Husbands: BURN THE SHIPS - Avoiding Digital Infidelity

Message in a Bottle

Men, when I think about this week’s Equipping Men in Ten Episode and the temptations men self-inflict upon themselves, I think of messages.




Harmless. Right?


I wish I had a dollar for every devastated marriage that started with an “innocent” message thread between a man and woman who was not his wife. I take that back. I don’t wish I had a dollar for every marriage failed. I wish for every marriage to remain healthy, strong, and above reproach!

Listen to the warning in 1 Timothy 3:2: “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife…” (NASB)

Break the messages in every bottle. Burn the ships!

Scuttled Ships Burning

Many have heard the story about Hernan Cortés and the burning of his ship after he and his 600 Spanish Conquistadors landed in Veracruz, Mexico in 1519, creating what war strategists call Death Ground. Cortés explained the death ground he created, “We’re all in and there’s no turning back.”

Two years later, he conquered the Aztec empire. But Cortes never burned the ships.

He scuttled (sank) all but one, ordering them to run all but one aground after physically stripping them of all their rigging, sails, weapons, and tackle, using all necessary materials to build houses for the troops. One ship he left to carry riches back to Spain.

“Quebrando” or “Quemando”?

According to Hugh Thomas in Conquest: Montezuma, Cortez, and the Fall of Old Mexico, “The mistake perhaps derives from the fact that the early documents spoke of the boats breaking, quebrando; thanks to the bad handwriting of a scribe may have read the word as quemando, ‘burning’.”

Thomas proves that Cortés himself, writing his account of the experience, explains that it was a deliberate grounding and dismantling, not a burning, that destroyed nearly all of his ships.

Ships in the Night

In Exodus 20:17 we see one of the Ten Commandments with a slight play on words, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s (ship).”

Historically the “ship” men have their eyes on is the ship of a friend, social media, at the office, or an old flame that has long since burned out.

If you haven’t scuttled all ships except the one in your harbor, your bride, you know what to do next.

Turn or Burn

In his short but sweet book on marriage, What Radical Husbands Do, the late Regi Campbell writes, “Until your wife is the only focus of your attention and romantic energy, you won’t have any chance of winning her heart or keeping it over time.” Later he tells readers to “burn their ships”— to eliminate all escape routes for marriage into the arms of another “ship.”

He goes on to ask readers if any ships need burning, as well as asking readers if these ships know they are ships. In other words, are there any women in your life who know they are next in line for your love?

Maybe they already have it.

Proverbs 5:15-19 warns, “Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well. Should your springs (sperm) be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be yours alone and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”  

Scuttle Time

It’s time to scuttle some ships, men. If you have social media, I challenge you to delete, unfriend, unfollow, and scuttle every female “ship” that poses a potential threat to your marriage. 

Will some of them be offended? Maybe.

Will some think you were mean, insensitive, or judgmental? Probably.

Should you care? Not really.

The only ship that matters is the one in your harbor. Your bride. Protect her at all costs!


For the full effect on this topic listen here. Make sure you have subscribed to the podcast and help us climb that chart so we can impact more lives for Jesus. Also, if you already subscribed, text the link of this episode to one of your buddies who may need to scuttle a few ships of his own.

What Radical Husbands Do

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