Take a moment to think about your biggest regret yesterday? Most likely, it involves a close relationship. Stick with us for the next five minutes for Clear View Retreat’s ‘Five Minute Family’ broadcast, and we will help you find new ways to make today, tomorrow, and everyday one without regrets.
Good morning, five minute families! How did your digital fasting go? As we seek to find balance in this digital age, we must address social media. I heard recently about a “social media influencer” who had photographed and posted about her children for years. Her now-teenage daughter was upset and bought a number of clothing items that said things like, “No permission to use my image,” “Don’t take my picture.” Etc. The mom was angered because she had built her platform around sharing her family with the world. We could brush off the teen as being overly dramatic or rebellious, or further scorn her among family and friends, as we have all witnessed someone lambasting another friend or family member. We could also point fingers at the influencer mom and scorn her over her choices and lifestyle. But, let’s move beyond pointing fingers.
Before the days of social media, our oldest son had bell’s palsy. He looked like Buddy Hackett, the old comedian, when Buddy would make his sideways ‘o’ face. Our son looked adorable to us, no matter what was happening with his face. We took family pictures for our upcoming Christmas cards, but our son quite sadly asked us to please not send out a picture of him that year. We respected his request, though somewhat disappointed ourselves. He was embarrassed and was going through a difficult trial for his young life. As parents, we must take pause and realize that our children are not here as our possessions to do so with however we see fit. They are individuals entrusted to us by a loving God with whom we get to navigate this time of life. Mutual respect and responsibility are important.
Here are five suggestions to allow your family to lovingly and respectfully engage with social media:
- Take time to get the person’s permission before posting.
- Allow an extra five minutes if necessary to grab a picture your child will feel positive about.
- Before you post ANYTHING on social media, take five minutes to think and pray about what you are about to share.
- If your children have social media, be sure to take five minutes to review your child’s social media posts. Allow those to be teaching points or talking points in your relationship. The goal being helping them grown and learn, not feel defeated or shamed.
- Set limits on what can be posted about. Putting our worst moments onto social media or engaging in “bashing” text messages do not allow family members the space to realize their own mistakes or allow for hurts to be fully forgiven. How often have we heard of celebrities who get frustrated that folks keep bringing up their past when they have changed and grown? We all might not be celebrities, but what is put on social media is there for everyone to repeatedly bring up. If we do not set safe, loving, and proper boundaries for ourselves and our children, we are allowing the enemy a stronghold into replaying those hurts over and over again.
Ok, so, let’s explore for a moment having already made a social media mistake…
How many times have we “aired our dirty laundry” out with others instead of turning to Christ for direction? Way too often those posts, online conversations, and in-person conversations are not glorifying or edifying to anyone.
If you have hurt someone with a social media post, take 5 minutes and pray about how to you will approach them. As a parent and friend, I have found that giving a genuine apology can be a great first step in reconciling a relationship, and a genuine apology shows that you are not afraid to be real and open to further conversation.
When having difficulties in a relationship, don’t turn to social media. We all need a confidante, mentor, or counselor as sounding boards. Gaining wisdom and insights from these safe people is a good idea and biblically based. That is where we hope these Five Minute Family devotions can help point you in the right direction for enhanced, graced-filled relationships. Make sure that the person you choose to speak with is a trusted, Christ-focused, spiritual friend who can see past our hurts and offences. Keep social media for news, fun, and entertainment.
Thank you for joining us this morning for another Five Minute Family. Please visit us at clearviewretreat.org for more information. We would love to have your family join us for one of our weekend Family Camps this year.