I was just dropping my then-12-year-old Lexi off at pottery class, but found myself faced with an unexpected and unsettling dilemma. Each month, the pottery studio featured an art display in the lobby but this one sickened my spirit. Skeletons, overtly sensual sculptures of Eden, death, darkness. Perhaps it was the Halloween season, but this was darker even than most nods at October 31. At the back of the display was a large, antique Bible, in which every word had been painstakingly blacked out. Well, most words. The precious, but desecrated book was open to Revelation where three words were left exposed: God. Is. Dead. They hit me like a fist to my gut.

My first reaction was to run and to take my daughter with me so she would not be exposed to the presence of evil, but God had been seasoning me to ask Him when I should allow my children to face the culture, not hide from it.

The thought occurred to me that David may never have faced Goliath had he not been allowed to go into the fray of his culture. To be certain, a battlefield is not a pretty place and brooding soldiers can be crass. (It does not go unnoticed that it was his father who sent him to take his brother’s food on the battlefield. No mother would ever make such a decision!)

I went out to my minivan and prayed about what to do. God seemed to be urging me not to take Lexi out of that situation, but also not to leave. I circled the block praying for my sweet girl through out her one-hour pottery class.

When the hour was up, my gangling middle-schooler bounced out the door of the studio, across the street, and into the passenger seat of my mom mobile. She had a tale to tell.

“Mom, my pottery teacher is an atheist,” she announced. “And the red headed high school girl she’s an ag….ag…what’s that word when you don’t know if God exists?”

“Agnostic,” I inserted.

“Yes,” she affirmed. “Anyway, that ugly display in there had them talking about hell. I could tell the new girl was uncomfortable with what they were saying. It was all about how hell wasn’t real and stuff. The more they talked, the more that girl looked scared. I couldn’t take it anymore so I said, ‘How do you know?’”

And then, my sweet little Lexi went on to speak with assurance that she wouldn’t be there … if it was real. But where would they be?

And that new girl? She stood up a little straighter when Lexi interjected herself into the conversation.

Lexi: 1

Giant, ugly art display: 0

It requires a moment-by-moment prayer life to know when and how to let our children take on the giants.

If you do not have an ongoing conversation with the Holy Spirit about raising your children to be set apart in this corrupt culture, you will become a paranoid mother whose legalism does not allow her children to face the giants God means for them to face.

This post is taken from a message delivered at True Woman 2012 in Indianapolis on September 21 in which Dannah taught on raising children to be pure and holy. You can listen to the full message, What Children Need to Become Pure, Holy Adults: Six Strategies to Live Above the Culture on the True Woman website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Dannah,

    Good for your daughter and good for you! I have to say when I started reading your post my first thought was: I would march right into that pottery class and inform that pottery teacher that my daughter would no longer be attending the classes and exactly why we were boycotting her store. But as a read the rest of your post I realized that you are giving your daughter the tools to stand in a culture that is increasingly hostile towards God, Jesus and the Bible. You have made me think twice before I “intervene” on my daughter’s behalf, my first reaction should be to see how she conducts herself in these type of situations. Thanks for the words of widsom!

  2. I like this perspective. I think guiding rather than hiding is a good idea, but it can be SO challenging! Thanks for sharing that with us.

  3. “The point is not to keep our kids sheltered, but to be set apart and Holy so that they can go out and slay giants!” My favorite quote from this session at TrueWoman ’12! It is posted on my fridge, on a card in my car, and a paper in my wallet so that I won’t forget the impact this made upon me and so that I won’t forget to be praying for them. Thanks for being a true Mommy-Mentor, Dannah!!

  4. Terry Arthur says:

    I think all Christian parents struggle with this to one degree or another. You’re a good example of how important it is to listen, really LISTEN to God in prayer for our kids, and not just go with our knee-jerk reactions. Praise God for using Christian girls in a dark world!

  5. yes! in the world, but not of it. we homeschool, but also are very purposeful about not sheltering, rather equipping. thank you for this encouragement.