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Logging Off to Focus on Your Real-Life Relationships

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2021 5:00 am

Logging Off to Focus on Your Real-Life Relationships

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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February 8, 2021 5:00 am

Author Wendy Speake describes how she grew closer to her spouse, her children, and God when she took a 40-day break from social media. She encourages listeners to consider how their own relationships would benefit from limiting their media consumption.

Get Wendy's book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast" for your donation of any amount: https://donate.focusonthefamily.com/don-daily-broadcast-product-2021-02-08

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Write a need to think about your relationship with social media. How would you describe that it's the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to bed, images, jokes gets me thinking about things that I would rather not think about when I get my screen time report on my iPhone every Sunday.

I cannot believe how much time I've spent on Facebook and sometimes when I get stressed I to start scrolling scrolling so I don't have to think anymore. I never make usually check social media when I go to bed at night and every time I will why did I why did I do today on Focus on the Family will explore how you can put down and enjoy each day with God and your hostess book president Jim Daly.

I don't even know how this is possible. They say the average adult spends about 11 hours a day on some form of media that seems crazy, but if you working on your computer. Looking at your phone watching TV. Maybe it makes sense but that just seems like a lot of time $11 and while that screen time in and of itself isn't bad like anything when you overindulge in.

It can become a problem and every hour were doing something on the screen that means were not spent time with the Lord were not reading his word were not spending time with our spouse were not spending time with our kids, and that's probably where that guilt pain hits me the most is missing time with my boys because I was too busy doing emails and doing other things but we have certainly done a lot of parenting broadcasts about helping your kids manage time on their phones.

But today what we want to do is talk to mom and dad about them managing time well and setting a good example for their kids and that this might have a little bit of pain. Well, it'll be good paying as we talk to Wendy speak she's a return guest. She was here just last month talking about her book 40 day sugar fasting today. We've invited her back to talk about a similar related topic. It's the 40 day social media fast and we've got that book here at the ministry or stop by the episode notes for details. Wendy welcome back to focus think you are so happy to be here, it's good to have you here of the topics can be a little tender but not lost on me that I needed some most people are watching their phones or listening to, downloading, smart phones, etc. but I think were all aware of the fact that we probably spend too much time, but then we rationalize it. When I got to get work done.

I got to see I got a stay in touch with what the cultures doing that's part of my job I got to know what's going on in government with faith etc. you can already hear it right.

Every day so why do you think so many people do spend so much time on screens and don't recognize.

Perhaps when it started to get unhealthy. I think that just in our culture at large and maybe now more than ever, since there's been so much distance learning and working from home. The way to be connected is online.

However, we are so connected that I think we disconnected or so connected online that we are disconnected in our homes or so connected with everybody following everybody that were not following the when he said, follow me. I know Alex right now that's so good and you describe social media is a spiritual battleground and I you know, obviously with sexual exploitation. Those kinds thing that's kinda obvious, but in those nonobvious ways. How is it a battleground. I think that everything is neutral ground and God wants it.

He wants to claim that part of our lives for himself right. He wants us and the Dalles like yet.that's my ground. I want I want to own that that's mine.

And so if we come to whether it's you know how we either are or what we look at online and we see it as a battlefield and we say okay does that belong to the Lord.

How am I doing time on my phone time on my laptop hello my doing this part of my life. Does the Lord own. It is the devil is in his playground.

Well, that's it.

You know, that's a good place to start.

It's always assuming that anytime a smart phone or on any screen is not good but that's not what you think. So how does it person doing inventory of themselves and their activities know their either in the healthy zone in the unhealthy people ask me all the time. Come on Wendy, are you telling me that this is bad. Responses will help out, we turn to the word and we find out what's going and Jesus said what don't you know that only God is good. Everything else beyond that is obviously less good that I say instead of trying to argue about. If this is good or bad must just put our attention from moment I got. I'm glad why am I good at being.nothing else is good at being God right now and I'm reminded of the Nazi is in Isaiah where were told the story of the man who cut down the tree and uses part of it to make a meal right to warm his food over the fire and part of it to warm himself. That was really really good. The wood was being would carved part of it to be his God is really really bad being Scott and I think of that as my phones. Being a phone letting me stay connected with my has been throughout the day and and we have a text exchange with my three sons and my husband and myself really good at keeping us joking and connected and knowing when teenagers can be home for dinner and ask God to save me. It's bad to say this is where my joy is found when got in my presence is fullness of joy and that's really just a lighthearted example. But before turning to our phones throughout the day to meet our deepest needs to got to say that's mine. If returning to those we like and is getting the way of the one we love as a problem and not the phones job is not social media's job is not even online friends job to affirm us like us, love us, invite us that God's job so that's really good at being God. The phones really bad at being God's let's keep everything in its proper place and a 40 day social media fast and and I like to call it a phone fast or screen fast that can help us put it in its proper place.

