Thursday, December 20, 2007

Role Models

Much ado has been made this week over the announcement that Britney Spears' little sister, Jamie Lynn, is pregnant. Jamie Lynn is just 16 years old and her boyfriend is 19. She is the star of some show on Nickelodeon and is supposedly a role model for young girls.

Naturally, that role model status is much disputed now. I read a news article yesterday about parent debating over what to tell their children about this teenage star's premarital sexual activity and out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

While I don't know much about Jamie Lynn's background or how this pregnancy will affect her career and reputation (although I'm sure I'll hear way more about than I care to), I was thinking last night about another teenage mother--Mary.

Granted, Mary's conception was miraculous and not sinful, but I couldn't help but wonder about the beating that her reputation likely took. Considering that Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, I assume that she must have had a good reputation among her village. Perhaps she was the sort of girl that other mothers encouraged their young daughters to emulate. Maybe Mary was the favorite babysitter, the encourager, the servant, the girl that everyone wanted to be around.

Just imagine what news of her premarital pregnancy did to stir up her village. I wonder if she was shunned from public appearances, not invited to parties or celebrations. I wonder if mothers and daughters crossed to the other side of the road when they saw Mary coming.

Of course, not only was Mary risking her reputation by accepting the great responsibility of bearing Jesus, but she risked her life. Sex outside of marriage was a sin punishable by stoning. Yet Mary gave no indication of pausing in her acceptance of God's plan for her life. Instead, she saw it as an honor to become the mother of the Messiah.

Perhaps in Heaven I can sit with Mary and have a little chat about all that she went through in her pregnancy, the reaction of her family and neighbors, and what kind of life she led prior to the angel's appearance that caused her to have such great faith. She may have given up her role model status in her hometown as a result of this pregnancy, but her status as a woman of great faith with a servant's heart was cemented for all generations.


DJG said...

Do you think Mary feels shame that people worship her and pray to her instead of her Son? I would think she would. I might join the two of you when we get there....

Lisa said...

Good point, Donna. It probably does pain her to know that the glory is not being rightfully given. Come on and join us when we get there!