The Christian Bubble

At the risk of being criticized by some of my Christian friends, I am broaching this topic because, well, it’s been so front and center lately and I wholeheartedly believe it corrupts the faith that I am so deeply committed to.  I’m talking about the Christian bubble.  I’m sure you’ve experienced it at some point in your life.  If you haven’t already, I can promise you will!

The Christian “bubble” is slang to describe Christians whose faith-walk has created a lifestyle in which they are no longer able to relate to the world around them.  They live and operate entirely within their Christian circles, insulating themselves from the world and rejecting most things outside of their circle – even humanity.  As a result, they lose the ability to be a light to the world around them.  Let me give you an example of what I mean.  

For better context, I should tell you that my husband and I began our journey in raising a family as homeschoolers.  It was our desire in the early formable years to solidify our kids moral foundation before sending them into the world. Our time with them at home was beautiful and I would not change one minute of it.  But, I also knew that it would eventually become time for them to stand on their own.  For our family, that process began around the middle-school years.  

A couple that we spent homeschooling alongside during these younger years continued on homeschooling their kids right through high school.  Everything they involved their kids in circled exclusively around their church and immediate Christian community.  I mean everything – jobs, sports, friendships, schooling, technology, etc.  All aspects of their kids’ lives were controlled right up through the twelfth grade.  To the best of their ability, these parents shielded their kids from exposure to anything they deemed corrupt.  

Eventually, friendships like ours faded away because we had begun the process of tooling our kids for the world by putting them in it.  And, because, quite frankly, their Christian walk began to exude an odor of arrogance that we no longer wanted any part of.  From the outside looking in, this couple’s intention was well-meaning.  They desired to protect their family from unGodly influences.  But, that quickly unraveled when their kids hit the real world as young adults.  Not only were they ill-equipped to cope with adversity, but they had little ability to handle newly acquired adult freedoms.  Throughout the years, there were several opportunities to offer their kids a training period of sorts with supervised space to acquire these skills.  Instead, they choose to shelter-in-place within a deceivingly comfortable Christian bubble.  

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

This family is just one small example of the stumbling blocks that are faced within the Christian bubble. As believers, Jesus calls us to shine His light to the world around us. We must become strong in our faith and then take it to the world around us in our everyday lives. Just as Jesus trained His disciples while interacting with both Jews and Gentiles alike, we are to do the same within our own communities.  Jesus knew that He needed to aptly prepare His disciples for both cultures. Thus, He spent time equipping them and then prayerfully sent them out.  In the end, this was a far more loving act than sheltering them from a place of fear.  If you reside in the Christian bubble for fear of becoming “infected” by the world, well then, you are left with little-to-no armor or strength to be salt and light to the world.  You’ve missed the Great Commission (Matthew 5:16).

I want to be clear here and say that the Christian community is vitally important to our faith walk.  I am in no way minimizing that.  But, communion absent of the Great Commission is fruitless.  Insulating ourselves from the world around us creates ill-equipped Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  It does nothing more than construct a club of sorts – full of Christians that are weak in their ability to shine God’s love.  

I’ll be the first to admit, that the secular world can be a very uncomfortable place!  I’ve had interactions with my non-believing friends that have deeply upset and challenged me. And, many times – much like the reaction of Jesus’ disciples in some situations -my gut reaction is to simply walk away. But, I am unable to exemplify what God is doing in my life without giving the world a front row seat.

It was a difficult decision for us to find the right time to launch our kids.  The transition was gradual and a different age and stage for each child.  Looking back, however, I am SO thankful we did just that.  It has afforded us countless opportunities to train our kids up under our roof.  We’ve transitioned them from the younger years of being self-centered to the older years of being others-centered.  With practice, my kids have become well-versed in relating to all people, yet remain rooted in their faith. 

Full transparency here…I can remember saying many times that we’d never be one of those “weird” homeschooling families.  For those of you that have never homeschooled, it is not just an educational choice, it is a lifestyle.  Looking back, what I now know I was trying to communicate was that we wouldn’t homeschool to the point of becoming unrelatable to the world around us. 

When I look in at those that live within the Christian bubble, I stand at a bit of a distance.  I admit, I worry for the future of their faith.  Do they know that their faith is not fully active within a bubble?  Have they built the grit it takes to resist temptation?  Are they able to share and work through their struggles, or do they put on a false appearance of being the perfect Christian? I’m temped to say the Christian bubble is a more dangerous place to live in than the world around us. 

Where do you sit?  Does your bubble need bursting?  Have you done your part as a parent to plant seeds of faith, yet also given your kids the opportunity to go into the world and return home to learn and grow from their experiences?  After all, we may not be called to be of the world, but we are called to be in it!

xo Carre

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