Generation Cedar

I heard the parents of an 8-year-old girl defending the question of “the appropriateness” of a top pop song.  The mother answered, “Well, I mean, unless you shelter your children from all music and T.V. you can’t keep them from singing to and dancing to (said inappropriate song).”

The implication?  Parents are helpless to exercise their wisdom and authority over the things they deem inappropriate or harmful for their children.  This is a frightening implication for any parent, but especially disturbing as a Christian parent commanded to guide and direct his children “in the way he should go.”

Why would a parent feel he can’t (or shouldn’t?) protect his 8-year-old from lyrics he believes are harmful (music is, after all, a powerful influence)?  Is the statement “I can’t protect him from that” just a convenient way to avoid the work that accompanies such protection?

I’ve seen other relenting responses from parents.  I remember my own father wringing his hands as I left the house with young men he knew I shouldn’t be with. But, what was he to do? Everyone else was doing it.

“Let’s hold up our daily activities, interests and pursuits to the light of God’s Word.”

What about the fashion battles that very few parents are willing to fight anymore.  (Are you honestly OK with the fact that your teen-aged daughter has a message written across her rear end? Or her cleavage showing?)

I’m discouraged by the epidemic of displaced authority given over to the culture instead of parents in whose hands God has placed these children.

There is so much confusion and deception about “children needing to find themselves” or “express themselves” instead of brave men and women loving their children enough to say “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

There is a gross misconception about the supposed harmless exposure to the messages bombarding our children through music, television and peers.  (Whatever things are TRUE, PURE, JUST, HONEST, VIRTUOUS, PRAISEWORTHY, LOVELY…)

It’s not about sheltering as much as it is about directing their tastes to spiritual things (which will  naturally involve abstaining from some things while replacing those with others–call it sheltering if you like).  If a child is fed a steady diet of junk food, that’s what he will crave.  Conversely, our job is to help them develop a taste for healthy food just as we are to do with their spiritual diet.

Let’s hold up our daily activities, interests and pursuits to the light of God’s Word.  If if it doesn’t stand, get rid of it.  No matter the cost.

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63 Responses

  1. Amen!! So well said. We have taken the time required to “protect” our children. They are very protected…music, movies, friends, television, books. I have had people tell me, “Well you can’t protect them forever.” I’ve always said, “Maybe not, but if I do my job right for their first 18-20 yrs, I won’t need to do it forever.” At some point, wisdom takes over where parents laid the groundwork. I am willing to do whatever it takes to lay that groundwork.

  2. Amen! We used to hear the “you can’t shelter them forever” from relatives, but as our children are getting older (we have 7 — the oldest 13 and they are 2 years apart)… people don’t say that much anymore. I hope that doesn’t come across as arrogant. I realize how well we do as parents won’t come to fruition until our children have children. I am so thankful for the courage to take a stand and say no to inappropriate things, encourage godly behavior, teach them in the way they should go. It is my prayer every day to be an encourager of godly things and an example of Christ. We’ll see how well we did when we’re called Grandma and Grandpa! 😉

  3. Very well said!
    I just translated your post and will give it to my husband (we discuss this things and don’t come to an agreement). May I post the German translation on my blog as well (with a link to the original post of course)? It’s hard to find things like this in German (at least I don’t find them very often…).

  4. I agree and would add my wonder a Christian parents whom I know personally who encourage their teen girls toward ‘loving’ certain celebrities, etc, by taking them to concerts, buying them music and things like this.

    Where is their discernment?

  5. Kelly,
    I am apologize for not popping in much to comment, but I do want you to know that I read your blog pretty often. I love this post because right now we are a military family, and living on base if you are different or do things differently then people give you their two cents. I felt lead to homeschool my children this past year, but I ended up not doing it because of the pressure I felt from others. I know that sounds really silly but God is working on me during this time. I am a new christian learning about God and reading the bible. Your blog has encouraged me to see things differently about children and now about protecting them. I recently took the tv out of our livingroom and I am seeing the blessings of having more time to spend with my children. I apologize for writing so much I just wanted you to know that your blog is at least touching one families life 🙂

    Sarah Lownsbery

    1. I will pray for your continued blessings, Sarah. I know how hard it is to turn away from group pressure, it is not an easy thing. Like Kim M wrote, stay encouraged! It is a strength that will grow, if schooling your children at home is your call.

