"For thou hast been a shelter for me" (Psalm 61:3a).

Growing up in the country, my children spent just as much time outside as inside when homeschooling. For their safety and my sanity, we established an invisible boundary around our farm where they could play and explore without my supervision. Expanding upon this concept, we decided to apply this same principle when visiting Grandpa and Grandma's lake home. Since my four-year-old son was still learning how to swim, his boundary had been set within the beach area only. After one reminder, we let him play in the sand, while we continued to observe him from my in-laws' porch only a few feet away.

However, as every parent knows, children are notorious for testing boundaries. Seeing his older brother and sisters enjoy the water slide attached to the dock, he couldn't resist going out to join them. Each time he started down the dock, we yelled out his name and firmly said, "No!" Frustrated, he waited several minutes before he tried once more. This time, I said to my husband, "Wait, let's not do or say anything and see what he does." Agreeing, we watched as our son approached the spot on the dock where we had told him "no." Expecting us to tell him "no" again, he stopped, turned, and said, "What?" before we could do or say a thing. Laughing inside, we saw that even a four year old is capable of knowing his boundaries and disciplining himself to observe them.

God gives adults boundaries, too. He knows our sinful nature and has given us loving guidelines to keep us safe from evil. As Christian homeschooling parents, we have an even higher need to discipline ourselves from Satan's tantalizing tidbits. However, keeping ourselves pure from sexual sins, greed, jealousy, and other sins is getting more difficult. The world continues to move the boundaries to remove their guilt for participating in these activities. What about you? Will you observe God's boundaries and stop, turn, and say, "What will you have me do, Lord?"

Father, You are a holy God who hates sin. Thank You for giving me such wonderful blessings within the confines of Your loving law. Help me to understand Your boundaries are a good thing and not resent the disciplines necessary for following You. In Jesus' name, Amen.