Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cleaning House

On the Bookshelf:  A few years ago, back in my single days, I went to a single's service at a local church. The pastor was amazing - gave a great sermon on "Cleaning House" that has stuck with me to this day.

Now, this is not your typical "cleaning house" I'm referring to.  I'm talking about tossing out all the "unclean" things of your life.  Take a look at your bookshelves, your magazine rack, your DVD shelf.  Is there anything on that shelf you don't want your children to see? 

For some reason, God has been laying this on my heart recently.  I often wonder if I should homeschool Baby Girl - should I protect her from the world as long as I can - hoping when she encounters the evil that exists, she'll be strong enough in her faith to overcome, or should I let her see it first-hand at a young age, then show her how to deal with it, hoping and praying it doesn't overtake her?

For instance, teenage sex and pregnancy is rampant in our part of the world.  Do I want her to be surrounded by people who accept these things as normal - even cool - praying that she doesn't succumb to the peer pressure?  Or do I protect her, teaching her that sex before marriage is not only NOT COOL, but a sin that can affect the rest of her life?  And then hoping and praying that these messages and her faith stay with her during her college and young adult years? 

As I ponder these things, I suddenly had my eyes opened to the fact that my home is currently not the "safe" place I thought it was (not referring to the rattlesnakes!!!).  My bookshelves are lined with mainstream fiction that idealizes sin - sex before marriage, theft, murder, etc.  Do I want Baby Girl to read these things, unconsciously believing these sins to be acceptable? 

A good friend and I were discussing Disney movies - also previously known as "safe" entertainment. Not so.  We started discussing "The Princess and the Frog."  Now, I bought this movie because I collect Disney movies - I love them!  Then I watched it.  I have to say, I was seriously scared!  There are certain parts of this movie that are steeped in voodoo - demons and witches.  Scary stuff!  She suggested that get rid of the movie - sell it on eBay.  I'm considering it.  But then I wonder...Do I allow Baby Girl to watch these kinds of things (when she gets older, of course), explaining to her that witchcraft does exist - demons do exist - and, as in the case of this movie - THEY DON'T WIN!  Or do I shield her from it?  Do I not allow even a hint of the evil that is out there?  Or do I watch very carefully, allowing small parts of it to surface from time to time - using those situations as teaching opportunities? 

I'm really looking for answers here.  Does anyone have suggestions?  Real-life examples?  I'd love to hear what you have to say.


  1. You are speaking to my heart! I went through the same thought process about a year ago, in fact I even raided our DVD collection and threw out every rated R movie we had. Take Varsity Blues, it was a hit back in the day, but totally appalling to me now that I think of it through the lens of a parent. In the trash it all went, replaced by Veggie Tales, Leap Frog, and movies like Letters to God. There are so many good quality Christian movies, music, and other entertainment options out there nowadays! I should own stock in Family Christian Bookstore, that place rocks!
    As for school, you know the decision we made and are loving every second of it. God has confirmed us in every way. A wise person told me, “We do not want to build a fortress for our students to hide in; we want to give them a shield to carry - along with a sword.” In other words, I don't need my kids to learn their morality for the 5 year old who watches Jersey Shore and 16 & Pregnant with their mom at home. I think it's perfectly fine and healthy to protect our children while they are young, and help them become firm in their values while their prefrontal cortex is still developing. (The decision making part of the brain, research it, fascinating stuff I learned in grad school.) In the end, pray about it and God will open the right doors for you.

  2. You are so right! Thanks for sharing with me (and anyone else who reads this blog!)