Friday, June 12, 2009

Children and Socialization Part 2

Dumping our kids in an atmosphere of all sorts of ungodly behavior is not worth the risk. I don’t completely restrain them from the world rather I go with them into the world. I don’t drop them off at the worlds doorstep and hope they won’t be burned. That’s foolish.

Remember when God first drew us? Lots of love and patience went into those formative days months and years. God nurtured us, wooed, loved and held us close until finally He knew we were ready for some harsh reality….a trial, a storm, and then a valley. Of course He went with us and carried us through. There are times He seemed to withdraw His presence but that was part of the training. This is all carefully calculated by the Lord. He knows how to establish our roots and make us eat strong meat.He prepares us for times of battle and victory. He doesn’t save us one week and put us o the mission field the next, neither should we expect our children to be missionaries before its time. We slowly cultivate our precious children just like the Lord works so patiently with us. David killed a lion and a bear before he faced Goliath.

We have a pool and a 2 year old. I don't throw him in, and expect his great swimming ability to be an encouragement to others! I hold him close and acclimate him to the water a little at a time, then when he is ready I will put floaties on him and allow him to float around while I watch. One day he will be ready to swim along side me sans floaties. Eventually I will let him get in the pool while I watch through the window making sure I can trust his ability…. until finally I am 100% sure he can handle swimming on his own,...... then perhaps he can show others how to swim.
"My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." Proverbs 23:26

Why do gardeners start seedlings out on the window sill? Because the atmosphere has to be just right in order for the little plant to develop strong roots that will withstand the harsh elements of the world. What is the goal of every good gardener? Fruit! That is my goal too. I want my children to bear precious fruit for many generations to come therefore I cultivate,stake,prune and nourish them very carefully.

I am well aware that the day will come when my children will reach an age of maturity and leave home. I plan on this and do expose them to the world, even the ugly side of it. No we don't hang out at the bar, but the mall is not much better and we go to the mall. I don't have to dump my children at the public school in order to train them in how to react and handle the world, they see the depravity of this world at Walmart.

But your kids will never know how to handle the world if they aren't in it!!

This may be a shocker to some of you but we get to experience the ugly sinful side of the world right in the enjoyment of our own home. Front row seats. We don’t need public school to teach us how to lust and be greedy. We are human. Fallen humans. Of course there are indeed some faces of sin and shame that my children will never experience but that's ok they get the idea just by being human.
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child....

All the sheltering in the world will not negate the fact that we are fallen and in need of grace. Desperately. He alone can and will save my children. My best efforts are not enough. My training program has flaws but His promises are fool-proof.

The promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off....


  1. I respect your decision and the fact that you are able to articulate your reasons why you believe your ideas of parenting are the best option. I would say, though, that often there is this "throw them in the water and let them swim" or shelter them straw man. It's not an either-or, but definitely a little of both.

  2. Very good read, as always. :o)

    The parallel you drew between God growing and maturing us and parents doing the same with their children is a very good perspective I hadn't thought of before.

  3. Sheltering is very much a path lined with traps. As a product of homeschooling, I've seen both sides of the issue; I've been sheltered, and I've stepped from the cloistered environment of homeschooling to the real world, experiencing the shock that bings. Based on that experience, I've come to believe that sheltering is, speaking of most issues, robbing the young person of the exposure he needs to mature as an adult and as a Christian.

    If you spend years teaching your child in God's Word, yet never allow that teaching to be challenged until he is grown and on his own, have you truly prepared him for real life? I contend you have not. No company would dare put a product on the open market without testing it in controlled environments first, yet homeschooling parents do that all the time by preventing any negative influence in their childrens lives.

    I've been witness to case after case of homeschooled student who has struggled to adapt to the rigors of life in a world that doesn't support what you believe, doesn't care about your feelings, and isn't interested in your well-being. Strength comes through trial, not through ease. Shelting children from life's challenges steals from them the precious moments of decision they need to be confident in what they believe, not to mention makes a public statement that you as the parent don't trust yor own ability to teach. If parents believed that they were truly instilling in their children the tools necessary to keep them in Truth through life's challenges, they wouldn't hesitate to allow resistance to come against the offspring, trusting in the principles previously instilled.

    So to boil it all down; allow your children to be placed into situations where they have to make their own decisions on what course is right and what course is wrong. Have some faith and trust in your children.

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  5. Anon,

    I appreciate your comment,especially since you were homeschooled.

    I agree with just about everything you said.I agree that our children have to learn how to live in this world.

    Please refer back to my first paragraph where I said I dont want to shelter my children from the world rather want to go *with them* into. Its not that I dont want to expose them I just think I should be there during the exposure.

    Dumping them at the public school for 8 hours a day is not my idea of equipping my children to live in this world.

  6. It sounds like we would be great friends-- we think alike on this issue! You aren't in Oklahoma by any chance are you? It would be great if you were! I blog too, but it is in bad need of an update. Nice to "meet" you.

  7. At older ages, especially high school, I believe that some type of institutional school is exactly what young people need. That would put the young person into contact with people of different backgrounds, faiths, creeds, and opinions. Such diversity challenges and inspires, changing faith from mere mental belief to practical application. There is no better way to fall in love with Truth than to have it through trouble. Such circumstances do not happen in a homeschooling environment.

    Certainly you must do as you feel God would have you do. Read and pray about it, but decide of your own volition, not because of other people's opinions or rhetoric.

    God bless you!

  8. Thank you for this post! My husband and I talk about this all the time. Just the other day when we were at the gym pool as a family it came up again. We don't need to put our daughter in public school for several hours a day in order to expose her to anything. It's all right there at the gym, the mall, the grocery store, etc. We have plenty of places to work on socialization and teach her right from wrong. The difference is, we want to be with her through it all so she can learn first from our example before she is ready to handle it on her own. I can't imagine *not* wanting to be with your child as they learn these lessons.