Friday, September 30, 2011

Sheltered

You know how I hardly ever have any high brow thoughts anymore? It takes a high-brow blogger like Mrs. P of Titus 2 to inspire me to think about stuff.  She's good for me like that.  So, the question she is pondering on her blog has to do with sheltering our children.  Do we shelter? and from what? and to what degree? and is it overall beneficial?  (or something along those lines)  Various people are chiming in.

It reminded me of a conversation that my oldest son had with us, right before he left for college.

"WHY did you shelter me?  Sheltering is bad."  (or something like this)

Will and I just looked at him with one eyebrow raised.  It was never our goal to shelter our children.  If we had written down one of those grandiose mission statements for our family, there would not have been a sheltering column.

No.  Sheltering was never on the radar.  So, were we loosey goosey about parenting, then?  No, not at all.

As written in such a way that I am speaking to my own children..


But it went something like this.  We wanted to provide you with an excellent education.  Homeschooling was a part of achieving this goal.  The fact that I could not drum up a bunch of rowdy infidel type of children to join us in our homeschool is secondary.  It certainly made my life easier trying to teach you because I didn't have to compete with the system of rowdy infidels.  Therefore, by default, you were sheltered from them.

Here's another goal.  We wanted you to have useful, productive lives that are the byproduct of hard work.    Is it possible that a hardworking, productive family has little to no television in their lives? A constant viewing of useless things is not helping us achieve our goals for you.  Therefore, by default, you were sheltered from media nonsense.  

Health nutrition and active lifestyles are also part of our goals for you.   People are happy when they are healthy.  Healthy involves intentional eating.  It means I force you to play outside (even now) and drag your butts off the couch to enjoy the good old fashioned fresh air.  Can I help that I've sheltered you from being overweight, unhealthy and sedentary?  Can I help it that everyone says our children are the "picture of health"??  whatever that means.  I means I'm the food nazi and no one (including daddy) can just eat whatever he wants.  It means a lot of our income goes on food.  And that is on purpose.

Excellence in academics and goal achieving.  Yes, I have "forced" you to be in things that you would rather not do-- public speaking clubs, strings instruments, drama, and anything else that you didn't like but we made you do-- is all about sheltering you from a useless, aimless life.  I know too many adults who still haven't figured out what they want to do when they "grow up".  In our family, you set goals and you achieve them. end of discussion.  It won't seem unusual for you to be doing that when you are adults because you've been doing it all of your life.

About God.  You had no choice except to born into this family.  In our family, we love Jesus.  Because we love the Lord Jesus, you have been (by default) sheltered from a variety of things. (notice that I didn't say we are Christians.  I said we love Jesus.  There is a difference.  They were called Christians because of their love.  There are plenty of people who say they are Christians.  What their lives have to do with Christ, I do not know)

So here are a few things you were sheltered from (by default, because we love Jesus and are trying to live for him and obey his Word)...

a. A broken home: It should be the norm not the exception that people who love Jesus choose to stay happily married.  Thankfully, both mom and dad love the Lord Jesus and by his grace are still happily married.

b. a home with fighting and shouting: We are not perfect, as you know.  But we are trying to love the Lord Jesus so much that he helps us manage our disagreements.

c. a home of substance abuse: people who carry the burdens of this life are very prone to alcohol and drug abuses.  I think it would be impossible without Christ, so no wonder people have addictions.  In Christ, even the things that are hard to do are possible--like managing problems without addictive substances.

d. a home without love: Even people who claim to love Jesus often have a coldness in their hearts toward each other.  You know we are not perfect and sin often, but we have love here.  Maybe you've never thought about it.  Something tells me that when you go into someone's home who is without love, you'll recognize the difference.

And I'd like to think that God "shelters" me in the same way.  He often doesn't come right out and let me see all that he's protected me from.  Through his gentle leading, he is providing a path of blessing AND protection.  What a good God he is!!



3 comments:

Mrs. Parunak said...

I really like the concept of focusing so much on good stuff there's no time for bad stuff, rather than just avoiding bad stuff. Good thoughts.

The dB family said...

Great words!! I can't wait to use these on my children!

Blessings!
Deborah

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh I love this post :D

Julie