I am part of a family in which I and my siblings were all raised Christian and our parents took us to church every week. Our parents expected us to behave in church and to try our best to listen attentively to what the preacher had to say about things so we would all grow up right. They did their best to instill in us a sense of respect for God and His teachings and also to not be a source of distraction to our fellow worshippers inside the church.
That was a long time ago and that was before there were smart phones. Now it is not uncommon for me to see teenagers and young adults in my church looking down at their smart phones and even texting at times, and this includes members of my own family. My sister and her family occasionally come to my church and there have been many times over the years that my nieces had their smart phones in church and would sometimes do texting. In contrast, my wife and I have always made our kids leave their smart phones in the car before we went into church.
I have never observed my sister or brother-in-law telling their daughters to shut off their smart phones, or whispering to them to focus on what the preacher was preaching about. From a religious standpoint, I think this is so disrespectful towards both the preacher and God. I also think this must be very distracting for young kids in church when they observe others focusing on their smart phones instead of focusing on the words of the preacher.
My wife and I have so far been very hesitate to bring up this subject with my sister because she has a short-temper and has always gotten very defensive when anyone has criticized her kids about something. In fact, there have been many times over the years in which she got into heated arguments with my parents whenever my parents were critical about her kids behavior, such as whenever her kids used foul language at the dinner table, or whenever they got loud and obnoxious in a nice restaurant for example.
So, I would like to know what would be the best way for me to convey my feelings to my sister that her daughters should not use their smart phones in church?