Christian and single and addicted to the web in trying to find a mate? A fun activity can become harmful for you and others around you. Dr. Jim provides a clear path on properly searching for your future spouse online and how the Internet can be a great tool – or a crutch to some singles. See how to realize you need professional help in deal with such situations.
Internet Addiction: Is the Internet your drug of choice? Part 1
Webster’s Dictionary for Drug: something (and often an illegal substance) that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness
Anyone who really knows me will tell you that I LOVE new technology. My professional career began with the automation of banking years ago. I was among the first in the insurance agency industry to automate my office to computers. The Internet has opened new doors and opportunities and I embraced the opportunity and calling to use it to serve single adults. I think that the Internet has brought one of the greatest revolutions to mankind that we will likely ever experience.
That being said, I have also seen how easily many have become consumed with the Internet (called Internet Addiction), especially those using Internet dating services. There is nothing Biblically wrong with Christian Internet dating services. The ones that I relate to have excellent leadership and are mature and wise Christian leaders. I suggest that the challenge has become with those who utilize this vehicle in a consuming and sometimes devilish manner.
How do you use the Internet?
- How much time do you spend browsing profiles and conversing with singles you meet via this method?
- Do you find yourself in a compulsive behavior and ‘have to’ check the computer frequently to see if there is an email waiting for you?
- Are you frequently checking to see if there is a new member that may be your “match?”
- Are you tempted to easily slip or turn the email exchanges into sexual innuendos or even direct sexual discussion or activity?
- Do you find yourself exploring the pictures of the opposite gender to gain sexual gratification?
“There is nothing Biblically wrong with Christian Internet dating services.”
May I ask it this way – Are you out of control and allowing your emotions and desires to run rampant? Has your ‘searching’ become an exercise in satisfying your desires and not in a meaningful and balanced activity of finding a new friend?
Check out previous article about: Does God Approve of Online Dating?
Let me cover one more area that I have found the Internet addiction seems to promote. Are you using the Internet as a means of ‘fast-tracking’ the process to finding a mate? Are you forgetting the basics of building healthy relationships and just looking for your next conquest or someone to marry quickly?
Take a deep breath and step back, let God do His work.
The purpose of my asking so many questions is to hopefully allow you to have an objective mirror to see your true reflection. The Internet is a wonderful tool and in itself it is not destructive. It is the attitude and manner in which one uses the Internet that can develop an unquenchable appetite leading to abnormal and compulsive behavior (turns into an internet addiction). If you find yourself in this pattern, I encourage you to take a deep breath and step back for some time of reflection. God can use the Internet to bring a new mate to you but for most people this will not happen. What it can do is bring many wonderful new friends into your life that will add to the quality of your life. I find that it is out of genuine friendships that most good marriages develop.
“The Internet is a wonderful tool and in itself it is not destructive.”
Part 2 of this article will provide some thoughts in how to relate to this type behavior and move toward a healthier style of living.
Author of “Guide to Successful Online Christian Dating”