europe. I signed up with FB to keep in touch with a few of them. I was shocked to find about 70 'friend' requests within the first couple of hours, but what disturbed me even more was the fact that guys from our church were signing up to follow me on FB! Why? Why would they be interested in the posts of someone who seeks to live a quiet home-life, trying to serve the needs of her husband and six (home-schooled)children? I felt bad 'ignoring' them, but I felt even more uncomfortable befriending them, so I just deactivated my page! No regrets!! I realize that many of the ladies writing posts today indicate that their male friends are 'close' friends and have been filtered. Sadly, Satan rarely uses some gorgeous, indiscreet, inappropriate blast-from-the-past to ensnare godly women – it's usually a respectable, 'godly', close friend with whom you begin sharing things. "Keep your heart with all diligence". Courtney is alerting us to the dangers of FB…let's listen and internalize the sisterly warning. Let's spend more time praying about this issue, and less time justifying to strangers why it's ok for you to have them.
    In love…

  70. Claire says

    "If the pastor of my church put up on a large screen for the whole church to see – my friends, status updates, comments, and photos – is there anything I would be embarrassed of?"

    I think that of all my online things, and I think it's a really wise check to do.

    YSIC,
    Cxx

  71. Anonymous says

    I have had two FB accounts. I deleted the first one because of the very things you mention. A girl friend I had known since grade school 'friended' me. She is married with children now. Next thing I knew, she was telling me she was coming back to our hometown (sans her husband) to visit old friends that she had reconnected with. Oh cool! The person she came to visit was an old boyfriend. OH! NOT COOL! This old boyfriend, now married with children too, sends me a note saying he can't wait to see SO AND SO and how he wishes he could go back, because he would have chosen her. I deleted my account. Almost a year later I created a second account. It is MUCH different this go around. I have a note on it that says, "Gentlemen, if you would like to be my friend, would you ask my husband to be your friend as well? I will respectfully extend the courtesy to your wives. Blessings!" My husband and I also have each others passwords to access each others accounts. We must build hedges to protect our marriages. No one else is going to do it for us.

  72. Dianne says

    I am not a facebook user (for all the reasons you stated- I don't need any help getting into trouble- my life is already busy enough!), but my husband is and has several "girl" friends. He has given me an open door to have the freedom to look through his friends and delete anyone I don't feel comfortable with, read all his posts and anything else regarding facebook. I even message some of my friends using his account since I don't have my own. My 16 year old son recently got his own and already feels uncomfortable that there are girls who are so quick to "friend" him and are so flirty. He has denied and even blocked some girls he perceives would be a problem. I have to confess: I would have a hard time doing what he is doing, but that's why I don't have my own account. He has very high standards and told me the other day that when he gets married, he's probably going to delete his account because he doesn't feel it would be very respectful to his wife to have women commenting on his status and messaging him.

  73. cindy says

    Wow sis…this is an amazing NEEDED post!!! Listen Ladies Courtney is not telling us to delete male friends or to NOT have a facebook she is simply making it aware that it can be and is a very serious problem for many people both men and women alike. I have been on Facebook for awhile now and have seen the evil it can and DOES cause if not careful. This as with anything else needs to be guarded and used carefully friends there is a very real danger and a VERY REAL ENEMY LURKING WAITING TO DEVOUR AND DESTROY and will use any means in order to do so and he knows our weaknesses so if we are oblivious to the fact that facebook can be dangerous it may just creep in without you even being aware of what is going on. I love facebook however if not careful it can be used in damaging ways I have seen slander, gossiping, inappropriate items and so on so it is indeed a GREAT REMINDER Courtney and too she said she has for HERSELF decided to take men off she DID NOT suggest we ALL do the same I have read and reread this post several times and find no condemnation if one feels this way search deep into your hearts is it condemnation your feeling or CONVICTION SOMETHING TO PONDER and if not for you then great take it as a WARNING and just becareful that's all I believe my sis in Christ is trying to say. I also council many of friends whom this is a serious issue for so the WARNING is a needed warning!! Thanks for the post Courtney and KEEP WALKING WITH THE KING!!!

