“May the Lord keep watch between you and me.”
Joel, a high school senior, had everything going his way—a college scholarship, a first-place award in his school’s talent contest, popularity among his peers. Lately, however, he’d tired of his “goody-goody” image; at the urging of some new friends, he began experimenting with drugs. When police stopped his car one night, Joel swallowed a bag of crack to avoid arrest. Later that night, he went into convulsions. His parents rushed him to the hospital, but Joel was dead by morning.
Many parents would say, “That only happens to other families.” But with the easy availability of illegal substances in today’s schools, the temptation to “just give it a try” is great. Satan will use peers to try to entice your son or daughter into sin: “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity” (2 Peter 2:19).
What can parents do to protect their kids? It is a daunting question. In the early years of adolescence, boys and girls will do anything demanded by their peer group. Get to know your kids’ friends, and watch for these warning signs: 1) inflammation of eyelids and nose, pupils very wide or small; 2) extremes of energy; 3) extremes in appetite; 4) sudden personality changes; 5) lack of cleanliness; 6) physical deterioration; 7) needle marks (may appear as sores and boils); 8) a shift in moral values. Finally, pray daily for your children while adopting this Scripture: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock” (Acts 20:28).
Before you say good night…
- Do your kids show any of the warning signs listed above?
- Do they have a strong faith that will help them resist peer pressure?
Heavenly Father, we are saddened to think about the many lives that are corrupted by the temptations of the evil one. We ask that You keep sin far away from our children. Help us to be ever vigilant on behalf of our family. Amen.
Illustration adapted from Parables, Etc. newsletter, April 1989.
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.