    2. Go ahead and forget that nonsense! Especially go ahead if you have a PWOC chapter and can find others who are doing it. You know what you need to do.

  6. Great article and very timely since a book recently came out suggesting that protecting our children is abuse. (Don’t want to advertise so I’m not telling what book). But it’s been the topic of conversation in my homeschool circles lately and has left some confused as to how and if we are to shelter our children. Thanks for posting!

  7. I just found out a family member’s 7 year old daughter was “blasting Justin Beiber in her bedroom.” I was floored! I wouldn’t let my 7 year old have her own CD player in her room let alone Justin Beiber!

    It drives me crazy that there are all these campaigns out to be firm with your teen children and not let them do drugs or drink alcohol or smoke. “Be the parent.” “Just talk to them, they’ll listen.” “Be firm.” Yet, when it comes to sexual promiscuity, there’s nothing but, “teach them about birth control, because they’re just going to do it anyway.” Then, some parent gets thrown in jail because they let their kid and his friend drink alcohol under their roof “because they’re just going to do it anyway, so it’s safer if they do it under my roof.”

    Then, there are the parents who excuse bad behavior as developmental behavior. It’s just her terrible 2’s, or her being a typical tweenager, or his broody teen angst.

    It isn’t about raising our children, anymore, is it? It’s about surviving until they’re 18 and out of the house. It’s about forming some family vacation and holiday memories between school and work busy-ness. It’s about if they don’t get knocked up in high school and don’t do drugs (too often), or don’t drop out and get into a decent college, then we’ve succeeded as parents. Then, they go through a kidault stage for a while, get married with no real commitment, and hopefully have a grandchild or two for us to raise because we’re beginning to realize we missed out with our own kids and they’re too busy and self-centered to raise their own kids anyway.

    Oooohhhhh…..I’m on a roll now! Sparks are flying!

  8. I think it’s silly that a lot of parents refuse to shelter their children from worldly ugly things only to shelter them from any amount of responsibility.

    My husband learned in his business class that Companies are complaining that parents of their new college grad hires are calling and complaining that their son/daughter can’t get time off for their family vacation. And companies are now offering tours of companies for the parents of the new hires. How absurd. They’re called helicopter parents, and it’s a big problem for generation X and Y. THey have no sense of responsibility.

    If we don’t want to shelter our children, then give them opportunities for responsibility. Like ordering their own food at a restaurant, or let them talk to the volunteer coordinator themselves when they have to volunteer. A girl was selling something for girl scouts and the mom kept butting in explaining it to us, like her daughter wasn’t competent enough to do it herself. let them cook a meal for the family all by themselves, allow your 16year old to do the grocery shopping for the family, when they get their drivers license have them call around different insurance companies to make sure the family is getting the best deal and coverage, if they have a hospital bill then let them call the hospital for payment arrangements (even if the parents are paying) and let them do their own laundry. I was amazed in college how may kids couldn’t do their own laundry, and would wait to bring it home for mommy to do it.

    My father gave my brother and me a list of things that needed fixed or maintenance around the house every day during the summer, yet others accused my dad of sheltering us from the real world because he didn’t allow MTV to be on in our house. My brother and I tore off 3 layers of roof on our house, put a new roof on, put up vinyl siding, installed new windows, and painted the whole inside of the house. What a sheltered life 😉

    Yes, expose them to crap music and t.v and bad friends and allow them to dress like hookers but shelter them from any responsibility in life touting that this will help them survive in the “real world” . That seems to be the motto for todays parents.

    1. Excellent points, Natasha! Exposure to the wrong things and sheltering from the right things…we are a backward parenting society for sure.

