Focus on the Family Broadcast

Logging Off to Focus on Your Real-Life Relationships

Logging Off to Focus on Your Real-Life Relationships

Author Wendy Speake describes how she grew closer to her spouse, her children, and God when she took a 40-day break from social media. She encourages listeners to consider how their own relationships would benefit from limiting their media consumption.
Original Air Date: February 8, 2021

John Fuller: All right, I need you to think about your relationship with social media. How would you describe that?


Woman #1: It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to bed.

Man #1: The images, the jokes. It gets me thinking about things that, um, I would rather not think about.

Woman #2: When I get my screen time report on my iPhone every Sunday, I cannot believe how much time I’ve spent on Facebook and Instagram.

Woman #3: Sometimes when I get stressed, I just start scrolling and scrolling so I don’t have to think anymore, but it never makes me feel better.

Man #2: I’ll usually check social media when I go to bed at night and every time I’m like, why did I go down that rabbit hole? Why did I do that?

End of Teaser

John: Well, today on Focus on the Family, we’ll explore how you can put down your phone and enjoy each day with God and your family and your host is Focus president Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I don’t even know how this is possible, but they say the average adult spends about 11 hours a day on some form of media. I mean, that seems crazy, but if you add up working on your computer, looking at your phone or watching TV, maybe it makes sense, but that just seems like a lot of time, 11 hours.

John: It’s a lot of time.

Jim: And while, uh, screen time in and of itself isn’t bad, like anything when you overindulge in it, it- it can become a problem. And every hour we’re doing something on the screens, that means we’re not spending time with the Lord, we’re not reading his word, we’re not spending time with our spouse, we’re not spending time with our kids and that’s probably where that guilt pain hits me the most is missing time with my boys because I was too busy, you know, doing the emails and doing other things. But we have, uh, certainly done a lot of parenting broadcasts about helping your kids manage time on their phones, but today what we want to do is talk to mom and dad about them managing time well and setting a good example-

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … for their kids and this might have a little bit of pain.

John: Well, it’ll be, uh, good pain as we talk to Wendy Speake.

Jim: (laughs).

John: Uh, she’s a returned guest, she was here just last month talking about her book 40-Day Sugar Fast and today we’ve invited her back to talk about a similar related topic, it’s the 40-Day Social Media Fast. And we’ve got that book here at the ministry, it’s or just give us a call.

Jim: Wendy, welcome back to Focus.

Wendy Speake: Thank you, I’m so happy to be here.

Jim: It’s good to have you here, uh, the topic’s gonna be a little tender, but (laughs).

Wendy: I know, I know and it’s not lost on me the irony that some, you know, most people are watching this on their phones (laughs) or listening to it and downloading it on their phones.

Jim: (laughs) hopefully, smartphones et cetera.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: But, I- I think we’re all aware of the fact that we probably spend too much time, but-

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: … then we rationalize it, well I gotta get work done, I gotta see, I gotta stay in touch with what the culture’s doing.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: I mean that’s part of my job, I gotta know what’s going on in government with faith et cetera. I mean, you can already hear it, right? You’re hearing it.

Wendy: Oh, I hear it every day.

Jim: So why do you think so many people do spend so much time on screens and don’t recognize perhaps when it’s starting to get unhealthy?

Wendy: Right, well I think that just in our culture at large and maybe now more than ever since there’s been so much distance learning and working from home, the way to be connected is online.

Jim: That’s true.

Wendy: However, we are so connected that I think we’re disconnected. We’re so connected online that we’re disconnected in our homes. We’re so connected with everybody, following everybody that we’re not following the one who said follow me.

Jim: Wow (laughs).

Wendy: I know, ouch right?

Jim: That’s- that’s good.

Wendy: I keep wanting to say hashtag ouch.

Jim: No, that’s good. Yeah.

John: (laughs).

Jim: I mean that’s so good and, you know, you describe, uh, social media as a spiritual battleground and I th- you know, obviously with sexual exploitation, those kinds of things.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: That’s kinda obvious, but in those non-obvious ways, how is it a battleground?

Wendy: Well I think that everything is neutral ground and God wants it, he wants to claim that part of our lives for himself.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wendy: Right, he wants us. And the devil’s like, yeah, that- that’s my ground, I wanna- I wanna own that, that’s mine. And so if we come to whether it’s, um, you know, how we eat or- or what we look at online and we see it as a battlefield and we say, okay, does that belong to the lord? How- how am I doing time on my phone, time on my laptop, how am I doing this part of my life, does the lord own it or does the devil? Is it is playground? (laughs).

