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Following the Shepherd’s Tap : Why We Are Pulling Way Back On Posting Our Children Online


Very few generations of parents have had to navigate the Wild West of the Internet. What a tool it is! But also, there are many unknowns.


When my husband and I become parents, five years ago, we talked about how we would interact as a family online.


At the beginning, we felt peace about sharing family moments and children’s faces. We feel part of our assignment and calling is to equip and encourage families. Giving hope and hacks of our home life to other families, felt like that was within those lanes.


We set personal parameters that we had peace about:

  1. Never post swimsuits, baths, or diaper only pictures.

  2. Stick to pictures instead of videos. (Videos felt so extra personal)

  3. Never post or lament about tantrums, detailed health choices, or negative personal moments.


We followed this guideline, pretty closely. Had peace, felt good about it, and saw fruit! I personally loved sharing “real time” examples. And pictures really do create connection! The idea of so many celebrating and sharing life with us was very special.


Then reels took off and suddenly people wanted to look into our lives a bit more. Praise the Lord for opportunities to shine for Him! But even though likes were coming in, blog numbers started growing, and I hit a few viral million+ viewed videos, there was an uneasiness. Mainly because I was constantly breaking the video rule we set.


As time ticked on, I started feeling like a sheep mom, just following the others. Other Christian moms I look up to posted their dirty kitchens and kid birthday parties, and so I was too. It seemed part of my responsibility as a millennial mom to show my love and life through snapshots online. But I started feeling that shepherd staff more and more.


Have you experienced that? Gentle taps from the Lord assuring you that His direction is different. It’s not a full reprimand, just a nudge into a knowing He’s already given. I knew it was time to get with my Husband and evaluate what online family life needed to look like.


We stopped the reels, we pulled back on sharing everyday life on stories, and I did my best to only post the kids if they were with my husband or me. Things felt in balance again.


But then, a few months ago, I started feeling that shepherd staff tap again.


I knew what that meant. Another pull back was needed.


So here are things my husband and I discussed (and maybe you can think through if it applies to your unique family dynamic) :

  1. Do we want people to know our children for their past (a history of posts) or for their future (who they will choose to be in years to come).

  2. If they have gifts, they can serve their local Body, and as they grow and the Lord opens doors, He can expand them to more influence. We want their gifts to be tools for the Kingdom, not entertainment for the Internet.

  3. The access of AI is a factor to consider and pray about. There is just a lot we don’t know.


After these thoughts, we decided, for the time being, we are going to pull way back on posting our children’s faces online. That’s a step we feel called to do right now. It doesn’t mean for ever or for everyone, but as parents we have to follow our Shepherd.


The Lord is probably giving you some taps of the staff too, and goodness what a joy to have that kind of guidance and protection!


Some “taps” the Lord may be giving you:

  • Educational choices for your children

  • Sport involvement (more or less)

  • Need for one-on-one time

  • Food to add or cut back on

  • A discipline to tighten up on

  • A behavior to give grace to

Whatever that nudge is about, take time to pray and make choices following the leading of the Lord.


So why am I sharing all this?


It’s not to encourage you to pull photos of your children. There are plenty of ways for you to be safe and still share your family life with peace and joy! (Or maybe He has been talking to you about this topic too, and you need a little nudge to go for it 🤍)


I share this to encourage you to follow The Shepherd’s taps in your life. You don’t have to know all the details, simply take one step forward in the way you sense Him guiding you in. That’s called simple obedience.


In His Joy,

Abby




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