Bobby Gruenewald: “Chances are you might already be using technology to help your marriage without even realizing it.”
3. Get into Bible reading plans. The YouVersion Bible App offers hundreds of Bible reading plans. Choose any topic and do a plan in tandem with your spouse, or subscribe yourself to a plan about marriage. Find a list of top 10 marriage plans online at Bible.com/marriage.
4. Share calendars. Most digital calendars allow you to give others access to view or edit calendar events. You might choose to share a calendar to keep your family schedule on track or grant access to your work calendar so your spouse has insight into your days. Make sure you agree on ground rules ahead of time: Is an open calendar a green light for saying yes to social plans or do you prefer to check with each other before accepting invites?
5. Practice digital thoughtfulness. When you consume content during your day, use that as an opportunity to let your spouse know you’re thinking of them. Share a link to an article about a topic that interests them. Point to a restaurant review and propose a date night. Send them a photo or video that made you laugh.
6. Cultivate common ground. Apps and sites with social connections are a great opportunity to enjoy a shared interest with your spouse, whether you’re spurring each other on toward a goal in a fitness app, sampling each other’s favorites on a music streaming service or dueling for dominance in your latest game download.
Where Do We Draw Digital Boundaries?
Technology holds remarkable power to bring people together. But any time innovation disrupts the cultural status quo, a period of chaos follows. We’re in the thick of the chaos, and we need to create new social norms.
Just because we can use technology to connect with people doesn’t mean we should always use it to connect with people. When it comes to our marriages, it’s imperative that we develop appropriate boundaries for how, when and where we use technology.
We might stay away from technology on a specific day of the week or use settings like Do Not Disturb to define the hours when the outside world doesn’t have access to us. Or we might choose certain places where we won’t allow devices to be present, like the dinner table.
Whether we draw boundaries based on time, place or context, the key is that we put limits into place. Left unchecked, technology can quickly slip from something that enhances our life to something that eclipses our relationships. The right balance will be unique for each couple, and we owe it to the people we love most to find a healthy approach together.
Bobby Gruenewald is pastor, innovation leader at Life.Church. Connect with him on Twitter: @BobbyGwald