Jim: Well and that’s a, you know, that’s a good place to start, it- it’s always assuming that any time on a smartphone or on any screen is not good, but that’s not what you’re saying.

Wendy: No, no.

Jim: So, how does a person do an inventory of themselves and their activities to know-

Wendy: Right.

Jim: … they’re either in the healthy zone or in the unhealthy zone.

Wendy: Yeah, I have people ask me all the time, come on Wendy, are you telling me that this is bad and-

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: … my response is, well, how about we turn to the word and we find out what’s good.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wendy: And Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? Don’t you know that only God is good?” Everything else beyond that is obviously less good, but I say instead of trying to argue about if this is good or bad, let’s just put our attention for a moment on God. He says, “Hey, I’m good, what am I good at? I’m good at being God.” Nothing else is good at being God, right?

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And I’m reminded of- of, let’s see, it’s in Isaiah where we’re told the story of the man who cuts down the tree and he uses part of it to make a meal, right-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wendy: … to warm his food over the fire and part of it to warm himself. Now that- that was really, really good, the wood was good at being wood, but then he carved part of it to be his god. It was really, really bad at being his god. And I think of that as our phones, it’s really good, it’s really good at being a phone, it’s really good at letting me stay connected with my husband throughout the day and- and we have a text exchange with my three sons and my husband and myself. It’s really good at keeping us joking and connected and knowing when the teenager’s gonna be home for dinner and it’s good. Now it’s bad to save me, it’s bad to say this is where my joy is found. When God said, “Hey, in my presence is fullness of joy.” And that’s a really just, you know, it’s a lighthearted example, but if we’re turning to our phones throughout the day to meet our deepest needs that God says hey, that’s mine. If we’re turning to those we like and it’s getting in the way of the one we love, then it’s a problem.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: It’s not the phone’s job, it’s not social media’s job and it’s not even our online friends’ job to affirm us, like us, love us, invite us, that- that’s God’s job. So, God’s really good at being God, the phone’s really bad at being God, so let’s keep everything in its proper place. And the 40-Day Social Media Fast and- and I like to call it a phone fast or a screen fast, that can help us put it in its proper place. Is your phone on his throne is basically what I’m saying, if it is, let’s take it off the throne.

Jim: Is your phone on his throne.

Wendy: (laughs).

Jim: That’s good (laughs).

Wendy: Then let’s take it off.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And let’s say, God, I’m so sorry, you never really left, but let me spend some time connecting with you and I’m gonna disconnect in order to do that.

Jim: Let me ask you in the context of being a self-described introvert which-

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: … you do, I- I find that hard believe.

Wendy: I know.

Jim: ‘Cause you’re such a communication person, um, so you’ve obviously lear-

Wendy: But I have to go and crawl into a black hole after an hour with you.

Jim: Yeah, right (laughs).

Wendy: So that I can heal.

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs) not- not just Jim, it’s just people generally.

Wendy: No, with anyone, I do with anyone.

Jim: [crosstalk 00:06:46]

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: It comes naturally to me.

John: (laughs).

Jim: The extroversion, but- but in that context with your four boys, I mean you have your husband, okay, he’s a man.

Wendy: Don’t call him a boy.

Jim: And then your three boys. Well, I know, but you got three men in your house.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: And, uh, you know, as an introvert, I know with Gene, Gene’s been-

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: … more toward introversion.

Wendy: We hide.

Jim: Do you find using the phone a more useful tool, um.

Wendy: Mm-mm (negative) as a form of escapism.

Jim: So you do-

Wendy: For sure.

Jim: But that’s what I mean, you- you go to the phone ’cause-

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: … it’s easier as an introvert maybe.

Wendy: Yeah. Yeah, you just disappear.

Jim: ‘Cause I’d much rather be talking to people.

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: I’m engaging people, the phone for me doesn’t do much emotionally as an extrovert.

Wendy: Right. No, it doesn’t- it doesn’t feel good. It, um, it- but it is a- it’s a barrier when we need some space, I think a lot of moms especially.

Jim: Right.

Wendy: And there are-

Jim: It’s a safe space.

Wendy: There are funny memes, you know, out there-

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: … about moms in the bathrooms on their phones and- and coming out of the pantry on their phones.

John: Yeah and didn’t you use Facebook early on as kind of an escape to kinda recharge and get away from-

Wendy: Sure.

