Trying to find quality time to spend together as a couple can be a challenge. I know for my husband and I, it’s always a balancing act to even find a few minutes of quality time together. It took us almost two weeks to plan this recent night out with family at a local restaurant.
After placing our order and a few minutes of conversation, all of us at the table had turned to our phones. One was checking the score for a basketball game, another flipping through Instagram, the other playing an online game, and I was replying to messages. All of us focused on our own digital world until the food arrived at our table. It’s a scene that has become all too familiar at restaurants. Just look around the next time you’re out.
Families are spending less time together. One study revealed that an average family spends about 37 minutes a day on quality time together and that’s during the weekdays. The weekend days were a bit better at 2 hours and 40 minutes. But why is it important to make time for meaningful activities with our marriage?
Why A Strong Christian Marriage Is Important
There are, of course, the issues that we often hear about—
- Divorce due to lack of communication between husband and wife.
- Marital problems due to addiction, including addiction to video games.
- A higher risk of suicide in parents and children, due to broken families.
But it can be argued that these are simply symptoms of how family values are changing, impacting the ability of most families to maintain a Christian household. It’s also not surprising to find out that more and more people are walking away from their faith, including those who may have have been raised as strong Christian men and women. I imagine it must have been like the verse we’ve heard many times about what it was like living during the time of Noah.
“[When I return] the world will be [as indifferent to the things of God] as the people were in Noah’s day. They ate and drank and married—everything just as usual right up to the day when Noah went into the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot: people went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and brimstone rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the hour of my return. Luke 17:26-30 TLB
But while values continue to change, over 60% of the population still feel that family plays a central role in their identity, making it important to learn how to strengthen your marriage and your family.
Spending Time to Strengthen Our Marriage
As a person raised in the 90s, I’m thankful my parents didn’t have to wean us off our tablets and phones and made it a point for us to sit down, look each other in the eye and eat together. But in today’s digital world, even though we’re physically spending time together, we’re not necessarily mentally present to reap the benefits of quality family time.
So my husband and I made a plan. While we won’t be able to go on fancy vacations and none of us have the energy to stay up longer, just to increase the amount of time we have together, we’re committed to three meaningful activities that we can do together as a family.
1. Volunteer Together as a Family
My husband and I are very much involved with the Church Of Christ. His technical background allows him to help out with various events that our congregation holds, while I can help with documenting them as part of the Church Of Christ’s media department.
In addition to that, the Church Of Christ regularly sponsors community cleanups, donation drives such as canned food drives, and appreciation days that welcome family volunteers and have been a great way for us to participate in our community together.
2. Pray Together Daily.
Most days we only have a few minutes to catch up on the day’s events. While those are conversations I always look forward to, spending those precious few minutes praying together as a family helps us tackle the big challenges in front of our family by asking God’s help together.
I’ve had some recent health challenges that had me bedridden for a few months. Feeling drained and exhausted day after day, and the numerous doctor appointments was overwhelming. Not only did it take a toll on me but it affected my family as well. Through it all, coming together in prayer with my family continues to help me know that we’re in the struggle together.
3. Worship Together
Our schedules can get hectic and with the traffic on the island of Oahu, sometimes we have no choice but to worship God at different times. However, as much as possible we block off time that we can go to the place of worship and worship God together. Even though we’re not talking with each other or physically sitting by each other, the shared experience with the true teachings of God helps us connect. And it allows us to spend time afterward talking about what we learned from the lesson.
The Church Of Christ now has congregations around the world, some with multiple worship service schedules to allow more people to worship God in more places.
In addition to the worship schedules, the Church Of Christ supports maintaining a strong Christian family by encouraging families, whether it’s just the husband and wife or a family of five, to set a time dedicated for a family hour, as well as launching events geared towards young members, for married couples, and the whole family.
Five days out of the week—balancing work, school, after school or extra-curricular activities, taking care of pets, and other daily responsibilities—most families can only find about 37 minutes of quality time together. How will you spend your 37 minutes?
We invite you to learn how your family can grow stronger together through prayer.
About the Writer: Liza Corpuz-Tiangsing and her husband Ben are from two different islands in Hawaii and were introduced after moving to the US Mainland for college. After spending a few years in the SF Bay Area helping lead youth members in the Church Of Christ, they moved to Oahu where they currently reside and where Liza spends her days writing and responding to inquiries on incmedia.org.