Lead them now. While you still can.

The respect we earn with our children starts right now. It doesn’t wait until they are old enough to choose a cell phone case. It’s now.

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We gain their respect by setting up healthy boundaries when they are just learning to walk. Don’t touch that honey. That will hurt you. And put your helmet on while riding your bike. Trust me.

And watch your head when you lift up from the table. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Eat all your vegetables. Hold still for the Doctor.

If only these were the only things we had to control in our children’s lives.

Think about chickens in a coop. If someone were to open the door, do you think they would be so inclined to stay inside? Where it’s warmer and no predators can devour their flesh? No. They would venture out and soon be eaten during the night.

It’s the same with our children. They are born needing guidance. Boundaries. Rules.

If we don’t teach them and guard their hearts now, who will? Who will be their voice?

I’ll tell you who will. The raccoon that gets the chickens as they have wandered off in the night.

People. You CAN choose your children’s friends. At 1 , at 5 and at 17. You can.

It’s our job to protect them, and to guide them through life. So before you open that door to the chicken coop, watch and look for the raccoon. Keep your eyes on your children. And don’t take them off.

Trust The Lord to protect them. Always. But it’s your job to guide them in the way they should go. You were perfectly made to be their parent.

So tonight, I advise you to go with you gut. To use your noggin. A mothers instinct is never wrong.

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