John: … the rambunctious boys?

Wendy: And during-

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: During nap time especially.

John: Yeah.

Wendy: Like, you know, they- they-

Jim: Adult time.

Wendy: Yeah, it’s my time and we would even say and I think many of us do, I just, and especially for those moms at home, I just wanna connect with other people. But as I said at the very beginning, I think that as we connect and then we connect and then we connect for hours on end, we end up disconnected from God and one another in our real lives, not our online lives. We’re so distracted that we’re not devoted to what matters most and who matters most.

Jim: Wendy, the- the next issue with social media is being kinda distracted, right.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: Especially from God’s blessing every day and you mentioned that in the book. Uh, you had an experience and this one for me, this is interesting, it was about butterflies.

Wendy: Oh, yeah, I love this story.

Jim: And you were in the middle of a fast, right?

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: What happened with the butterflies?

Wendy: It was my very first time doing a social media fast and so I was intentionally leaving my phone in the charging station in my room, I was home-

Jim: Right.

Wendy: … I was homeschooling, I was doing life with my boys. And, um, and it was beautiful, sunny spring day and they were swimming and I was right inside the sliding glass door writing out a grocery list or something and they start going crazy outside. “Mom, mom, come here, you gotta see this.” And there was this migration of butterflies unlike anything I had ever seen, hundreds of thousands. I mean, they were everywhere.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: Swirling, swarming and just all over the place and I looked out the window and I thought, I gotta grab my phone, I mean I gotta start a Facebook Live, right? And I start going down the hall and I thought, what am I doing? First of all, I’m fasting, second of all I don’t wanna miss out, I don’t wanna be so distracted grabbing the phone that I’m missing the moment. And so I went out there and the kids are climbing out of the pool and they’re wrapping their cold arms around my waist and we’re counting out loud and- and my oldest son he yelled, “Good job God.” And I looked at him because when he was really little, we- we learned what it means to praise God is to tell God what a good job he does. So, we would see a sunset and we would yell, “Good job God.” And so, we were having this moment, eyes on each other, if I had my phone there and I was taking pictures of them and doing a Facebook Live, would I have missed the miracle? The miracle of the creator, the miracle of the creation, the- the miracle of my children praising God in the midst of that moment, I mean how amazing is that.

Jim: Okay now I’m feeling bad ’cause I was thinking I would have got the camera and taken a picture (laughs).

Wendy: Well I’m covered in goosebumps just thinking about it and so often will see this gorgeous sunset and we’ll take a picture and then we bow our heads, but not in prayer, we bow our heads over our phones and we start this long string of hashtags on Instagram, hashtag the heavens declare this glory of God, hashtag creator, hashtag God is so good, hashtag isn’t it beautiful. And we missed it moving from purple to pink to magenta to peach to black. We miss it, we miss much when we share much and so let’s set it down and let’s live.

Jim: Ha, that’s good.

Wendy: The blessing with the creator, with our people, oh, I just get so worked up.

Jim: Yeah and I so appreciate that.

John: And we’re talking today on Focus on Family with Wendy Speake who has written a book, the 40-Day Social Media Fast: Exchange Your Online Distractions for Real Life Devotion and we’ve got copies of that here at the ministry, just get in touch for yours. It’s or call 800-A-FAMILY.

Jim: Wendy, I love your idea of making grocery stores, uh, your- kinda your mission field, I hadn’t thought about that. And, you know, for guys if we’re not going in there much, I mean whatever it might be, the Home Depot.

Wendy: The hardware store, yeah.

Jim: The hardware store, yeah. But when you’re out and about, the- the rule of thumb is just be aware of how God might want to use you in a relationship.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: I love that, describe how you do that though and especially again as an introvert, but speak to all people, but that’s-

Wendy: Sure.

Jim: … gotta be a little difficult to g-

Wendy: Well, and the reason why this is even part of the social media fast is the whole point is we’re looking up. We wanna see where God’s at work, we wanna s- look up, we’re fasting from social media in an effort to get social with God, but also to get social with the real life flesh and blood people in our homes, in our neighborhoods.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wendy: And beyond that at grocery store, right, get offline so you can connect with the people in line at the grocery store or wherever you are. Um, I have had so many interactions with people at the grocery store when I keep my phone in my purse.

Jim: Give us an example.