    In His Grip,
    Cindy

  74. Becky @ Ministry to Motherhood says

    I have facebook but I rarely post personal information and can honestly say there isn't one post that would embarrass me if it was posted in front of the church (and I'm not just saying that because I am the Pastor).

    I use facebook to keep in touch with people in my ministry, to provide links to my blog and as a way to keep in touch with long lost girlfriends from high school. As my husband doesn't have facebook my profile is friends with some of his friends (they know they have to contact him through me) and my husband has my password so he can go on and send messages when ever he feels like it. I think because we both 'share' the account it's a comfortable thing. There's no worry about it becoming inappropriate.

    Thank you for reminding us of this. It's something we all need to remember!

  75. Royalbird says

    I actually do believe that there is definitely a line one has to draw when it comes to social networking sites. I do have some male friends on FB but really limit my contact with them. I do love to see what former schoolmates are up to and who they married and what their children look like, etc. My husband and I are very open with our accounts with each other and at least I am careful to not post anything too intimate or personal about our family and home (he never posts anything, just checks on his friends). We are both friends with each other's former girlfriends and boyfriends, but we were that before FB even came about–no hard feelings anywhere all the way around.

  76. Lena says

    Great post! I decided not to be 'friends' on facebook with any guy friends too. There is a lot of emotional attachment that happens when we are not careful. Thank you for that video. I loved it.

  77. P31 Mom says

    Courtney,

    I was thinking more about my comment, and I hope it didn't sound critical. I really didn't intend for it to!

    Your blog warning was a much needed one. I've seen inappropriate stuff on FB between married folk…not married to each other:( Nothing *real* obvious, but my God-given discernment gave me a warning.

    However, what really solidified how important this message is, was the comments left by the readers. The ones confessing that FB HAS been a problem in their marriage and the ones who think they are above this causing problems in their marriage have alarmed me. I will never let my guard down for my marriage. Never.

    There are two reasons why I don't delete my account:
    1) My Good Morning Girls group is on there.
    2) My children have accounts.

    I'm not above sin or temptation and neither is my husband. I'm willing to guard it, even if it means deleting all men. Thank you for the warning.

  78. Kate says

    I've pondered this very question myself. My husband does not have facebook, but I am facebook friends with a LOT of his friends because that is how they connect with him….through me. I'm like acting secretary. While it hinders me being more personal, that in itself can be a blessing. It's easy to become too personal. I've had to hide facebook friends statuses because they were so incredibly personal, it was annoying or embarrassing.

  79. Sweet Apron says

    When I did have FB, my husband & I shared the account, our FB name being both of ours jammed together. However, I deleted the account almost a year ago as it became a time leech for me. I have seen A LOT of what I would call inappropriate banter among married friends, even my friends from church. "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says it all….

  80. Cricket @ Thrifty Texas Penny says

    Love it!
    I know many couples who share an account. It might be registered as "John Sarah Johnson". This way both are able to monitor all activities on the site. I think this is wonderful (wish I could talk my hubby into it) because this allows each person to post and say "Sarah's in labor, we're headed to the hospital" or "John's father just passed away, please pray" and both their friends would know. It rather amusing though when I see my friends like tons of sports pages, then the next day like a bunch of girly pages :-)

  81. Amy Walker says

    Great post! I never thought of that before. I don't interact with guys on facebook but it's definitely a good thing to be aware of and be on guard against! I try to use my personal facebook as little as possible and for communicating with girl friends, usually via messages, that use that as their main communication.

    Definitely definitely lots of food for thought! Thanks for sharing!

  82. Victoria says

    Amen and Amen! I don't have a FB account because I supervise people who use fb regularly and wanted to avoid anything awkward or unbusiness-like. My husband is a pastor and has an account, and we keep it clean and simple. God bless!

  83. Tracie W. Bauguess says

    This really hit home with me. Unfortunately, I fell to the temptation of a FaceBook relationship. I have been married for 11 years, but wasn't happy at the time. That relationship turned my world upside down. I lost my job, my respect, most of my friends, & almost my family. I am very happy to say that we are back on the right track & closer to God than ever before!

