The other morning I was spending some time alone, praying for my family.  I was praying for my daughter in particular.  I have had a renewed sense of urgency for her ever since she started kindergarten.  As I was praying I was really struck by the idea that Satan is after her.  It’s not really just her.  It’s all of us.  Satan is after us like a hungry lion (1 Peter 5:8).  Just the mere thought of that is daunting.  As I kept pondering that, I couldn’t get over the idea that Satan was trying to “rob” us of what is not rightfully his – our children.

Then I began to wonder how I could communicate this to my daughter so that she understood the severity of what this was like.  The best description I could come up with was to take the word “rob” and make an acronym out of it.

ROB – for our children:

  • R – espect
  • O – bedience
  • B – ehavior

As a parent and as a teacher this encapsulates what I believe, particularly with younger children.  They should be taught respect.  Not only should they be taught respect but they should also be expected to show it.  If you train up a young child with this idea then it sets the foundation for growth and discipline down the road.  All of their behavior will have the influence of this training.  This develops a heart that is sensitive to God.  This is never as easy as it looks but it is worthwhile.

Respect, obedience, and behavior are hot buttons in today’s culture but defining them more clearly may have to wait for another time because parenting includes much more than teaching this triad of life skills.  Parenting also includes what we give our children so that we don’t leave an open door for someone else to come in and make themselves at home.  Here are three things that we should be giving our children.

ROB – for the parents:

  • R – elationship
  • O – rder
  • B – oundaries

Parenting involves making the relationship with your children a high priority.  It also involves establishing a sense of order and setting boundaries so that a growing family knows what to expect.  We also need to understand how much children crave consistency and routine.  It has been said that children spell love with the letters T-I-M-E.  Others have said they want quality not quantity.  While both of these ideas are creative, they are only partially correct.  Why not have both quality and quantity?  Children need both!
Don’t give over the responsibility of parenting to anyone else.  Schools can be good but that’s not their purpose.  Babysitters are good but that’s not their purpose.  Grandparents are good but that’s not even their primary purpose.  It is the responsibility of us, the parents.

Don’t be mistaken.  Satan will cull the weak from from the herd.  He will rob us blind if we let him.  So as simply as I can put it… don’t let him!