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Saturday, April 13, 2024 - 11:32 PM


First Published in 1994


This article is about three walls.  There has been a lot in the news over the years about building a wall and the purpose of a wall.  Of course, the wall that is being discussed is a wall on the southern border of the USA. We will look at that one and two others. 

Let’s take a minute to consider the implications of the southern border wall, or rather the lack of that wall.  Without a wall, the border is open for anyone to cross.  Now there are border patrol agents whose role is to monitor who is crossing and turn back those who should not be allowed to enter.  But that border is 1,954 miles long.  There are countless places where people can cross.  And while some of those who are crossing are seeking asylum or seeking an opportunity to participate in the American workforce, there are also those who are criminals who are bringing their crime with them and spreading it through the country. 

The wall that has been proposed does not prevent people from coming.  There are many points of entry or gates where people can come and enter into the USA.  But those gates serve the purpose of giving the border patrol an opportunity to determine who is seeking entry and why.  The gates will allow those who will enhance our society and culture to come in, but it stops the bad actors.

This wall will be costly. After all, 1,954 miles is a long distance.  To be effective, the wall can’t just be a picket fence showing the boundary line. It needs to be tall and strong.  When considering the expense and effort, the opponents of the wall argue that it is a waste of money and letting anyone in is not really a problem.  They say that as a nation we should be open and inclusive.  We have a wonderful economy and society and we should be willing to share it with everyone.  But in making that statement, they ignore the fact that many who are coming in want to take advantage of our society or, even worse, to destroy it.

So now let’s look to another wall and the purpose and building of it.  The wall I am talking of is the wall around Jerusalem that Nehemiah built.  Recall that when the Babylonians defeated the nation of Judah the second time, they took many captives back to Babylonia and they also destroyed the wall around Jerusalem.  The wall that had been around the city had kept the Babylonians out of Jerusalem for 18 months during the siege and the city finally fell due to famine. But once it was captured, the wall was destroyed and the city was left open to anyone and anything that wanted to enter. 

The remnant of survivors left in Jerusalem suffered for many years as they were being controlled and dominated by the Babylonians and the local Arab population.   Finally, Nehemiah was able to obtain permission from Artaxerxes to rebuild the wall.  The story of how Nehemiah succeeded is an excellent study in leadership and project management.  But the key for our discussion right now is that he rebuilt the wall in 51 days, including setting the gates in the wall.  It took effort, but the effort was not the insurmountable task that Nehemiah’s enemies claimed it would be.   Nehemiah also appointed gate keepers to shut the gates at night and guard the wall for protection from those who were bent on the destruction or intimidation of the citizens of Jerusalem, but then toopen the gates during the day and allow those with produce and other item of value to enter.

Nehemiah knew that there were some villains in the area.  The wall was needed for protection and control.  Walls don’t mean isolation, rather, they mean thoughtful control so that those entering are providing a benefit to the city.  We can see in history that with a wall Jerusalem again flourished. 

Now for the third wall.  This is the wall of protection that you provide for your children during their adolescent and teen years.  I grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  At that time, American society was not as full of the dangers we have now.  There was no internet and only three TV channels that had tight censorship controls.  Most people in the neighborhood knew each other and watched out for each other.  My brothers and I would get on our bikes and sometimes ride miles away to meet friends for an afternoon. Even our school had walls for protection.  There was also strong local control of the curriculum and programs at our school so that the students were shielded from inappropriate influences.

But the society of the 21st century is not like that. There are evil people out there and many of them want your kids.  Even though there are a lot great resources and information available now, there are many influences that are not healthy and helpful for your children.  Today as parents we must set a wall around our children because the schools and society do not.  This is not just a physical wall (You lock your house at night, don’t you?), but even more importantly an intellectual and emotional wall.  It is a wall to protect them from bad ideas and influences.

How do we build such a wall for our kids?  Well, the best way to do that is to homeschool. Parents are the gatekeepers with homeschooling functioning as a protective wall with gates which can let in new ideas and other outside beneficial influences.   We know our children best.  We know their hearts and their interests.  We know their maturity level and their ability to critically think through ideas.  We know how well they can resist negative peer pressure or react to bullies.  Because we know our children better than anyone else, we know what influences will be healthy and good for them and which ones will be destructive or intimidating.

Building a homeschool wall will take effort, but there are now tons of resources to help.  Nehemiah did not build the wall by himself. He recruited those in Jerusalem to build portions.  Likewise, you don’t have to design and develop everything for your homeschool wall.  You can, of course, network with other homeschoolers for support and materials.  But as the homeschool parent, you are the controlling safety agent determining what influences come through the gates of your child’s life so that they can flourish.

In conclusion, I think we can agree that walls can be beneficial. Every parent needs to proactively establish protective walls for their children. Their future depends on it.

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