  84. Sweet Apron says

    Thank you again for this post. We have been discussing FB, etc. in my Bible stdy & I told the girls I would write a post called "What's Your Farmville?" Finished it tonight after reading all the comments you received. Thank you for speaking for your heart & for standing up for Truth.

  85. Anonymous says

    Those are some very wise words. I haven't had a problem with Facebook, but I did in real life. I had always thought that I wasn't prey to temptation, but then without my realizing it, I fell into an emotional affair (this was several years ago). I ended up telling my husband and cutting off contact with the man, but it was very, very hard and took a few years to completely get over. Please be on your guard, ladies. I never, ever thought such a thing was possible with me, and it just crept up. Build up hedges and guard your marriage!

  86. Anonymous says

    I am sorry but I find this to be the most upserd post you have ever written. It bothers me to think you are not strong enough to just say no in the first place. And also bugs me that you believe your husband would be bothered if you talked to another man. -.-

  87. Machele says

    Very good post, I must say that in the last 3 months I have deleted 200 people from my fb page. Men and women. I'm down to 104.
    At first it was a bunch of people from high school and anyone who wouldn't say "Hi" if I say them at Target lol! ;)
    But then I started deleting people who didn't make me feel good or happy when I saw their pics or post. It's sad but for me that was a bunch.
    But this last week I said farewell to about 100 after I read your post. One by one I went through my friend list (3-4 different times) when all was said and done I deleted all the men I had left on their except for relatives, mostly just a few of my friends husbands (who friend'ed me & their wives knew) and I also deleted a bunch of high school people just because I was tired of thinking of the past.
    I must say- when I see my friend list I am happy with it and feel like I am only sharing my life with people I want to.
    Thank you for your blog, I have learned so much and enjoy it very much.

  88. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    Anonymous who I just deleted -this is about your 5th time for you to post this same question here on my blog (including other posts) and I don't feel that it's beneficial to the discussion here any longer.

    Love and Respect has helped hundreds of thousands of marriages including mine. It is not meant to be the Bible – an answer to every single marriage question or problem out there.

    Dr. Emerson Eggerich wrote in his book what God laid on his heart to write. You obviously have a burden on your heart for a different area of marriage and so I want to encourage you to write a book or a blog and address these issues. I know it will help so many more than commenting here ever will.

    Your question is valid and you received an answer. I know you did not like the answer but I ask that you receive it and take this conversation elsewhere.

    If you want to talk about Facebook and Inappropriate relationships in this comment thread I'd love to hear your comments on that. So I am not asking you to not comment but rather to close the discussion on your issues with the Eggerich's.

    Thank you and God bless you,
    Courtney

  89. Anonymous says

    It’s your blog, and I’m glad to honor your request, Courtney.

    I have male Facebook “friends”, and I plan to continue to do so. However, I would never have as a Facebook “friend”, a man that I once dated or a man who had ever in any way set inappropriate boundaries in his conduct with me such as flirting, criticizing my husband, or expressing too much interest in my personal life, etc.

    Some of my Facebook “friends” occasionally post inappropriate things on their Facebook pages. I don’t hold myself responsible for their content. FWIW, graceless remarks about sin and social issues by Christian Facebook “friends” has been a bigger issue for me than inappropriate remarks by my unbelieving Facebook "friends".

    Personally, I think the world needs Christians who engage in the world and model appropriate boudaries, rather than retreating.

    But, like so many practical application questions, I think our answers will vary with our perspective on Christ and Culture. What does it mean to be in the world, but not of the world?

  90. Linds says

    this is a very interesting post – thanks for your thoughts on it! i am catholic and have been (very) strongly considering abstaining from facebook for lent…this post gave me more to pray on and consider!

    but what stood out to me most is that you deleted your pastors? isn't there (or shouldn't there be) a level of trust there between your pastor, you and your husband? or was it kind of like a 'not-family, not-friends, no-exceptions' decision?

  91. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    Linds – I did keep family but yes – it was a no exceptions decision. We have 12 pastors on staff – one was just fired in the last month for wrongful behavior – even pastors fall. They are only human.

  92. Anonymous says

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I deleted my FB account after falling prey to the temptation of old relationships. It nearly destroyed my marriage and family and I'm now working towards rebuilding the trust that I destroyed with my husband. NOT an easy thing to do! It also reminded me of the things I want my children to know about love and relationships. I don't want my teenagers making the same choices/mistakes I made. Having all that junk rise up again by getting involved with FB is just one more reason to keep your eyes and heart on Jesus…no one else! HE will guide and direct your steps, thoughts and choices.

  93. Layton Family Joy says

    Great post Courtney. I've been on facebook awhile – and friended old guy friends. Sure enough old boyfriends found me and I thought – "why not I'm happily married, etc." It wasn't but a few days later up pops a chat and "remember when" conversation was initiated on the other end.

    Rather than share a laugh – I didn't want to relive memories or feelings.

    I got offline – and deleted all my "male" friends (with the except of my dad and a cousin or two).

    I refuse to friend *any* male – common church friend or what not just for respect for my husband and the fact that I do not feel its appropriate to be wasting time online (homeschool mom here guarding her time is a must) chatting with the opposite sex – if its "harmless" or not.

    Who knows how satan will grow a weed – and even in the simplest form of seeking out friendships when my husband is busy or traveling – I'm giving my best to someone else.

    My husband deserves my time and attention.

  94. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    Sandra – I received your comment in my inbox but I don't see it here now -you may have deleted it – but thank you for what you shared – truly an eye opener. I'm so sorry :(
    Lots of Love,
    Courtney

  95. says

    WOW! When I saw your title on Kelly’s Korner I had to read! My husband and I decided several yrs ago not to do facebook. I think we are the only two out there anymore that don’t(maybe besides your husband, ha). We have soo many friends that have become quite addicted to it and can’t stay away. It’s even on there phones. I hardly have time to keep up with my photography blog, so I knew I didn’t need anything else.

    It’s been hard though because Facebook always seems to be the topic of conversations EVERYWHERE WE GO…including church!!!!!!!! Thanks for your post. I am now adding you to my blog list. :)

  96. Jamie says

    This reminds me of the old childhood phrase “but… HE MADE ME DO IT.”
    Facebook isn’t to blame for inappropriate behaviour… the USER is. If a person cannot interact on social media without having an affair, clearly there’s something wrong with their marriage… it’s not FB’s fault, it is theirs and theirs alone. It’s time for people to take responsibility for their actions, instead of finding a scapegoat.
    I understand the concept of deleting people who are inappropriate, but this shouldn’t be gender specific. If you can’t have friends of the opposite gender, perhaps you should really take a good look at yourself and your marriage and ask “why not?”

  97. meghann says

    I don’t understand how if you are a person of confidence in yourself, God, and your relationship with your partner you can have a problem with anything in life. Life is made of choices, of course, and if you choose to partake in any activity, social media being one of millions, then you, as a responsible adult, have a duty to act accordingly. I think it speaks volumes about the state of your life and relationships that you cannot handle connecting with men in any capacity on social media sites. If you feel someone has said or commented inappropriately, you let them know. Facebook has been a most wonderful connecting tool and just as in life, you come across situations in which you must maneuver carefully and diplomatically. Going to the extreme and deleting all men (except relatives- very important note there) is indicative of many other extremist views taken in the name of religion. I am a Christian. I am a woman. I am my own woman. I know who I am, what I believe in, and who I allow into my life. Perhaps the lesson here is not how to push the delete button or hope for a “kind” husband who doesn’t forbid things- perhaps it is to get some gumption in your life and run it appropriately and respectfully among the real world. My status’ are a reflection of me and my goings on day to day- nothing scary or crazy – what in the world were yours? May God keep you and protect you…..and give you direction.

    • says

      I am not the person you described in your first sentence. I do not have confidence in myself – I humbly admit I am a sinner and capable of falling into every heineous sin there is. David a man after God’s own heart – fell for Bathsheeba and murdered a man. I only did this as a safe guard as I wrote here:

      “Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8) and I am fresh meat he’d just love to get his hands on! And I want to be “alert” and “on guard“. I am aware that I am a sinful human who is capable of being tempted and falling. I do not want to leave any known cracks in my life where he can sneak in.”

      I hope you will accept that I humbly share this with other women – in case they are not being on guard. I have watched marriages break apart due to the rekindling of an old flame on facebook. This post is not for you – as you have showed in your comment that you are strong and have no fear of falling – but we must be aware that some are weaker in some areas than others and we can encourage them to be mindful.

      I have received emails from ladies after this post telling me that they indeed were having emotional affairs on Facebook…so this is real and if me sharing this saves just one or more marriages (but catches flack from others) – it’s worth it.

      Much Love,
      Courtney

      • meghann says

        I wish you well on your journey for truth and confidence in your life. I hope that you do not hide behind the words of the Lord, but rather embrace them and become strong. We are all apt to fall and I have in the past, but you learn, you grow and you try never to forget who you are at your core. Not who you pastor thinks you are, not who your husband thinks you are or your girlfriends. The people who have emotional or physical affairs may need to look at the relationships they are in and seek help to either fix the situation or move on. What they are doing is a symptom of a much bigger problem.

        Life is short and beautiful- we shouldn’t waste it by being scared. That, I think, Daniel would agree with.

        Good Luck on your journey,
        Megs

  98. Carol Chastain says

    SO this is an issue that I have been convicted about for a while….My rule that I have stuck by is….no ex boyfriends! Period. and I am not friends with someone that my Husband is friends with…If He needs to know something he can ask my Husband! I am not friends with any of my girlfriends Husbands..and/or Boyfriends…again, if they need to know something about me they can ask their wives or girlfriends! After reading this I was convicted to go “unfriend” (as mean as it sounds) all male friends except for family. Not because I am worried about emotional affair or worse but because I want to live a life above reproach….I would hate for someone to stumble on account of me. I am encouraged by your ministry. Thanking God for godly women, Carol C.

  99. says

    Inappropriate relationships are a long way down the line from your average diversion off the path to finding your carefully chosen Mr Right. It’s like thinking you’ll just pop out to the shops in London and ending up in Macclesfield instead. Mr Inappropriate will be your teacher, your mentor, or your dad’s best friend. As such, he’ll never slip under the radar as a Mr Right Now or even your bog-standard badly chosen Mr Wrong, something to chalk up to experience before you move on.
    computer hardware store

  100. says

    This is spot-on. I completely agree, thank you for sharing. I’ve been in this EXACT situation that she is describing and it DOES happen.

    Cassandra @ The Unplugged Family

  101. Sarah says

    I LOVE this post! Your story is very similar to mine! When I first was on fb on friended anyone that asked, including past boyfriends. My husband, who does not use fb, was not happy. Out of respect for him I deleted any guy who wasn’t a relative or a mutual friend that he was okay with me being friends with. After more thought and prayer, I realized how right my husband was!!! Why did I need to be friends with these guys? I didn’t! It only opens doors that shouldn’t be opened and the enemy only needs it opened a crack to sneak in and destroy!! These friendships may seem harmless, but the enemy will use them to his advantage!! I pray more woman begin to realize this!!

  102. Veletta says

    Thanks for your insight. If you don’t mind I am borrowing some of your wisdom for my fb page:). I have both male and female friends. Most of my male friends are either former students or youth group members, my daughters friends, my husbands or my real friends. My pastor is both my real and fb friend, along with his wife. I agree we need to be careful who we friend and what we say.

