As I mentioned in my last post, parenting is hard. We have a teen daughter who like most teens, enjoys YouTube and the new celebrities that are arising from that medium. If you aren’t aware, there’s a lot of drama and worldly situations going on with those celebrities, so I try to stay up on the content so we can talk about positive role models, body image, values, and what’s pleasing to Jesus.
Honestly, there aren’t a lot of young people with millions of followers that receive mainstream attention for the right reasons.
But, there’s my age group, the Gen X’ers. I remember my complete devastation when the books came out from the Little House on the Prairie actors. When I was growing up, TV “Pa” was my absolute vision of perfect fatherhood. He was present, strong, nurturing, funny, hard working, churchgoing. Well, that was a character. The reality was the actor, Michael Landon, lived a very different life full of excess. Not quite the role model I thought as a child.
Now in the age of #metoo, so many stories are coming out that break my heart. Leaders from various stages allegedly taking advantage of their position to humiliate and scar others. Again, I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. To hear the vile testimonies from victims that crossed paths with Bill Cosby, it’s sickening. Politicians. Preachers. It’s across society.
It leaves me with the question, who do we look up to? I admit I grew up naive. I thought people in the spotlight accepted a moral code that they were responsible for. Imagine my heartbreak as time and time again their humanity threw them off my pedestal, my place for idols.
And there it is.
Humanity and idols.
As humans, we’re flawed. We are going to sin. I was wrong to look to people to fulfill perfection for me. They will let me down. The YouTubers are not going to show our daughter the absolute truths about who she is. I will let you down.
I also have no place taking humans and putting them on a fantasy shelf and worshiping them. But I did. I didn’t grow up hearing the gospel, I grew up basically in front of Family Ties and Little House. The answer now is clear.
We need to look up to Jesus, and Him alone.
Sure, we can admire how a boss communicates or how a leader is generous with their resources. But base who we are and who we want to be on Christ. He is sinless and carries all the traits we should ever want to possess. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. There’s no greater title than His.
As I prayed about what to write and I felt sad reading the allegations, I felt this message wasn’t just for me. If you struggle with who to follow, I have the answer.
Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26
Timely thoughts, Julie. Idols always disappoint, especially when those idols are human beings with feet of clay. Jesus never disappoints. Thank you for the reminder! —Jim Denney
My pleasure, Jim!