David Nasser and I went to high school together, and if he wasn’t the single-most unlikely candidate to become a minister, he was at least on the top ten list. Amazing what God can do, huh? He sent out this piece in an email over the weekend, and I felt like sharing it. Have no fear, I will be posting a couple of more traditional Christmas pieces of my own over the next couple of days.
Leave Britney’s Sister Alone???
Maybe you’re among the nearly 14 million viewers who’ve seen Chris Crocker’s part satire, part fan obsessed plea on YouTube entitled “Leave Britney Alone.” The now famous rant was all the talk on the web a few months back. If you haven’t seen it, consider yourself blessed. Chris Crocker’s 15 minutes of fame was, thanks in part to the once girl-next-door-turned-pop star, Britney Spears. Now again, on the coattails of Britney’s fame comes another headline grabbing story.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but there is a war going on in Iraq. America is gearing up for another presidential election. Our unstable economy is up one day and plummeting the next. Oh, yeah, there’s also a devastating genocide in Darfur, and a few other things that beg for the headline news top spot. But what is America talking about the most? Britany’s little sister. Isn’t it ironic that the most googled, most YouTubed, most blogged, and most popular watercooler story in the world today is the heartbreaking story of a 16-year-old involved in statuary rape. (Last time I checked a 19-year-old sleeping with a minor is considered a crime.)
This is usually the time of year when we focus on another young girl, who as a unwed, pregnant teenager found herself as a topic of conversation. The virgin Mary.
So what do Jamie Lynn Spears and the young virgin Mary have in common? A little more than one might think. Both, young teenagers, scandalously pregnant. Both, in view of the whole world to see. Both, afraid and in need of grace. Think of what it must have cost Mary and her reputation to be pregnant, out-of-wedlock, in those days. The looks, the whispers, the scandal of it all. Of course, with Mary, we know that her pregnancy was the favor of God. A blessing to a young teenage girl who with humility and purity found herself to be the chosen candidate for God’s amazing plan. What was that plan? To deliver to this world his son. The perfect and blameless son of God, born of a virgin. Mary was a young servant, whose pregnancy, was used for God’s glory.
Sadly, Jamie Lynn’s story is very different. What makes her a candidate for young pregnancy is the absence of humility and purity. Much of this comes from her own decisions and actions. But much of it is not her own fault. How hard it must be to be pushed by a profit earning mother to become just like her big sis: a star! Some of the blame must fall on Britany. In the last year, Britany Spears has found her shaved-headed self in such decay that her children were taken away. The children were given to the more responsible parent, Kevin Federline. Anytime a judge deems Kevin Federline as the more reliable parent than you, you’re in a lot of trouble. Jamie Lynn has seen her older sister model a life of self obsessed indulgence. But rather than learning from her sister’s mistakes, she imitates it and finds herself here.
Jamie’s mother is also to blame. Being on your child’s payroll makes it hard to parent properly. Not that there is much evidence that she desires to anyway. Selling your kids to the world as sexual objects has a high price tag and Lynne Spears is finding that out. The saddest part of her involvement is that she actually brokered and sold her daughter’s pregnancy story to OK magazine.
So, where is the hope in the Spears family saga? Well, first of all it’s not over. God can use all of this to get the attention of the Spears. They are valuable to God and He is in no way done with them. Second, there’s Jamie Lynn’s decision to keep the baby and not have an abortion. I am thankful that Jamie Lynn, the father, and all involved can model the principle that two wrongs don’t make a right. Third, there is the “man in the mirror” moment for me as an individual. I’d be the first to confess that I certainly have more in common with the Spears family than the virgin Mary. OH THE GRACE that we all need in the midst of our shortcomings. As a much lesser known public figure, this can serve as a reminder of the importance of accountability and conviction in my own life. Fourth, but certainly not last, is the lesson to learn as a parent. Where in my child’s life am I being a stumbling block rather than a stepping stone? Am I ever trying to live out my dreams through my kids? Maybe it would have been best, if as a selfish and ambitious parent, Lynne Spears had been the first to leave Brittany and her sister alone.