Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Greenhouse effect

My wife has been working on an herb garden. She started with some seedling sin our house and then moved them into the sun porch as they became little plants. She will eventually plant them in a protected area outside and watch over them daily until they are strong enough to survive outside.
This got me thinking about parenting in terms of a greenhouse. Weird thoughts I know but what can I say? Anyway I did some research online and here is some of what I found:
A green house is made up of glass. It takes solar energy form the sun and converts it into thermal energy. You can easily observe this happening in your day to day life. On a hot sunny day, when you park your car in sunlight with the windows rolled up. The solar energy passes through the window and heats up the inner atmosphere of your car. As a result, everything in the car becomes warm. This happens because the infra red rays are of a shorter wavelength before they touch the window. As they pass through the glass, they become of a longer wavelength. Infra red rays of a longer wave length cannot escape. As a result they get absorbed by the objects surrounding them. This is how a green house creates an ideal setting to grow plants. Plants get enough energy and sun light to absorb and grow.
Essentially, the large kettle full of water has been replaced by one with half an inch of water on its bottom, and as a result the water will warm up much faster. This also explains why ventilation is so important in keeping a greenhouse from overheating.
So how does this relate to parenting? Or children’s ministry for that matter? I have always thought of my philosophy of parenting as a greenhouse philosophy.
Most of feel when God gives us a new little baby we need to protect it from the elements, you know sickness, junk food, the rain, bad people etc... As times goes on we all know that we have to release our little seedling into the big world and hope they survive it! But when and how is that done?
First of all I think as a society in general we are too quick to put them into the world in general. I know they have to learn to survive in a hostile environment. I know they have to leaner to deal with a sin-filled society. I know all that. But how do we do this. I firmly believe we do it slowly and gently. They are children and their innocence is such a treasure. In order to develop normally they need to keep that innocence for along time.
Our job is to slowly expose them to the harsh elements of this world while allowing them to grow stronger with deeper roots in the greenhouse of God’s Word, love and security. If I may indulge myself in a little homeschool parent rant here, I have heard the argument against homeschooling that we have to expose them to the real world; they need to interact with a sinful society if they are going to develop a strong faith. Whether you homeschool or not is between you and God, but that argument is pure nonsense!
Secondly in the same vein we have become as a society such protectors of what goes into our child’s mouth and stomach but allow the most horrible junk to go straight into their souls. If we are going to be greenhouse parents we have to work hard at protecting our children’s souls and minds. The body will pas away, and is worth protecting. Should we not be a hundred times more vigilant with their spirit, their souls, and their innocence?

If you were expecting an article on carbon emissions please go here

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