Thursday, December 4, 2014
What's So Bad About Being Sheltered?
A few weeks ago I was standing in line somewhere and listening to a couple middle school aged kids talking about homeschoolers being sheltered. They were, of course, for the most part just joking with one of their home schooled friends, and I really could care less, but I did turn around and make the comment that homeschoolers are not sheltered. I have thought about my comment several times since then...
To give a bit of back story, I am a previous homeschooler. Which pretty much means that from about the time I was 7 to the time I was 16, I received most of my education (aside from the occasional CO-OP or class at a charter school) at home. And honestly, it doesn't bother me. I can only remember wanting to be public schooled a few times... and those were mostly because my best friend went to public school and who wouldn't want to spend more time with their best friend? The last two years I have primarily done my school at a community college where I am finishing high school and college together. I am very grateful to my parents that I was home schooled. I learned things at my own pace and had extended amounts of free time from being able to just get up early and get my school done. It was awesome.
What's so bad about being sheltered?
I have to admit. I have met a lot of kids who are, or were home schooled, who don't want to appear sheltered. I mean, who wants to look socially inept or be thought of that if they are exposed to anything they will not be able to handle it. To start this off right, I first want to clarify something. I probably am a bit more on the sheltered side. And personally I hate that word. It makes it sound like someone is curling up in a ball in a corner... refusing to come out... and sobbing the world is perfect as long as they stay within their comfort zone. So when I say that I am somewhat sheltered it does not mean in any way shape or form that I don't know a thing about the world... Somewhat sadly, for that matter. But yes, I have been sheltered from a lot of bad or unprofitable stuff, by my parents when I was younger, but also by myself as I get older.
There are so many of us homeschoolers, and even Christians, who seem so concerned with fitting in and not appearing to be squeaky clean or pure, that we have ridiculous standards as to what is sheltered. If someone chooses not to watch movies that contain unprofitable scenes or listen to music that causes one to focus on things which are unprofitable, why is that a bad thing? Romans 12:2 has some edifying things to think of:
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
Its pretty hard to be renewing your mind with what is right and good when you are continually filling your mind with other things - whatever they may be, whether, bad, unprofitable or not the best thing for you specifically.
So, I just had a few thoughts, if we really consider ourselves Christians, if we really want to be Christ's ambassadors, maybe we should take a little bit of time to consider what we are putting our minds on and how it affects us- both as being effectual ambassadors and in our personal walk with Jesus. I am not here to judge. What you choose to be right for you is only between you and God. And I am sure there are things in my life I can cut out that will make more time for me to read the Bible and pray, as well as just focus on more profitable things... And I know how much of a struggle it is. But these are just some thoughts. Is it really so bad to self-shelter yourself? Not to pretend like everything is just fine. Not to hide from the reality of this world. But to renew your mind. To be the ambassadors and the lights that this world so needs.