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Chalk Circles

Psalm 16

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” … 5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. NIV

As parents we struggle with the decisions for how to raise the precious charges gifted to us by Yehovah. What if we mess it up? It is true we are accountable to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6), but where is the instruction manual? This blog is intended to be an encouragement for parents. The authors and contributors are a group of parents who have walked where you are. We have children spanning 20 years, praying together for over 14 year. We have made mistakes and used poor words, but the Lord has been gracious to walk with us through every circumstance. We feel compelled to share our experiences and impart the wisdom gained from our scars in hopes our Lord will use some small part to that help your family along the path set before you.

Several years ago, one of our family devotions was about children playing tag with the "safe zone" designated as a circle drawn with chalk on the driveway. Later one of the children asked to watch a movie at a friend's house, but the parent explained the movie topic was not appropriate. The child questioned why one parent would think the movie was good for their child, but his parent did not.

Like the chalk circle drawn for the game of tag, each parent must determine the size of their children's "safe zone." What is allowable for one parent may not be included in the circle for my child. As parents we seek the Lord for guidance on how to draw these circle for our children hoping in the promise the lines will "fall in pleasant places." We desire for our circles to provide a "delightful inheritance," for our children. The boundary lines are not drawn in an attempt to restrict or confine, but to set apart from evil. My personal desire is that my children will desire to be known by the Lord as “the noble ones in whom is all my [the Lord's] delight.”

We draw the perimeters in chalk to allow for growth. As our children grow the size and contents of our circles will change. More things will be included as our children learn responsibility and self-control. The lines may become more restrictive to address disobedience. Using chalk also allows for grace. Our efforts to draw lines and establish borders will result in human error. Our best intentions will at times be erroneous. God's mercies are new every morning, through repentance and forgiveness, our Father will help us wash away the previous lines, so we can try again. Never be afraid to admit an error, ask forgiveness, and accept restoration from Yahweh and your child.

Holy Father, make known to me the path of life for myself and my children. I humbly ask for You to fill me with joy in Your presence, which is my inheritance. Please establish the boundary lines for my family and help me be courageous to consistently enforce these standards, so our lot will be secure. Keep my eyes always on You, because when You are at my right hand, I will not be shaken. With You ever beside me, my heart will be glad, and my body will rest secure knowing You will not abandon me.

All praise be to You, my Creator, Savior and guiding Presence. Amen.

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