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September 22, 2020

Kelly Clarkson on Vulnerability

We may be on different paths, but we have the same issues regardless of what it is… I just think we all have to be vulnerable.” 

In an exclusive interview with Today (language), Kelly Clarkson opened up about the freedom that vulnerability has given her, even in her worst moments. It’s no secret that Kelly Clarkson’s family has been through a lot these past few months, leading to a heartbreaking divorce from her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock. In the interview, Kelly’s willingness to have open, honest conversations about the divorce reminds us that it’s okay to admit our hardships. 

The painful reality of divorce 

Kelly officially announced the couple’s divorce in June, which came as a shock to many, because they were seen as the perfect couple—they were married for seven years, had two children, and even went into business together. 

“I’ve been talking with friends who have been through divorce or grief in any sense-losing someone. It’s like you’ve lost someone. I don’t know how people go through that without having some kind of outlet, because it is the worst thing ever, you know, for everyone involved.”

Kelly connects her pain to grief: When a divorce happens, it’s almost like a death in the family, as a person who was once so close has suddenly gone away. You grieve the loss of that relationship, the impact they had on the family, and the simple act of being together. Kelly reminds us of how important it is to have support during difficult times, because with any form of grief, it’s essential to have people alongside you to guide you through it. 

Kelly’s upcoming album, set to be released next year, will further address the ups and downs that she has experienced throughout her relationship with Brandon in what she calls “the most personal [album] I’ve ever released.” Writing this album has given her a creative outlet to express her pain, and a way to connect with her fans on a deeper level than ever before. 

“…it’s gonna reach someone out there that has been through this same moment that I have. And that kind of connection is priceless because there is nothing worse than feeling alone…” 

Although she has experienced great pain, she can turn it into something invaluable: an opportunity for connection through shared pain. Doing this can be frustrating, but as Kelly reminds us, we can grow stronger despite any struggles we face. 

Keeping the connection strong 

In the full “Sunday Sitdown” interview, Kelly explains how she integrates genuine honesty in both her professional and personal relationships. When it comes to The Kelly Clarkson Show, she doesn’t exclude any topic from being explored. Although it can be awkward or uncomfortable, she believes that we all have similar problems, and we can bridge our differences by being open with each other about our struggles. This is a core value that Kelly hopes to instill in her own children: 

“I’m the girl who cares about having these little humans that I want to be respectful, kind, loving adults. At the end of the day, that’s where we’re all similar. I have the same kind of struggles with my job and the same kind of struggles with relationships that everyone else has.”

Though she’s a well-known celebrity, Kelly’s still a normal, 38-year-old mother who loves and cares for her children. Her humility and openness is what allows her to establish close relationships with others in her community. But that’s not always an easy task, especially when it comes to our kids. Do you have trouble connecting with your teen? When you ask “How was your day?” do you get “Fine” as a response? We’ve all been there, and sometimes it can feel so discouraging to attempt connection with our kids when that’s the only response we get. 

Be vulnerable with your kids

One way we can establish a deeper connection with our kids is by opening up first before expecting anything from our kids. Whether your day was amazing or terrible, be honest about your feelings and experiences. Then, we can hopefully establish a relationship built on trust and openness, allowing our teens to feel comfortable expressing themselves. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 reminds us of God’s power in our weakness:

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 

This example in scripture reminds us that even in our weakness, God makes us strong. We shouldn’t shy away from our vulnerabilities because we know that God can redeem them. When it comes to our teens, they need to hear that we mess up too, and that we can’t always uphold a perfect record. It’s difficult to accept our faults, but if we can’t fail in front of our kids, how do we expect them to know how to fail well? By being vulnerable, we can teach our kids that no matter what their weaknesses may be, they are dearly loved and can rely on God in all things. He not only accepts our shortcomings, but is glorified through them.

Discussion questions 

  1. What are some practical ways that we can create a safe space for discussing difficult topics with others? 
  2. Do you agree with Kelly Clarkson’s take on vulnerability? Why or why not?
  3. What does God’s Word say about vulnerability? 
  4. As Christians, how can we be vulnerable with others when it comes to our faith? 
  5. How can we as a community encourage healing and growth for those who are experiencing brokenness? 
  6. How can our family better practice being open with one another?
  7. Is there something you wish you could be more vulnerable about? Why or why not? 

Were these questions helpful? Share your experience with us and other parents in the comments below! We would love to hear how we can better help you in the future. 

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