“My Son Wants To Go to a Britney Spears Concert”

My son is 15 years old. My husband and I have differing opinions on our son’s attraction to Britney Spears. Our son has requested tickets to her concert. The photographs I’ve seen are extremely sexual and seem pornographic. Her physical gyrations at the concerts are repulsive to me but I know my son loves it. It seems that this fixation on Britney is cultivating a strong appetite for more sexually explicit visual stimulations in the future. Share your thoughts or scripture please.

Dear ______,

I know what I think, but I thought it might be helpful to ask my son Kevin, a college sophomore home for a visit, how HE would answer your question.

First of all, he just shook his head and said “Keep that boy away from her!! She has incited so many guys to lust—I don’t care WHAT she says about being a virgin. She’s a tease.”

Then he sat down with his Bible and provided the following perspective:

Proverbs 5:3-5 says, “For the lips of the adulteress drip honey. . . her steps lead straight to the grave.” Verse 8 says, “Keep far away from her and do not go near the door of her house.” Kevin pointed out that Britney’s provocative dress and onstage behavior has invited so many men to lust after her that, according to the way the Lord Jesus equated lust with adultery in the mind, she could reasonably be considered an adulteress. Not literally, of course, but acting deliberately with the intent of making young men lust after her. And not very different from the woman warned against in Proverbs.

2 Timothy 2:22 says, “FLEE youthful lusts. . .” Don’t even let there be an opportunity, either in behavior or in one’s mind, to pursue unholy thoughts. Going to a Britney Spears concert is the exact opposite of fleeing youthful lusts.

And finally, Kevin brought up Proverbs 6:20 and 24-25: “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother . . . To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Not let her capture you with her eyelids.”

My mother’s heart is delighted that he put such emphasis on your (and my!) role in your son’s life. From that same mother’s perspective, I would put this in the same context as the kind of unpopular decisions we make all the time:

  • “I realize you don’t want to brush your teeth and you don’t see any reason for it, butyou need to do it anyway.”
  • “I realize you prefer pizza and chocolate cake to anything green, but it’s important for you to eat vegetables, and there will BE no pizza or chocolate cake until you eat the healthy stuff.”
  • “I understand you hate pain and so do I, but you have to go to the doctor and get this booster shot, and I’m afraid you don’t have a choice in this.”

So it follows that we would say, “Yes, son, I know you think Britney Spears is the hottest thing since fire and this constitutes child abuse, but because I love you and want to protect you from your own flesh and hormones, you can’t go. End of discussion.”

Part of the value of God placing parents in a place of authority and protection over children is that we are able to see farther down the road than they are, and we can see the big picture of life better than they can. So we make them do things they don’t want to do, and we prevent them from doing things they really want to do, because acting in their best interests is more important to us than feeling popular and well-liked by our kids. We are no longer in high school; we can choose being wise and responsible over being popular.

But then there’s the other issue, which is that your husband and your son are apparently in agreement against your position and beliefs. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that!

But according to what the scripture says about our role as wives, we need to be in submission at the same time that we support our husbands by providing our God-given woman’s perspective. So all you can do is speak to your husband (ALONE) about how you think about this issue (and I would use the word “thoughts” rather than “feelings” since it’s a temptation for many men to dismiss women’s feelings as unreliable and not valuable. Not fair, I know, but it seems to be the way it is a lot of the time). The more logical and analytical you can be in sharing your perspective, the better the communication will probably be. Once your husband knows your position, leave the final decision up to him (which it should be anyway since he’s the dad) and turn over the situation into God’s hands. (This reminds me of a word of wisdom I heard the other day: If you can’t change something, release it.) If your son ends up going to the concert, pray for him! Pray that he will have eyes to see the truth about what Britney’s doing; pray that he will feel guilty; pray that he will have a growing discomfort with this kind of self-absorbed fleshly behavior. And if you haven’t read The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, get it and pray it!

I hope this helps.

Blessings on you,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

Paris Hilton and What We Want

Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton.