      We have been accused many times of sheltering our children too much (mostly from the internet world) and yet my oldest daughter can do so much more than I can and her level of responsibility puts me to shame. This week she has had a unique opportunity that has been a huge challenge and requires a high level of commitment. Upon the suggestion that it may be “too hard” or she may be “too uncomfortable”, my husband and I have maintained that this is our job as we prepare her (and our other children) for real life. We refuse to raise coddled children who become coddled adults. We shelter them greatly in their formative years which strengthens their ability to be men and women later on.

      Despite the accusations of “your children aren’t going to be prepared, socialized, etc.” she models strength and maturity beyond her years and a confidence that will propel her through many trials to come.

      We know that requiring her to “do hard things” is preparation for persevering through difficult times in marriage or motherhood or life. As much as my mother-heart longs to protect her from all discomfort, that isn’t my job.

      Amen, again! We need to expose them to the right things, protecting them from the wrong things. It seems so clear, yet so many miss it.

      1. Those are indeed great suggestions. Give kids responsibility and don’t speak for them on a subject they know how to do; treat them like children now, protecting them, and let them be adults later with their own decisions to make and their own autonomy. The Pearls’ have similar beliefs: they’re strict disciplinarians, but encourage their children to be adults when the time comes.

        On the other hand, when you see the almost pseudo-tramp ways that certain pageant mothers dress their small children, you see a child being forced to act like a repelling adult, and with often no choice in the matter! Their often equally decadent mothers practically scream for their own spotlight and direct every word that comes out of their unfortunate daughters’ mouths.

  9. “Yes, expose them to crap music and t.v and bad friends and allow them to dress like hookers but shelter them from any responsibility in life touting that this will help them survive in the “real world” . That seems to be the motto for todays parents.” I am in prayer for my very best life long friends family for this exact scenario. It crushes my heart that such a beautiful family is so lost.

    Natasha, your whole comment was motivating to me to continue “sheltering” our children – your Dad sounds great! Can you imagine showing up with a hundred other people for one construction job, and you’re the most qualified? I am a huge advocate for academic education, but I also believe every person should know a trade/skill. My BIL is an oil and gas executive, who started as a gauge maintenance worker…he maintains all of his certifications in field work because as he puts it “Jr. VP’s are expendable, production guys not so much”.

  10. Thank you, Kelly for such WONDERFUL words!

    It seems strange that the parents that DO take responsibility for their children, DO choose to walk along side them to raise them, DO teach them how to walk, DO guide their choices and teach them discernment are the ones that are looked on as overprotective and are ridiculed.

    It hurts my heart to watch the culture “give away” their parental responsibilities and in this way “give away” the hearts of their children.

    I am convicted to dig my heals in deeper and love up my children even more today! Thanks, for that encouragement, Kelly. Thank you for being so faithful to spur mommies on. I so appreciate your blog.

    My heart was so touched by this writing of J.C. Ryle – I even posted it here:

    “We heavily depend on those who bring us up. We get from them a taste and a bias which clings to us most of the days of our lives. We learn the language of our mothers and fathers, and learn to speak it almost without thinking, and unquestionably we catch something of their manners, ways, and mind at the same time. Time will tell, how much we all owe to early impressions, and how many things in us may be traced back to the seeds sown in the days of our infancy, by those who were around us.

    And all this is one of God’s merciful arrangements. He gives your children a mind that will receive impressions like moist clay. He gives them a disposition at the starting-point of life to believe what you tell them, and to take for granted what you advise them, and to trust your word rather than a stranger’s. He gives you, in short, a golden opportunity of doing them good. See that you do not neglect such an opportunity. Once you let it slip, it is gone forever.

    I know that you cannot convert your child. I know that they who are born again are born, not of the will of man, but of God. But I also know that God specifically says, “Train a child in the way he should go,” and that He never gave a command to men and women which He would not give them the grace to perform. And I also know that our duty is not to stand still and dispute the command, but to go forward and obey it. It is only when we move out in obedience that God will meet us. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives the blessing. We only have to do as the servants were commanded at the marriage feast in Cana, to fill the water-pots with water, and we may safely leave it to the Lord to turn that water into wine.”

