Taking a Stand with Moriah Peters
Many actors go to hundreds of auditions before they land a role. But for singer-songwriter-actor Moriah Peters, she didn’t even have to audition for her role in Because of Garcia. Director Tom Simes discovered her after he watched an I Am Second, YouTube video that featured her. Peters was initially introduced to the limelight when she auditioned for American Idol. The judges rejected her for her purity and perfectness, but it was because of this rejection that she said she starting experiencing a life that she could write songs about. We interviewed Peters in 2017 and talked to her about her experience on American Idol and how she developed such a bold stand for her faith and purity.
Peters opens up about being criticized for never having been kissed by the American Idol judges and what it was like to stand before the judges as a high school girl.
“My ‘American Idol’ experience was an interesting one for me. It gave me proof that I needed to take music more seriously. It set me off on an interesting path. The fact that I talked about having never been kissed was always something I had intended to keep private. After that show aired, I had to figure out how to navigate through that purity conversation. I never wanted my stance to negatively influence people. If it is not communicated in the right context, that kind of line in the sand can be a shaming thing., which I did not want. But, it also opened up the opportunity to speak about something that hadn’t been spoken about in that way. So, I was glad to be part of the conversation…The conversation was only about sixty seconds long. They asked me about the whole first kiss thing. And they didn’t really get it. They were like, ‘Why would you do that?’ As business people they knew I wasn’t a marketable product. They would have a hard time selling an innocent image. And I honestly think they were right. And I completely understand where they’re coming from now. It’s really hard to be a songwriter if you haven’t experienced much of life. There are so many differences between my first albums and my last album. I’ve experienced a broken heart, trauma, loneliness, jealousy, anger, extreme joy and victory. As a sixteen-year-old girl, I don’t even know what I would’ve written about.”
“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” 1 Timothy 4:11-13
Peters shares what gave her the strength to make bold stands for her faith and purity.
“I would say it was a combination of things, but I would credit it most of it to my parents, especially, my father. From the time we were young, my father set the expectation of being treated well and being respected. My dad set a great example by the way he loved my mom. And when you’re young, you’re absorbing everything. I watched the way he spoke he her and treated her. So, if I ever dated a guy that was disrespectful to me, I was pretty quick to say, ‘You’re not the one.’ It’s funny – sorry if this is a tangent – in a world where feminist conversations are becoming more popular, we’re getting better as women in banding together and encouraging and empowering one another. But, I don’t think the good men in our lives get enough credit. My father shaped the woman I have become. And so has my husband. They both instilled in me a sense of strength and confidence. It’s so important to give credit where credit is due. My husband and father are incredible men – absolutely, incredible.”
Be true to yourself and your convictions. Whether you are going on an audition or having a conversation with your peers, it can be easy to conform to the group or what is popular. Instead, God wants us to stand firm in our faith. If you are having a difficult time making the right choice, ask a friend, small group leader or pastor if they would be willing to hold you accountable to making the right decisions. It might mean avoiding certain places or even certain people for a period of time until you are able to stand firm in your convictions. It is easier to say, “no,” to alcohol when you aren’t frequenting the bars or hanging out with people that are drinking. If people don’t respect you or your decision not to do something, you might ask them what type of friend they are. A true friend wants what is best for you and is willing to support that decision.
Be an example to others. You don’t have to be perfect or have it altogether in order to be an example or leader. Sometimes being a leader is being willing to admit your mistakes to others so that they can learn from the situation also. Look at the people God has placed in your life. It could be your children, co-workers or classmates. Take time this week and pray and ask God if there is an area of your life that needs to change so that you can be a better example. Pray and ask God to use you in the lives of others.
Share your story. Don’t be ashamed of the journey God has you on. For some it will be similar to Peters’ story and for others there might be more detours. Ask God to show you one person in your life that you can share your spiritual journey and how you came to know Christ. Often times, people need to hear a story that they can resonate with in order to come to Christ. Be open to share!
To read our entire interview with Moriah Peters, click here.