As moms there are a few things we just don’t want to say out loud, much less tweet. We don’t really want to take a picture and share it, or post what our children just did knowing no one would want to give us, or them, the blue thumbs-up. And we are pretty sure no one needs to see our selfies with the stack of dirty dishes behind us. We realize we just aren’t living a social media worthy life.
Social Media Comparison
We watch the highlight reels of other moms’ lives. The ones who shower every day, create Pinterest-worthy crafts, cook only real food meals, and have a date night with their husbands every week. The ones with fabulous vacations, a social-justice cause they champion, and a thriving business that they want to share. We turn off our phones feeling jealous, frustrated, or discouraged.
Why? Sometimes (ok, most of the time), our reality looks a bit different. The house is messy and so are we. When our kids beg us for a homemade treat, we reach for refrigerated slice-and-bake cookies. And we just ordered pizza for supper, again. Sometimes we can’t afford a nice vacation. We may care about what is going on in the world, but for now we are struggling to keep our little world from melting down in complete chaos. Running a business is the last thing on our minds.
Unfortunately, we often use social media as a channel for comparison, the enemy of contentment. We focus on the lives of others instead of our own. We feed our need for acceptance from people instead of realizing God has already accepted us as we are. If we let it, social media can become addictive, harmful, and isolating. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Related: Why Not Being “Enough” Should Make You Happy
Live the Life God Has Called You to Live
Social media can actually benefit us in many ways. Chances are pretty good that you are reading this because you saw it on a social media platform. We can enjoy seeing people’s beautiful vacations, support their social-justice causes, and celebrate their business successes. We can be inspired by the projects we see on Pinterest and connect with family and friends. But we can only do this when we realize our goal isn’t to live the life God has called someone else to live. Our goal is to live the life He has called us to live.
Related: Having Mary’s Heart in Martha’s Homeschool World
Your Life Won’t Be Picture Perfect
If you are past the age of five, I’m guessing you have already figured this one out. People get sick. Kids throw fits. Cookies burn. Friendships end. Jobs are lost. Life is full of mishaps and mistakes, trials and difficulties, pain and suffering. Not the things Instagram feeds are made of.
Right before Judas betrayed Him, Jesus told His disciples,
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 15:33, NIV, emphasis added
You will, not you might. In James we see the command to consider it joy “when you meet trials of various kinds.” And in Ecclesiastes 3 Solomon explains that there is a time for everything—including mourning, killing, losing, weeping. That just doesn’t sound like a picture perfect life.
And let’s face it, deep down we wouldn’t want it to be. We wouldn’t enjoy the good times as deeply or celebrate as richly. We wouldn’t recognize the strength of God or the power of His Spirit or comfort of His love. Picture perfect sounds great on the surface, but ultimately we wouldn’t see God working in the less than perfect here on earth.
Perfect will only come in heaven, and then the focus won’t be on us. It will be on the One who deserves all glory and honor and praise.
You Have a Higher Calling
Dear Mama, I hope you know: you don’t have to live a social media-worthy life. You are called to something better. God created us in His image. And, God calls us to be a reflection of His character, not to live a life pointing to ourselves. That will look different for each of us. As a matter of fact, Paul says it this way,
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. 1 Corinthians 7:17
You have a much higher calling, one with eternal significance—to be holy, set-apart. To love God and show His love to others. And sometimes the best way to love is in the less then perfect moments of life. Those moments may not be something we want to post or tweet or share (but sometimes maybe we should). Let Paul’s words encourage us all,
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
God chose you as you are. Since God loves you that much, does it really matter how many likes you get from people? The imperfections of your life have a purpose, preparing you for so much more. You don’t have to live a social media worthy life, because you are so much more.
I want to give you a chance to meditate on the truth, of who you are in Christ. You can download the FREE Scripture writing and prayer journal: Who I Am in Christ: A Scripture Writing and Prayer Journal.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
This is very true. Being a stay-at-home mom isn’t glamorous by the world’s standards, but it’s the highest calling of women. It’s the role that God designed especially for us. Making a home and raising children affects the foundation of the family, and sets them up for the best future possible.
I agree, being a mom is a wonderful calling. And I love that we all, no matter what role in life we are filling, have the high-calling of being a reflection of Christ to others (and at times it scares me a bit too!). Makes the things we put so much time and effort into pale in comparison sometimes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
This is so encouraging and such great reminders to be rooted in Christ and not the world. Thank you for such a thought provoking post!
Thank you for stopping by to read it! Yes, so important to be rooted in Him 🙂
This is so true! Many times I have looked at insta stories or someone’s feed and been JEALOUS of how perfect their life looked. When I was suffering from post partum anxiety and taking care of my 3 littles, I spent many days being discontent with my life and how it just didn’t look like those other moms! But the beauty is found in how God gives grace in our mess. Thats real life and that’s the real story we ought to share. Thank you for this! ❤️
You are so welcome Amy. And THANK YOU for sharing your story. Yes, he is a God of grace 💛
So true! It’s so hard to fight the temptation to compare ourselves to the “picture perfect” lives we see portrayed on social media. Often times we forget though that these images are simply snippets of a life and not an accurate representation of their reality.
Thanks Kelly. Yes, they are just snippets. What a great way to describe it.
I’m a dad and I replaced mom with dad I hope that’s ok. This was a great read for any parent. Thanks for this
I’m so glad you did, Prescott! I appreciate it.
I love the fact that you are addressing the social media lie. No one is perfect all the time and we don’t live to be camera ready. Being a good mom means getting messy.
Thanks so much Julie. I love how you said “Being a good mom means getting messy.” Yes!
AMEN!!!! Love this so much!! its a message I needed to hear today! <3
I just wrote a blog post on this same topic! Very important for all of us to realize social media only shows snippets of people’s lives, not the full stories. Thank you for calling us to invest more in our calling to praise the Lord than to work at being Pinterest-y!
It’s an issue we all deal with. So easy to start comparing, unfortunately. Thanks so much 🙂
I don’t read blogs much at all,except on my Pinterest and this is one of the best ones I have read.I love the reality of this post.I also have a friend that is going through post partum depression and this,article relates to her and helps me,see what,she is,going through.Not to mention it is so true.I love the verses to relate too.Also that it isn’t based on vanity and,workouts!
Thanks so much Mary. I’m so sorry your friend is struggling. Going to stop and pray for her now. And I’m so glad she has you to encourage and listen to her.