Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Ministry is Parenting and I Take It Seriously

Ellen had a little visit with Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette on yesterday’s show, where she talked about her new book, Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom!

She says she was sexually abused even while she was pregnant with Justin Bieber. She then thought about killing herself and having an abortion and was hooked on drugs and drinking a lot and then she was visited by a Christian counselor in the hospital and she changed overnight and a star was born on YouTube 15 years later.

She made a vow that she would not have sex until she gets married when she was 21, this is 18 years down the line and she has taken that vow very seriously " I remember when I made it. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and I had someone witness it. It means a lot. I made it this far. I’m not stopping now… When I moved to Atlanta with Justin because of all the chaos and how crazy it was. I told Justin I would focus on him and would wait until he was 18 before I started dating."


To say she had a rough childhood wouldn't even be close to the truth. When she was five years old, she was invited by one of the teachers to "ask Jesus into her heart", to which she responded enthusiastically. While Mallette readily gave her life to Christ at an early age, she never maintained a personal connection to God throughout her youth. She was sexually violated until she said it became normal to her. When she was 14 years old, she began acting out by experimenting with drugs and alcohol, including marijuana and LSD. She also started shoplifting, along with vandalizing school property. Once, she even started a fire in a school bathroom, for which she was suspended from school.

When she was 15 years old, she began a tempestuous on-again-off-again relationship with her childhood sweetheart, Jeremy Bieber, which lasted for four years. When she was 16, she left home, supporting herself through petty theft and drug dealing. During this time, she often experienced loneliness, depression, and suicidal tendencies. When she was 17 years old, she attempted suicide by throwing herself in front of a truck. Her actions led to a stint in a mental ward. While there, she embraced Christianity.

Of course, this wasn't a fix to all her problems but it gave her strength and peace that most Christians are familiar with . . . it's something that can only come from God.

Her story is shocking and sad but thankfully it is a happily-ever-after story. Spiritually, her story challenged me and in a good way. There's one that she mentioned about tithing "You see, tithing isn't really about money. It's about being free from its control and trusting God will take care of you."

She found the strength to change in her faith (and her unexpected pregnancy). Others may find it in something or someone else. Whatever it may be, there is hope to change your life for the better and free yourself from the shackles of your past. God can take our brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. He redeems, restores, and makes things new.

Whether you're a single mom, an addict, or a victim of abuse . . . whether you're on the verge of bankruptcy or the brink of divorce . . . whether you're in a dysfunctional family or the product of a broken home . . . whether you battle depression or struggle with anxiety . . . whether you live in fear or hide in shame . . . whether you've been abandoned, rejected, or ignored -- there is hope.

Were there any single parents in the Old and New Testament faith communities? Surely, yes. Then why were they excluded from biblical counsel on how to parent? They were not excluded. When God spoke to his people, he spoke to married parents and single parents without distinction. In other words, the general commands given to all parents pertain to you. Single parents are not a special subcategory.

What are God’s directives to parents? Christian authors summarize biblical parenting duties in various ways, but most include the following:

• Provide physical and emotional care

• Provide verbal instruction

• Provide physical discipline

• Model dependency on Christ that grows into his likeness

• Pray for and with your children

You may not be able to give as much time, energy, skill, and creativity to these five tasks as two parents could. But God does not expect double effort from you. You cannot do, and must not try to do, the work of two adults. But what you should do, in dependence on God, should include these five ministries toward your kids.

Further, while you may receive help from others—your parents, friends, church family, and so forth—you remain the God-appointed parent of your children and depending on how you take that appointment, that is a blessing in itself.

Ijeoma Olujekun

1 comment:

  1. I am a single parent of one wonderful 12 year old daughter. Her father hasn’t been in her life since she was four years old. And although it has been difficult at many points in our lives, I’ve always put my faith in God and have taught her to do the same. Even in our lowest moments—facing eviction, no ready transportation—our faith never wavered, and we’ve managed to survive wonderfully and spiritually stronger than before. I truly believe that God places challenges before us, some harder for others, in order to test our strength and faith. I don’t anticipate earthly rewards, I don’t expect that God should necessarily owe us anything. But I do have faith that we will be rewarded in heaven. Things are better for us now, but we know not to attach ourselves to too much, we know that things can disappear in an instant and for that reason we know that we should only have love towards one another and towards God.
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