It hasn’t happened yet, but I know it will soon. I’ve already been Facebook “stalked”, Instagram-investigated, and Iphone-snooped by my thirteen-year old. It’s only a matter of time before she puts my name into Google to see what pops up.
What will she find?
Will she find the same person who she knows as “mom”, the person who has nurtured her and instructed her, disciplined her and discipled her, laughed with her and corrected her…or will she find something that confuses her?
Will she find consistency between what I tell her and what I tell others?
Will my words in the online world match my words in our conversations at home and with her?
For instance, I tell her to love God and love others. Will that be evident in my online profile? I tell her to be kind and to consider others more highly than herself. Will my words reflect that type of heart?
I tell her to always seek to good, to defend the poor, to love the hurting, to stand up for the weak, to befriend the friendless.
I tell her that calling people names, making fun of others, criticism and ridicule, treating people as “other” and showing people disrespect are all, for lack of a better term, the actions of a bully and not how we are to live or act in this world.
I tell her that God loves her, has a plan for her, has a plan for us…for this whole world. That He is God. He is good. He is sovereign. He is our hope.
And I have to consider, “When she googles me one day, will she find my social media self, my written words, are consistent with these things I am teaching her as truth, as right, as good?”
Friends, we are coming up on some very difficult weeks in this country.
Before us lies an election like no other we have ever seen. Passion in so many areas runs deep and runs wide. And words, often written on various social media platforms, are where those passions are often loosed and proclaimed.
May I humbly encourage us, all of us, no matter where our passions lie, to intentionally consider before we post, that one day our children will google our name.
To ponder, “Is what I am about to post online in line with what I am teaching my children about loving God and loving others?”
To pause and wonder, “Am I using this post to build up or to tear down? To call people names, make fun of them in any way, ridicule or poke fun, or belittle them as a person?”
To think, “If my child said this to another child, would that be okay or would they be in trouble?”
One day, our children will google us.
Let’s make sure that what they find shows them a faith that doesn’t waver with elections or compromise in fear.
Let’s strive to post our passions in a way that honors the fact that each person who reads them is made in the image of God, is loved and beloved of God, and is worthy of respect because of that simple fact.
We owe it to our children to give them a consistent message of who God is and who we are no matter when or where they hear/see our words.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me (Paul), what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8,9 (The Message)
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.
About the author
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com