Please excuse the repetition, but I want this article to score highly in Google searches.

You see, Google Zeitgeist, the mega-search engine’s report on its most popular search topics, says the heiress scored number one on 2006 Google News searches. The report presents a glimpse of the “spirit of the times,” giving clues to websurfers’ interests.

In news (yes, I said “news,” not “entertainment”) searches, Paris beat Orlando Bloom, cancer, and Hurricane Katrina. Borat and Hezbollah topped “Who is” searches. Among U.S. searches for “Scandal,” the Duke Lacrosse episode took three of the first four slots.

What else do people want to know about? Google’s top-ten lists in various categories include MySpace, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Paul McCartney, Pamela Anderson, Reggie Bush, and Clay Aiken.

Why do celebrities and entertainment rank so high? Perhaps it’s the desire to connect with something larger than ourselves. Maybe boredom explains some celebrity obsession. And don’t rule out diversion.

For some—maybe many—daily life ranges from harried to overwhelming: soured relationships, job conflict, financial pressure, health distress. Diverting focus can ease your troubled mind, at least temporarily.

Of course, everyone needs mental and emotional breaks. Diversion can be a healthy coping mechanism—until it becomes obsessive. Then it can lead to denying reality, perhaps obscuring genuine wants and needs.

Suppose we had a mind/heart/soul reader to discover what people really want once their basic physical needs are met. What would we find? Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s renowned hierarchy of basic needs includes safety, love, esteem and self-actualization.{1] Perhaps our soul reader would detect desires for acceptance, thriving personal friendships, peace of mind, health, security.

Maslow also realized that several profound fears—including the fear of death—trouble humanity.{2} Our soul reader might find that people also want an answer to death.

Anthropologist Ernest Becker argued in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death,{3} that much human behavior can be explained by a deep desire to deny death’s reality, to repress “the terror of death.” No wonder. Which would you enjoy more, right this minute: contemplating your own death and its aftermath . . . or reading, exercising, web- or channel surfing, conversing, partying, working, shopping, etc.?

If we don’t have a solution to fear of death, we can invent ways to avoid thinking about it. Alas, attractive and even worthwhile pursuits can become enslaving. Amassing the most “toys”; rat-race schedules; obsession with career, job, education, sports or even friends can insulate people from facing their own mortality.

The biblical book of Hebrews presents a similar analysis of the human dilemma, reasoning that people “have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” {4} It claims that Jesus died to “deliver” people from this slavery so they might connect with God in time and eternity.

It seems morbid to always be thinking about your own death. But could avoiding it altogether constitute unhealthy denial? Could excessive focus on certain pursuits become risky diversion from life’s real issues, like personal meaning, personal worth, fulfilling relationships, and what Sigmund Freud called “the painful riddle of death”?{5}

Could obsession with Paris Hilton and her Google Zeitgeist pals conceal deep longings, insecurities and fears in individual websurfers and in society at large?

As the esteemed British philosopher and rocker Sir Mick Jagger famously counseled, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime . . . you just might find you get what you need.” {6} A friendly question for my fellow websurfers: Is what you want, what you need?


1. A. H. Maslow (1943), “A Theory of Human Motivation”; Originally Published in Psychological Review, 50, 370-396; at http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Maslow/motivation.htm, accessed December 28, 2006.
2. Abraham H. Maslow, Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Penguin Books Limited, ©1964 by Kappa Delta Pi and ©1970 [preface] The Viking Press), Appendix A, “Religious Aspects of Peak-Experiences,” items 8 & 14; at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/maslowa.htm, accessed December 28, 2006.
3. Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death (New York: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997; original copyright was 1973).
4. Hebrews 2:15 NLT.
5. Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (New York: W.W. Norton, 1961 edition; James Strachey translator and editor; original work was published in 1928) 19.
6. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (songwriters), “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Lyrics at http://rollingstones.com/discog/index.php?v=so&a=1&id=124; accessed December 28, 2006.

Copyright © 2007 Rusty Wright