79: Wardrobe Malfunction / Father Malfunction

Psalms 101:3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

It was February 1 st, 2004. I was watching the Super Bowl while my wife and kids busied themselves with other activities with me in our living room. When the halftime show started, Janet Jackson appeared and started performing a song with Justin Timberlake. I’ve never been much of a Jackson fan (either one), so I left the room for a minute to get something to drink. By the time I came back in the TV was off and I asked my wife what was up. She told me that Silas, our six-year-old, said, “This is not very honoring to God,” and proceeded to turn the TV off. Since I really wasn’t very interested in the halftime activities, I didn’t turn it back on again until halftime was over.

When I read the paper the next day I found out that not only was the entire show very suggestive and “not very honoring to God,” (surprise, surprise!) but at the end of Jackson’s performance her costume fell open and she was “accidentally” exposed on national TV. Papers were filled with angry letters to the editor, the Federal Communications Commission was irate, and CBS was in an uproar. Even MTV offered their regrets. Everyone was outraged. Meanwhile, thanks to our wise little 6-year-old, my family went on with our lives unaffected.

My tendency was to think that the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” was going too far—that it was an indecent act that should never have been allowed into the homes of decent people. Of course, that is where I was in error. Silas realized that it wasn’t the wardrobe malfunction, but the whole show that was offensive to God. I felt reproved, that as a father, I wasn’t the one to shut it off first.


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