It is true that God calls us to be the protectors of our children but He doesn’t want us to shield them from every bump, bruise, pain, or hard truth along the way.
There are some pros and cons to consider when it comes to sheltering your child. While we may want to think that our protection is never bad and always good, there are two sides to this.
We want to lay out the good, the bad, and how God approaches sheltering to help you walk this parenting journey well.
There are some very good reasons to shelter your kids. When they’re little you have to make decisions to keep them physically safe because lets be honest, kids are crazy. Their protection is important and guarding their hearts can not be overlooked.
Part of our job as parents is to protect our children from danger when they are not old enough to protect themselves.
For example, I can not allow my son to climb to the very top of the treehouse and then jump off. He will 1000% break something and not only will it be painful for him, but it will also be painful to our wallets.
However, I also can’t follow him around or wrap him in bubble wrap to protect him IN CASE something happens.
We have to find that sweet balance between keeping them alive but also allowing them to lean into that daredevil spirit (with some guidelines of course) because in those moments of “daredevilish-nis” they gain bravery, confidence, and a physical understanding of what they are capable of.
Navigating New Things
Right now we are navigating through how to parent a soon-to-be teenager (he will already be a teen when you read this!). We want to allow freedom but we also need to have boundaries.
For example, he has been begging for a phone so we agreed to get him one. However, it’s a phone without social media. We know that he isn’t ready or equipped to deal with the pressure and darkness that can come along with social media.
Let’s be honest, most adults aren’t either…but with this introduction of a phone, we can walk alongside him, help guide him, and prepare him the best we can.
There are some drawbacks when it comes to sheltering our kids.
Not Learning Cause and Effect
When we let them learn and grow, they learn cause and effect and experience the consequences of their actions. God let Adam and Eve feel the weight of their choices in Genesis 2:16-17.
Aside from keeping them physically alive, they need to be exposed to problems and trials so that they can learn how to navigate through this world full of challenges.
If I took it upon myself to shield my children from the very world they live in then I would be doing them a serious disservice…but on the other side of that, it is my job to protect their hearts and minds from things they aren’t ready for.
Keep Your Eyes of God
The challenges of the world are opportunities for you to be an example to your child on how to lean into the Word and Truth of God to look for guidance. Our Heavenly Father is our perfect example.
He protects us but also allows us to walk through hardships. He guides us through the storms of life and never leaves our side.
Instead of being controlling, He allows us to experience the consequences of our choices and actions. This is what He did in the Garden. He let Adam and Eve feel the weight of their choices in Genesis 2:16-17.
But at the same time, He was already working on a rescue plan to redeem the world that was now broken.
He is protective but He isn’t overbearing or controlling. He is constant and always there to love us through it all.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!
Tyler OJ Campus
Teresa Ator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethanie Tayler: email@example.com
Tyler UB Campus
Max Heller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chrisleigh Heller: email@example.com
Molly Pontius: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Kirby: email@example.com