Wendy: Um, let’s see, my favorite is the time I- I went and I was having a very hard day as a mom specifically and I had been crying in my car. And, um, I went up to the meat counter to get salmon and I- and I remember thinking, oh, my kids aren’t even gonna eat it, they’re just gonna complain, but I have to keep feeding them these things and they’re gonna try new things and anyway, it sounds like a rabbit hole, but it’s backstory to the story.

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: Anyway, the guy behind the counter obviously didn’t look at me ’cause he could see my puffy face was, you know, from tears, right? But he looked up sort of halfway and said, “So how is your day going?”

Jim: Oh, he did say that.

Wendy: And I said, “Well, not so good, Paul.” He had a hello my name is Paul tag.

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: And, um, I said, “But it’s just another chance to trust God more.” And he started crying and it wasn’t like little cries, it was like projectile tears coming out of his eyes.

Jim: Oh wow, wow.

Wendy: And he said, “That’s just what I needed to hear, do you think that our hard days are so that we learn to trust God more?” And I was fully available, and I said yes, and we talked about it and we prayed about it. There was another time that a woman was obviously, it was at the same counter, it was at the same counter-

Jim: This is a miraculous meat counter.

John: Same day?

Wendy: This is, yeah, Sprouts.

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: In San Diego.

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: Um, (laughs) this is where you interact, yes. And, um, she was ordering a side, uh, just, uh, individual slices of turkey, uh, cooked turkey and a side of, uh, an individual serving of cranberry sauce and it was on December 23rd. And I said to her, “Do you have plans for Christmas?” And she said, “No I don’t.” I mean it was obviously she was ordering a Christmas Eve or a Christmas dinner for one and I said, “Well, would you join my family and me? Tomorrow we’re gonna go to church right down the street there and then we’re gonna go back to the house and have a nice supper, we’d love to have you join us.” And-

John: Now this is somebody that was a complete stranger.

Wendy: Complete stranger. I call them grocery stories (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Wendy: And, but I was available because I was not unavailable. And when your screen is a barrier between you and another then it’s a barrier between you and the gospel. Another time I was leaving the grocery store, I packed up my things, I went around to the side of my car to get in my car and there was a woman in the car next to me bent over her steering wheel and her shoulders were shaking, she was obviously crying. An older woman and I tapped on the window and I asked her, “Can I pray for you?” And she let me in her car, this was pre-COVID-19 and she let me in her car and she shared that her husband had passed away a year before and shopping at the grocery store is still a trigger for her, shopping for one person. It’s just so depressing, it makes me wanna cry telling the story.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: But I was available.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: I hear stories all the time from moms saying that when they do this social media fast, their children have their attention, but it’s for all of us as we move beyond the home that those out in the world, they have our attention when we’re not distracted. So, we’re devoted to the Lord, yes, but we’re devoted to the Lord’s people, let’s live like that.

Jim: Th- that is really good, I love that idea of getting your eyes off your device so you can see what the lord’s placing right in your path.

Wendy: Yes, well devices-

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: … are divisive.

Jim: Right, yeah.

Wendy: We say they’re our vice, but they’re divisive, they separate us from those who matter most.

Jim: Yeah, that is so good. And in that regard, those that matter most, the most intimate relationships we have, spouse, our children.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: The devices can really w- wreak havoc in our marriages, right?

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: And then in our parenting.

Wendy: Our parenting, yes.

Jim: Um, and- and let me put it in this context with- with your spouse, um, Facebook and Instagram can be very specifically dangerous to our marriages and here at Focus, I mean, we hear from so many people where their spouse has gotten into an affair and it’s with their old high school sweetheart.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: Old college sweetheart and they connected-

Wendy: On Facebook.

Jim: … through Facebook or some other-

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: … social media platform. Speak to that- that issue of those old relationships being rekindled.

Wendy: Yeah, we might-

Jim: When they were, they’re not healthy.

Wendy: Yeah, they aren’t. They rarely are. So just assume they’re not gonna be good for you I think is a nice safe way to start this conversation, just assume it’s not good for you. Um, for those who are married, when- when my husband and I got married, he suggested that we reach out to anyone we had been in an- in an intimate relationship with, you know, a heart relationship, a dating relationship with and just let them know we’re gonna get- be getting ma- I’m gonna be getting married, I’m gonna be unavailable for even friendship. Sorry if that seems rude, but it’s just a way to protect my relationship with my wife. And, um, he had only dated one person seriously, I had dated a few more, so.

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: My call list was a little bit-

Jim: So, your li-

Wendy: … longer.

Jim: (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Wendy: But and it was-

Jim: Good for you.

