Indeed when people object about my wife and me homeschooling our children they often accuse us of “sheltering” our children. I often ask in response, “What are you going to accuse us of next, feeding and clothing them?” –R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Soon it will be Baby Braveheart’s eighth birthday. My baby is not a baby any more. His knobby knees and lanky awkwardness are a reminder of this. He can even read a story to me with more expression in his voice than I have when I read to him. So I wait semi-patiently for grandchildren and enjoy the little boyishness that still likes to cuddle with and please his mommy.
We are probably going to see Toy Story 3 for the birthday celebration (in our family we usually do family outings, not parties, and the birthday child gets to pick fun food for the day, including sugary cereal, ick). Pixar is popular here. When Disney was about to purchase Pixar, Steve quickly purchased one share of Pixar stock. It is the only stock we now own, and the framed certificate, with a picture of Woody and the gang, hangs on the wall of the library.
This evening I stumbled across a story about a young man who is a story board artist and animator for Pixar, and he is also a Christian. I was impressed by this man’s desire to help make stories that his small son could see…he wants to protect his little boy. Since this article was written, he has also worked on the the latest Toy Story movie and Up.
Many years ago (and if anyone knows how I can find a copy of it please tell me…it was written sometime in the late 1980s or early 90s) we read a Reader’s Digest article that was very profound. Yes, profundity in Reader’s Digest! It reported on an extensive poll that examined people’s views on various topics, and the curious conclusion was that the tendency to be more conservative or more liberal in one’s worldview correlated not with gender, not with age, not with socio-economic status. The greatest differences in people’s beliefs depended on whether or not they had children. Those with children were much more conservative in their outlook in every area.
I wonder if such a poll were taken today, if the results would be the same. I’m hopeful that most people with children have an innate desire to protect them and will willingly sacrifice for their little ones. But there is a strong Siren call in this culture to jump into the treacherous waves of self-fulfillment, sacrificing duty to fleeting pleasure. I’ve even seen those who began well, jump ship and wallow in that deceptive morass. The God-given desire to protect our children needs to be nurtured if we are going to properly nurture the precious treasures God has given us.
Sheltered children are loved children who grow up to be strong people who can withstand worldly onslaughts. And they will need to be able to stand strong, so they also need to be prepared to face those battles. But the school of thought that throws a baby into the pool to sink or swim is not found in the Bible. Praise God for discerning parents. Families will differ on the details of how this is to be lived out, but we ought to agree to ask God for wisdom and for hearts that love our children sacrificially, something which should come naturally, except that sin comes naturally, too.