The term mommy blogger has been used in the past as an insult.
It's a disparaging term used to belittle or undermine women who are speaking up about their lives and experiences. It's designed to make the views and opinions that women express seem of less important. But mommy bloggers are leading a cultural movement of women, and it's time for Christian women to get involved. Women are typically underrepresented in Christian circles online. Although church attendance skews female, online participation or engagement skew to men.
The premise behind mommy bloggers is that they tell the truth about their lives. The various issues their children and spouse go through, illness, conflict, discontentment, the difficulty of achieving work life balance. They are a direct hit back against shallow Instagram culture. They are relatable, their online lives are realistic depictions of what it means to be a mother in the twenty-first century. This honesty is refreshing and is recognised by their highly invested audiences. Because they reveal, realistically and honestly, what it is like to be a mum, their audiences love them.
Christianity could learn a few things from mommy bloggers. From the power of online platforms to allow us to be honest. It can be difficult as a Christian to determine the line between honestly and the pressure to live as a representative of God. There is lots of pressure as a Christian to represent ourselves somehow perfect, idealised, my shopping never goes off and I never yell at my kids kind of person.
But surely, it is only when we are honest about our mistakes, flaws and failures that we point people to God most clearly. When we are honest about our own brokenness we are most effective in reminding people to look to God.
This honestly is something we all need. Pretending that we have it all together spiritually and literally only leads to being hypocrites and bitterness.
Radical honesty needs to happen in person, to our friends, family and people we can trust from church. But we have an advantage previous generations don't: the ability to take this honesty online. To empower one another through our online words, images. There is so much power in knowing you are not alone. That you are not the only imperfect, broken, struggling.
Evangelicals are typically represented by men. The church structures by necessity prioritise men, there are many more theologically trained men than women, and often men are more likely to be invested in the online debate.
But we are missing out on the power of women, the communities they are part of and the bonds they form. These bonds of trust have power that marketers revere. The power to get people to buy a certain type of washing up powder, or subscribe to a service. But the communities that women build around each other impact the bigger decisions as well. How many children to have, what charities to support, what politicians to vote for. And what spiritual decisions to make.
God calls us to be missional, to be caring about seeing the lost saved. Whoever you are, thinking about your online impact is important. Who we are online should be an expression of our wider faith.
Some initial questions to ask yourself: Where am I active online and in online communities? Is it clear that I am a Christian online? Is there anything I'm doing that would make people think worse of Christianity? What ways can I share my faith?