Overprotective? It's Not a Bad Thing.

"Homeschooling parents are often criticized for being overprotective of their children, an apparently bad thing to do in the world's way of thinking. That caricature, though, originates in a culture of passive parental neglect that is almost dysfunctionally underprotective of its children. Even though it is a pejorative term in secular parenting lingo, you should not be reluctant to bear it as a badge of honor as a caring and committed Christian parent. God wants you to be an overprotective parent! Your children, by God's design, need an overprotector, a parent who will stand over them to protect them--to guard their innocence and purity, to prevent spiritual wounds and sinful footholds, and teach discernment and sensitivity to sin. In God's design for families, overprotecting your children is a good thing.

Still, the enemy is very good at infiltrating even good Christian homes with corrupting influences ... With technologies such as cable and satellite TV, computers and the Internet, a constant river of information, images, and ideas can flow freely into your home, much of it good, but too much of it ungodly and corrupt. You can control that flow, but when your children interact in the community with other children, those children all too often are deeply influenced, informed and indoctrinated by the same river--often without controls on its flow of the worst that culture has to offer--and they will offer it freely to your children. The only thing that is standing between those and other influences, and your child's heart and mind, is a committed overprotector--you! If you don't have a heart that beats strongly with a passion to protect your children against unhealthy appetites, unwise relationships, and ungodly secular media, you can be certain that the enemy stands ready to take full advantage of any holes in your commitment and to exploit your children's innocence, vulnerability, and receptiveness. Diligence is the price you pay for staying safe on the path."

~ Clay Clarkson, Educating the Wholehearted Child

Have you ever been accused of being "overprotective?" I often wonder what exactly people would prefer us to do; to "under-protect," perhaps? And of course, whatever is less than what they personally do would be underprotective and whatever goes beyond what they're comfortable with would be overprotective.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that our children are just that--children. They are in need of protection, which is why God gave them to parents who are charged to guard and protect them until such time as they can stand on their own. Even then, we are to speak words of life and wisdom to them, encouraging them to follow God's precepts and listen for His voice of direction.

I'm grateful for my own Shepherd, who watches over and protects me, guiding me with His staff, leading me beside still waters and making me lie down in green pastures. How wonderful that He has given me this image and example to follow as I care for and nurture my own children. And if that's being overprotective ... I'll take it!