During the past few weeks I have been reading the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker with my women's group. Basically we are taking her book and each week fasting from the topic she talks on. This includes things like only eating seven foods for a week, dressing in seven articles of clothing, etc. I will go into more detail about my experience with this book next month but during the week where we fasted from media, I realized on a new level, how distracting the internet was to my marriage.
I try to be pretty good about not being on the computer or my phone when my husband is home. But fasting from media only allowed me to log on a few times a day for the sake of my blog even when my husband wasn't around.
The first day of the fast, I woke up, promoted my blog post, checked my email and then logged off. It literally only took about five minutes. I did not have my nephew that day and did not have any pressing matters to take care of that morning. I got dressed, walked into the kitchen and literally felt like I had nothing to do. Sure I had things to do. But there was something about not spending my first hour of the morning on the internet that suddenly freed me to so much time.
I decided to go to a class at the gym I had not been to in months. It was wonderful to see some old friends I hadn't seen in awhile and do a different work out. I then headed to the store to pick up a few things we needed for the house.
As I was browsing the aisles of the store this familiar feeling came upon me. I remembered that our anniversary was next week and my husband's birthday was coming up. I picked out greeting cards for both of these and then headed to the candy aisle to fill up his candy "stache jar." I leisurely walked the aisles, daydreaming about how I wanted to treat my husband on these upcoming celebrations, and had no pressure to hurry or be somewhere else. I did not worry about checking my phone in between my gym class and getting to the store like I usually do. My mind was allowed to wander in the store...and it wandered to how I could love and serve my husband.
Our first year of marriage we did not have internet at the house. I would go to the library or Starbuck's to work on my computer and then go home. When I was home I was not distracted by anything else and simply took care of my home and thought of my husband.
The thing is, I adore my husband and I love spoiling him any chance I can. But I will confess that each year it gets a little harder to have that same zeal and enthusiasm I had our first year of marriage. Our first year was easy and really good and I know to not have unrealistic expectations that every year will be like that. But as I was in the store that day I got a taste of that newlywed zeal I once had and the only thing that was different that day was my fast from the internet.
Not spending my morning in front of the computer set me up for a different day. I had more time and I basically was not distracted from all the noise that comes from being online. I love that noise. And I love the internet. But I don't want that love to get in the way of my love for my husband. I still love my husband, but unconsciously I was letting my heart be devoted to something else without even knowing it. Even when I was not with him my thoughts were constantly surrounded around myself and my blog and my online presence.
I realize that this scenario is not the same for everyone. Maybe you don't have a blog or perhaps not the same amount of free time that I do. But the point is, I think sometimes the good and even enjoyable things or hobbies in our life are distracting us from our spouse. We fill our boredom with the internet instead of allowing our minds to wander.
For me, I have always known the internet was a distraction. But from setting some boundaries and fasting from it this week, I got to see a whole new level of it. I hope to continue some of these same practices when I am not fasting, but I know it will be hard. I have seen that being online affects the time I have when my husband is around, but I am realizing it is also affecting our marriage even when I am by myself.
I want my heart to be for my husband...and for others...and for my home...and for all those other good things in life. By pinpointing my distraction of the internet, I hope to be a more passionate and loving person to where I believe my heart really should lie.
If you have a distraction in your life that you know of, I encourage you to take a break from it. It doesn't even have to be for a week. I fasted from the internet for one day and gained all of this! If your marriage is struggling or even if you just want it to be better, reevaluating where we spend our time and energy can shed a lot of truth at what is keeping us from being the wife we want to be and that our husband deserves.
// Find all posts from 31 Days of Serving My Husband here.
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