With the rising popularity of social media, such as Instagram and Snapchat, it is easy for girls to become immersed in trying to achieve picture perfection. This can have so many ill effects.

Social media allow users to tell the stories they want to tell, and those stories might contain idealized or even false images and descriptions of bodies, fashion, friendships and dating. Comparisons with these posts might enhance any insecurities that girls might have about themselves. Look at any teen’s Instagram account and you will see posts that are mindfully crafted in pose and caption, seen through a filter of happiness. But for some, the happiness portrayed may be just that … a filter.

Young women spend many hours on social media, often comparing themselves to the filtered images they see, which can create a sense of envy or unhappiness. Instead of trying to emulate worldly ideals, encourage your teen to go beyond the surface to focus on the beauty within. Looking through a spiritual lens, teens can post images that emphasize qualities associated with their relationship with God: compassion for others, generosity of spirit and faith. Social media accounts employing a spiritual lens will inspire purpose and meaning in your teen that goes beyond physical appearance and the supposed “flawless” life.

Inspire your daughter to be the light and truth and bring joy to the lives of others through her posts. As 1 John 1:5-7 says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”

Social media platforms are meant to create fellowship and connections with others, not make others jealous or covetous. By living in God’s image both in true and virtual reality, your daughter will foster positive relationships and connections.

Simple ways to “light up” social media include:

  • Inspirational quotations that remind others that even though life may not be perfect, there is still so much to be grateful for
  • Photos reflecting God’s beautiful world and the kindly acts of people in it
  • Anything that might bring a smile to someone’s face
  • Thoughtful questions that might encourage others to respond or reflect on their own spiritual journey

Social media can accommodate a wide range of content – they are not limited to the best, or the richest, or the most famous. They are ideal outlets for your daughter to showcase her inner beauty and to inspire others in a positive way. Just remind her to always be true to herself and follow her spiritual compass.

Another way to inspire this type of behavior in your daughter is to model it yourself. Does she see you present a certain image to your church friends or co-workers that is very different from the way you behave in the home? Modeling consistency by accepting yourself for who you are and relating to others with authenticity and transparency is a great way to help your kids learn to do the same.