This post has been very real and transparent for me to write.
As an adult now, I have a piece of encouragement to all of my younger sisters in Christ.
It would somehow never fail. Whenever I was at a function of any kind where there were teenagers or kids of my own age, I would, being someone who enjoys chatting with other people, try to strike up a conversation. Once we got to talking, books, movies, or music would somehow come up. I guess it is just one of the easiest things to find common ground on when involved in small-talk.
“have you ever read (insert popular novel)? It was so good! I loved it!”
“Uh, no I never read that.”
“OH! why not?! It is so good!”
“Well, it never really interested me, and I don’t think my parents would let me read it anyway.”
“oh.” And they would give me that look. You know the one. The universal teenage stare of “you are so weird”.
I’ve grown up with what the world would call “strict” parents. I choose not to call them that. It sounds so negative and whiny. My word of choice is protective.
What exactly does protective mean? Taking care of, keeping safe, guarding. So many of the “rules” that are in place for us are there for a purpose. When we are young and immature, we often don’t realize this. I speak from experience.
I bucked the rules at times. It didn’t make sense to my little mind, why I shouldn’t be able to read certain things, or watch certain things, or go places by myself. I’m just being honest because we all make mistakes and I am most certainly not perfect. And looking back, I’ve read and watched things I wish I hadn’t.
There is something precious and beautiful about being “naïve” or innocent. I’ve felt put down by people because of that and I used to let it get to me. But now I wear it as a badge of honor. So, if you’re in that position, I know it’s harder to resist the pull and peer pressure at times ( and I was exposed to so much less than most) but God honors you when you honor your parents decisions and do what’s right. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if it is hard. Even if it it is not what you want to do.
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
And because no one else will tell you this. . .
You are really cool because you didn’t watch “that” movie, read “that” book or listen to “that” music. You are special because of that, and I respect you for that.
Back to protectiveness. . . I have trusted my parents to keep my heart safe, but I have a responsibility in that as well. I have to follow the guidelines. Like I said, I have been far from perfect. And let me encourage you. It’s not worth breaking the rules. The loss of trust and respect from your parents, the terrible yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach, the knowledge that you failed. . . It’s not worth the momentary pleasure.
In all of this, there is redemption. Praise God! Because otherwise, I’d be a yucky sinner without him. With his grace, I can be forgiven and walk in the forgiveness given me by Him and my parents. And I can learn from my mistakes.
You aren’t weak, or naive, or stupid for submitting to your parents. Instead, you are strong, wise and an example to others. When I make a decision or want to do something, I usually check with my parents. They are wiser than me, and I want to learn from them. . .
“Hearken unto thy Father that begat thee, and despise not they mother when she is old.” Proverbs 23:22
“Hear counsel and receive instruction, that you mayest be wise in thy latter end.” Proverbs 19:20
“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” Proverbs 15:32
This one is my personal favorite and a verse that I try to practice:
“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22
As one last side note, To those who might think I am being “controlled, or brain washed” by my parents, or that I am “under my parent’s thumb” I have a choice. I don’t have to listen to them if I don’t want to, but I CHOOSE to because I think it is a wise decision and I believe I am honoring God in that decision.
Do you feel that people think you are “weak” for breaking the mold?
By God’s Grace,