This post is part of the Choosing Him book release blog tour. I am joining author Juana Mikels and other inspiring Christian bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!
A few weeks back, Ben and I were spending time together one evening. He wasn’t talking to me, and had started watching ESPN on the tablet. I thought we were trying to enjoy being together, so I was a little upset that a basketball game had made an entrance into our evening. So I asked Ben, “Is everything alright? Are you doing okay? Are we okay?”
To which he replied with a reassuring smile, “Yeah everything’s great. Why?”
“Well, you’re just watching sports stuff. I kinda wanted to hang out.”
“Oh, I’m sorry babe. I’ll put it away – it’s no big deal. I just figured it was okay. . . since you were on Pinterest.”
OUCH. Yeah, I admit it. It was not him, but me that was failing to add quality to our quality time. Somehow when I was the one not making eye contact and only giving half-effort to the conversation, it wasn’t a big deal. But when Ben started to fill his time with something else – I noticed right away!
Sometimes it’s good to bum around and enjoy our own hobbies – and even doing those sitting next to each other can be fun! But screen time should never come at the expense of face-to-face time.
In her new book Choosing Him All Over Again, Juana Mikels writes about the need for quality companionship with our spouse, and how some bad habits with our technology can unintentionally create loneliness in our marriages and homes. Her views about marriage have been a great encouragement (and challenge!) to me.
In our modern society with all its diversions, we can even be in the same room with people and be lonely.
– Juana Mikels
After reading her thoughts on these bad habits with technology in marriage, I’ve been considering what my actions communicate to others, especially my spouse. When I’m on my phone, it is, at the very least, a little hard for me to pay attention. But it makes it harder on the other, because they are left to wonder if we care more about them, or what’s on our screen.
Our actions need to back up what we believe. When we text message while our husbands are speaking to us, we are telling them, “the person I am talking to is more important than you.” We need to unplug in order to share quality companionship time with our spouse.
– Juana Mikels
So Ben and I are working on a couple of things…
1. Face-to-Face Time Priority
There is certainly a time and place for Ben to watch a game and for me to pin recipes. But this has to be in moderation, and time for US – that quality companionship time – must be the priority. We’re going to work on mutually agreed upon “hobby time.” And I’m fighting the urge to research or scroll when instead my focus is needed in a good conversation with my husband.
The TV, computer articles, checking the score, and texting should all be lower on our list of priorities than the other person. We’re going to spend our intentional time together unplugged.
2. Undivided Attention
I am the WORST about doing two things at once. But when I let my phone or computer distract me, it tells my spouse that they are less important. So, whether it’s a conversation or an email, I need to give my attention to one at a time. I can put my phone down and answer my husband, then go back to what I was doing. However, there are certainly times when a text or email reply is urgent – and we are going to work on communicating that urgency. Something like, “Hey babe, I need a couple minutes to work on this.” -or- “Let me send this text really quick, then you have my full attention.”
This is way easier said than done, especially for me! I know I have some bad habits in this area. And I like doing two things at once – I mean, how else will I get anything done?! But these two – spouse time and screen time – don’t have to be the combination I choose. So here’s to starting some new habits and showing my husband just how important he is to me!
Choosing Him All Over Again was just released this month! It’s so different from other marriage books I’ve read. Juana Mikels wrote her own story of how God saved her marriage along with practical teaching on faith and marriage written out of her own failure, pointing us all to Jesus Christ who has the power to change lives and marriages. You can get a copy here HERE. (http://ambassador-international.com/books/choosing-story-romance-redemption/) or on Kindle HERE.