Billy Ray’s Hindsight

My mom always told me, “Hindsight is 20/20.

Billy Ray is starting to see clearly in retrospection… and his heart is aching.

Yesterday I read the GQ interview of Billy Ray Cyrus, Mr. Hannah Montana’s Achy Broken Heart. a fantastic article. It really made me feel compassion for the guy. Some great pieces of this interview worth discussing with our kids. (Funny, I read this interview just after blogging about parenting yesterday where I briefly touched on some of these issues.)

TWO OBSERVATIONS FOR DISCUSSION:  (I’ll highlight one today, and one in my next blog)

1. The Highway to Darkness

This excerpt of the article (edited down a little by me below) is an amazing discussion springboard about how we need to be careful what we pursue and who we surround ourselves with:

When they first came to Hollywood for Hannah Montana, the two of them would drive down the freeway together to the studio each morning, and every day Miley would point out the sign that said
Just before moving out to Los Angeles, the whole family had been baptized together by their pastor at the People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee. “It was Tish’s idea,” he (Billy Ray) remembers. “She said, ‘We’re going to be under attack, and we have to be strong in our faith and we’re all going to be baptized…'” And there, driving to work each day in the City of Angels, was this sign. “A physical sign. It could have easily said ‘You will now be attacked by Satan.’ ‘Entering this industry, you are now on the highway to darkness…'”
And do you see the show as a big part of what has made things not work in your family?
“Oh, it’s huge—it destroyed my family…
Do you wish Hannah Montana had never happened?
“I hate to say it, but yes, I do. Yeah. I’d take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second if I could.”
(, Mr. Hannah Montana’s Achy Broken Heart, by Chris Heath, Page 5)

Here are some quick questions– of the top of my head– to ask our kids after reading this:

1. What signs do you see that might be warnings of temptations or influences to avoid?

2. Miley’s mom Tish predicted that they were going to be under attack– what did she do to prepare for attack? Is there something magical about baptism? (Or is baptism, perhaps, a sign of allowing Christ to direct us and clean us spiritually?)

3. Why do you think Billy Ray is regretting the path the family took? (Some of his regrets are detailed in other parts of the interview)

4. What do you think a family can do in this “dark” world to be prepared for temptations we’ll face?

Read Romans 12:1,2.

5. What does this passage say to not be conformed to?

6. How does this passage say we are to be transformed?

7. What can we do to better allow God to transform our minds? What are some of the distractions we might need to unplug from our head? What might we need to put into our head more?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to Billy Ray’s Hindsight

  1. Dan Wallis says:

    Thanks for this. I’m planning on sending it out with my next church-wide weekly email as perhaps something that might be worth discussing as families, or at least could be used as a springboard for discussion around the dinner table.
    It’s funny though – we read all this insight from someone on the other side of fame and we still think: “It’d be so cool to be rich, to be famous…”

    There’s considerable wisdom, and a deep sadness in the following verse:
    “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful” (Mark 13:22 NIV)