I am often presented with a statement from others that I am shielding my family from the real world.
Possibly, because our children are home schooled, we don't have T.V., we don't watch movies that are unfiltered from all profanity, nudity, vulgarity, etc.
Is that really so weird?
I have even been confronted by christian leaders stating that we are doing something wrong; that we are to be the light to the world and if we do not allow ourselves to be immersed into the world, how can we be the light to the world, and offer change to the world.
The problem the I cannot ignore is how can we expose our children to the world that is so contrary to God, until we have adequately formed and prepared them.
I often mentally visualize the caparison of sending soldiers off into battle without any training and expect then to exhibit enough skill to compete with warriors. Isn't it the same for our children, sending them off into society, as messed up as it is today, without training, is like sending them off into slaughter.
You cannot expect a 5 year old to posses enough wisdom and understanding to decipher the rhetoric of what is being taught in schools today (i.e same sex relations is normal, me-first mentality, political correctness, etc).
My intention is not to forever and completely keep them from the world that we live in, but rather to form them without undue distraction. Withholding them in my security until we can teach them christian virtues and the faith that is so much of who we are, and then, when prepared, set them free and allow them to navigate through life with the tools that they posses.
The world today is full of many great and wonderful people, but it is also full of sin, deceit, and violence. It is almost impossible to teach children basic Christian values while immersed in the secular world (i.e. Public Schools) without excessively exposing them to teachings contrary to our family and faith beliefs.
I would need to spend as many hours in a day that they are in school, undoing what they had been taught that day. Don't you think that would be creating confusion in a child?
My wife has dedicated her life, to total immersion into our children's lives, forgoing any personal desires, to ensure that they have a fighting chance in this world that has gone so far astray in many ways; just look at "Planned Parenthood" as an example.
She spends almost every minute of every day, being their mother, their teacher, their friend, their disciplinarian, their everything, and I admire her so much for doing so.
She has never lost the sense that her primary role is not to be their best friend, but rather to be their mother, their role model, their guide. There is a huge difference between being their friend and being their mother. She is willing to be unpopular, and even being the object of their anger, but she is never unloved, and holds a life sustaining respect that can only be earned, never bought.
The children are so greatly loved by her, not spoiled, but truly loved.
Yes, in many ways, we have created our own world, we have tried to show the children what life is truly meant to be.
They might be sheltered, but only temporarily sheltered from much of the evil in the world, not from friends, family, and events.
Our children attend more events than most children, they have more close friends than most children, they spend quality time with friends almost everyday, but more importantly, they are being taught and exposed to our values each and every day.
Our world, the world that has been created for our children, hopefully is what is "God's world."
We are teaching our children what God had intended this world to be.
When we visit Guatemala each summer, and reunite with our friends from San Lucas, hopefully the children have realized that the world is much larger than what most children believe it to be.
Hopefully, they have come to realize that the true world is nothing like Hollywood, but rather like the small villages in San Andreas, or San Marcos, or Pana Jachel, where life is really about friendships, believing in each other, counting on each other, living our faith, and accepting the trials in our lives and persevering through them in hope of gaining virtue, character, and grace.