My Nickels Worth

Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure,acceptable, or commendable."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How much should we shelter our children?

I know this is something many Christian parents struggle with. We certainly struggle with it being homeschool parents. We do not want to send our children into the world when they are adults unprepared. I recently read an article that helped me put this into a Biblical perspective as opposed to the world's perspective which we hear a lot more of. Our society often makes us think that sheltering our children is a bad thing. Gena Suarez, co-publisher of the Old Schoolhouse Magazine brought out some important points worth consideration. First look at the meaning of the word shelter, Protect. Defend. Guard. Preserve. Watch over. Shield. Safeguard." So what is the opposite of shelter "endanger and expose."

Let's look at this verse "For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy." -Psalms 61:3 This verse is just one of many that refer to God as being "our shelter."
Just as He is our shelterer we should shelter our children.

Now, God does not protect us from everything. He allows us to have experiences that will grow us spiritually and bring us closer to Him. So likewise we cannot protect our children from everything. How do we know what to protect them from and if we are overprotecting them. By prayer. Some things are common sense. We try to protect them from things that will harm them. We do not let our children play in the front yard unless an adult is with them. Is this being overprotective? Depends on who you ask. Ask a mother who's child was abducted and most likely the answer will be no. I want to do everything I possibly can to protect my children from being abducted, so I may be overprotective at times. If I am going to err I would rather err on being overprotective than under.

There are going to be many things in my children's lives that I cannot protect them from, but there are many things I can. I can protect their innocence by keeping the trash on tv, internet, and radio out of their lives. Do we cut all that out all together? No, we just monitor it closely. We are very picky about what our children see, watch, and hear. By homeschooling our children we are protecting them from many things the school system would bring thatwe know and most likely many things we don't. I know we are protecting them from intense pressure. They have all their adult working lives to deal with that no need to now. Our children are young enough that we can choose their friends. It is important at young impressionable ages for children to have good role models and this includes their friends. This may sound crazy, but their are certainly many young children out there with very admirable qualities. My son is extremely impressionable he can hear a word one time and repeat it in the correct context. He picks up on behaviors very quickly also. Everytime he is around our nephew he comes home acting just like him. Which is only a problem because my nephew is 2 and my son is 5. It will take me at least a week to break him from acting and talking like a 2 year old everytime. Of course I don't keep him from seeing our nephew this is a learning opportunity for him not to mock everything he sees.

Gena Suarez makes the following comment that I say Amen to, "Lord, thank you for sheltering me. Please never stop. “Over-shelter” if You will (if there is such a thing). Fine with me! Over-protect, Over-defend, Over-guard me; please do! I’ll take it all, Lord. Keep me tight to Your side. I’m safe there. There, I can breathe. It’s where I live."

I live in the shelter of my Father and I want my children to feel the same. Every step of the way I will be asking the Lord to show me when I need to back off the sheltering of my children, but I won't do it unless He tells me to because He is the all knowing one with infinite wisdom and I put my trust in Him.

Hope this makes sense and doesn't just appear as rambling. God commands us to bring our children up in His nuture and admonition and we can't do this if we are overexposing them to the world.

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season. Take some time to thank God for sending Jesus to us!