The other night during the VMA’s, I was busy in my office working on a writing assignment and following Twitter at the same time. Not for news about the VMA’s, of course (I didn’t know, or care, that it was on), but because it serves as a sort of quiet office chatter when I need it. Anyway, that’s when my Twitter feed suddenly started blowing up with tweets about Miley’s, um, performance.
The thing that bugged me is that the tweets didn’t stop. People didn’t get offended enough to stop watching. They were shocked, but most reactions seemed to be a mix of surprise and a strange sort of amusement.
There are all kinds of directions to go with what happened Sunday night, and lots of other people have. But to me, the question isn’t really how or why is this happening; it’s why are we watching it?
The problem is much bigger than a young performer trying to out Gaga Lady Gaga.
We let and even encourage our kids to feed their infatuation with pop culture, and then we get mad when it crosses the line.
Sadly, Miley’s behavior the other night should come as no shock. For several years now, she has been letting anyone who has been paying any attention know that her purposes, or at least the means she will use to accomplish them, have changed. Her tweets, pictures, and press have not hidden what she’s been up to. The song she sang at the VMA’s was one with references to drugs in the lyrics. Still, we listen; still, we watch her perform it on stage. And then when wonder why.
Why weren’t we offended more than 3 days ago? Why were we still tuned in? Why are we just now explaining to our daughters why they can’t follow Miley’s career anymore? Are we bothered that our sons saw it, too? Or is that less of a concern to us, like Robin Thicke’s participation has seemed to be?
I think if we’re honest, we’ll admit that we really don’t care if the celebrities our kids watch and emulate are godly or not; we just don’t want them to put their godlessness on TV when our kids are watching.
And we need to wise up.
Teach your kids to keep every person they admire in right perspective. Years ago, I took Abby to a Hannah Montana concert. I didn’t spend an outrageous amount of money to do it, but I did it. And it was a teachable moment. More recently, I bought her some One Direction school supplies. That ended up being a teachable moment, too. We had a talk that ended with her deleting all but three of the One Direction fan accounts she follows on Instagram, because no one should get that much of our attention. I’m not saying our kids should withdraw completely from the world; but they do need to understand, in word and in practice, that no one besides God deserves our worship.
Don’t expect Hollywood to ever, EVER, model life for your kids. In fact, the majority of the time, you should use it as a cautionary tale.
Get on the offensive when it comes to protecting your boys. What happened on stage at the VMA’s is called pornography. And it is eating us alive. Don’t stick your head in the sand or excuse it, thinking “boys will be boys.” You can’t teach them to flee sexually immoral actions if their brains are already filled with images of them.
Be careful what you let your kids watch. The VMA’s were on MTV. MTV plays music videos that glorify the kind of sexuality that Miley showed us live. We would be far better off if we would join with the psalmist in Psalm 101:3 and say, “I will not put before my eyes anything that is worthless.”