Are we raising “Bubble Kids”?
From the moment our kids are born our mission in life is to protect and shield them. I remember one parent said that she didn’t even want to a fly to light on her precious little one. As they grow, despite our best efforts, they fall and scrape their knees; they get pushed in the play park; someone calls them a name and they cry bitterly. You feel their pain! Especially as mothers.
No matter what age our kids are, we wish we could just put them in a “Bubble”, where no one and nothing could touch them or hurt them. We actually try to do this to the best of our ability for as long as we can. I remember once driving with the windows down as we passed some men who were talking loudly on the sidewalk, one of them blurted out an expletive… “the BIG One”. Immediately I looked at my son to see his reaction, but he had none, because he didn’t recognize the word. Therefore to him, it was not established as a “bad word” yet. I tried to keep him at that place of innocence for as long as I could, but the day came when kids at school exposed him to these words and their meanings, so the bubble was busted… at least on this topic. Since then, many bubbles have been busted by his exposure to the world and all of its pollutants. My innocent little boy… not so innocent anymore. He now has to learn to live in the real world and make choices based on the values we poured into him in his formative years. Parents, try as we might, we can’t skip this step!
I have discovered that people who have to live in a bubble are not healthy. If they come into contact with normal everyday germs, they can literally die, because their system cannot handle it. Even as they live this protected life in their uncontaminated bubble, they live in fear that a tiny unsuspecting germ could somehow enter into their space and totally destroy them. This is no way to live! We are considered healthy, when we can breathe the air and touch and handle things and not be overcome by the germs that they carry. Our system is built to overcome most of the everyday pollutants. Once in a while there might be a virus in the air and it might topple us for a moment, but we get the medication we need to combat the virus and we live to fight another day. We don’t retreat to life in a bubble! In some cases we even build up an immunity to a particular virus, because it entered our system. Had we not been attacked, we would never have become an overcomer in that area.
I said all of that to say, that we cannot keep our children in a bubble to protect them from the contaminants of this world. We will end up with isolated, weak and vulnerable “Bubble Kids”. Of course timing is everything, and at each stage of their growth and development they need to be exposed, or should I say, they will inevitably be exposed to the real world. For example, as parents we need to know the right time to tell them about the “birds and the bees”. If we miss the timing, someone else will tell them and God alone knows how that information would be shared. Once they are exposed however, we need to use their new found knowledge and experiences to teach them how to make choices; teach them how to live in the world and not be of the world (John 17:15).
Even God did not try to raise His children in a bubble. He put his innocent children on this earth, knowing that there was a real and treacherous devil whose mission was to steal, kill and destroy them. He knows that it’s the only way we will become overcomers and truly show our love for Him. If God was our only choice, He would never know if we really love Him. Love is demonstrated when we make a choice.
Our children need to learn to choose God in the face of all of the other choices that contend for their affection. They cannot learn this in a “Bubble”. At times they may succumb to the pollutants and get infected, but that’s when we medicate them with the Word of God and send them back into the world. Just like God does with us. Let’s raise healthy children… not “Bubble Kids”!