Wendy: … awkward. It was awkward.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: But it was an active protective measure.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And I have in the last decade received I think two friend requests from two of those guys and I denied them. I- I blocked them beyond just denying them and I didn’t respond and say, “Hey, remember when I made that call 19 years.” No, I’m not gonna circle back and even … but it’s just a protective measure. I don’t need to see how happy their lives are, I don’t need to see how tan their faces-

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: … are as they go for a run along the beach, I don’t need anything. I don’t wanna see that they’re reading really great books, gee I wish my husband’s reading great books. I bet he would talk to me about these gr- and you know, you see where you can go in your imagination.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: So, I just don’t do it.

Jim: ‘Cause then you’re trying to fill something.

Wendy: That’s not-

Jim: A need.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: And, uh, that’s a destructive-

Wendy: It is.

Jim: … decision and we hear those stories all the time. Uh, you know, and many people turn to social media to get approval from others, I mean I think we hear that. Um, we probably did that in- in human relationships before we had social media, right, you turn to your-

Wendy: Sure.

Jim: … friend group.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: But now you’re out there and now you’re taking pictures-

Wendy: Constantly.

Jim: … of things whether it’s things you’re creating or your dress or, you know, your physique if a guy’s doing it and you hear about that all the time.

Wendy: And we-

John: Had that problem.

Wendy: We become … yeah.

John: (laughs).

Jim: (laughs).

John: No, I don’t (laughs).

Wendy: (laughs).

Jim: John’s posting his physique all over, good stuff there John.

Wendy: Yeah, yeah, the shirtless pictures (laughs).

Jim: (laughs) but-

Wendy: Put that shirt on (laughs).

Jim: But you get what I’m talking about and I think you specifically, I really wanna capture the story ’cause when you’re a teenager with your dad, um, this one really got me a- as I was reading the book and looking at the prep early, early today. I was just feeling, my heart went out to you. Describe what happened.

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: And let everybody else’s heart go out to you.

Wendy: This really is a big-

Jim: It’s big.

Wendy: … story in my faith life more than even social media. Um, I was out hiking with my dad and, um, at a familiar place that we’d gone all the years of growing up and he had married- gotten remarried, my parents were divorced.

Jim: And you’re a teenager at this time.

Wendy: And I was a teenager at this time, and I had, um, since I was about nine just struggled to connect with my dad or feel that he was connected with me.

Jim: I could see why.

Wendy: To feel approved and delighted and let’s just camp out there.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: I didn’t feel his delight. And, um, and he had a- a camera, a real camera with real film around his neck.

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: And he was taking lots of pictures of his wife and no pictures of me. And in that moment of extreme hurt, the holy spirit really flooded into my heart at that age and God communicated so clearly to me, I see you, I’m delighting in you and when you get to your home and glory, I’m gonna have it decorated with all the pictures I took of you over the years when I was so present and so delighting in you. And when we find ourselves filled up to the brim with having been the object of his delight and love, our heavenly father, not our earthly father, the mad passionate pursuit of being love chosen, invited and having people approve of our pictures, it just starts to slip away because we have been delighted in. And one of the words you used was approved. You know, you are, Jim, completely 100% approved because of what Christ did on the cross for you, nothing else can undo God’s approval of you. He approved you because of His son.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wendy: And yet we turn to the approval we desire and I think that it would be remiss of us not to mention that social media has been very intelligently engineered to meet our needs, our- our chemical needs, our brain needs for approval.

Jim: Oh yeah, dopamine, all those things.

Wendy: And so yes, the dopamine releases and so we might not want to theologically turn to the world for our approval, but chemically we have learned to be. And so, I think it’s good for us to remind one another through Christ you’re approved 100%.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And it doesn’t matter what you see online.

Jim: And Wendy, I can hear that tenderness in your voice as you were describing that, I mean that so grabbed me as a teen girl and you’re with your dad and his wife, your stepmom.

Wendy: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And he’s taking pictures of her and not taking pictures of all of you, uh, you know, the- the pain that that must have … and the was wonderful that the lord gave you that sense and what a great faith statement that I’m your father, I’ll take care of you.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: You had something else happen to you when you were nine that you describe in the book, it’s another abandonment-

Wendy: Right.

Jim: … in my opinion but describe what happened to you at nine.

