I’ve been listening to podcasts by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, the founder of Revive Our Hearts. She said something interesting that I wanted to share.

She said her Christian parents created a greenhouse effect in her home, sheltering her and her siblings from things of the world. A greenhouse, not a bubble.

I’ve called what my sisters and I grew up in a bubble. And to a certain extent, I do still think it was sort of a bubble. No rock music, no movie theaters, no dancing. It was all very Footloose.

We weren’t allowed to have friends who weren’t Christian. Though I now appreciate certain aspects of my upbringing, I think we were Separatists, and I, personally, don’t see that Jesus lived His life that way. People knew where Jesus stood, and He didn’t completely shelter Himself from the world. He lived in it, touched it, and that enabled Him to touch the hearts of the people He wanted to reach. We can do that and still maintain our integrity.

I like the idea of a greenhouse because a greenhouse creates conditions that foster healthy growth. Certain plants need certain conditions, and outside elements would do harm and impede the plants’ growth and progress. The word sheltered sometimes gets a bad rap. You shelter from harm, not from good. A greenhouse IS a shelter.

My husband and I have allowed secular music, we go to movies, we dance. We have unsaved friends. But we believe, in our family, it’s possible to do those things while filtering out the elements that God says are negative. I tell my children they may have unsaved friends, but they should not be their inner circle. You are the sum of the people you spend time with. Hang out with the lost, sure. Go to a [clean] party, shop together, have fun. But we teach our children that their inner circle needs to be comprised of godly believers who live for God, who will speak life to them, and who will encourage them in the Word in times of trouble. I have all sorts of friends. But I have 5 close godly friends to whom I go when my world feels like it’s crumbling. In those times, I need friends who tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.

Parents, you don’t have to feel like you’re closing off your children from the world. They need to have an understanding of what’s out there and know how to navigate the world in a godly way. But you can create a greenhouse. Create conditions in your home that will foster the type of growth you want to see in your children. I believe THAT is how we put well-adjusted, Christ-following humans into society. Rear your children in a greenhouse where conditions are godly, loving, kind, and generous, and where Christ is the foundation for their identity so when they leave, they spread what they’ve been taught to a lost and dying world.

Just some food for thought.

~ By Bridet Depew

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