It's a blessed thing when as a parent you can learn from your child.
A few days ago I posted a video on Facebook. It was a response to the recent controversy about the performance of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke on the Video Music Awards, presented by a young wife and mother who has garnered quite a following for her blog and videos. I shared the video because it depicts a beautiful, strong and "modern" young woman extolling traditional values and chastity until marriage. I think that is a message worth promoting, especially when it comes from someone who is already succeeding in an industry that usually celebrates an alternate view (Jae Tracie, the video blogger, identifies herself as a model, actress, and singer). But I did hesitate slightly before I posted it, and at the time I couldn't quite figure out why. (I've posted the video below if you want to watch. It isn't what it first appears to be.)
Then yesterday my daughter told me that she has been a little bothered by the video and the number of people sharing it. When I asked why, she explained that it seems to her that the video equates a certain type of behavior with the earning of respect. If you behave like a lady, you deserve respect; if you behave in another way, you don't. She made the point that the way a person behaves does not make him or her less worthy of honor. We are all God's children, created by Him. He loves us all, even though we don't deserve it. Are we not called to love one another in the same way? Miley Cyrus, and young women like her, are clearly confused. In many cases their parents have abandoned them to the culture. But they are still human beings deserving of respect. To heap disdain on them in the midst of their waywardness does not help. The videographer in question does not go after Miley personally, but she does make several contemptuous references to "skanky" women, an attitude which is dismissive of their humanity.
I think my daughter makes a great point. I have read the opinions of several others who ask why Miss Cyrus has received so much attention to the exclusion of the 36-year-old married man who was dancing with her. It's a good question. If anything, he has more to answer for than the 20-year-old girl.
Thank you, Caitlin, for teaching me. You are a wise and compassionate young woman, and I am blessed to call you daughter.