The fascinating case of young David Vetter, makes for a vivid illustration. Vetter was born in 1971 with a condition ominiously called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. What that meant was that his little body had no natural ability to fight off any disease. The mildest form of any germ could result in his death. Doctors attempted to protect him by placing him in a sterile plastic environment. The media, with uncharacteristic discreetness, never revealed his name while he was alive, but dubbed him affectionately as “The Bubble Boy.”
In an attempt at curing the child, a bone marrow transplant was done from his sister through intravenous tubes running into the bubble. What pre-screening tests could not reveal was that the donor’s blood contained dormant traces of a virus. With no immune system, the virus rapidly spread and killed David Vetter at age twelve.
That sad story has a parallel in the spiritual world. Many parents treat the souls of their children as if they possessed an incurable immune deficiency. Anxious about infecting their young ones with worldly philosophy, they keep them in a sterile environment. Some parents never allow their children to play with other kids, or venture outside the home. All their education and entertainment comes directly from their parents. This certainly does preserve the children from worldly, unbiblical influences, and is highly appropriate in the very young years [emphasis added after some commenters missed my support of protecting little kids.] But at some point, if the child has any hope of surviving independently outside the home, he or she will need to have been educated about what is out there. In other words, temptation is not only conquered by avoidance, but also by pre-emptive education of how to identify the lure and consequences of the temptation, as in what the father does for his son in Prov 7.