To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Time to Stop Shaming

I recently read a blog post written by a woman who wanted to make sure the rest of us knew she wasn't fooled by the "perfect" lives we try to portray on social media and how she had the collective "us" all figured out. I only got halfway through the article and then had to stop because her article did nothing to convict me of portraying something I'm not and frankly sounded more like the rantings of a bitter woman who is very dissatisfied with the life she is leading and clearly seeing other people happy or at least attempting to be happy, angers her. I would cite the blog post here so you could see for yourself but my blog is not about spreading that kind of negativity so I'm not going to; I'm sure a quick search would lead you to it...or one similar. 

That's the thing with social media. I will be the first to admit that I love my daily dose of Facebook because it's an easy way for me to stay connected with people; something that is difficult to do when you are busy raising a family. However, it has become a place where people feel very free to say whatever they think with very little regard to other people's feelings. It has also become a place where shaming of every kind is taking place. We have all seen and heard about the "mommy wars", I even wrote a blog post on it [A Time to Judge Me]. It is also a place where a person will now be shamed for having a happy life, happy marriage and happy children. When did we become so cynical that it is hard for us to believe that a family can be genuinely happy? When did we become so bitter that we
doubt a picture of a happy couple is real? When did we become so dissatisfied with our own lives that seeing posts about a person being thankful and happy for their spouse and children and life in general upsets us? 

Why is it necessary for us to know the "dirt" behind the photo? Why can't a frazzled, stressed out mom who has been taking care of her children who maybe haven't behaved the best the past few days or maybe were sick and cranky, post a photo of that rare second when the child was happy as a reminder to focus on the good and not the negative? Why can't a couple, who in reality have arguments and disagreements like every other couple, post a photo of themselves and celebrate the love they STILL have for one another despite the ups and downs marriage has brought? Why do we feel the need to tell people that if there is ANY negative anywhere in their lives then they are not allowed to focus on the ups but should instead dwell on the downs? 

I love seeing photos of couples who are happily married and in love. I love seeing photos of couples who have stood the test of time & the "for better or for worse" moments and I love seeing photos of families enjoying each other and being happy; even if it's only for that one day, minute or second because everyone deserves to celebrate the good moments. Families are falling apart and that is no secret. There are a lot of hurting moms and dads and in effect, a lot of hurting children. Families need help, they need support, they need love, they need encouragement and most of all they need to know there is a God that loves them more than any one person could and who wants to help them succeed. I want to spread THAT message! I want to like every happy, joyful picture I see, not because I'm naive and think that that a happy picture is a total representation of what is going on but because that person is making a choice to focus on the good rather than dwell on the negative and that kind of focus is what is going to save marriages and save families!

Yes, there are those out there who will always feel the need to impress and portray something that isn't reality but I believe they are the exception, not the rule. The majority of people on social media are just trying to live their lives to the best of their ability and sometimes if they need to make something look a little better than reality to help them feel better, then just let them! If we want to be people who love the way God tells us to love then we will be patient & kind; we won't be rude, envious, boastful, proud or easily angered & offended. My family is made up of 9 imperfect people who have good days and bad days. Despite the ups and downs though we are able to genuinely put a smile on our faces and have genuine love for one another in the midst of our circumstances because we have the joy of the Lord in our hearts. So post those happy moments and don't let anyone bully you into believing you shouldn't just because your life isn't perfect. That's what life is: An imperfect existence filled with perfect moments and no one should be shaming you for sharing it!