Answer: Keep your phone on during dinner, family devotions, and your day off, then do not answer it when it rings.
I know this may sound silly, but do not underestimate the power of a well-timed unanswered phone call at key moments. I started doing this at dinner time, but was unaware of the impact it had on my family. This is because I used to get up and answer the phone at dinner and when I did, they noticed. Then I started not to answer it, they also noticed. Then they started to ask me why I was not answering the phone and I said, “Because this is my time with you guys and whoever it is can wait.” It was not until I heard myself speak those words and saw the look on their faces that I suddenly realized what I was doing.
I was not just screening calls, but communicating to them my time with them at that moment was more important. I was amazed how easier it seemed after that for them to give me up at other times. Then I was even more amazed that I felt less guilty at those moments to go because I knew I had previously and clearly communicated different times where they are most important.
Pastors, try it. Don’t feel silly. You might be surprised the look you will get not just from your children…but your wife also.