To say that I was frustrated upon hearing the news of Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy, that would be an understatement. I have a 10 year old cousin who watches her show on Nickelodeon and looks up to Spears as a role model, so this is not exactly the kind of example I want set for her. It makes me angry that Spears was reckless with her position as a teen role model, and now countless young girls will be impacted because of it.
However, I don’t think that is where the conversation should end. While I am indeed upset about the recent turn of events, we need to take a step back and consider a few important elements in the story. First, Spears is only 16 years old. I don’t know about you, but I did quite a few stupid things when I was 16–I was simply lucky that none of those decisions followed me the rest of my life. That said, Spears has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders, but we should be wary of applying adult expectations to someone who isn’t an adult. The fact of the matter is, we all make mistakes. The question is what we do with our mistakes…
That brings me to the second element of the story that we do well to consider: Spears has decided to keep the baby. When I first read an article about Spears’ pregnancy, she explained that she spent two weeks considering what she should do with the baby. After two weeks, she decided to go ahead with it. That, my friends, is commendable.
Just think, for a moment, about the pressures that this young woman is facing. 1) She’s only 16 with her whole life ahead of her but now she’s going to be tied down by a child, 2) her entire career is in jeopardy since she’ll probably get fired from her show, and 3) she is now the subject of endless negative press. For a lot of people, her decision would be simple–no baby could be worth all of that hardship.
Yet Spears chose life, and we must not overlook this fact. Yes, she made a mistake, but she is facing the consequences rather than sweeping them under a rug. If only most women felt loved and supported enough, or were brave enough, to do the same if they were in her situation. Many women in much better circumstances are not.
For that reason I think we should applaud the fact that Jamie Lynn Spears chose life. And if there is any lesson that I hope young girls learn from all this, I hope it is that no mistake is beyond redemption. It is always possible to make good decisions, even in the midst of our bad ones. Every new moment is a new opportunity to follow God and honor Him regardless of what we’ve done in the past. I don’t know if that was Spears’ mindset, but her decision still exemplifies the truth of it.