What’s really wrong with Lindsay Lohan?
No, I’m not a big celebrity watcher, nor did I follow her career before she fell into her current legal and tabloid mess.
But I think I know at least part of what’s going on.
It’s her father.
I stumbled across an interview where Michael Lohan was asked about how he felt about his daughter’s recent photo spread in Playboy. He responded that he was happy with the picture, even calling it a “good choice.”
After all, he had heard the spread was “classy.”
I don’t know Lindsay, only the sad state of her unraveling life.
But I do know that there should be a special allotment of grace extended toward any young woman whose father would approve of his daughter embracing pornography.
There is a special relationship between a father and a daughter, one set in place by God as part of the very structure of the family.
From a father, a daughter learns what to look for in a man, and an expectation of how she should be treated.
From a father, a daughter gains security in her self-esteem and sense of self-worth as a woman.
From a father, a daughter is afforded protection, and never has to worry about being vulnerable.
From a father, a daughter is given moral guidance and a protected virtue.
From a father, a daughter receives affection in ways that fulfill her young, developing heart.
In short, from a father, a daughter is provided for, protected and cherished.
But I suppose I should say, “From a good father.”
From a disconnected, absentee, derelict father, a daughter accepts almost any treatment from other men; is insecure and seeks to gain her security through the lowering of morals; is subject to the world in all of the worst ways; has no moral compass and often abandons chastity; and seeks affection from men to fill the void.
In short, she is not protected, not provided for, and not cherished.
I have a friend named Paul who told me about the wedding of his daughter. He said that part of the wedding ceremony was the passing on of a single gold key on a necklace.
When his daughter was a young girl, just entering puberty, Paul gave her a gold key on a chain.
He also bought one for himself.
He told her that he wanted her to wear the gold key around her neck to represent her commitment to sexual purity. That she would remain a virgin until marriage, guarding herself from any form of sexual expression or experience that would dishonor God and be harmful to herself.
And then He would wear one around his neck as well to reflect his commitment to guard and protect her as her father.
And protect her he did!
They had a rule that before a boy could take her out on a date, he had to meet Paul and ask his permission, which weeded out more than its fair share of suitors.
Those young men willing to meet him were engaged in a conversation that would involve Paul talking to the boy about the key. He would tell them how precious his daughter was to him, how prized she was in his eyes and in God's.
And then he would ask the boy point blank: can I trust you with my daughter?
At her wedding, here's what happened.
She gave him her key back, representing that she had fulfilled her pledge to remain a virgin until marriage.
Because she had.
And then, as part of the ceremony, she publicly thanked him for how he had raised her, because now she was giving the most precious gift she could give to her husband.
Then Paul took the key off of his own neck, and gave it to her husband, saying that now the mantle of protection and integrity was his responsibility.
Isn't that an experience, in one form or another, that most of us would like to have with our daughter?
And one most daughters would like to have with their father?
Sadly, Lindsay Lohan never had the chance.
James Emery White
“Michael Lohan: I'm Happy With Lindsay's Playboy Photos,” Huffington Post, December 23, 2011. Read online.
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About Dr. James Emery White
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; President of Serious Times, a ministry which explores the intersection of faith and culture (www.serioustimes.org); and ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture on the Charlotte campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. He is the author of over a dozen books.
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