    You are a love, Kelly! I love how the Lord brings the same things together in differnt ways – confirming the same thing from various hearts. I so LOVE HIS Sovereignty!! Your post and JC Ryle’s encouraged me in the GREAT role I have as a parent! Thank you.

  11. Oh, I agree 100%. We’ve been persecuted for the “sheltering” we do of our children, which is really different than what most people say, in their defense. But it is our conviction that we are to guide and direct them and “feed” them only what is good for them. Interesting point you made – people think nothing of it when parents feed their children healthy food and avoid junk, they may even applaud it. What a difference when it involves spiritual things. Hmmmmmm . . . we war NOT against flesh and blood . . . so true!

  12. Such encouraging words! Especially when I feel like I need to prepare for battle on a daily basis to defend our rights as parents to homeschool our children. Joy, even the healthy food gets ya too. I remember when my oldest was just a couple of months old, we were very strict with only wanting her to nurse. We had family members complain because we didn’t want her to taste chocolate pie, or whatever else it was at the time. That lasted for years and through every child.

  13. “Let’s hold up our daily activities, interests and pursuits to the light of God’s Word. If if it doesn’t stand, get rid of it. No matter the cost.”

    Boy does that get me all fired up! We are accused from practically every relative that we are “sheltering” our children, that we are “too hard on our children”. They say we’re terrible parents, if we don’t do what they say, or take their (un-asked for) advice. But if what someone is saying or telling me to do doesn’t line up with Scripture, then it is going in one ear and out the other! I refuse to raise shallow, self-centered, irresponsible, lazy children! I’m becoming more and more determined each day that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”, and I really don’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks. 😉 Nor do I care if it’s very popular! I realize with each waking morning, our HUGE responsiblity to raise these little lives that God has entrusted to us for His glory. I know that one day we will stand and give an account for what we have done with what He has entrusted us with. It’s not going to matter at all then, who agreed with us, supported us, or who thought we were crazy. I want to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant!” I pray I will always, always point them to Scripture as I teach and discipline them daily. I feel overwhelmed most of the time, like I don’t know what I’m doing, but lately I’ve realized that is okay. I know I cannot do this on my own, and that forces me to rely on Him for guidance and strength. I pray every day that we will raise our children in such a way that they will not struggle with some of the things that we have as parents. Neither my husband or myself were taught much, if any, of the biblical “tools” that you need to make it through life…I am determined to give that to our children, because I know how horriby hard it is to be trying to learn it all, and figure it all out as you go. I know there will be things that they face as adults, and things they will have to learn and figure out, but I refuse for them to face life empty handed as we have!

    Thank you Kelly, for helping me to plant my feet a little firmer! I’m NOT giving up!!

  14. Love it! Love it! Thank you Kelly again for honest Truth! I love this:
    “I’m discouraged by the epidemic of displaced authority given over to the culture instead of parents in whose hands God has placed these children.”

  15. My 6 year old loves to watch Food Network. We were watching a show last week and when a commercial came on he all of a sudden jumped up and turned off the TV. I asked him why he turned it off in the middle of the show. His response was “That is a very bad commercial and I don’t want us to watch it!” I was so proud of him. I had not even seen the commercial so I don’t know what was in it but he knew that it was not pleasing to God and turned it off without any prompting. This is the ultimate goal of protecting your children. If you protect them, say no and teach them the word of God they will learn that our culture is not always correct.

  16. I love these words of yours: “It’s not about “sheltering” as much as it is about directing their tastes to spiritual things.” So true!

