“Watch Me Mommy!”

Couple_phones

The other night, Steve and I had a lovely time out to dinner with some friends. Towards the end of the night, I noticed a couple sitting across from us in a booth. They weren’t talking at all.

Date Night?

At first I asked myself were they fighting? But no, they didn’t have that type of posture towards one another. Now, there is nothing wrong with just being in the moment and not having to talk. As couples, you don’t have to be chatty all the time. There’s nothing wrong with silence in and of itself.

As I focused a little closer however, it was evident that this was a “date night” for them. And I noticed they were distracted. As they were eating their chips and salsa and waiting for their dinner to arrive, the wife was scrolling through her phone and the husband was watching a TV show on his – I could actually hear the show from where we were sitting.

I couldn’t help but think about all the conversations they could be having and the connect points that were being missed. But they allowed themselves to be distracted.

This doesn’t seem like a big thing. After all, they probably have worked hard and needed a night out to unwind, but is that the best way to spend it? These types of habits are dangerous to the long term health of any marriage and/or relationship.

Missed Opportunities

More and more I see these distractions taking the place of relational moments. I was at the park and noticed the mom’s on their phones scrolling or talking as their kids are saying “watch me Mommy!” from the swing.

Steve told me of a similar story. He was driving through a neighborhood and saw kids playing in the front yard. As he passed the house though, the dad was missing the whole thing because he was scrolling on his phone.

As time goes on, we are forming habits that are allowing what’s on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc… to be the first priority of our lives, rather than the real life needs and investment to our growing child, marriages and relationships.

We’re allowing the fear of missing something else to keep us from living in the now.

But there’s hope…

Intentional and Deliberate

Turn off your phone when going out. Silence your phone when playing with the children. Make spending time deliberate. Check what’s on your phone later. Many past civilizations survived without a cell phone and social media and so will you.

Take today as an exercise in character building, and make this promise to yourself and keep it: promise to focus your thoughts and attention on things that are really important- like family, your marriage, your friends, and your future. Don’t allow your phone to be such a distraction that it derails your most important work- being relational.

So Easily Ensnared

Although we will struggle mightily to rise above the distractions of our everyday living, we need to remember we will never struggle alone. God is here—eternal and faithful and patient! He will help us prioritize our lives. He is relational to the core and He is chasing after you to remind you of that.

“Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.”  – Hebrews 12:1-2 HCSB

Distractions are everywhere, but, thankfully, so is God…and that fact has everything to do with how you prioritize your day, your relationships and your life. Take time for Him and take time for relationships. You’ll never come up short.

  • http://www.sweetieberry.com Sweetie Berry

    It’s such an easy habit to fall into. Les and I began when cell phones entered our children’s teen years, we asked that during meals they be left at the front table. On our dates, we purposefully leave the phones in my purse, letting others know emergency contacts if appropriate for small children with sitters. In fact, we’ve recently chosen to turn off cells from 5-8 pm at our home…checking for work messages at 8-8:30 then turning off for the night. Hard habit to engage, but has been oh so worth it for our family.

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