Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Club Thursday: Mama Made the Difference- Lesson Eight

Mamas Teach Us to Hide Them in the House

I'll admit, when I first read this Chapter title, I was baffled.  Hide the in the house?  But then as I read on, I realized that this is something that my mother did with us and what I am now doing with Addie.  No, it does not mean literally hiding them in the house, but figuratively hiding them, protecting them from being exposed to things they are not yet ready to experienced based on their age or maturity level.

When my parents first began homeschooling us, it was because of things we were being exposed to in the public school system.  Please understand that I am not bashing the public school system in any way (my sister teaches in a public school).  When I first began school, we lived in a suburb of Tampa and I attended the local public school.  My mother was very involved in the school (as the homeroom mother every year and the librarian asked her to help go through the incoming books to weed out the ones that were not deemed appropriate), and my father was on the PTA for a time.

Then, my father was called into the ministry and we moved to Staten Island, New York where the public schools were not the same as the schools we had just left.  I began hearing rumblings from my class mates about "where babies come from", words that I had never been exposed to before, and my sister was hit by a fellow kindergartner (and my parents were asked to be sympathetic because the other child came from a dysfunctional home). 

It was at this point that my parents chose to home school us for the remainder of our school years.  They wanted to "hide is in the house" from being exposed to information we were not yet ready to process or could do nothing with.  My parents received a lot of criticism for their choice from people who would not answer to God for how we were raised.  They were told that Faye and I would lose out on having any socialization (honestly!).

My parent's response to this was always the same. "When you are growing a seedling, you would never plant it right in the ground to deal with all of the elements.  It's roots are not strong enough to withstand strong winds or heavy rains.  You keep it in a green house to care for it as it grows and feed it to strengthen its roots.  When it is strong enough to stand on its own, that is when you plant it outside. It is the same with children."  And they would leave it at that.

Because I was "hidden in the house" until I was ready, when I was finally set free on the world, I knew what was right and wrong in God's sight.  I did not experience a time of tripping and making mistakes because my "roots" were strong and held fast. 

Now we are "hiding Addie in the house" until the time comes for us to give her different levels of freedom as she shows that she is ready for them.  It irks me greatly when others begin the "you have to let her go out there" conversations when their children have experienced far too much far too soon and are making poor choices because they were never "hidden in the house".

Some versions of Titus 2:5 say that we as women are "keepers at home."  Keepers at home keep guard over the things that enter it.  They guard what comes in through the door, the television, books, and radio.  They guard in prayer what goes out- husband and children.  They guard those they love from hurtful words and attitudes that outsiders try to impose.  We guard.

Homework for the Heart: Describe a time when your mother "hid you in the house" as a child. How did you feel about such containment at the time? How do you feel now, looking back on it?  What are some ways you need to hide your own children in your house? What are some ways you need to let them go?

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