How should a husband treat his wife? That’s the first question that popped into my mind when I replayed something that happened recently. My wife had confronted me about how much I’m on my phone. She told me I’m literally a different person when I’m not on my phone.

First Peter 3:7 says, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

I had to ask myself, was my time on my phone honoring our relationship? Was I too self-absorbed in my own little digital world of social media and text messages? Clearly, I was.

We all use our phones, but do our phones control us? Do our phones change how we’re engaged and discipling our kids in a negative way?

Since I was confronted about this, maybe I can save your wife having to confront you! I want to walk through a few different reactions I thought about during this time. Now, keep in mind as we look at three possible reactions, this is not an exhaustive list, but I’d argue one of these is better than the other two. I’ll let you decide for your house.


Question: How would you react if your family told you you were on the phone too much?


I can be so distracted with my phone. There are times when I’m home after a day’s work and easily get caught up in email, text messages, Facebook, and Candy Crush. I can be present physically but be completely absent mentally. If our phones, or any device, is taking us away from our calling to engage our kids, then we need to do a quick check.

Can you relate? What would your reaction be if your wife did to you what mine did? In thinking about this situation, I had three ways I could react. Well, I’m sure there’s more ways, but at least three came to mind as it relates to how should a husband treat his wife.

Reaction #1 Arrogance

The first reaction is arrogance.  This reaction comes out in statements like:

  • “I use my phone to support our family.”
  • “I’m working.”
  • “You just don’t get it.”

While there may be some truth to what is said in these statements, we definitely show a lack of concern for the one requesting attention. They want all of you, not the distracted you. Not the version of you that is there physically, but not mentally or emotionally. They want us and if our response is selfish or arrogant, we essentially reject their desire to be with us. This isn’t how to be a godly husband and father.

This response is defensive. Maybe you feel like you’re failing in this area and so you get defensive when it’s brought up. If this is you, let me encourage you. You have people who love you and want to be with you. Don’t reject them. They feel left out. Put down your phone, humble yourself, and be in the moment with them.

Reaction #2 Ignorance

The second reaction to how should a husband treat his wife is ignorance. It sounds like this:

  • “I didn’t realize you were talking to me.”
  • “I haven’t been on here that much.”
  • “That’s great, babe, I’ll be there in a minute.”

We’re so engrossed in our phones we don’t realize the world is going on around us. I’ve missed whole conversations with my wife. We miss what’s going on because we value the information in our hands more than the time with those around us.

Maybe we need some parameters. Or it could be that we need to disconnect completely, at least for a short time, to reconnect with those we love. It might take us reviewing the qualities of a good father. What message does it send to our loved ones when they take the time to talk and connect with us and we’re staring at that little glowing screen. Pleading ignorance does not absolve us of this wrong.

Reaction #3 Humility

The third response to how should a husband treat his wife is humility. This response is a key for how to be a good dad and it may sound something like this:

  • “You’re right, I’m sorry.”
  • “I’ll work on putting my phone away. Can you help me with that?”
  • “I’m sorry, can I get two minutes to finish this email and then I’ll turn it off? (and you actually turn it off)”

Sometimes, when we respond with humility it’s usually because we’ve already been wrestling with conviction over this issue. There’s an acknowledgment of wrong, and a seeking to do better. In some cases, we may do well to enlist the assistance of a loved one to help remind us to put our phones away.

Sometimes it really is a crucial email that may very well be time sensitive. In such instances, we shouldn’t get defensive, but calmly explain the situation. We can say something like, “I’ve had something come up at work. I know I’m distracted, but I need to send one more email and then I’ll disconnect. (This assumes you don’t ALWAYS play this card.)”

What’s the Bible say?

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Which reaction would you have?

There’s a time for everything. There’s a time for us to be on our electronic devices and a time to disconnect. Regardless of how you respond, this is a modern issue that plagues most of us. We’re all prone to get to absorbed into our technology. How should a husband treat his wife? Well, we need to intentionally set boundaries and disconnect completely. Our kids need to see this in us. They need to see an example of discipline and correction in our own lives.



Question: How would you react if your family told you you were on the phone too much?



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