This is the slightly edited version of what Billy Ray Cyrus told GQ Magazine in an interview for its March publication. Billy links the failure of his marriage, his failure as a father, and Miley’s failure to behave like a respectable human being to a Disney TV show that aired from 2006 to 2011 – Hannah Montana.
Seeing what he and Disney have conceived in the form of his daughter Miley, Billy now wishes he could step in and protect her from all the dangerous things and people that his now 18 year old daughter has surrounded herself with. He regrets not stepping in sooner and putting a stop to it all saying that he wishes he had listened to the advice of others when they told him that he didn’t need to be a friend to Miley but a parent.
My heart goes out to, Billy. I have three children of my own and it makes me sick to think that any of them could grow up to be unrestrained and express that in whatever manner may appeal best to them. I do not blame him for all of what Miley has become. Miley is not free of responsibility for what she has done and will do. Disney can also claim a share of responsibility (they tend to have a track record for famous children gone bad – Brittney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Timberlake, and Shia Labeouf are among some that Disney has had a hand in making (in)famous). Although I do not blame Billy for all of Miley’s wicked behavior, Billy does bear a good bit of responsibility. God has given him the responsibility of raising Miley. It was Billy’s responsibility to teach her of God, His law, and His Christ. It was Billy’s responsibility to love his wife and cherish her. Instead he decided to parent according to his own rules and made choices that resulted in he and his wife getting a divorce and Miley giving free reign to any and every passion that flits through her heart. I think Billy knows this. His anger toward Hanna Montana is not completely unjustifiable as it is a factor in his daughter’s demise. His attacking that instead of himself is natural. I mean, even Adam blamed Eve and ultimately God for his own sin. Fallen humanity just doesn’t roll over and apologize that easily.
Why am I blogging about Billy and his daughter gone wild? Surely it isn’t to revel in Billy’s heart ache, but as an admonition to parents. I have noted the whole “be a friend to your kids not a parent” philosophy amidst some of my own acquaintances. This worldly mindset makes being a parent the antitheses of being a friend. This is nothing short of a lie. In reality to be a parent to our children is to be their friend. Solomon said, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” If you are “parenting” according to the same philosophy Billy operated under then you are no friend to you children. You are their enemy. Telling your children “no!” or disciplining them when they do wrong may temporarily lower your popularity rating with them, but to not do so screams “I hate you!” A parent who is more concerned for maintaining their own popularity poll over the welfare of their own child is a fool. I’m not sure how much Solomon and Billy would agree on, but I’m sure they agree on this.
Many parents I see today seem to not even care about parenting; the few out there who do, seem to adopt some twisted form of this “friend vs. parent” philosophy. Billy will attest that his following this philosophy has contributed to his daughter’s present situation. While Miley erotically sings “I can’t be tamed” dressed like caged bird set free Billy warns us with a message akin to House of the Rising Sun urging us not to do what he has done. We would do well to listen to him for he is echoing the truth of Scripture.
“He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
“For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12
“Those whom I [the LORD] love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19