This week I read about the lives of three young women: Sadie Robertson, Rachael Lampa and Miley Cyrus. I imagine you also read and/or heard about Miley this week, whether you wanted to or not. As a disclaimer for this blog post, I'm not here to bash Miley. I'm not here to judge her. I am simply here to share some thoughts and insight into three young women whose lives are being lived out in the public eye.
First, Sadie Robertson. Sadie is the 16-year old daughter of Willie Robertson, Duck Commander President and star of the hit reality show "Duck Dynasty." While I'm not a fan of the show -- mainly because I've just never really sat down to watch it -- I do appreciate and applaud the Robertson/Duck Dynasty clan for living out their faith on the show. They are Christians and are not ashamed to show that to the world. Sadie, even at such a young age, is embracing the platform she's been handed and wants to make a difference in the world wherever she can. Tomorrow night she will be at our church in Georgetown speaking to approx. 1,500 youth, sharing her faith in God and what it means to be a Christian teenager in today's world. She and a friend are also launching a YouTube video ministry series called "I Am Different," giving hope and challenging young people to be different from what the world says teens should be today. As Sadie becomes a young adult, I pray she won't ever let fame and fortune steal away the passion and love she has for Jesus Christ.
Rachael Lampa first came on the Christian and pop music scene back in 2000 when she was a teenager. We took our kids to one of her concerts and bought her CD. What an amazing voice that girl has! To this day I still walk around singing her hit "I Am Blessed." But the other day while humming the tune, I realized I hadn't heard anything about Rachael in quite a while. I wondered where she was and what she was doing. Knowing how money and fame can often lead young people down the wrong path, I hoped she wasn't another statistic on the list of famous people gone wild. Thanks to the Internet, it's not hard to find information on people, and I discovered her website showed she was still making music for the Lord. YAY! It also told the story of how she stepped out of the limelight on purpose at the height of her career. You can read her story yourself, but basically Rachael knew singing and music did not define who she was, and she needed to step away from that and simply be Rachael. I don't know about you, but I find it totally refreshing to hear about a young woman, well known in her industry and making lots of money, who knew those things were not what's most important in life.
So, there we have two young women using their talents and their platforms for the glory of God. Kudos to them!! Keep doing what you're doing, girls!
Then there is Miley Cyrus. Sigh. Like most everyone else, I first heard of Miley when she was starring on her hit show "Hannah Montana." My kids watched the show, so therefore I watched it from time to time too. I thought she was an incredibly talented actress for being so young. Her comedic timing was amazing! Her delivery of punchlines and facial expressions were spot-on. As the boys grew, they didn't watch the show as often and Miley disappeared from my radar until she hit the gossip magazines a couple years later. First, it was the risque pictures taken of her for Vanity Fair magazine. Next was her on again/off again relationship and engagement to her "The Last Song" costar Liam Hemsworth. Over the next year or so came the onslaught of pictures of a skimpily clad Miley, rumors of wild behavior, rounded off by the drastic change in her appearance including the cutting off of her lovely mane of hair. In the midst of all this turmoil we learned her parents were divorcing. A lot was going on, and none of it good.
This past week, Miley hit the news again. I won't post any pics or video links of her obscene performance at the VMA awards, but suffice it to say she hit rock bottom in her quest to rid herself of her goody-goody image. Although there are many singers out there embracing the vulgarity in dance and song that Miley apparently has, what makes her different -- or is supposed to, anyway -- is that Miley once professed to be a Christian. Her parents raised her as a Christian, went to church, and Billy Ray even recorded a really nice gospel-country-type album that I bought for my husband way back when. Billy Ray's love for the Lord and for his family really came out in some of those song lyrics.
So what went wrong? Why is Miley traveling down a path that other young Christian artists, like Rachael Lampa, steered clear of? Why would Miley throw aside the values she's been taught -- values that led her to be baptized in 2005 and wear a purity ring in 2008 -- and embrace things like sexual promiscuity including orgie-like gatherings, underage drinking, and drug use? (A review of her latest hit single reveals this.)
Two verses come to mind. First:
"Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
"When [Satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44
Miley bought the lie. Hook, line and, sadly, sinker. The enemy saw her weaknesses and moved in for the kill. The sweet, talented, Christian girl of years past doesn't exist anymore. In her place is the hard-looking young woman who performed the most disgusting, raunchy, obscene acts I've ever had the misfortune to witness (via TV news clips) from a young woman the same age as my youngest son.
What should Miley have done when the battle for her soul began?When the temptations that come with youth, fame and fortune bombarded her? She should have done the thing we all need to do when the battles come, whatever they may be:
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Ephesians 6:11. (Read Ephesians 6:10-17 for the full list of armor.)
We simply cannot fight the devil on our own. We will fail miserably. Need evidence? Google Miley's VMA performance.
Everyone has choices to make in this world. And everyone will stand before God one day to give an accounting of those choices. It's up to you if you will stand there in shame or in triumph.
This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Russia, Germany, France, Poland, Philippines, Serbia,