Do any of you feel like you're losing your kids to their smart phones?
Maybe you feel like your kids have a stronger relationship with their phone than with you.
I don't know about you, but I have said many times, "I would love to just get rid of my kids' phones." But part of the problem is we love our phones too, don't we?
How many of us can't watch a TV show or a movie anymore without looking at our phone during the show?
How many of us take out our phone the second there's a lul in a conversation even with our own children?
How many of us have our favorite social media app or news app or game on our phone and look at it more times per day than we care to admit?
Schawn and I have always taught our children that people are more important than things. We've always said that God wants us to spend time investing in people and relationships more than accomplishing or consuming for own desires.
So how do we help our families and ourselves invest in people instead of consuming on our phone? Here's a few things we're trying to do at our house.
1. When we are able to eat together, phones are not allowed at the table.
2. When someone walks in the house, they need to have a conversation with those in the house and not just put their head into their phone.
3. For kids 15 and under we've always had a time limit for amount of gaming per day.
4. We're working on keeping our phones away while we're watching a movie or TV show together. It's surprising how much you interact as a family during a show when the phones are away and how much we don't interact when our phones are out.
There's nothing sinful about being on the phone a lot. But it can lead to sinfulness, and it can create loneliness, separation and disconnection in relationships when our phone is our best friend.
What did Jesus say the two greatest Commandments are? Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.
Our smartphones really cannot help us do either one of those things very well. Let's put down our smartphones and ask our kids to put down their smartphones and let's give more than one word answers to the question, "How was your day today?" It's going to help our relationships grow stronger, it's going to help our families grow healthier, and it's going to help our marriages grow deeper as well.
Pastor Chad Starfeldt was installed at Shepherd of the Hills in June of 2012.