At the end of each week my phone gives me a “screen time report.” This report surprises me every single week. It shouldn’t surprise me because it is usually around the same number of hours every single week. But it does.
How is it possible that I spend four, five, six, or even seven hours a day looking at my phone? Some of those are work hours. But, if I’m honest, most of that time is spent aimlessly scrolling through social media or texting. I end up asking myself the same question every week, “How could I have used that time better or more effectively?”
Technology is often a barrier in marriage.
Technology has become a huge barrier in many marriages. Instead of working through issues or taking the time to talk, we take out our phones and numb our minds through endless scrolling. The smart phone has become a crutch and a distraction from what is truly important in life.
My husband and I have had many conversations about how Jesus would have used technology if it was available when he lived on earth. Would he have used a smart phone? Would he have an Instagram account? Of course, there are no right or wrong answers to those questions, but I am certain that he wouldn’t have let technology take time away from his relationships.
Technology is here to stay.
Technology is here to stay. Ignoring it is not the answer. The simple fact is, most people need technology to function effectively in the 21st century. With that fact in mind, I think an excellent question to ask ourselves would be how can we use technology efficiently and effectively without letting it completely take over our lives and ruin our relationships?
Don't forget about boundaries.
One answer to that question is boundaries. It isn’t a complicated word, but it is very difficult to implement. Technology without boundaries is an unhealthy way to live. Most parents would never let their children play video games without any boundaries, so why do we let ourselves live that way with our phones? Marriages across the country are suffering because we spend more time with our phones than we do our spouse.
Try taking a date night in the next couple weeks to discuss some healthy boundaries you can put into place in your home to keep healthy boundaries with technology.
Questions to start the conversation around tech and marriage.
Here are some questions to get the conversation started. Remember to use this time to be vulnerable and honest with your spouse without taking offense.
1. Do you believe my use of technology is affecting our relationship in a positive or negative way?
2. Do you have any ideas on how we can work together to set realistic boundaries in our home when it comes to technology?
3. How can we practically change some habits in order to pour more time and energy into our marriage?
4. How do you think I can use my phone more efficiently and effectively in daily life?
5. How can we hold each other accountable when it comes to technology use?
Grace Marriage Mission
Once you’ve had some time to communicate about how technology is affecting your relationship, take some time to pray together. The Lord is near to those who seek Him. He wants to be a part of this conversation. He will help you set healthy boundaries in order to pursue a strong and thriving marriage relationship in the midst of a technology driven world.
Louise has been married for 15 years and has four children. She loves to write and edit, but her full-time job is homeschooling her children in Colorado Springs.