Minecraft is an addictingly simple computer game that is all the rage in 8 to 12-year-old boys. Since I have 2 of those I recently have done the fatherly things of falling under its clutches too. As I’ve fallen under Mincraft’s spell I’ve learned a few marriage lessons that I wanted to pass on to you as well.
I’ll admit I’m a bit of a gamer, but even more than games I have the habit of throwing myself into new activities, interests or hobbies full force. As I’ve come to discover a lot of other men have this same issue. It might be games, sports, cars, fishing, or other hobbies, but men often throw their “outside of work brain” into some other activity.
Not a Bad Thing
These hobbies are really not a bad thing. They offer entertainment, distraction and fun. In my case it offers me the opportunity to connect with my boys by sharing a similar interest and language. (I wrote that last sentence just for my beautiful wife, but it happens to be true too!)
The problem with these hobbies comes when they start to take up your precious resources that should be devoted elsewhere. The two most common resources that seem to disappear are time and money. I’ll admit money usually isn’t my issue. I’m the “saver” in our marriage, so usually I only fall in to activities or hobbies that don’t require much money. My issue is clearly time.
When I started playing Minecraft my object was honestly to understand what my boys were getting into. On the surface it seems like a really boring game. However once I started I was pretty quickly hooked. All the sudden I found myself playing for way too long.
Watch Your First
When hobbies or activities wind their way into our male brains we have a way of focusing on them above most everything else. We think about them, we read about them, we plan what we are going to do next with them. In short they become our priority. That is where the problem actually comes in. Hobbies are great, distraction is fine, but allowing them to overtake the God-given priority of your wife is wrong.
Where Is the Problem?
Sometimes wives hate their husbands hobbies, they have felt like they’ve been in second place so long that they resent any thought of the activity even entering their husbands brain. Other times wives don’t mind as long as there is some balance. You need to understand exactly what your wife thinks about your hobby. You might want to ask: When is it hard for her? When is it fine? What are the boundaries?
Find the Balance
One of the best suggestions I can give you, and one I’m going to take myself, is give yourself a time frame for your hobby. Without making a decision we are apt to quickly spend more time then we plan.
If you are heading out to the garage to work on your car, then before you step foot outside say to yourself, “If I’m at this for more than 3 hours I need to stop.” Give yourself permission to enjoy your escape for a time, but make sure that time is a decision not a time slipping experience.
If you discover that you’ve been at your activity for more time then you had even anticipated then you need to figure out why, and really make decision on if this is something that you want to be spending that amount of time on.
Guys – What are your favorite “distractions”? How have you kept your wife happy with your hobby?
Ladies – Are you a “gaming” widow, or other hobby widow? What would you like us guys to know about putting limits on our hobbies?