Sheltered: The Evil ‘s’ Word


I have received many an inquiry over the years from well-meaning—and not so well-meaning—people over the whole “sheltered” issue.

“If you are home schooled, you must be sheltered.”

“How do you live a full life if you are so sheltered?”

“You are growing up brainwashed and won’t know how to think for yourself!”

“You have to be able to live a little! How can you experience life locked in a house all day?”

“You should go to school, you are missing out on an experience!”

“You are going to experience intense culture shock and not know what to do when confronted with the world.”

Obviously, if you even know me at all, you know that most of these comments are founded on misconceptions of what my life is actually like in the first place.

My first reaction to most of these comments, concerns and jabs was often the thought: How little do you think of me? That at the first sign of trouble I am going to crumble beneath the weight of peer pressure and the fleshly desires so long held at bay?

But then my second thought is . . . how little do you think of my God?

Why does the word “sheltered” strike such fear into the hearts of those who hear it?

As an adult who has had a few years “out of the house” under my belt, the experiences that I have been through and the second hand accounts from friends and co-workers have not made me question the wisdom of my parents’ desire to shelter me as a child and teen . . . instead, it has made me intensely grateful for it and grown a desire in me to treat my kids the same way.

If being “sheltered” means I didn’t have to put up with gossip, trash talk, bullying, and the peer pressure to indulge in sex, drugs and alcohol of a public school . . . I’ll take it any day.

If being “sheltered” means not having to hear the f-bomb and other foul and polluting language constantly assaulting my ears on a regular basis, then I’ll take it.

If being “sheltered” means feeling strongly and choosing not to have pre-marital sex, get drunk, or live promiscuous lifestyles, I’ll take it.

If being “sheltered” means that I have never experienced men taking advantage of me or dealt with relationship hardships, then I’ll take it.

If being “sheltered” means that I wasn’t exposed to any of the aforementioned garbage through movies, TV or music, then so be it.

So many people see being sheltered as a negative . . . I wonder if they don’t have it wrong. I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything.

Have you been told you were sheltered? What do you think about it?

I’m sorry if this post comes off a bit strong, but it is something that makes my heart ache, the misconceptions that people have. But the comments and questions that come out of the ignorance are hurtful, and there’s no going around that.

By God’s Grace


18 thoughts on “Sheltered: The Evil ‘s’ Word

  1. Amen! Couldn’t agree more! I’d rather be “sheltered” than desensitized by being filled with all those worldly things. Besides, how many times does the Bible talk about being sheltered, or that our Shelter is the Lord?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I second this post! I am tired of being called sheltered like it’s a put down, but then, they obviously didn’t have the advantage of growing up that way. I just smile and pray for those who don’t understand. And I think they forgot that sheltered doesn’t mean ignorant. Unfortunately, I know about things that happen in the world, but I was spared the knowledge until I was old enough to know. Praise God for godly parents!

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  3. Great post, and thank you for taking the initiative to speak out about that dreaded S-word! You’re absolutely right that such comments are just out of ignorance, but that still doesn’t necessarily make those comments okay, especially when they can get pretty hurtful.

    I was always treated like some sort of strange creature when I was in school. That was the major source of bullying in my teens because I’m also naturally reserved, so for a lot of kids and adults, that just confirmed the suspicion that I was unsocialized and “it’s always the quiet ones that end up doing something big…” Of course, no one ever meant that in a more positive, “you’ll change the world!” way. By the time I was 16, a couple of girls I was acquainted with were saying I was worthless and a freakshow for not having partaken in promiscuous behaviors. That continued through my brief years working foodservice, including my boss. My parents even second-guessed their schooling choices because they thought I’d be less sensitive to such comments if I’d gone to a brick-and-mortar school…but I’m glad for my upbringing.

    It hurt because those folks said I would never be “normal,” or would never mean much to anyone because I was “too much of a freak” (their words, not mine). But then it made me hurt for THEM. Somewhere along the lines, someone had to have treated them poorly enough that they couldn’t see their own value/worth. That knowledge has driven me in my mission for each book I write– an outreach of sorts. Because I can see the difference between my upbringing/schooling and theirs, I can gear my books to help others see their worth despite any situation.

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  4. I’ve grown up “locked in a house” my entire life, too. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not having to deal with peer pressure, foul language or super boring classes. Whenever I thought that I was sheltered, it was always something positive for me. I want to bring my kids up the same way my parents have raised me. Thank you so much for this post!

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  5. AMEN! I’ve been told I’ve been sheltered, and asked many questions along the lines of those you wrote in your blog post, but I agree with you. I’m so very thankful to my parents for “sheltering” me. They’ve saved me for a lot of mistakes.

