I just read a “one liner” that stated, “One day I’ll look up from my phone and realize my kids put me in a nursing home.” I’m thinking the same thing can be stated another way, “one day I’ll look up from my phone (or computer/tablet) and realize my spouse has left me mentally and/or physically.”
That thought leads us to one of our pet-peeves. It seems everywhere we go, people are either talking or texting on their phones. It’s as if people can’t be PRESENT where they are.
This is particularly problematic when we see this in public where a husband and wife (and sometimes children) are out together (at a restaurant or somewhere) and one, or more, or all are on their electronic devices having some type of “conversation” with someone else. We want to yell out, “Be present with the one(s) you’re with –do that later when you’re alone.”
The problem is, “We are tempted to think that our little ‘sips’ of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, all of these have their places –in politics, commerce, romance, and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation. The drift from conversation to connectivity –from ‘talking to texting’ –should be a concern for any married couple and any parent. Other technologies –particularly television –have distracted us from conversation for many, many years, but recent advances give us the option to replace it. How can you develop and maintain a strong relationship with your spouse or anyone else in your family if you aren’t talking to each other?” (Dave Boehi)
As the Bible says, “there is a time for everything under heaven.” That includes being occupied on our digital devices, even when they invade the time we should be spending with our spouse, with focused attention.
Now, we understand that sometimes a phone call or a text comes in where you need to tend to it because it’s an emergency or it’s from someone you’ve been trying to get a hold of for a while and you need to take advantage of the connection. But that should be more of the exception, rather than the norm, if it is interrupting time you should be focused on your spouse.
If we don’t make our marriage relationship a priority where we show we’re present with our spouse physically, mentally, and emotionally, some day we may find our spouse will no longer be interested in being with US physically, mentally, emotionally, or in any way.
We didn’t marry one another to ignore each other –to make everything and everyone else more important than our spouse. So why is it okay to be rude and ignore the person we vowed to “love, honor and cherish,” and put them off time and time again by texting and talking on the phone to anyone who contacts us?
I read something Steve Cooper wrote (in a “Huffington Post” article) that it’s not difficult to imagine and agree with, concerning this issue. He pointed out that, “The relationship of technology and marriage has a long history. Probably at some point during the Stone Age a woman was frustrated because her mate wouldn’t step away from the fire and come to bed. [It was the glow that attracted him.] More recently, televisions became places of congregation for couples and families. Today, our unions are intertwined with smartphones, tablets, social networks and more. The current tech du jour is Facebook and Twitter. The questions we have to ask is, are these ‘tools’ good for marriages or bad? The answer: potentially both.”
Now, we’re not going to go into the “good and bad” of these tools in this Marriage Message. Many of us are aware of them. But unfortunately, too many spouses allow the “bad” to invade their lives and their marriage relationships.
We can’t say strongly enough… please BE PRESENT when you’re out and about in public places. I’ve had GREAT conversations with people in grocery store lines and public places when they weren’t gabbing on their phones, or perusing the Internet or texting someone. It’s amazing the ministry opportunities that can be had when we’re present and attentive. We miss those opportunities to give God the elbowroom to minister through us and to us when we’re caught up in our digitally invasive devices.
And Steve and I have had GREAT conversations as husband and wife when we’re out in public or off somewhere away from our “normal” home life. But if one of us is on the phone or a mobile device, that opportunity is cut off and sabotaged.
Electronic devices can become addictive if you aren’t careful. Time spent with technology and other “necessary” interruptions can grow into something you HAVE to do and time spent with your spouse is shoved into the background IF you can make the time.
So, what is the best way to battle a digital addiction?” Ask your spouse what they think of your digital use. They know your digital habits probably better than anyone else. I encourage you to take a ‘digital fast’ together once a week or once a month [This means turning them OFF for a mutually agreed upon amount of time]. Fasting will reveal what you are most addicted to. Start praying together today as a couple about becoming better stewards of your digital technology. Don’t waste your real life on a virtual life.” (Dr Sylvia Hart Frejd, from the book, ‘The Digital Invasion, How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationship” –a book we HIGHLY recommend you read).
Please make it your mission to be with your spouse when you have both purposed to do so. Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent, and curiosity, as far as checking your mobile devices, invade and interrupt the precious time you intentionally set aside for each other.
You DO set aside “intentional time” for each other, don’t you? If not, today is a good day to start making that happen –just as you did before you married. Make sure you are PRESENT with your spouse in every way you can and in every way you should make it happen, so your relationship grows to Reveal and Reflect the Love of Christ.
This article was forwarded to me by EZE OHAJUNWA, source is unknown.
I couldn’t resist the urge to share because most of us are guilty. Time to make amends. Let me know what you thoughts are on this.