  103. Hannah says

    Hi! Thanks so much for your post! I am 18 and single, and when I asked my dad if I could get Face Book, we both decided it would be best for me to just have girls for friends, with the exception of married guys and guy relatives. Now, I know this is different from what you and your husband decided and I totally respect that! But for me in my situation, I have been SO blessed by our decision, as it has kept me from the temptations of flirting and acting inappropriately with single guys…. Until I read your post, I thought I was the only one with this strange way of thinking! Lol. Thanks again =) Hannah Joy

  104. Anonymous says

    My husband and I were just like most of you, where we each had our own pages and were open with each other about access to our accounts and who we were friends with. Within a few months of signing up, he had started chatting with other women thru game chatrooms and messaging. I caught him, because he gave his cell # to one and they texted each other for about a month and he ran up the texts on our bill. The extra cost got my attention, and I soon learned he was all kinds of dishonest behind my back. We took a “Love and Respect” class and studied the book together and rebuilt trust in our marriage for two years after that painful experience. Then he got laid off and we were facing forclosure on our house. I worked hard to respect him and show him affirmation and love during this difficult time, so he would know how much I loved him. Then he finally found a decent job that kept him working locally so he could come home every night. I was grateful and thought he was too… I thought after all that and the effort we were putting into our marriage he had changed and we were okay… That is, until one of my local “friends” who he was also becoming friends with (only in my presence) decided she liked my husband better than hers and she started texting him after she got his phone number by asking him to take our picture (her and me) on his phone and text it to her. I caught them from the cell phone bill the next month and confronted both of them and then she started FB “messaging” him behind my back and he was happy to participate because he was a selfish boy in a mans body with no self respect or self love. I foolishly trusted my husband of 15 years to honor our marriage vows since he promised not to talk to her again. I was in denial that my “friend” would hurt me, until I discovered they had started seeing each other after our confrontation and that they had sex less than one month later. They had to use Facebook to communicate to avoid me finding out. I had no way to track it or know about it, unless I had checked his FB several times a day before he’d delete his messages, which obviously, I didn’t do that. My husband didn’t even change his password during their “messaging” phase and I didn’t notice what was happening, because I didn’t check up on him all the time, since I work and have three kids to take care of and didn’t want to be a spy in my marriage. I needed to trust him and I did, even though I knew something was up. Don’t be naive. NO ONE IS IMMUNE.
    He left us the day I found out (I looked at his phone and read the FB messages about the night before while he was taking a nap on the couch (I had an uneasy feeling, which is why I looked)) and while he was gone, she started making comments all over his FB page and on our kids’ pictures and noting the places they were going together, so their affair was now very public and humiliating to our family, (thanks to FB and the childlike qualities it brings out of people). A month after he left us, he realized what he had done (finally) and he tried to kill himself but he couldn’t do it (thank you Jesus!!!), so instead he kicked her out of his life permanently and I chose to try to save my marriage and try to forgive him, once again. He voluntarily deleted his FB account (I never even suggested it) and he no longer wants anything to do with it ever again. Since then, I also deleted my FB account and life is so much better without it. My lesson learned: Trust no one. Everyone is a sinner and sin they will if that is their desire. Desires can change, people can change. FB is a petri dish for relational disasters.
    The good news is, from this horrible nightmare in my life, my husband was saved by our amazing Lord and Savior Jesus and is now (finally) learning to take a leadership role in our family as well as at church with the mens group. He is completely changing from the inside and is still changing everything about himself because he is so heartbroken from what he did to our family. He is learning what it means to truely love someone. It has been a little over a year now since he’s been home again. It was a blessing in a big way, but it came with a VERY painful, hefty price tag. FB is not worth it. It is an addiction. I challenge everyone to try to drop FB for just one month. See how hard the first couple of weeks are, then see how it gets easier. It’s like quitting smoking. It’s always tempting to go back, because you hear about it everywhere, but when you’ve been burned, it’s a lot easier to stay away.
    My marriage will never be the same again. That is a good thing because it was not always the best of marriages (it felt so one-sided for a long time), but then again, it will always hurt me deeply that this happened and he will always hurt from it too. Don’t let temptation into your house if you can control it. Facebook is not a good place to hang out and is avoidable. If people want to be in your life, they will make an effort to be there. If FB is the only way they’ll connect with you, then the quality of your relationship should be seriously looked at by you. Have some self love and respect. You don’t need FB to find affirmation in your life.

