Friday, June 16, 2017

Not Sheltering Our Children - Life Changing News

An acquaintance of my husband found out what we homeschool our children and immediately stereotyped us as "sheltering" our children. WE found this humorous and asked what he meant. He went on to talk about a relative of his who homeschool their children and they know nothing of the world because of this! His concern was that homeschooled children aren't exposed to a broad array of beliefs, worldviews, lifestyles and all they know is what goes on in their own home. Their parents have created an environment of dependence on them, a sterile environment free from knowledge of what the world is really like. 

My husband and I have always strived to prepare our kids for maturity in life and in the Lord and are still praying and asking the Lord what this looks like for our family. We don't want to shelter them from everything that goes on in the world, but to also be wise about what we expose our children to taking into account their age, maturity level, reasoning capability ect. This balance is sometimes tricky and as a result some Christian parents end up sheltering their kids, some end up not protecting them from evil influences in both cases neglecting our duty as Christian parents.

We often discuss things right in front of our children. I know of many families that shoo their children away when they discuss things that may bring up topics such as 

world events that include serious criminal events, 
or things that could implant fear in the hearst of our children.

Are we doing them a favor here?

Or are these things that we want our children to be aware of  so that we can impart into them what the Word of God says about these things?

Do we not want our children to see us wrestling with the fact that so & so is living in a sinful lifestyle? 

Do we not want them to see us laboring in prayer for them? 

Searching the scriptures for how to handle this situation? 

Discussing it together as a married couple? 

Handling a Mattew 18 situation properly?

Do we not want them to know that there are people in the world that DO NOT follow the things laid out in the scripture?

 Do we not want them to know that there are truly evil forces out there that want to hurt them, destroy them, and rob them of the innocence they currently have?

Are we TULEY doing them a favor keeping these things from them?

*Obviously, not sharing specific names of people helps keeps discretion between you and your husband, but when the kids ask wha tis wrong, why not share?*
Just let the kids be kids! They only get this *false* view of an innocent, loving world for so long, let them enjoy it.

I challenge you to think about this statement for a moment. Is it not our goal to bring our children into maturity in all things? Is it not our goal to equip them for the "real world"?

I am NOT SUGGESTING that you teach your 3-year-old in detail what is occurring around them and to use some discretion and common sense, but when they are exposed to something, I pray, it's under YOUR supervision and YOU'RE there to lovingly point them to find Jesus in that situation. 


An example of this pertains to the above photo:

My husband and I have been praying about a very large, life changing descicion for a while. Our kids have seen us struggle and pray and we've been completely open and honest with them about it. When the Lord finally gave us the confirmation to move forward in the descicion, our kids watched the humbling event of Alex being driven home by his boss, hand over his work truck, work iPad, work uniforms, and work tools and they watched as his boss drove away with the very clothes off my husband's back. Yes. He quit his job (this was about a month ago...).

We sat the kids down and explained to them the very thing we require from them in obedience, we too abide by when it comes to Jesus: to obey immediately, thoughouly, and cheerfully. 

We explained our financial situation, how long we can make it on what we have left in the bank account, what sacrifices our family is going to make, and to what extent are we willing to remain obedient. What are we willing to lose? Are we truly willing to sacrifice all to do what the Lord has called us to do?

We didn't make this situation light or fluffy, but let them feel the weight of it. We then explained that God ALONE is our provider. It's better to be 1 day in His will then 1,000 days else where. 

As needs arose over the last month, the kids were aware of them, and as a family we sat down and asked God to meet those needs. Time and time again the kids got to SEE the Faithfulness of Our God. They got to see Him answer prayer and provide for our every need. 

What if we just said, "Don't worry about what's going on honey. This is mommy and daddy's concern. Go run off and play!" They would have greatly missed out!

It's been cool seeing the concern and faith in my second born grow during this time (her belly is what drives her;) ) Every night she was concerned where our food for the next day was going to come from. Every night we reminded her, "Did you go hungry today? Has God not always provided food? What does the Bible say? Don't worry about these things, God feeds the birds of the air and the flowers of the field will He not feed you (Matthew 6)? Among many other scriptures...


So next time that transgender man/woman walks down the road, are you going to cross the street and shield their eyes, or are you going to use that opportunity to teach them?

What about that neighbor that cussses up a storm and is drunk and high out of their mind as you walk from your car into your home or are outside jumping through the sprinkler? Are you going to run inside and silence the questions your little ones ask and vow to never go outside when that person is outside ever again, or are you going to explain the effects of drugs and alcohol and a life apart from Jesus?

Are your children going to see you share Jesus with them even though they are intimidating?

What about when the neighbor boy wants to play alone with your little girls and you don't allow them to be alone? Are you going to explain why? Are you equipping them with understanding so they themselves can have the discernment as to what's appropriate and what is not? Are you going to teach them about purity, sex, saving themselves for marriage?

I know this seems totally polar opposite to what we've been taught, but let's look at the Bible. Does God not tell us to instruct our children and teach them the things that His Word says? 

Search the scriptures. Start in Deuteronomy 6.

Obviously, I don't allow my children to watch inappropriate TV shows, or listen to secular music, or go places that are inherently dangerous to them, but I use every day situations that occur to teach them about God's love, salvation, forgiveness and equip them to discern what is Jesus and what is not. 

I pray you examine these things and DON'T MISS OUT on the lessons you get to teach your kids while they are under your roof, and your protection. 

1 comment:

  1. My Family was the first Ppl to oppose our step of obedience to home school our Kid. some Friends, and Strangers and him not having any "social" life and not learning about the "real" world and hoe deprived he would be. i would tell them look were stepping out in faith and instead of you second guessing or looking down on our decision for our family how about you bend the knee and Pray for us.i mean come on he has an entire church body, he serves in ministry, and will be out in the work force later trust me if there is any "sheltering" we can possibly do were okay with it, he was not ignorant of SIN and how the "real" world works. i brought him into my Marriage( having him out of wedlock), i never kept anything from him of the pain and struggles i had endured both for my own fault and not, the difficulties in my marriage (drinking, drugs, adultery, anger, hate, out bursts of wrath, the backbiting, the straight up disrespect that was mutual between my husband and i) Praise the Lord for setting us free... he also got to see Repentance in our home, when we would chuck it up, we would ask for forgiveness and actual say what we were asking forgiveness for, he got to see his parents forgive and not forgive one another,how we handled and screwed up left and right,the health issues his parents have, the close calls where we almost buried my Husband a few times, where he got to serve his family in love even when he didn't "feel" like it when we were physically unable, the separation of my Husband and i, the reconciliation. and renewing of our wedding vows twice, the financial down fall,the death of my Husbands Dad & Grandfather, the death of my step Dad, the death of my Grandma, anything he would ever need to know about the "real" world he was already exposed to it right at home. He had our Pastor as an awesome example of a godly Servant,Man,Husband,Father, and Friend who Discipled him from the age of 10 and still is. our kid is such a blessing and a delight and very well rounded, not lacking as we were told he would if we actually went ahead and home schooled. no question was ever off limits to him, we would do our best to answer them according to age appropriate answers. Lots of Prayer, Bible, and Fellowship with our Church Body. and i would do it all over again without hesitation.THX for sharing Cassie, this encouraged me and reminded me of the awesome privilege we get to be Parents. love ya Deputies. Hebrews 12:11, Proverbs 22:6