A few weeks ago, I posted about young Miley Cyrus and her new music video. It is shocking in it's own merit, but given that the poor girl is only seventeen, my reaction was to want to Punch Billy Ray in the Face.
But it seems that Billy Ray has lowered the bar for fathers even lower.
A website recently posted a racy video from the wrap party of Miley's newest movie. In it, Miley is seen giving a "lap dance" to her 44 year-old movie producer. Her behavior was apparently so inappropriate that parents were taking their kids and leaving.
Billy Ray's response: "It's what people her age do."
Some other Dads should care enough to confront Mr. Cyrus on his lackluster performance as a father. And do it in firm love. But if that doesn't work, I'm for advocating the kidney-punch strategy.
You can read a New York times article on the whole story here.
And while it may be easy to write this off to typical Hollywood indecency, I think that Dads are dropping the ball in this way all around us. In recent days, I have heard of high school girls whose parents are encouraging them to be intimate with their boyfriends so that they can "gain some experience." And these are church families.
I'm for erring on the side of encouraging radical purity in my kids. And not just because I don't want them to get pregnant or get some nasty disease. It's because I want them to experience God's very best, not the junk that the world holds out to them. And that's critical for them to have success in their marriages down the road. When did we forget that God invented sex? When He gives us some simple parameters, can we trust that He knows what He is talking about?
As a Dad, I want my kids to enter marriage without the baggage of their past sexual partners and experiences. Recent research is affirming that critical bonds are formed when you are sexually intimate with someone. It's hard to break away from. (It's the main reason that young people tend to stay in relationships that EVERYONE around them knows are dysfunctional: they are being intimate and can't bring themselves to end it.) This is illustrated beautifully (and graphically) in a music video by Gnarls Barkley. It's great food for thought.
We must consider the effects of our kids' sexual experience on their ability to succeed in marriage. One study (that I have seen before but couldn't find as I wrote this...sorry) compared the divorce rate of couples who married each other as virgins with couples who had previous sexual partners. While the divorce rate for two virgins was extraordinarily low (like 20 %), the divorce rate was much higher for those who had one previous partner (more than 50%). It went up again for those who had additional partners (something like 65%) While my data isn't exact, the findings are clear...purity before marriage is worth it.
So, back to my original observation: Billy Ray Cyrus and his cop-out that lap dances are just what "people her age do." Maybe that's true. But people her age who make that sort of behavior the acceptable norm run a high risk of being people our age who can't make marriage work. The odds will be stacked against them for experiencing the joy and satisfaction that God intended married life to be. I refuse to be a dad who stands by and lets that happen.
There is just too much at stake. So as a Dad, it's not going to happen on my watch. I'm going to stay connected to my daughters' hearts, model righteous manliness to my sons, hover closely over ANYBODY who shows a romantic interest in my kids, and clearly lay out an expectation for what purity looks like. It doesn't guarantee any behavior or outcome from them, but I'm not going to sit idly by and let the world define what normal sexuality is. That scares the crap out of me.
So, is anybody interested in driving to Nashville to do an intervention for Billy Ray? We'll go in peace, but have the kidney-punch option as a fall back plan.