Most Millennial Sinners with the mindset I developed probably had a similar origin. I was raised in a Christian home at an early age. My home was so Christian that there was no varying view points presented. We did things a certain way, and that was the only correct way. I remember sitting at family dinner and discussing how everyone else on the street was so weird. Looking back, this was an interesting thing to discuss at family dinner. We did not talk much about what had happened at work or school. We did not talk much about our friends or hobbies. We discussed what was wrong with the neighbors. Nothing could be wrong with us.
Now, imagine a young man being told how to do things, and the only explanation he received was that it was the right way to do things…and this family does things the right way. This is actually an interesting mindset to dissect because a few different dynamics are establishing themselves in a home like this.
First, the parent is making the assumption that the desire of the child will be to do things the right way…no matter what. The parent is assuming that through out the temptations, disappointments, good times, and bad times in life that the highest desire of the child at all times will be “to do what is right, because it is right”. This is assuming he will never need an additional reason to do the right thing. One potential additional reason to do the right thing would be the logical explanation of why an action is bad, and how that action could practically hurt you in the real world. When none of these logical reasons to avoid pitfalls are explained, one is left with hoping “doing what is right, because it is right”, will be enough, at all times.
Secondly, the parent is assuming the role of torchbearer for the “do the right thing” crusade. They are essentially committing to only presenting the side of themselves that does the right thing, even in the privacy of their own home. This puts a massive target on the back of the parent. One major slip up and the seed of “why should I do the right thing, when you don’t always do the right thing” begins to take root in the child. It happened to me.
Deep in my soul the mindset that I was normal, and others were weird or wrong was quickly taking root. The seed that I was correct and the problem must be with others was getting watered daily. I had set up a prison in my mind where I was correct, I could do what I wanted if others did not notice, and the only consequences for not doing the right thing was simply, “not doing the right thing”. I lacked the knowledge of the reasoning behind why certain things need to be avoided.
I was heading down a dangerous road.