The Wayward Child

How familiar is the name Katy Perry to you? To the world, she is a bona-fide celebrity. At the age of 27, the pop star is known for being a busty sex symbol in addition to being a popular singer and actress. Her revealing outfits and edgy songs like I Kissed a Girl and E.T. have launched the singer into superstardom over the past few years. Recently, she married British comedian Russell Brand, who is known for his crass approach to comedy. The couple married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India on October 23, 2010. What you may not know is that she grew up in an Evangelical Christian home and that her mother and father, Keith Hudson and Mary Perry-Hudson, are both pastors. Her first album was a gospel album; she grew up attending Christian church camps and schools and wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music. Of course, upon finding out that tidbit of information I asked myself one question: What happened?

I’ll be honest – my initial thoughts were perhaps quick and a little judgmental. I was incredibly curious to know how someone could stray so far from their roots. At first, I thought, maybe it had something to do with her parents. Did they not raise her properly? Maybe they didn’t practice what they preached? Nonetheless, I wanted to know more. After all, if I could find out what went wrong then maybe I could warn other parents.

Fortunately, we live in a day and age when information is right at our fingertips. Just a few clicks of the mouse and I was able to locate her parents’ Life . What did I find, you ask? I found out that her parents love the Lord Jesus Christ. They adore Him and travel the world doing conferences proclaiming His message. Their itinerary for the last month alone had them traveling to Panama, Columbia, Florida, Georgia and California! It’s also not some distorted message of the truth. It’s the message of repentance and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. I kept searching for something that would definitively tell me, “Aha! This is why she rebelled” or “This is where they went wrong!”, but, in all sincerity I couldn’t find anything. In fact, they seem to have done a pretty wonderful job trying to raise their three children in a loving, God fearing, Christian home.

Upon learning all of this, I kept going over Proverbs 22:6 in my head – “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV) I believe in and trust this Proverb, so why did it seemingly not apply here? Because my research of her parents failed to turn up any clues for her departure, my attention turned to Katy Perry herself. Did she really turn her back on Christianity and her knowledge of Christ? I wanted to hear it straight from the “horse’s mouth”. I wanted to know where she stood on the subject of Christianity. Perry has been responsible for delivering some pretty sensational comments in the past, one of them being, “I think there’s a fine line between being a sl*t and being classy. I walk in between that line.” I plucked another Perry comment straight from the upcoming June issue of Vanity Fair: “I have always been the kid who’s asked ‘Why?'” she explained. “In my faith, you’re just supposed to have faith. At this point, I’m just kind of a drifter. I’m open to possibility…My sponge is so big and wide and I’m soaking everything up and my mind has been radically expanded.” This was the quote that inspired this article. Next, I wanted to know what exactly she believed in.

I decided to delve further into Katy Perry’s statements and see what she has vocalized specifically regarding her beliefs. To my surprise, they weren’t anti-Christian. One comment was in response to a remark that her husband, Russell Brand, had made. “The other day he was yelling out the window. He said something a bit off color, kind of blasphemous about the Lord Jesus Christ, and I smacked him for it,” she explained in one interview. Another statement she made was, “I got this Jesus tattoo on my wrist when I was 18 because I know that it’s always going to be a part of me. When I’m playing, it’s staring right back at me, saying, ‘Remember where you came from.'” I think this is the point when I realized that God was working on something behind the scenes here and that maybe it wasn’t as black and white as I originally thought.

My thoughts quickly turned to the countless stories of redemption that I’ve heard from both the past and present. One that stuck out was about a devout Christian couple whose son had explained to them that he was gay. They had invested so much time and energy into raising their son to be a strong Christian man. From a Christian perspective, they did “everything right”. For the years that their son was in the valley of decision, they felt hurt, they cried, they listened, they loved and they prayed. Ultimately, they realized that he was in God’s care. After what must have seemed like an eternity to his parents that young man repented, turned from his sin and returned to the Lord. He is now married to a woman and has children. As a result of his experience he is able to witness and counsel others who struggle with homosexuality and is able lead them to Christ. Then I started thinking about myself and the times in my life when I went off “the path”. During what I would call “the wild years”, the words my mother spoke to me about God and my own feelings about my relationship with Him never strayed far from my mind and heart. Eventually, I turned back onto the road I was meant to be on. My mother never judged me, spoke down to me or made me feel guilty. She just loved on me and let me know that God would always be there and that He had a plan for me. How blessed was I to have people in my life that were praying for me and trusting in God that He would get me back on track!

As far as Katy is concerned, I will be praying for her as I’m sure both of her parents and so many others are. She is in a battle right now, but I know my God and His faithfulness. Proverbs 22:6 is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Whether she’s leading the life that she has been called to yet or not, I think that Christ is a part of her and ultimately God will use her for the glory of the Kingdom.

Regarding her husband Russell Brand, apparently people have been noticing a change for the good in him too! Even Katy’s parents have taken notice. In conclusion, the story of Katy Perry is far from over. In fact, if I know my God as well as I think I do, He is standing next to Katy with open arms, He has a plan here and I’m expecting great things from her in the future for His glory.

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