As I was watching my middle daughter scroll so quickly through her Snap Chat feed, I couldn’t help but think about how much information she was taking into her mind in just seconds. I looked across the room, and there my littlest daughter was watching her favorite TV network, HGTV of course. What was she thinking about all things material and worldly? From behind, I heard my oldest daughter exclaim about something she just saw on Instagram.
These girls of mine, all exposed to life beyond our walls. All enamored with their screens. It’s the culture we live in, to be tethered to something “other” than our moment.
As much as I monitor their usage and engage their hearts in conversation about what they are seeing and ingesting, it still has impact on their hearts and minds . . . and that just scares me to the core.
There’s part of me that wants to ban all devices and screens and everything tech related, and another part that wants to give up the tiresome chore of setting boundaries.
That’s because it’s not just their struggle. It’s mine too.
The tech at my fingertips changes the state of my heart on a daily basis as much as it changes theirs.
And yet, I’ve all too often bought the lie that guarding against usage is a sign of weakness, rather than owning the fact that it causes me to fall into bondage and sometimes sin. Oh yes, a scroll through any social media account can illicit feelings of jealousy faster than a walk through the Macy’s handbag department. Tell me I’m not alone in this struggle! Is it any less of a struggle for our girls?
So should we unplug, turn off, walk away from it all things with a screen in order to guard our hearts?
There’s certainly grounds for believing that is the only solution. And there is certainly a time when it’s an appropriate measure or consequence, especially as we raise up our daughters and consider their struggles. I confess, I took the Facebook app off my phone because, quite frankly, it was a distraction that led me into jealously and caused me to compromise my core values of being emotionally present and physically engaged. But, low and behold, it’s just as easy to replace my Facebook scrolling habit with another social media option. That’s because of the dopamine loop effect . . . which is the same addiction response experience by alcoholics, drug users, and gamblers (learn more here).
Unless I change from the inside out, my habits won’t change and hang-ups won’t go away.
My will power ain’t ever gonna be enough.
I need to invite God into the inner most chambers of my heart to clean out the gunk that draws me into wrong choices like a sticky trap.
The same goes for our girls, and yet they can’t be forced to embrace that process of confession and honest repentance (turning in a new direction) just because we want them to change. They need to want it for themselves. They need to desire more of God’s best and less of this world’s empty promises. And so do we, my dear mama friends.
So, let me ask you this really tough question:
What is it going to take to get your heart and life in order with God in such a way that you’ll have no regrets about the example you’re setting for your girl?
I’m not suggesting you’ll get it all right or achieve some spiritual nirvana. Rather, what does it look like for you to walk humbly and holy, honest in your pursuits, thoughtful in your actions, teachable in your Spirit before God?
Will you inspire more of God and less of everything else?
Imagine, sister, how that might be the greatest impact you have on your daughter. Rather than the focus being on the “should nots, could nots, would nots” it is on the more of God’s promises, provisions, and power? It’s on the deep satisfaction that comes from being filled by Him and not the empty praises of man, the likes of not-your-forever-friends, the shout outs of a stranger.
What if you were the one who inspired your daughter to crave a fresh encounter with God and deeper into a life of living out the Word as truth?
What if she saw you reading your Bible more? Speaking His Word out of the overflow? Worshipping in the ordinary moments? Unplagued by worry? Unplugged and untethered to your screen?
Friend, it’s possible to have that kind of overflowing, life-lived-in-the-trenches faith. I pray you’ll pursue God for that gift for not only yourself, but for your impact today.
Walking With You,
Need some tools to grow deep in your faith and draw closer to God?
Make use of the Seven Strategies for Navigating Social Media and Screens with your Tween and Teen resource.