Just how important is the nurture and development of a young child?
Home school families are often labeled overprotective; accused of sheltering their children so much that when faced with the disillusionments of real life their children will be unable to cope.
It’s a mistake to believe that only hardship prepares one for future adversity. Take a young seedling plant, for instance. Cared for and nourished in the stable greenhouse environment the plant flourishes, strong roots grow deep. This plant should stand firm against adverse winter climates. Yet, if the same plant were removed from the greenhouse prematurely, it could succumb and die.
Say you just skipped the greenhouse part of the plant’s life and thrust it directly into the soil, what are its chances? If it clings to life despite nibbling creatures and fierce weathers…at maturity how will it compare to the one begun in the greenhouse? The scars of life affect us yes, but the point at which you expose your child to stress and adversity is up to you. At what point do the harsh conditions cease to crush spirits and instead strengthen them? Kindergarten?
Fertilize your children with God’s Word and your good example. The salt and light of God’s word is two fold. With salt we season and preserve souls…with salt we kill the weeds that sprout up between the cracks. Protect and enrich your family with mulch-talk at breakfast, in the car, as you cook and clean and learn together, at bedtime. Shower them with Christian music and story tapes, missionary biographies, and wholesome fun with friends. Prune the bad behaviors and habits before they stunt the good growth. Keep them healthy by thinning dead and disease-prone stems and dead-heading sin daily. Encourage new growth with praise. Pray constantly, and let your children see/hear you doing so. The presence or absence of a good root system is largely up to us parents.
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true…think on these things.”
How better for a child to learn what is right and true than being surrounded by the ideal itself? What values does the world have for our children?