Sounds harsh, right? I thought so, too, at some points growing up. Some of my friends thought it stupid, and even now, some parents that I talk to think it was too strict.
I am going to explain why I am really thankful that my parents implemented this "really uncool" rule:
1. There is so much garbage out there. Even at 18, I struggled with discerning what was appropriate to see and what is not. It is amazing how much filth is in a PG13 movie. I can only imagine how much more de-sensitized I would be to sin, if I had been allowed to watch it during my most impressionable years.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1–4
My youth pastor growing up preached often that Philippians 4:8-9 should be the filter through which we pass all our thoughts and activities.
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
Do the things you put in your mind help you focus on God?
2. My parents must really love us. They had to endure all of my whining and questioning. But they held firm to what they thought was best for their children. Sometimes, I see parents struggle with wanting to be their child's best friend or giving in to all the whining or peer pressure from other parents. I am so thankful my parents stood firm in guiding us and our very impressionable young minds.
3. I am thankful that my parents did not allow me to waste money on this activity (or give me money for it!) I would have wasted so much money for sure because my friends were always going to the movies. Instead, I learned to be a good steward of God's money that He has blessed me with. That lesson is something I still carry with me today!
4. Being able to handle peer pressure. First, when my friends started going to movies I was ashamed of my parents' rule and was disrespectful to them; however, over time, my friends and I accepted it. It became a non-issue. They went to the movies; I hung out with my fam or read a book. I am still friends with all these people still today!
5. I am thankful that instead of going to the movies with my family (how much bonding can happen there???), I was given the opportunity to enjoy my family and play and create our own fun.
Am I going to do this with my children? I don't know. Should you have done this with your children? I don't know. All I know is that it was definitely a radical concept when I was a child even among believers. AND, it had lasting benefits on me as a child, teenager, and an adult.
Did your parents or you have any rules that are\were counter-cultural?
Be looking for a post on my thoughts on sheltering your children to come:)