The 10 Commandments of Gatekeepers

mayrace via Compfight cc
mayrace via Compfight cc

A few weeks back, we chatted about gatekeepers* – those people in our lives who think their jobs are to tell us how to live.

I’ve been meeting gatekeepers of all sizes and ages recently. Just last week, I overheard a seventh grader tell a single friend of mine, “So and so is younger than you are and already married; you need to catch up.”

A seventh-grade gatekeeper.

Terrifying.

How do children become gatekeepers? Quite simply, they watch their gatekeeper parents.

The gatekeeper rules are endless, but here’s my list of their top 10.

The 10 Commandments of Gatekeepers

  1. Thou shalt go to college because that’s what everyone else does.
  2. Thou shalt get thousands of dollars in school loans because that’s what everyone else does.
  3. Thou shalt get married in your twenties – or even right after high school – because that’s what everyone else does. (The world might just say: Thou shalt live with your boyfriend or girlfriend because that’s what everyone else does.)
  4. Thou shalt get a respectable job you probably won’t like but pays lots of money because that’s what everyone else does.
  5. Thou shalt buy a house you can’t afford because that’s what everyone else does.
  6. Thou shalt have lots of debt because that’s what everyone else does.
  7. Thou shalt have children because that’s what everyone else does.
  8. Thou shalt get busy with lots of activities because that’s what everyone else does.
  9. Thou shalt live above your means because that’s what everyone else does.
  10. Thou shalt be happy with the status quo and stick to the way things have always been done because that’s what everyone else does.

Please note that many items in the above list aren’t bad in and of themselves. I’m all for education, Christian marriages, owning a home and raising a family.

My point is that gatekeepers have no right to tell us when, where and how we should make these life decisions. These choices should be an intimate matter of prayer between God and us – and a close group of friends and family who truly have our best interests at heart.

Gatekeepers aren’t anything new. They date back to the Old Testament.

And next time, we’ll see how one brave woman in Old Testament times ignored them to live the life she was uniquely called to live.

Till then, I challenge you and myself as well: Don’t listen to the gatekeepers.

~ Miss Kristen

 

*I borrow the term “gatekeeper” from Chris Guillebeau and his book The Art of Non-Conformity.
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