Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's in the Suitcase? - Part 1

One of the things I hear all the time is, "They are going to (hear, see, experience) it at some point.  You can't protect them forever."  It can be anything from bad language or behavior to outright evil acts.  I know myself and if I had no other influences then I would shield my children from any negativity in life.  However, I have also seen the results of some of this kind of "protection" - children who are thrust into adulthood never having learned to cope with the realities of the disappointments, pain and sin that are realities in our world.  I am, therefore, thankful for a husband who thinks differently than I do.  I am also thankful that there are many people who question my "overprotective" tendencies because it makes me think through WHY I am protecting my kids, and WHAT I want to protect them from.  I don't have that all figured out, yet.  But here are some thoughts I have had about it.

"What is sex sin?" - Thankfully, this is not a question I have been asked, yet.  I am thankful to have read the response of a very wise father whose answer really frames my philosophy on protecting my kids and is an example of how I want to relate with them.  The question was asked by a young (somewhere around 5 or 7 years old) Corrie Ten Boom.  Here is how she describes the situation in her book, "The Hiding Place."

"And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sex sin?"
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
“Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
“It's too heavy," I said.
“Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you."
His last statement frames my beliefs on children and knowledge.  There are things that they just are not able to handle, yet.  As they get older, they will be able to handle more and it is part of my job to decide when they are able to handle different subjects and how much detail should really be shared in my answers to them.

There are other things I like about the wisdom her father showed, but that will have to wait for another post!

1 comment:

  1. I've heard that story before but def needed the reminder. This post was excellent and glad to know I am not alone! Dealing with some issues right now! ie. V is in public kindergarten and they had a just say no to drugs campaign. She was so excited to get a ribbon but had no idea what drugs were when I asked her. So we had a simplified chat. There are some other things too... She asks WHY all the time and I think this story is a great analogy. THANKS!


All comments welcome, but moderated to prevent ads from showing up as comments. It may take a short while for your comment to be visible.