Wendy: It- it was- it was similar, I mean these were my two stories with my dad, but he- my dad is very punctual person, so please and- and I have a very, very healthy good relationship with him today, we have grown a lot.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And God has done just redemptive work as He does in relationships. Um, but my dad was late to get me or maybe I was on the curb early and in my imagination, doesn’t the devil love to just get into there and tell us that we’re not safe and we’re not loved. I felt in that moment that I wasn’t safe, and I wasn’t loved and again, the holy spirit just made it so, so clear that I am always, always with my father.

Jim: Yeah and he didn’t- the- the issue was he didn’t show up in a timely way to- to pick you up at school right, you’re just there wondering where is he.

Wendy: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: Right, but even as I look back as an adult, my dad was, like, never late so it’s interesting that that is such a profound memory because the devil just came in.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: He’s like, “I know, I’m gonna really, really mess up your heart right now.”

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And God is like, “No, that heart, that’s mine.”

Jim: Well, y- you know, what that illustrates for all of us because I’m sure many people have a moment however it occurred through-

Wendy: Right.

Jim: … a father, through a mother, through an aunt, an uncle, a grandparent.

Wendy: Right.

Jim: I mean, when you’re a child, there’s something that can take place where you don’t understand the circumstances, all you know is that you’re wounded.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: ‘Cause they said something to you or didn’t say something to you-

Wendy: Right.

Jim: … that you thought they should have said. And it- it’s wonderful that the Lord gave you a heart to hear His voice, His-

Wendy: A kind voice.

Jim: That small voice in your own little nine-year-old heart and then your teenage heart to hear that, hey, I’ve got you. That- that’s amazing and if you didn’t have that experience, you wouldn’t have heard him assuring you.

Wendy: Well, I also wasn’t, just to circle back, I was not distracted by my phone. Kids today waiting-

Jim: (laughs) right.

Wendy: … for dad probably wouldn’t notice he was late.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: Because they’re scrolling through their reels on Instagram.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: Even the nine-year olds. So he had my full attention.

Jim: Well and I, again, I just think that’s such a beautiful place to land, you know, that, uh, God’s with you, do your best to try to fast from social media. Make sure it’s not king of your life ’cause there’s someone else who wants to be lord and king of your life, right?

Wendy: Right. But we do struggle to hear his voice.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And why is that? I think it’s because not only the- the beeping and the buzzing and the pinging and the ringing and the-

Jim: (laughs).

Wendy: … you know, all of it on our phones with our notifications. But we’re always streaming podcasts and this is a good one (laughs), but we’re always reading- we’re reading something where we’re scrolling and we’re scrolling and we’re scrolling and I- and I think we scroll so much we stop strolling. And I think the Lord says, I wanna walk with you and talk with you-

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: … and tell you you’re My own.

Jim: Yeah.

Wendy: And so are we too distracted with all the voices that we can’t hear His voice anymore?

Jim: Well, right and that is a very good question. If you’re in that spot, if that’s you, uh, man, get a copy of the 40-Day Social Media Fast that Wendy has written, it’s a great manual to begin to reprioritize where you’re at and to help you in your relationship with your spouse, with your kids maybe so you can model better for your own children who might be driving you crazy.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Uh, as to what you should do with your own habits so they can see something healthy and better.

Wendy: Yes.

Jim: And, uh, get started, get the book, uh, contact us here at Focus on the Family for a gift of any amount, we’ll send it as our way of saying thank you for being a part of the ministry. And, uh, if you can’t afford it, get in touch with us, we’ll trust that others will cover the cost of that, but the point is, uh, make your relationship with Christ the healthiest it can be and the rest will fall into place, that’s what we believe. And Wendy, so good to have you back with us, thank you.

Wendy: Thank you, I always love my conversations with you and the listeners, so thank you.

Jim: Well, it’s so fun, thank you for being here.

John: And we do hope you’ll follow up by getting a copy of Wendy’s book and, uh, then while you’re at our website, you can find information on how to join Wendy in her group Social Media Fast. Uh, we’ve got all the information at or call 800 the letter A and the word FAMILY. Well, coming up next time you’ll hear how God uses your love language to connect with you on a personal level.


Dr. Gary Chapman: And when Christ died on the cross, he was paying for all of our sins and failures so God could forgive us and still be a just and holy God. So, that was the greatest act of service is what he did for us on the cross.

End of Teaser

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family, I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Cover image of Wendy Speake's book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

The 40-Day Social Media Fast: Exchange Your Online Distractions for Real-Life Devotion

Receive Wendy Speake's book The 40-Day Social Media Fast for your donation of any amount!

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