    We have discussed the future. Our kids will eventually have kids. We will want to know what’s going on in their lives. We hope to teach our children that FB or social media is not the way to share their lives with their family… Being “old fashioned” in this way, surely will have a unique value in the future and people who are FB users as believers or as non believers in Christ will be in awe of it and perhaps even envious to the point that it may eventually lead someone to Christ or help someone avoid a problem.
    Bless you for this post. People need to know the truth. FACEBOOK IS NOT HARMLESS. It hurts relationships from every angle possible: Communication is less genuine or less frequent between family and friends, outsiders know too much about your life, feelings get hurt, invitations aren’t mailed anymore, etc….. I could go on all day about the harmful effects of social websites and how dependent of them people have become. LIVE your life, don’t EXPOSE it and make yourself vulnerable.

  105. Jeaniey says

    Facebook nearly destroyed my marriage exactly the way you described above. When our marriage cam crashing down and we reconciled by the grace of God. Facebook was the first thing kicked out of our our marriage. Neither one of us is on it anymore, and praise God! It’s a huge waste of time, it sucks the quality time spent away from your family and is just a source of evil for Satan to come in and destroy lives. We have banned social media completely in our marriage. And when people look at us funny and in horror that they can’t “friend” us or “follow” us…we just smile our all-knowing smile that we did the right thing for us. Why subject yourself to temptation? NOBODY and I will repeat NOBODY is immuned from the “feelings” you get on facebook. Every married couple should delete their accounts immediately and only have a “JOINT” account where both can access everything that is being said. There is NO room in ANY marriage for “private messages”.

  106. says

    Your last question is a great one to ask ourselves…and an even better one is to ask, “If God were reading all the correspondence on my FB page and seeing all I post, would He be pleased?” That is my goal…to please Him in all I say and do! Great post!

    Blessings, Joan

  107. Kalissa says

    Seems a shame to have to stop connecting with people just because of their gender. That being said, I no longer have a Facebook account. It distracts from what is truly important.

  108. Allison says

    After about seven years of being a Facebook user, I deleted my account. There were several reasons, but the top reasons were the time-wasting aspect, it had become mundane, and I realized that I had about 550 friends but only really “knew” about 14. I always felt uneasy about putting pictures and status updates on my FB, but never could figure out exactly why. Finally I knew- it’s not “natural” or safe or a good idea to expose your personal life or thoughts to a multitude of people. We are not created to have the ability to be real friends with more than a few people, and we certainly should not share our personal lives or photos with hundreds. After I caught two random strange men taking photos of my four-year-old daughter at a baseball game, I became acutely aware of the dangers of having my kids’ pictures on the Internet anywhere. Some people argue that you can control your FB settings, but I believe that nothing is really “private” online and we should be aware of that in a serious way. My husband does not have a FB account. He had one years ago, but he says it was boring and he just did not care what people from the past were doing. He had a good point! If people are supposed to be in your life, they’ll be there without FB. I think FB causes people to nose around in other people’s lives, and this is absolutely contrary to what the Bible says in 1 Thess about “minding one’s own business.” I found myself “stalking” the pictures and updates of old friends and even boyfriends from long ago. I was friends with old flames, but can honestly say I wasn’t interested in “reconnecting” with them because I have a good and happy marriage. But it did feel strange that I was even “friends” with these old boyfriends and that we both had access to each other’s lives and photos, etc. I mean, there’s just no use in people (men or women) having access to your personal life unless they’re actually IN your personal life. So anyway, it was freeing to delete my account. My husband and I have a joint acct without friends so that we can get news from our kids’ school, the HOA, and so that I can have access to some FB shopping. I did try a to come back to FB and only have a handful of friends, but I quickly realized that wasn’t a solution. It still allowed me to fall temptation to the time-suck aspect, and I began receiving friend requests from all of the same people — nice people but just people who I didn’t want to be privy to my life. At the end of the day, for me, FB is not a positive thing. It’s probably best for most married couples to either avoid FB or have a joint acct. Mostly, just be sure you aren’t spending much time in FB world because I believe the enemy lurks there, hoping to get you tangled into drama, gossip, envy, sadness, and time away from God and your family.

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