Arts, Hollywood, Music
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What Britney Spears teaches us about parenting and planting seeds


Are seeds of faith sprouting in Britney? Photo Britney Spears: Flickr/Eva Rinaldi

Are seeds of faith sprouting in Britney? Photo Britney Spears: Flickr/Eva Rinaldi

In a Twitter question and answer to promote her latest CD “Britney Jean,” pop star Britney Spears caused a stir when asked what her favourite book was.

Britney tweeted “Anything by Max Lucado.”

Lucado is a preacher and prolific Christian writer. He ministers at Oak Hill Church in San Antonio, Texas and has written 100 books including “You’ll get through this.” Britney’s choice of Lucado proved controversial among Britney’s gay followers as Lucado publicly opposed gay marriage.

Though her interest in Lucado seems surprising, it shouldn’t. Britney comes from a Christian home. Her mother, Lynne Spears, wrote a book — Through the Storm — which discusses Britney’s dramatic rise to fame and as well Lynne’s Christian faith that helped during those tumultuous parenting years.

Lynne says they were taken back by Britney’s sudden fame when her first song ended up number one on the Billboard 200 charts. Lynne was equally shocked by the impact this had not only on Britney but the whole family as everyone suddenly became targets for the media.

The pressure eventually resulted in Britney being admitted to a psych ward and Lynne’s marriage break up. There were also problems with Britney’s younger sister.

Lynne writes in her book about two important things she learned:

Reject the guilt:

“There’s nothing noble about holding on to guilt. Remember that, all you mothers reading this book who are blaming yourselves for the things you may have done wrong with your children. The truth is, we could have been perfect mothers, and our children may still have gone off the rails at one time or another. At some point, children are going to make their own choices, regardless of the parenting they received.”

Keep praying:

“Someone told me once that no one is immune to prayer, no one is so rich, so famous, so lost, that she is outside the power of petitioning God on her behalf. So I move toward God and pray for fresh eyes and fresh faith to see His hope for my child. She is not out of His reach.”

But seeing Britney’s reference to Max Lucado provides another key that parents need to hang on to.

Believe in the seeds you planted

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22: 6 NKJ)

Preachers use this popular child rearing verse to tell parents if we raise our children properly, they will walk perfectly in their faith.

But this is not exactly what the verse is saying. It says when they are old they will not depart from it. There is a gap between “train up” and “old.”

In between, our children may go through a time of indifference or rebellion — even seeming to walk away from their faith — but as they get older, and who knows how many years that may take, the faith taught them when they were young will begin to reassert itself.

Now it’s true some translations add the word “even” so it reads “even when they are old they will not depart from it.” This leaves the impression if we train our kids right, they will faithfully serve the lord through all their years. But in the Hebrew “even” is just one option on how this verse could be translated. The King James and New King James don’t include “even” and I believe this is how the writer of Proverbs intended it.

Seeds is an analogy Jesus used to explain the Kingdom of God and I believe Christian parents plant seeds of faith in their children. But there is an interesting feature about seeds, they have an innate ability to go dormant when conditions are not ideal for growth.

Archaeologists doing excavation work at Masada, came across date palm seeds. They planted the seeds and defying all odds, one of those seeds grew. Carbon dating of the shell showed the seed dated somewhere between 60 BC and 95 AD, placing it in Masada as the Romans encircled the city for its capture in 73 AD.

This date palm grew to four feet and was appropriately called Methuselah. This seed waited 2,000 years for conditions to change and when they did, it grew.

The seeds of faith you have planted in your child’s heart are still there. They may be dormant. But they are waiting for the right conditions to sprout and take root.

As parents we need to believe and pray the Holy Spirit will prepare the soil for germination.

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