Putting Up Barriers - Jordan Matthews

Living away from my wife, Cheyna, for four months — she’s in D.C. playing soccer while I was in training camp with the 49ers — there are certain boundaries we have to put in place to protect ourselves. The two of us have talked about how we can be more intentional to not just white-knuckle our way through this season, but set up ways for us to succeed in our fight for purity and self-control.

One of the ways I’ve done this is to download Covenant Eyes, a screen and internet accountability program. It’s a web browser that blocks explicit and inappropriate content from your phone and computer. You can set up a password-protected program that only your accountability partner (mine is Cheyna) has access to. This wipes out all possibility for me to allow my eyes to look at things that aren’t uplifting or edifying. That’s the first part, but here’s the part I love: Cheyna can see anything and everything I look at on my phone. 

One of the greatest things I struggle with is comparison. While I don’t even have my own Instagram account, I often go on and check out other receivers’ accounts and compare my life to theirs. I see that this guy is doing this, and this guy just signed this contract. After these moments, Cheyna would sometimes ask me what I was doing on my phone, and deep down I was unsettled about it. Here I was, a grown man looking at others’ lives and comparing them to mine, coveting what they had. 

Now, Cheyna can see when I visit sites that lead me to the sin of comparison and hold me accountable. This has freed me from the temptation and desire to do so. It’s that age-old saying: “Would you do that if your mother was looking over your shoulder?”

There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:29). If my phone is causing me to be upset because I’m looking at others’ lives or looking at things I shouldn’t, I need to cut it off! If something — anything — puts me in a space where the Gospel should be instead, I have to cut it off!

With Covenant Eyes, I’m humbly admitting I can’t fight this battle on my own; I’m not strong enough to do it. I know for a fact the struggle will come and that I’ve fallen before, so I’m not going to shadow box this thing. I’m cutting it off. The Gospel gives you the boldness to take a stance. By putting up barriers for myself, I’m finding freedom and victory for my own spiritual walk and for my family as a whole. 

— Jordan Matthews, NFL wide receiver

Jordan Matthews is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions. Check out Jordan’s Increase profile: https://theincrease.com/author/jordan-matthews/  

If you enjoyed this article, please share: