In entertainment news today, we read about Billy Ray Cyrus lamenting their family’s role in Disney’s Hannah Montana show. He says the show “destroyed his family, causing his divorce and sending daughter Miley Cyrus spinning out of control“.
This sounds good on the surface, after all, it is never “our” fault, there is always an external source for trouble – but not long after that statement, he expresses a more realistic reason for the family’s pain when he says, “that he tried too hard to be a friend instead of a parent to his daughter“.
But then finally the article shares that Billy Ray Cyrus gives the ultimate reason for the problems his family faced when he says that “he believes Satan is attacking his family…. There has always been a battle between good and evil. Always will be”.
He mentions that he and the family saw the show as an opportunity to present family entertainment and bring families closer together, but ultimately it tore his family apart.
I do not know where the Cyrus family stands spiritually, they know their hearts and where they stand with God. It appears that their hearts were in the right place as they entered the show and the opportunity that it held, but somewhere along the way, they left the path. We can focus on parental responsibility, which does seem to be key here by his own statement, but I want to briefly look at the bigger picture.
He acknowledges the battle of good and evil that is always present and so often we forget that. In Ephesians 6:12 we read “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” There is a spiritual battle taking place and all to often we forget that and focus on the physical. Yes, Billy Ray Cyrus should have been a parent, not a friend to Miley – but more importantly, he should have been the spiritual leader, seeking to protect himself and his family from falling into temptation. At some point, he forgot about that battle and became comfortable with the physical surroundings until he realized it was too late and now, like many parents, all he can seemingly do is to sit back and pray that God touches his child’s life and brings them back to Him. That is a hard place to be in and though the focus is on Billy Ray Cyrus today, it affects many, many families. It also pains us who work with children, wondering what could have been, could someone have partnered with the family better, did “we” drop the ball as well?
What can we do to stay focused on the spiritual battle? and how can we partner with families in this battle?