When a Ziploc is a metaphor

A couple of weeks ago I told y’all about how Beth Moore got a new iPhone and was so proud of it that she was carrying it around in a Ziploc bag so that nothing would happen to it.
Well, Melanie and I have often said that Beth and Priscilla can turn anything into a teachable moment, and Beth’s Ziploc iPhone case was no exception.
Friday night Beth showed her phone-in-a-baggie to the women at Living Proof Live Pittsburgh, and she talked about how she didn’t want anything to happen to it. No smudges. No nicks. No cracks. And she said that we often want to do the same thing in our lives. We want everything to be perfect, and not only that – we want it to stay perfect.
I immediately thought of my little boy and how much I want to protect him. I was just starting to make a list in my head of all the ways that I try to shield him from “the big bad world” when Beth said something that made me sit straight up in my seat:
“We can’t put our lives in a baggie. We’d smother.”
That’s a good word, girls.
So I’m curious. How do you encourage your kids to be in the world but not of it without smothering them? How do you try to protect them from the stuff that could be damaging to their hearts but also teach them how to deal with that very same stuff? Since my little boy is only six, I know I’m not dealing with this nearly as much as those of you who have tweens and teens, so I can’t wait to hear your wisdom.
See y’all in the comments.


  1. says

    I have dealt with it a couple of ways…the first of which is I do is I homeschooled my oldest son (and will soon begin my little boy) so that I have control over the majority of influences on their life. However I do and did let them play in sports out in the real world (ice hockey, yes it is HUGE in the Big D). I also let them watch some tv that “normal” kids watch…but I balance it by only allowing Christian music when we are in the car…which is ALOT! We also talk about the “bad” things they see on tv or in the media.
    We are not anti-social!! and I try to socialize with “real” kids, that have similar family backgrounds and ideals as we do….whether or not they homeschool.

  2. says

    In our home, we speak with them about it at the appropriate age. We look for opportunities to make some points.
    My Chris and I come from such pits that we know exactly how we got there and where they started. So when those same situations arise in our home or around us, we talk about them.
    Also? Just like the lessons we are getting for Tabor to learn to swim, we make sure our kids are schooled in the things they need to swim through the channels that life will most certainly take them.

  3. says

    Well that word was just for me
    We have been deciding what to do with my oldest for school – he has been homeschooled for the past 1yr 1/2 but God has revealed that it is time for him to enter into the school system again
    I have been placing him “in that ziploc bag” trying to keep him “safe” but God revealed that I was not trusting HIM!
    That it is time to let go and let God
    And it seems He has just confirmed it :)

  4. Lori says

    I know those feelings of fear. Our two sons had been at the Christian schools at least one of us taught from until the oldest went to high school. The first day of band camp I was convinced I was feeding my firstborn to the wolves.
    That was 15 years ago.
    There is the famous quote of the two things we give our offspring…. Give them roots and wings…
    Both boys have grown into wonderful, Godly, young men. One has married our church youth pastor. Their faith and character makes me proud and humbled at the same time.
    Here’s what I believe we did right: the faith we lived was a transparent and honest faith. We sugar-coated nothing. Not my husband’s dismissal from that same school for having done nothing wrong. Not the fact that we had sex before marriage and that life doesn’t go according to plan and that God forgives.
    We set reasonable boundaries, and made sure they knew that these were non-negotiables. Church activity and service to that local church was part of living the life Christ called us to live.
    God’s word was central to decision making, and that they could ask us any question and we’d answer honestly in ways they would understand. Use grace, not the law.
    You’ll still pray. You’ll still worry. I can’t guarantee the path your child will take will bring you joy. Your call is to bring them to Jesus and help create that trust and love in Him that will last. The Holy Spirit does the rest as we trust God wants to see none of His little ones come to harm.
    Hope that is a help.

  5. Kari says

    Definitely something I wonder about all the time. Our kids go to public school and there are many influences out there. I do limit their friend time, TV, movies, music, computer, etc BUT there are things that you just can’t limit. What about when maybe they are sitting next to a friend who is allowed to have a cell phone and that friend has a compromising photo that they show, what if they use language I don’t approve of, what if, what if. Most of their friends are from church but that does not MEAN a thing!!
    So, we pray a lot and feed them truth a lot and do that cycle over and over. My daughter is participating in the Bible bee this summer and I ABSOLUTELY love all the truths that are getting into her heart. I pray that God redeems any of my mistakes in my life and in my lack of teaching and training.

  6. says

    Call me crazy, but one of the best pieces of advice I got from a mom ahead of me in this raising kids game….
    You don’t want them to get to college and freak out bc they don’t know anything. Small doses of reality are better than none.
    And, don’t freak out when they tell you things. If you freak out whenever you hear what someone is doing…they may not keep telling you the stuff.
    So…I’m learning to keep it cool. Always talk to them about everything. And with each child comes discretion on how to handle things and what to say.
    Its a journey to say the least.
    Mom of a 13, 11, and 8 yr old boys

  7. says

    Wow… this is all I know:
    Prayer, being present and available, talking and modeling are the things that are/have worked.
    I was not raised in the Word or consistently in the church. I wanted it to be different for my kiddos after being widowed at 30 with a 6 year old son and twin girls that were 4. I stayed on my knees.
    God’s Word pulled me up and out of a life long pit.
    My kiddos have always been in public school and are exposed to the normal things of today’s world, but we talk about everything.. good, bad, ugly. And, as Fran shared, listen without freaking.
    My oldest is 18 and entering his Senior Year. He’s learned alot this summer about integrity and character and there are many out there that do not have it. Adults. Shocking to my man child. A lesson learned.
    My girls are 16 and entering their Junior year. One is so strong in who she is and right and wrong in God’s eyes that I am amazed. I wish I had more of that resilience and confidence in Him. One is spreading her wings and trying to figure it all out with great abandon and joy. Priceless.
    Day by day with prayer and supplication for they are only borrowed. Hold on tightly for a short time, loosening our grip as they begin to fly.

  8. Judi says

    Forget the ziploc bag . . . if they want out, they’ll rip their way through! Do what YOU discern to be right for YOUR child (not necessarily what works or doesn’t work for your friend). God has given YOU a spirit of discernment; He has also given your child a set of gifts and talents that he/she must choose to use for God or the world. It’s tough, tough, tough when they make choices that don’t mesh with your values but believe God to be bigger than your protection. He will prove Himself to YOU (and your child).

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