Justin Bieber is in the news again. Former NFL star, Keyshawn Johnson, chased him through their exclusive California neighborhood on Memorial Day. Allegedly, the “Biebs” was driving his Ferrari at breakneck speed on the 25 mph street, and Johnson’s kids were playing nearby. I would like to have been able to use a picture of the 6’4″ wide-receiver confronting the 5’7″ pop star for my blog. One story reported that Bieber refused to get out of his car when Johnson was pounding on the window. So – we can credit Justin Bieber with at least one good decision that day.
Justin’s mom was quoted last March as saying, “I pray for him. Him being 19, you know, I’ve just gotta let go a little and let him make some of his own decisions. He’s growing up. He’s 19. He’s not my baby.” If I was Justin’s mom I would pray for him too. Then, I would get on a plane, drive to his fancy California home, and tell him he is not growing up and he is acting like a baby. I’d take away every Ferrari key in the house. Sure he can get more keys made, but at least he would be sufficiently called out by his mother.
To be honest, I don’t get it. A few hit songs does not exempt someone from personal integrity. It would be hard to be his mom. She can’t really take his keys, cancel his insurance, make him mow the lawn, or cut his allowance. He is 19 and has WAY too much money – but he still needs parents to discipline him for being a self-centered, reckless boy.
I imagine he will show up in the news at a hospital, hugging a child or doing something else that artificially warms the heart. He pays a lot of money to his publicist. But, enough Bieber bashing. His mom is praying for him, and we need to pray for his mom – and for all the other moms that have to decide how to use the news about Justin Bieber and others, for teaching moments.
I think television is one of the best ways to bring up a biblical point of view. I used to insert a thought or two into our home’s TV watching. For example:
The Victoria’s Secret commercials: I could have changed the channel so my boy’s weren’t watching almost naked women parade around in underwear and high heels. Instead, I usually made some joke that brought a little reality into the silliness. Then I suggested they look for real women with great character. Guess what? I have two AMAZING daughters-in-law.
When “sagging” was in style, I was not a fan. For those of you who don’t know what that is – it is the “style” that calls for guys to wear their pants sagging down to who knows where. My guys knew I didn’t like it, and after one basketball game, I did mention to one of them that they had “mooned” the crowd for most of the game. It got better after that. Sometimes these things just work out on their own.
And, as often as possible, I would insert God’s word into a moment. I kept a Bible promise book handy. That is a book of Scriptures arranged by topic. Your kids might exchange glances and roll their eyes when you give them a verse. But God’s word is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Just tell them you love them and are doing your best to raise them right, so you need God’s help. If I was Justin Bieber’s mom, I would put a Bible promise book in every glove box, under his pillow and in several of his drawers. (You define that last one however you want to!)
I have found Paul’s words to Timothy to be joyously true. God’s word is useful and has a great deal of power, especially with the teachable moments of life. Just make sure people know you are sharing the best advice you know with them, because you love them. We should all share the Bible often, with love.
So…Dear Justin, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9). Therefore, put the Ferrari keys in a drawer, take some long, prayer-filled walks and avoid those crooked paths – because sometimes you get “found out” by a 6’4″ wide receiver. Love, a mom who hopes you will grow up to be a kind, godly man.