Is your phone on his throne is basically what I'm saying if it is let's take a phone on his throne looks good. Then let's take it off and let's say that I'm so sorry you never really laughed, but let me spend some time connecting with you in a minute disconnect in order to do that in the context of being a self-described introvert, which you do. I find that hard to believe such a communication person.

So you've obviously I have to go and crawl into a black collar with you and I can comes naturally to you extroversion but but in the context with your four boys and have your husband is always you got €3 million and you know as an introvert. I know Jean genes that more toward introversion behind you find using the phone a more useful tool. That's a form of escapism. So you do.

I mean you you go to the phone yes easier than introvert.

Maybe talking to people engaging people. The phone for me doesn't do much emotionally is not. No it doesn't it doesn't feel good, but it is a barrier when we need some space.

I think a lot of mom right, Ashley, and their names you know out there about moms in the bathrooms on the phones in income another pantry on the phones. Didn't you use Facebook really is kind of an escape, recharge and get away from anxious boys naptime. I specially like you now and we would even say and I think many of us do.

I just and especially for those moms at home. I just connect with other people but as I said at the very beginning.

I think that as we connect and then we connect and then we connect for hours on and we disconnected from God and one another in our realize, not our online lives were so distracted that were not devoted to what matters most to Madison.

The next issue was social media is being cut distracted right, especially from God's blessings every day and you mentioned that in the book you have experience in this one for me.

This is interesting.

It was about butterflies yeah and stoning in the middle of a fast right yeah what happened with my very first time doing a social media fast until I was intentionally leaving my phone in the charging station in my room.

I was hot I was homeschooling I was doing life with my voice, and on and it was a beautiful sunny spring day and they were swimming. I was right inside the sliding glass door writing out a grocery list or something and they start going crazy. As I see this and there was this migration of butterflies unlike anything I had ever seen hundreds of thousands any everywhere's ruling, swarming, and just all over the place and I looked out the window. I got my phone I started Facebook live right and I start going down the hall on testing so I don't want to miss out. I don't be so distracted grabbing the phone I'm missing the moment and so I went out there and the kids are climbing out of the pool and route and their cold arms around my waist and worked counting out loud and and my oldest son. He yelled job God and I looked at him because when he was really little wheat we learned what it means to praise God is to tell God what a good job so we would see a sign that we would yell, good job, guidance, and we are having this moment eyes on each other. If I had my phone there and I was taking pictures of down then doing a Facebook live missed call the miracle of the creator. The miracle of the creation of my children praising God in the midst of that moment. I mean, how on the desires got the camera just think I am so often will see this gorgeous sunset and will take a picture and then we bow our heads in prayer we bow our heads over our phones and we start this long string of hashtags on Instagram hashtag the heavens declare the glory of God as tag creator hashtag. God is so good. How sad isn't it beautiful and we moving from purple to pink to magenta stew. We miss it we miss much.

When we share much and so let's set it down. Let's live with the creator with our people.

I just get so worked up yet and I so appreciate that and were talking today on Focus on the Family with Wendy speak who is written a book for 40 days social media fast exchange or online distractions for real-life devotion and we've got copies of that here at the ministry just get in touch for yours. The link is in the episode notes when you love your idea of making grocery stores that you can your mission field. I had thought about the guys were not going in there much under whatever might be the yeah yeah but when you're out and about the rule of thumb is just be aware of how God might want to use you in a relationship that I love that describe how you do that, though special again as an introvert but speak to all people, but just got a little difficult to well and the reason why this is even part of the social media fast is the whole point is we are looking up.

