Mom’s give standing ovations all the time. Ball games, piano recitals, and awards days are just a few events you will see mothers proudly jumping to their feet with shouts and applause for their child’s accomplishment. No matter how small or large, moms know how to celebrate the wins in our lives and their praise brings a smile to our faces which in turn is all the payment they need. But what is happening to a society where moms (and dads) are applauding the wrong things? Just a few days ago, during MTV’s annual music video awards, Tish Cyrus jumped to her feet to applaud her daughter’s performance. There is just one glaring problem. Miley Cyrus, the now 20 year woman trying to break out of her Disney child star image, delivered a downright inappropriate display. She wore practically nothing and ended up in a skin colored bikini which gave the appearance of complete nudity. Every dance move was based on some form of sexual movement from the way she bent her body, interacted with the other dancers, or even suggestively touched herself. Shock and awe performances at the annual video music awards is nothing new and MTV has never backed down from promoting the wrong messages about sex to adolescents. But to see Miley’s mother affirming her daughter’s performance was disturbing.
You want to know what is even more disturbing? Miley was baptized in a Baptist Church as a child and few years later she was given a purity ring to be worn as a sign of her virginity until her wedding day. Think about that. It is not as if Tish or Miley Cyrus, are self described atheists who reject any notion of a God who lays out moral guidelines for human sexuality. Based on all public information available, they would both describe themselves as Christians who affirm the teachings of the Bible. Most people find it quite easy to point out the world’s moral decay in regards to sex and sensuality. I happen to think that this is not the biggest moral challenge of our day.
The problem is not unbelievers operating with no sexual or moral compass. It is worse than that. We now have a generation of “professed” Christians who are affirming and supporting all the wrong things. Miley Cyrus, like any human being, is sexual. She was given a gender by God and her body and mind are equipped to express herself sexually in the right context. The right context according to the Christian faith, however, is the intimate relationship with her future husband. Even if her 20 year old superstar ambition blinds her to this, her mother should know better.
You and I have little to know influence on Miley Cyrus or her mother. But what about our kids? Should not one of our primary roles be to teach them the right and wrong way to express themselves sexually? Modesty among our young women and chivalry among our young men used to be celebrated. I have no illusions that the world we live in is going to suddenly change and begin affirming the teachings of Scripture in these matters. I can’t even make the theological argument that the world can clean up its act. The gospel of the New Testament clearly teaches that apart for the life changing spiritual rebirth found only in Christ there is not hope to living a life that honors God. Sadly, it is the so-called people of God who are buying their daughters short shorts with words written across the backside just inviting young men to have a look. In some cases these same folks are allowing their children to watch shows, movies, and play games that happily celebrate infidelity, promiscuity, and many other forms of sexual sin. If you are person of faith make sure you are applauding the right forms of sexual behavior in the lives of young people. Our boys need to hear from us that respecting, encouraging, and protecting young women is not out of style. Likewise, our girls desperately need to hear that feminine beauty is at its best when it is cloaked in purity, kindness, and compassion. MTV has it wrong; modest is hottest.