Insulation vs. Isolation

Judges 3:1-2
“Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;”

One might wonder why God would not have driven out all the inhabitants of the land knowing that these countries would be the cause of Israel’s backsliding. The reason God didn’t drive out these nations is because he wanted to use these nations “to prove Israel.” Their existence showed God the heart of Israel. Their existence showed God whether Israel would obey Him. Their existence revealed Israel’s weakness to God. In other words, insulating Israel was a test by God to see how close they were to Him.

This one illustration from Israel’s history is a good lesson for parents on how to train their children. Too many people try to isolate their children from the world only to regret it once their children become adults. Many parents have never allowed their children to be tested among the world to see what their heart was like and how they would respond when faced with the temptations the world brings. Let me share several lessons about testing the heart of your children through insulation like God tested the heart of Israel.

First, isolating your children from the world is a bad parenting habit. My parents didn’t isolate me from the world, but they insulated me from the world. In other words, they allowed me to be around the worldly influences under their supervision. I am not saying that you should live like the world, but I am saying that you will never know where your child is weak unless you allow them to be around those influences that they will be around later in life.

Second, insulation doesn’t keep you away from the world, but it helps you to prepare for the world when you must go out into it. Insulation in a house doesn’t keep the house out of the cold, but it keeps the cold out of the house. Moreover, it helps those inside of the house to know how to dress when they go out into the cold. You will never be able to help your children to live a godly life if you keep them away from the world. My friend, you can’t keep your children from having to live in the world, but you can insulate them by training and preparing them for when they go out into the world.

Third, insulation reveals the weaknesses of your children. You can always tell when a part of your house is not insulated well because it is colder in that part of the house. You will never discover the areas where the heart of your child is weak unless you allow them to be around those influences. How will you know how to pray for your child if you never discover the weaknesses of your child? No; you shouldn’t allow your children to live in the world, but you will learn their weaknesses when you allow them to be around other children.

Fourth, insulation shows you where you need to strengthen your children. When you find out a certain part of your home is not insulated well, it allows you to put more insulation in that area. When you discover the weaknesses of your children through insulation, you will then learn how to teach your children better how to handle those worldly influences. You will never know how to prepare your children to live a godly life if you isolate them from everyone. Don’t let them live in isolation, but insulate them so that you can learn where to help them in their areas of weakness.

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