We want to see where God is at work. We want to look up were fasting from social media in an effort to get sexual with God, but also to get station with a real-life flesh and blood people in our homes in our neighborhoods and beyond that, at the grocery store right get off-line seeking connect with people in line at the grocery store or wherever you are and I have had so many interactions with people at the grocery store when I keep my phone in my purse give us an example, let's eat my favorite is the time I I went and I was having a very hard day as a mom specifically and I had been crying in my car and I went up to the meat counter to get salmon and a and I remember thinking the kids are just in a complaint, but I have to keep feeding them these things and try new things in any way sound like a rabbit hole but his back story the story. Anyway, the guy behind the counter obviously didn't look at me because he could see my puffy face was no frontiers right that he looked up sort of halfway and said so how's your day going. We did say that and I said well, not so good. Paul hello my name is Paul. And then I said, it's just another chance to trust God more and he started crying and it wasn't like little cried. It was like projectile tears coming out of his eyes while he said that's just what I needed to hear. Do you think that a hard days are so that we learn to trust God more and I was fully available and I said yes and we talked about and we prayed about it. There was another time that a woman was obviously think it was at the think I readily got sprouts in San Diego. This is where you interact.

Yes and she was ordering a side just on individual slices of turkey cooked turkey and a side of an individual serving of cranberry sauce and it was on December 23 and he said to her. Do you have plans for Christmas and she said no I don't and it is obvious she was ordering Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner for one and I said well, which you join me and me tomorrow were going to go to church right down the street there and then we go back to the house and have a nice supper. We'd love to have you join us is a summary that was a complete stranger and stranger.

I called and grocery stories that I was available because I was not unavailable and when your screen is a barrier between you and another to.

Between you and the gospel.

Another time I was leaving the grocery store.

I packed my things.

I went around to the side of my car to get in my car and there was a woman in the car next to me bent over her steering wheel and her shoulders were shaking. She was obviously crying an older woman and I tapped on the window and I asked her can I pray for you and she let me in her car. This was pre-covet.

19 and she let me in her car and she shared that her husband had passed away a year before and shopping at the grocery store is still a trigger for her shopping for one person is just so depressing it makes me want to cry telling the but I was available I hear stories all the time from mom saying that when they do this social media fast their children have their attention. But it's for all of us as we move beyond the home that those out in the world of our attention when were not distracted. So were devoted to the Lord. Yes, we devoted to the Lord's people live like that is really good.

I love that idea of getting your eyes off your device so you can see what the Lord's place again right in your devices are divisive right right. There are vice, but there divisive. They separate us from those who matter most is so good in that regard those that matter most the most intimate relationships we have spouse or children. The devices can really wreak havoc in our marriages right in our parenting and let me put it in this context with with your spouse, Facebook and Instagram can be very specifically dangerous to remarriages and your focus on me and we hear from so many people were there spouses gotten into an affair, and it's with their old high school sweetheart old college sweetheart and they connected through Facebook or some other social media platform speak to the that issue of those old relationships being rekindled when they were not healthy.

Yet they aren't. They rarely are.

So just assume they're not to be cut for you. I think it's a nice safe way to start this conversation just assume it's not good for you. For those who are married when when my husband and I got married. He suggested that we reach out to anyone. We had been in an intimate relationship with a no heart relationship a dating relationship with and just let them know where can I get be getting to be getting married. I'm going to be unavailable for even friendship. Sorry if that seems rude but it's just as a way to protect my relationship with my life and yelling dated one person seriously. I had dated a few Marcy. I call it was that it was an active protective measure and I have in the last decade received. I think to friend requests from two of those guys and I then I I blocked them beyond just denying them and I didn't respond and say hey, remember when I made that call. 19 years to circle back and even they should stay protective measure. I don't need to see how happy their lives are I don't need to see how their faces are as they go for a run along the beach.

I don't eat anything I don't want to see that their reading really great books she had with my husband's really great but I bet he would talk to me about these good enough. You see where you can go in your imagination, so I just don't do it because then you're trying to fill something that's not a needless that's a destructive decision then we dribble stores all the time.

You know when to mentor people turn to social media to get approval from others and I think we hear the probably good that is in human relationships before we had social media right are in group.

Now you're out there now you're taking pictures of things where there's things you're creating your your dresser know your physique. If the guys going to hear about that old job posting is yeah yeah this shirtless picture is shared. I get what I'm talking and I think you specifically. I really want to capture the story because when your teenager with your dad this one really got me as I was reading the book to look at the prep early early today are just my heart went out to describe what happened and what everybody else is really too big story in my faith life more than even social media and I was out hiking with my dad and down at a familiar place that we gone all the years of growing up and he had married gotten remarried. My parents were divorced in your teenager as a teenager. At this time and I had since I was about nine just struggled to connect with my dad or feel that he was connected with me. I could see the Lord approved and delighted and let's just camp out there and feel his delight and down and he had a camera, a real camera with real film around his neck and he was taking lots of pictures of his life and no pictures of me and in that moment of extreme hurt. The Holy Spirit really flooded into my heart that age and got communicated so clearly to me. I see you I'm delighting in you and when you get to your home in glory and can I have it decorated all the pictures I took of you over the years when I was so present and sell it, delighting in you and when we find ourselves filled up to the brim with having been the object of his delight, and love our heavenly father, not our earthly father the passionate pursuit of being love, chosen, invited, and having people approve of our pictures just starts to slip away because we have been delighted then and one of the words you used was approved. You know you are Jim completely 100% approved because of what Christ did on the cross for you. Nothing else can undo God's approval of you.

