You touch it first thing in the morning. You touch it before you leave for work. You touch it throughout the day over and over. It’s 2020 and your life is now and forever connected to your phone. And if we’re being honest, we all probably touch it more than we touch our wives. It has immense power for good. We can communicate, stay connected, and get work done with it. On the flip side, the phone also can be used for evil. It can absorb much of our time and energy if we let it. If we aren’t careful, it easily can ruin relationships by pulling us away from the ones we love the most.
To control the devices in our pockets instead of being controlled by them, we must set boundaries and expectations. Here are 5 tips for men who’d like to touch their wives more than they touch their phones.
1. Plug your phone in as soon as you get home.
This does two things. One, it removes the distraction from your hands immediately. Two, it allows you to connect better with the people you love right when you get home. Those first few moments when you get home are important. Don’t miss them by scrolling through Facebook.
2. No phones at the table.
For as long as tables have existed, the table has been where families connect, share, and grow. Establish a new rule that phones and any other devices are not allowed at the table. This means any table. If you are having breakfast at the coffee table, no phones or tablets. Don’t miss out on important quality time.
3. Put your phone to bed before you go to bed.Instead of holding your phone in bed, start a habit of holding your wife’s hand.
This is not only good for your marriage but also good for your health. Studies have shown the effects of sleep loss and blue light issues associated with late-night phone use. I’m not a doctor, but getting a good night’s sleep is good for everyone. Also, instead of holding your phone in bed, start a habit of holding your wife’s hand. You never know what may happen.
4. Let your wife know what you are doing on your phone.
If you must respond to a text or email, tell her what you are doing. Simply say, “Hey, I’m going to send a few emails—is that ok?” It’s amazing what communication can do. Timing is key. Make sure it’s not in the middle of a kid’s bath time or when the dishes need to be done. If your timing is off, it may look like you’re trying to get out of doing housework or like you’re avoiding her—and that’s a whole different problem.
5. Talk about phone use together.
Chances are, if you are still reading, you may be thinking to yourself: “Yeah, but my wife is on her phone all the time, too.” If this is you, it’s time to have a conversation. Talk with each other about creating some new phone habits. Intimacy is built through communication.
Sound off: What are some other practical ways we could get off of our phones?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s important to limit the amount of time we spend looking at screens?”