  17. I am amazed that parents in this day and age seem so hepless about standing up to their kids and being the parent!It’s shocking to see what mothers let their daughters wear,I sometimes want to scream”don’t you see how wrong that is?You are the parent!You are probably the person who bought these clothes!”I also am suprised that parents don’t teach their kids basic life skills,like cooking,planting a garden,laundry,ect.How are these kids going to make it on their own?The sad thing is that they usually don’t make it on their own and end up living back at home.Parents don’t want the work and responsibilty of raising kids anymore,it’s very sad.

  18. What a great post! Indeed it’s the parents duty to protect their little one to this kind of exposure, but this post got me thinking, why do the same parent think these things are harmless.

    We as a society as been desensitize regarding sex, violence and other sin, how? Because it’s in front of us all the time. Our eyes and ears are *use* to it! And that is bad!!!

    You can’t go anywhere and not be bombarded by all those sin in ads, magazine. TV, radio etc… take a minutes in a public places, be still and just count the number of images that are not appropriate that will pop up just because you are looking for them!!! Crazy no!!!

    I think we need to reeducate our self to what is please to the Lord and what is not, and be careful to lead our little one to be holy (set apart from the *world*)

    Sorry this comment is so long!

    1. That reminds me of what my husband has said frequently. “If their children shouldn’t be doing it, what makes them think they should?”

      If there’s something unacceptable for a child to do, there’s a good chance it’s not acceptable for the parent either.

        1. Our culture/society has de-sensitized both men and women to sexual sin. We are neck deep in it and don’t even realize it. I have been battleing sexual sin (visual) in my marriage and my husband is prayerfully seeking change. He says that it’s not the computer that is a weakness, but every day living, seeing women in the “flesh” and the advertisements on TV and Billboards. We have to get back to sexual purity for our own sake and our children. GOD is the only way for us to get back what the “world” has taken and is diligently seeking to take. Women help guard your husbands and sons and ourselves and our daughters. It is REAL!!!

  19. Such a great post! We have been accused of sheltering our daughter too. My response? Yes, we are! Is sheltering her from the weather more important than sheltering her from the things that can harm her heart and mind? As she is older, she will have more and more responsibilities and freedoms as her maturity allows. As for now, we will continue to direct her towards the things of God, to guide her into righteousness, and protect her from the things she does not have enough wisdom to deal with.
    I am tired of seeing people treat their kids like cats, just feeding and housing them and letting them run free with no help.

  20. “It’s not about “sheltering” as much as it is about directing their tastes to spiritual things (which will naturally involve abstaining from some things while replacing those with others–call it sheltering if you like). If a child is fed a steady diet of junk food, that’s what he will crave. Conversely, our job is to help them develop a taste for healthy food just as we are to do with their spiritual diet.”

    Yes! I read in a Charlotte Mason homeschooling book about surrounding your child with loveliness (music, books, nature ect) so he will gravitate towards it later. I have found that to be wonderful and Biblical advice.

    I have been called controlling by a family member for guarding my (very young!) children from various bad things. It’s my job to control what I let into their hearts and minds! Once those ugly images/words ect get in they are hard to forget. I actually feel my children have a lot of freedom to enjoy life since they are not having to deal with all that stuff themselves if that makes sense.

  21. A very fine post….& good comments as well. You know, I have to shake my head when I hear people say to parents who wish to bring up their children properly, “You really do need to let them go.” “Oh-oh! Overprotective mother!” “You gotta learn to pick your battles.” I’ve heard versions of these comments directed my way over the years. In truth, it hasn’t been a lot, & certainly not enough to make me alter my parenting methods, but in the moment it can be discouraging! My mantra was always, ‘If it matters in 20 years, I will stand firm.’ Proper behavior at meals mattered….whether one of my daughters wanted her hair in braids on a given day instead of a ponytail didn’t matter.

