I grew up very sheltered:
We do not have TV at our house. I do not have any social media accounts. We don't go to dances, and sleepovers are few and far between. The Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, and Narnia movies are not allowed in our house—even Disney Princess movies do not make the cut (because of the magic, I assume). I was not allowed to have a girlfriend until I was nineteen years old. I have played video games three times in the past five years. Considering that even contemporary christian music is not on the approved list, there is no hope for secular poop music (*pop music—sorry about that typo). I know Shakespeare wrote plays, and Poe, Hawthorne, and Sawyer wrote books, but I haven't read any of them.
Some of you read this and relate to my situation. Others are horrified to know that I have never seen Frozen (although I suspect some of you are jealous of that fact). Some may even think my parents denied me things on par with basic human rights like food and water.
This is not a post about proper parenting techniques (which I am definitely not qualified to speak about). I am writing to others who, like me, have missed out on the best this world has to offer.
I missed out on a lot, but the hedges created by my parents never kept me away from any good thing. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of lights.” The oldest and most effective lie ever created by the devil is that we are missing out. Adam and Eve had every good thing, except the knowledge of evil—they had the knowledge of good; everything around them was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Millions of young people today fall prey to the same lie: “You are missing out.”
No. “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above.” Whatever I missed out on because I was sheltered, it is not a good thing. Perhaps, it is an enjoyable and even lawful thing (1 Corinthians 10:23). But if it is not from above, it is not a truly "good" thing.
If I, like Adam and Eve, am not content with the abundance of truly good things I already have, nothing of this world will satisfy my insatiability. If I try to find fulfillment in the things my parents expunged from my childhood, wish me good luck. I'll need it.
Instead of lamenting the things I have not been allowed to do, I should thankful for the opportunities my parents have lovingly given me. Seriously, simply being thankful is the easiest way to be happy.
I am so thankful for what I really missed out on:
I missed out on regrets from a misguided relationship. I missed out on daily struggles to control my tongue. I missed out on peers who constantly pressured me to try drugs or do things behind my mom's back (and thus, I missed out on the pain and regrets of a drug addiction and the consequences of getting caught sneaking out of the house). I missed out on regrets from irreplaceable time wasted on video games. I missed out on nightmares from scenes in horror films. I missed out on a mind filled with lyrics that got stuck in my head for days, encouraging me to rebel with every iteration. I missed out on a conscience so seared by seeing sin, that evil no longer bothered.
I missed out on the pitiful pleasures of the world that can never compare to abundance found only in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11, John 10:10).
Please, I am certainly not trying to brag or be self-righteously arrogant. I cannot take credit for the wisdom of my parents, I can only thank God for allowing me to receive their protection.
I will get to deal with the wicked world around me for the rest of my life. Spoiler: I am learning that the world is not as wonderful as the facade it present of itself in media. I am thankful that I spent my early years building forts in the backyard and dressing up as historical figures, not fighting peer pressure to cuss or feeling depressed as I compared my life to the edited lives appearing on social media.
So, to all the sheltered kids reading this: unless your parents stole your bibles and forced you to stay home from church, you haven't missed out on anything good. Don't worry; one day, you will get to see the world and all its filth. But was missing out on that really so bad?
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About Nathaniel Hendry
I blog on common social issues from a reasoned, conservative Christian perspective in easy to understand writing. I am committed to academic excellence in writing and supported by solid reasoning and research.
About A Worthy Word
The Worthy Word isn't mine, but God's. I just try to explain the truly Worthy Word and encourage you from it.