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  6. This was perfectly worded! I find it annoying that so often the “sheltered” comments I get actually come from well meaning church folk. And it has come as I’ve grown older. I commonly get comments like what you listed. I’ve also gotten several other ones about the fact that I’m never going to get married because I’m so sheltered; I”m never going to be able to meet any guy if I’m never allowed to talk to them (which is an absurd comment, because if the speaker was paying attention, they would realize I talk to guys all the time :D). I had one well-meaning lady, whom I love to pieces, tell my parents that they needed to “bring them girls where all the boys are so yo can get them married.”

    The funny thing is, I’m not even in my mid-twenties yet =)

    The thing is, that I try to relay to all these people, is that I’m really not sheltered. I know a lot more of what is going on in the “real” world than many of the peers my same age do. I know of the sin and the evil, and I can identify it. The difference between myself and these other people is that I was taught of this from a Biblical worldview; I didn’t learn by being immersed in it. And I was taught when I was old enough to responsibly handle the knowledge. The fact that I don’t participate in the sin doesn’t mean an ignorance of it.

    I have seen enough of the world and the pain and brokenness that sin can cause to absolutely raise my children the same way I was raised. There’s no way I would allow my children to be immersed in the culture knowing what I’ve known and what I’ve seen.

    And for the record: I don’t feel sheltered at all. Just protected and loved =P

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  7. Yep, people have definitely thought this or acted like this around me! In truth, though, they’re misinformed – I’m not super sheltered, haha, due to various family circumstances and other things! But I’ve not had a boyfriend, so I guess I AM sheltered by some standards. 😉

    But I 100% agree with you! Being sheltered is something we should be glad about – and we should try to be understanding to the rest of the world who, unfortunately, wasn’t able to be sheltered! I was given a lot of advantages through my “sheltering” that most teens didn’t get — even Christian teens! I feel so bad for the Christian girls who try to be strong through public high school or whatever … it must be difficult! Of course, a lot of them do try to conform, which is so sad. 😦

    I guess there is some danger … I know families who shelter their children in that they don’t let them have friends or read/watch anything but Bible stuff, which can make them resent Christianity or not give them the social skills they need to survive.

    But I figure those are probably rare cases!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Love this post, Victoria! People make “sheltered” sound like we’ve somehow been made weak and fragile, but think of all the other places where we use that word. Shelter is a good thing! We shelter things we love, things that need care to grow and blossom, things that need to be protected from elements that might hurt them. A good shelter doesn’t weaken us; it makes us stronger! Can you imagine telling someone caught in a thunderstorm that giving them shelter wouldn’t be fair because they need to experience the real world? I’m so glad to have had my parents’ protection growing up and feel so much better equipped to face the “real world” than if I’d been immersed in it from the time I was small.

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  9. This is such an important and great topic. People have repeatedly asked/told me that I need to go to real school in order to do anything, or that I need to play sports to do anything – which simply is not true. I think the real reason people do this is because they are unaware, going to school has become a norm, so when someone goes against this norm they are automatically filed as “weird” and “questionable” when things are going against what other people believe to be a norm, they don’t want that norm to change, so they fight against the people who are changing the norm. Great post!

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  10. Yes yes yes!! I’ve had people tell me I’m sheltered too. Part of me wants to say “Isn’t it good to be a protected plant that won’t freeze or die! You can’t just put out a new plant outside in the open!” I know I’m sheltered and I’m okay with it. Now, I’m not crazy sheltered… I have a computer, I have lot of out-of-the-house friends, I watch lots of movies, etc. Our family has just chosen to be more careful with our choices and what me and my siblings are exposed to.

    Thank you so much for this post!! <333

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for posting, Victoria. What a blessing this post was to me! I am so thankful that I have been sheltered from all the junk in the world that I didn’t need to worry about growing up. Amen! If being sheltered means skipping out on all the junk in our culture, then so be it!

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  12. I agree! But I also think we should know how to handle it when we are out in public. No matter how sheltered we are we’re going to face those things—evil is everywhere. Even with our internet access and google searching and blog posting Satan will find a way in.

    We have to be guarded as well as sheltered. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Here, here! I have been homeschooled since first grade and most anybody who finds out about it thinks I’m so deprived. I have literally spent my life in the house with almost no outside interaction. I confess the thought that I’ve been limited in life has often entered my mind. But it shouldn’t. God uses all things for good, and more important than anything else is a proper worldview. That, it turns out, is not to be found “out there!” Having been sheltered during by Rebellious Early Teens, I find myself “coming back home” without ever having left, and I never “spent my inheritance” or made a mess of my life. It’s like waking up from a crazy dream to find that everything is alright! Yay!


  14. What an awesome post. People worried I would fall flat on my face when I entered the “real world” Having had all sorts of jobs since I was nineteen, I have to say that I never had trouble entering the work force or interacting with all sorts of people. The sheltering I received made me stronger, more established in my faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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