    There is a Chinese folk tale called The Jade Master, a story about a boy who wanted to learn all about jade. He goes to the expert on this beautiful green stone, who agrees to teach him about it. Each day the boy is given a piece of jade to hold, but there are other tasks to perfom along the way….ordinary things like sweeping, & fetching firewood & so forth. At the end of the day, the boy asked the Master again, “When are you going to teach me about jade?” And the Master would reply that it had gotten late, so he would teach him tomorrow. The next day the same thing would happen, the boy being given a piece of jade to hold & finger & look at….& the chores to do! This would go on day after day, until the boy became so impatient & figured that he was never going to learn about jade. So he confronted the Jade Master. But the old man only gave him another piece of jade to hold. And the boy said, “But this isn’t real jade!”

    So it is with our children. How are they going to learn what to embrace, & conversely what to reject, if they haven’t been brought up with good & beauty….the real thing…???

    I would encourage all parents of young children to hold fast to what you know to be best for them. It can be a lonely road to walk sometimes, but there are compensations along the way, & the destination is beautiful!

  22. Love your blog and have been a fan for a while 🙂
    We have a 3yr. old daughter and are expecting a son in March. We have made very conscious efforts to protect our kids from harmful influences like homeschooling, no cable, all female clothing (including mine) must be approved by my husband, and we’ve actually had to politely decline invitations to events and even some people’s homes, even within our families, because we feel it our duty as parents before God to prevent anything that might potentially expose our kids to ungodliness. I know we can’t and shouldn’t pretend like the world doesn’t exist, but I’m not going to throw them into the culture out of desperation. It is a lot more work, but I think worth it. We have also experienced the criticism of even other Christian parents that we are being too protective and that we have to let them experience things for themselves, and we should let them be “normal”. I think it’s sad that so many Christian parents have bought into the lie that children have the right to dictate the rules of conduct for themselves. As long as I am a parent, I am responsible before God for the proper instruction of my children, and I refuse to relinquish that responsibility to the world, the culture, the school system, the Church or anyone else because I will be the one accountable before God. We are youth leaders at our church, and the worst is when you see kids becoming teens and refusing anything that has to do with God and indulging themselves completely in the perverseness of the culture while the parents say, “What can I do?” I’m so grateful that God gave me parents who weren’t afraid to tell me “no”, and I want to encourage all those parents that are endeavoring to preserve their child’s innocence and purity to the glory of God. Persevere, because even if they hate you for it today, they will love you all the more for it tomorrow. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”-Proverbs 31: 28.

  23. As a public school teacher, I realized we may differ on certain issues but thank you for publishing this. My heart breaks for the young girls in my classroom who are overexposed to music,makeup, fashion, and Internet access with no boundaries. The young boys are exposed to the same thing and are not learning the proper way to treat young women. Parenting is tough but the consequences of not doing it properly are devastating.

    1. Gretchen,

      Thank you for your insight. As an aside, our choice to homeschool was precisely for the reason you mentioned. (I was previously a Christian school teacher and it was the same there.) It seemed impossible for us to give our children a taste for spiritual things when they were exposed to such garbage for most of the day.

      1. It usually are those children as well who have behavior problems that make it nearly impossible to teach some days. I have pondered homeschooling when I have children because it seems that the students who are well behaved, have solid families and WANT to learn are being left behind. I feel like surrogate parent, counselor, teacher and mediator all in one.

  24. That is such a true statement! I mean, I used to have so much trouble with bad lyrics, dancing, etc. These things would seep inside my soul and start grasping my heart, soon becoming the only things I would or could think about during leisure time. Things like lady gaga, which only spoke of sex in any of her songs.

    On the other hand, when I stopped listening to that type of music and replaced it with gospel, celtic folk, and classical songs, I immediately found myself in control of my own thoughts again. I wasn’t bogged down in all that mess. I could finally hang out with boyfriend and NOT be goaded by that constant wish to kiss him/etc. I feel so much freed by my new restrictions.

      1. I’ve just got to say this. My 28 year old step daughter and I were speaking the other day and she was sharing a few thoughts on Gaga. I decided to leave the sound off and check you—tube. Awful! Awful! Repulsive! Even with the sound OFF it comes across just full of Satanic ideals. My children have never seen it and Lord willing never will.

