His phone went off and he answered it in the middle of dinner. He stepped away to carry on a short conversation and then returned to the table. His daughter asked, “What was so important that interrupted our family dinner time Daddy?” Dad was busted and that started a dialogue around protecting family time from distractions. A new family policy around phones and other electronic devices was initiated.
The mere presence of one’s own smartphone may induce “brain drain” by occupying limited-capacity cognitive resources for purposes of attentional control. Because the same finite pool of attentional resources supports both attentional control and other cognitive processes, resources recruited to inhibit automatic attention to one’s phone are made unavailable for other tasks, and performance on these tasks will suffer - This is per an article in the Journal for the Association of Consumer Research. The ability to think and function in the world off-screen is impacted even if the phone doesn’t ring or vibrate. Family dinners get interrupted and the time invested in a conversation is devalued.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2. I love the timelessness of God’s word! The writer of Hebrews says, “throw off everything that hinders”. And here we are today having invented a device that literally hinders everything! Indeed, it is even a tool that can introduce sin that so easily entangles. What was developed for good can also be used for bad. The charge for dads and families today is to keep all eyes fixed on Jesus and to run the race marked out for us. The race is to be a Kingdom influence in a confused world. Rebuke the “brain drain” and tune-in to your marriage and family.
The new family policy mandated that all cell phones and other electronic devices be kept at a central docking station during dinner and after 7p.m. each evening. In addition, they started having family discussion time three evenings a week. It was an ‘open question’ format where the kids or parents could ask any question they wanted. Over the years, this has facilitated some great dialogue around subjects not usually broached in family settings. It also helped keep minor issues minor and major issues were flushed out in a healthy way. Good things, God things happen when you tune out distractions and tune-in to Christ and the relationships He has ordained in marriage and family.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for the timelessness of Your word. And thank You for the wake-up calls at the dinner table and elsewhere when I have allowed distractions to disrupt the priorities I am to live by as the man, husband and father You call me to be. Forgive me. Embolden me to rebuke all that distracts from right priorities and run the race You have marked out for me. Help me step up as a faithful father and PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father rebukes the brain drain and tunes-in to marriage and family.