It was really, really convicting. I looked through pictures that my wife had taken of our family gatherings and there I was, phone to my ears, talking away and oblivious to the life that was taking place around me. My family was growing up without me and my phone was becoming my family. Here’s what’s worse: that was 15 years ago, and phone technology has definitely gotten more intrusive!
It’s easy to blur the lines between family and daily tasks, whether it’s ministry or the workplace. However, setting boundaries is a necessity for healthy families and for a healthy life.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 says to “Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life, which has been given to you under the sun, all your fleeting days.”
This principle applies to life with others in your family and with your friends as well. We know that we are not supposed to necessarily play all day but there is a time to turn off work and to turn on a time for rest and family. So what do you do? How do you set boundaries so that you can enjoy life with those you love the most?
- Spend some time in the word and repent of your carelessness with your loved ones. This speaks for itself but be sure to place your priorities where God would have you to place them. Remember, your first calling is always to your spouse and family.
- Turn off the phone or put it in another room. You don’t need to be accessible 24/7, and you can always check your phone later. And please, resist the temptation to check your phone!
- Realize how fleeting the moments are in life. Your family will grow up quickly. Your children will have children. Your influence on their lives will eventually wane. Take in every moment you can with them and keep in mind that your work or Ministry will exist long after you are gone. In other words put it all in perspective.
- Have some deep conversations that are intentional and express how you feel. Since I travel quite a bit now in my ministry, I have made it a priority to call, visit, and spend time with each of my family members. It’s not perfect, but my time is more focused and intentional and I think (hope) that they have seen this effort.
That’s what I have for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you put boundaries and spend more time with your family.