        Yes, I am totally an over-protective Mother! Praise the Lord, I see the impact of it on my 2 children regularly. I have high hopes the Lord will use them mightily when they are grown! Fortunately not too many folks see fit to challenge me on it to my face. I’m not known to back off when I know I’m right. 🙂 Maybe that’s not such a good thing?

        1. LOL Naw, it’s usually a very good thing. I have that same fault myself 🙂

          “she was sharing a few thoughts on Gaga. I decided to leave the sound off and check you—tube. Awful! Awful! Repulsive! Even with the sound OFF it comes across just full of Satanic ideals”

          That’s the rule about Gaga: if you want to hear her songs, just listen; don’t look.

  25. Love it! Thanks for posting. I agree with everything here! Just wouldn’t mind prayer though – because I am almost the only person in my family that does believe it, and that’s lonely. lol and I am a true believer in submission to one’s husband and God’s grace but I still buck that at times…but want to be a peacemaker as well! Keep up the good stuff please 🙂 Would love for my daughter to read these one day!

  26. You know why I love you Kelly? You give us the words to speak what is in our minds and hearts. You stand up first and give us courage to stand up too. Thanks for all you do.

  27. I had someone just a few days ago accuse me of being an overprotective parent because I have not enrolled my 2 year old in one of the traditional church preschools in our area. Church preschool is the “status symbol” for Christians in our area. There are a handful that are the ones considered “the best” and is really the first step to being part of the popular crowd. It really is absurd! Anyway, my answer to being overprotective – “absolutely I’m overprotective of my children. Why aren’t you?” In our area, the church preschools and the private Christian schools are more to show how well-off you are. A friend enrolled her child in first grade at the local Christian school and was shocked to learn that out of 15 families in her child’s class, only 3 were active in a church!

    Many Christians try so hard to not be different from the culture that they forget to pursue holiness, protect their children, and surrender all aspects of their lives to God. If we do this, we will look different than the world.

  28. I consider limiting TV viewing, web, having one TV in a common location, make children read more books, not having a TV in the car, making them go outside and play, giving them chores, knowing who their friends are, limiting time spent around friends, phone calls, r and insisting on family times, modest dressing, respecting elders and parents etc good parenting. Not just christian parenting. We were brought up the same way. I am really shocked how many families have multiple TVs and multiple means not just two, but 7 or 8. Really, a garage TV ??
    But on the other side, using scripture as an excuse to control clearly grown children which I have seen among some christians especially girls. I was brought up in a very strict way. I had an arranged marriage ( my husband chosen by my parents), obviously we were not allowed to live or go out alone or touch before marriage. I come from a very conservative culture and country, we do not even kiss in the altar after marriage, it is done in private and this applies to all religions. I personally had a bit of a culture shock at the courting couples kissing in the altar after marriage. I somehow expected only non-courting couples to do that in my ignorance.
    Though I come from a such a culture, I was allowed to come to America for higher studies as in college by myself. I did not date. What I am trying to say is there is a very thin line between protecting and controlling. There is nothing wrong to me anyway in courting. But treating adult children like little children when we limit their travel, not let them go to college in the name of ‘protecting’ is not protection but control. Sadly I am seeing a lot of that which takes it to scary society territory to me.

    1. Very good points, Sylvia. I have seen this too, numerous times. I’m glad the women here don’t promote it.

  29. Thanks for the great post! My daughter is only one-year-old, and I’m already worried about defending to our well-meaning family and friends our choice to homeschool! You have given me great scripting!


  30. thank you for this post kelly. it is often a lonely road, striving to raise children that are not pickled in this culture. and most of the time it feels like we are dodging “friendly fire”. here’s one of my favorite quotes on the whole sheltering subject:

    “Clearly there is an appropriate kind of sheltering. When those who are opposed to homeschooling accuse me of sheltering my children, my reply is always, ‘What are you going to accuse me of next, feeding and clothing them?'”

