On Being “Liked”
My morning routine usually goes one of two ways.
Up at six, four kids out the door to school by seven forty-five a.m., a cup of coffee in hand, a Bible opened in my lap, and a few quiet moments of reading and talking to God.
Or, if I’m honest, my morning goes another way. Up at six, four kids out the door to school by seven forty-five a. m., and a mad dash up to the computer by eight o’clock. Sometimes a craving rises up in me that can’t even be quenched with morning coffee. I sit in my tiny orange chair and wait for the computer to brighten, and try to look nonchalant although no one else is around. The computer purrs and I quickly click to my Facebook account. Did anyone respond to the witty status I wrote last night? Has anyone new ‘liked’ my author page? How many ‘friends’ does my husband have today? Oh, man, I have like five hundred more than him!
Instead of a Christian woman, a writer, a mother of four, I am suddenly the school girl who receives a note in class. Do you like me? Check yes or no.
And a little box is checked off somewhere deep in my heart.
More times than I care to admit, my morning routine lies behind door number two.
I have become a social media junky.
Lately, I have started to wonder if I give my husband Sergei as much attention as I give to refreshing my Facebook home page. Do my children know that I ‘like’ them best of all? Do they know that I am interested in the status of their day? Does my family know I am their biggest fan?
My first defense is to blame Twitter and Facebook and blogging. Yes, I was never like this before a giant cloud of all the people I have ever known were right at my fingertips. There was a time when I actually had to call someone on a telephone with a curly beige cord. But those days are gone. Now I can communicate with anyone from the comfort of my living room while I’m still in my pajamas.
But who I pay attention to is not my computer’s fault. This issue is much deeper than that. If I am not looking to Christ alone for validation, I will look in other places. And more distance from God, means a dimmer witness, less attention to my family, more world, less Jesus. It’s my fault. Worldly validation is like taking a hit of some drug. It feels good for a while and then tapers off. You end up feeling worse than before. You quickly start looking for another fix.
The only lasting validation I can count on is from Jesus. And the only way I can ensure that I am showing my family the attention they are due is by stepping back, laying my sin at the foot of the cross, and asking Jesus to reset my priorities for his glory alone. The mornings I choose door number one, and take a few quiet moments alone with God is like 1,000 likes for my soul. And they are true likes. They are “I like you so much that I died for you” likes.
FEATURED GUEST: GILLIAN MARCHENKO
Gillian Marchenko is a writer, speaker, and advocate for individuals with special needs. Her writing has appeared in Mom Sense Magazine, EFCA Today, The Four Cornered Universe, and is forthcoming in Chicago Parent. Gillian lives in Chicago with her husband Sergei and their daughters Elaina, Zoya, Polly and Evangeline. Connect with Gillian on Facebook or Twitter, check out her website at GillianMarchenko.com, or follow her family blog Pocket Lint.