He approved you because of his son. And yet we turn to the approval we desire it, and I think that it would be remiss of us, not to mention that social media has been very intelligently engineered to meet our needs are our chemical needs are brain needs for approval.

You mean releases and so we might not want to logically turn to the world for our approval that chemically we have learned to be and so I think it's good for us to remind one another through Christ your approved 100% and it doesn't matter what you see on line and when the I can hear that tenderness in your voice as you're describing that I mean that.

So grab me as a teen girl in your with your dad in his wife, your stepmom and he's taken pictures of her not taking pictures of all of you know the payment that most of it was wonderful that the Lord gave you that sense of what a great faith statement that am your father.

I'll take care of you. You have something else happen to you when you are knowing that you describe in the book. It's another abandonment in my opinion, but describe what happened. It was similar that mean, these are my two stories with my dad. My dad is very punctual person.

So please, and I had a very theory healthy good relationship with him today. We have grown a lot and got it done just redemptive work as he dies in relationships and was late to get me.

Or maybe I was on the curb early and in my imagination. Doesn't the devil love to just get into the Aaron tell us that were not safe and were not left I felt in that moment that I wasn't safe and I wasn't left and again the Holy Spirit just made it so so clear that I am always, always with my that he didn't. The issue was he didn't show up in a timely way to pick you up at school right, you're just there, wondering where is right that even as I look back as an adult, never relate so it's interesting that that is such a profound memory because the devil just came anything.

I know I'm in a really really mess up your heart right now and God is like now that heart that's mine. Will you know what that illustrates for all of us because I'm sure many people have a moment, however it occurred through a father through mothers or an aunt and uncle grandparent on the when your child or something that can take place were you don't understand the circumstances. All you know is that your wounded yes because I said something to your didn't say something to you thought they should have said and it's wonderful that the Lord gave you a heart to hear his voice as that small voice in their own little nine-year-old heart and then your teenage heart to hear that hey I got you that that's amazing and I didn't have that experience. You wouldn't of heard it wasn't just a circle back. I was not distracted by my phone kids today. I wouldn't notice. He was late because they're scrolling through their reels on Instagram. Even the nine-year-olds that he had my full attention will again. I just think that such a beautiful place to land the gods with you. Do your best to try to fast from social media make sure it's not king of your life because of someone else who wants to be Lord and King of your life right that we do struggled to hear his voice and why is that I think it's because not only that, the beeping and the buzzing in the pinging in the ring, not all of Ed's run our phones with our notifications that were only streaming podcasts and this is a good one, but were always reading were reading something where were scrolling and were scrolling and we scrolling I acting scroll so much.

We stop strolling and I think the Lord says I want to walk with you and talk with you your my own and so are we too distracted with all the voices that we can hear his voice and will write that is a very good question. If you're in that spot that you may get a copy of the 40 day social media facet. Wendy has written.

It's a great manual to begin to reprioritize worrier and the help you relationship with your spouse with your kids. Maybe so you can model better for your own children who might be driving you crazy as to what you should do with your own habits so they can see something healthy and better get started.

Get the book.

Contact us here.

Focus on the Family for gift of any amount will send it as our way of saying thank you for being a part of the ministry, but if you can afford. Get in touch with us will trust that others will cover the cost of that. But the point is, make your relationship with Christ. The healthiest it can be, and the rest will fall in place. That's what we believe in Wendy so good to have you back with us. Thank you.

Thank you. I always love my conversations with you and the listeners on. Thank you for being here, and we do hope you'll follow up by getting a copy of Wendy's book and then while you're at our website you can find information on how to join Wendy in her group social media fast. We got all the information@focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 880 family fully is in the office of coming up next time you hear how God uses your love language to connect with you on a personal level.

Christ not only calls for all of our sins and so God could forgive us and still be so that was the greatest service. Russell calls on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today.

Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we want to help you and drive. I was convinced that nothing can change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time.

We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing.

The counselors created the safest environment we could imagine so that let us really talk a much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation. Hope restored.com


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