    —R.C. Sproul Jr

  31. Yes, we do need to protect our children—also, in this country, since people don’t seem to honor vows, like marriage, how can a company or an American business survive (sorry to get off topic). Many people want limited government, but how can it work if many families are non-formed or shattered through divorce? Business is created by honesty and the honor system—it’s having a ‘meltdown’ today. Until we get more honor, there may not be too many American jobs in the future.Our children need to be taught business and how to run one–they also need to know that wild living will hurt them in the end, and thats what much of the modern music comes from

  32. Growing up, I felt that my parents both over and under sheltered my sister and me. In some areas, they kept us completely isolated from the culture around us, enough so that i struggled to relate to peers. However, they didn’t monitor my reading selections, except to keep me more culturally illiterate, allowing me to read some very inappropriate books. I still experience consequences from both of those extremes.

    So my husband and I have chosen to allow our children some exposure to popular culture with quite a lot of supervision. It has been a blessing to see my children respond to our advice and gentle suggestions to make wise choices. There are some things that they are very definitely not allowed to watch, listen to, or read. I have at times offered to watch a popular show with my oldest so we could discuss if it was appropriate. After I listed off my concerns about the star’s decisions outside of the show, my daughter chose not to watch it based on my evaluation. We’ve seen this behaviour demonstrated in other areas where she has made decisions based on honouring both her parents and God.

    My parents were also rather authoritarian. They weren’t bad parents, but I felt that my obedience was more important than a relationship with them. That has impacted how I parent. My children know that they are required to obey, but they also know that I will listen to their desires and concerns. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve been encouraged by the growth that I see in them. I’ve also been encouraged by my parents’ words of approval. My mother has expressed on numerous occasions that she wished she would have parented like I do.

    This is a tricky balance to find. Having experienced both, I neither want to over nor under shelter. I also want my children to learn to make choices, but also to submit to authority. This parenting is tricky business. I am so thankful for our generous God who gives us wisdom when we ask (James 1:5).

  33. EXCELLENT POSTS! All of them! excited to find this blog/page. It reminds me of the email I received (again)recently where the teenage child comes in to ask Mom a question as she is preparing a salad and throwing in the garbage the peelings and bits we would deem unfit for consumption. The teenage child asks to go to an “Adult” movie with friends that night stating “all my friends are going!” The mom says sure, but picks some of the peelings and such from the garbage and throws them back in the bowl and the child shrieks at the mom “MOM, WHAT are you doing?!?! You are putting the garbage in the salad”. “I know,” the mom replied, “but I thought if you didn’t mind garbage in your heart and mind then you wouldn’t care about a little in your stomach.” Thoughtfully, the child picked the peelings from the salad and then smiled at Mom. “I guess I’ll just tell them I’m staying home tonight,” the child said as he/she went through the kitchen door. The moral of the email is this: it’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. which as I noticed several have already mentioned -training a child to know what is garbage and what isn’t!

  34. I’ve been lurking on this site for a little while and LOVE it!! Especially this post. I’ve been bombarded since college with people who throw around the generalization, “You just can’t shelter your kids these days, or they’ll rebel.” I’m not one to start an argument, so I usually just smile and nod and don’t mention to them that I didn’t rebel despite being “sheltered,” that I did remain a virgin until my wedding at age 25, etc. I have yet to know someone who was sheltered and ACTUALLY rebelled!!

    I’m a teacher–for the time being, until I have my own kids and homeschool them. It was a hard sell to my husband, who swallowed the “kids need to be socialized” kool-aid because all his friends and relatives who are single/divorced parents figure that’s the only lifestyle there is. But I shudder to think of sending my kids to public school after what I hear goes on there, and how much it’s changed since I was there–and I’m only 26!

    If I have “sheltered,” “socially awkward,” “backwards” kids, I won’t be too concerned. Having God in their lives and a Biblical upbringing is the most important thing!

  35. “I have yet to know someone who was sheltered and ACTUALLY rebelled!!”

    Depends on how “sheltered” they are. I’ve heard of a lot of people who rebelled from suffocating families.

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