An alarm should be sounding inside us, former procrastinators. I watched a family of three sitting at a restaurant table – mom, dad, and child all on their phones. With the exception of a five-second exchange of words, the entire meal was spent each isolated from the others.
The last two areas we should note regarding the upkeep of our temple-bodies is our brains and social interaction – maintaining healthy hearts and minds. It’s easy to become a sluggard in this area as we follow a path of least resistance.
Social media, TV, cell phones, computers are remarkable tools that can serve us well. However, the devices that make so much potential good available to us are the same ones that lull us into dullness. They infiltrate our brains and our relationships with people. They move from being tools to being requirements, and we lose perspective.
I’d like to maximize the good opportunities but not be dependent on devices that can prevent brain development and genuine connection with other people. We can be addicted yet justify ourselves. “I’m keeping up with my family” or “I’m reading good articles.”
Attention spans have lessened due to screen time and entertainments that provide rapid movement stimulation that inhibits our ability to focus when that stimulation is not present. Pastors and teachers now attest to difficulty communicating via their spoken word.
Consider these as you say “yes” to protecting and sharpening your brain and social interactions:
Set aside a no-device time slot to accomplish work, and establish limited times to use TV and other screens.
Notice how often you seek to veg out with entertainment. Choose a more challenging non-screen activity.
Play non-screen word and number games, board games, puzzles. The mind retains notes written by hand better than those typed.
Read printed books and listen to audio ones – a wonderful way for families to bond, grow, teach values.
Learn something new every day. Try something new every week.
Remind yourself being a wife-mom-teacher requires creativity and wisdom. The role provides unending points of growth. Boost yourself by reading a marriage or parenting book or attending a seminar.
Think about this scary possibility: Has screen time become a substitute for in-person interaction? Do TV characters feel like your friends?
Texting an encouraging word is a good thing. Inviting someone over for coffee at your kitchen table is even better. Eye-to-eye contact touches our souls. A voice speaking wisdom, an arm that comforts -these can never be replaced by electronic media. God designed us to live life together. We must not allow the world system to lure us away from each other.
There’s lots of overlap in maintaining our temple-bodies through healthy eating, regular exercise, brain stimulation, and social interaction. One feeds into another. That speaks to how fearfully and wonderfully God has made us. Work is involved but so is enjoyment. All the while we become more available instruments for Him.
Who will you invite over this week?