As we create boundaries, adjustable chalk borders, for our children, we wonder are the boundaries to keep our precious children away from something or to keep something away from our children? Teaching our children to appreciate their boundaries is a life-lesson that will serve them well, playground to boardroom.
My husband loves to garden, and our family enjoys the fresh tomatoes, peppers and lettuce we harvest. Around our garden is a fence to keep our dogs out, so they will not destroy what has been planted. The good food being grown within the fence is protected from a set of dogs that would like nothing better than to dig around and nap in the fresh dirt.
In Genesis 1 & 2, Elohim created Adam and Eve and placed them in His garden.
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9 NIV
Elohim walked in the garden among His creation, and the first humans were able to enjoy His Presence, benefiting from an intimate relationship with the Creator. The garden contained "all kinds of trees... trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food," but there were rules within the garden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed the rule to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge, they had to leave Eden to live outside the garden's boundary lines. So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Genesis 3:23 NIV.
The "fence" around the garden was not to keep Adam and Eve from good things, but encircled them with all that was wonderful. Being within the garden allowed them the privilege of walking with God Most High. Like the first humans, the evil one will try to convince our sons and daughters that God is holding out on them, that lives within the boundaries are less than what lies beyond. The world says true happiness is found in lives without rules, where everyone should coexist, chooses for themselves what is good and lives according to what makes themselves happy. Experiencing the things of this world, drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex outside of marriage, personal fame and the excessive accumulation of wealth are demonstrations of personal freedoms that lead to destruction. Eternal joy, satisfaction, contentment and peace can only be found through experiencing the holy Presence of the LORD God which will be experienced when we choose to live by Yahweh's rules. Elohim has created us, and thus knows what our hearts ache for - Himself.
I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. LORD, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:2, 5-6 NIV
Our choices are the same today as at the beginning. Living according to LORD's rules with boundary lines established in pleasant places and containing a delightful inheritance for us. This inheritance is available when we choose to live within the fences He has built, away from things that do not draw us closer to Him. Begin early to teach your children the benefits of the Heavenly Father's boundaries. Help them to see the fences contain all that is GOOD for them, and the consequences of choosing things outside the lines. There is an abundance of good things within the LORD's boundaries. These include loving kindness, mercy, security and His gentle guidance in our lives. True freedom is in choosing what is best from the hand of the One who created us. The LORD created the things of this world and said they were good; man, very good (Genesis 1). His fences keep ourselves and our children safe from the consequences of sin, the hardships resulting from temporary indulgences that lead only to hardships and destruction. Our Father cares deeply for each of us and desires His very best for each of us. That "best" is held within the fences He has lovingly placed around us.
"LORD, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Please help me teach my child to view the fences in their life as Your provision, a safe haven, full of Your blessings. Let nothing the world has to offer be a temptation away from You. I desire to whole heartedly believe this truth for myself. May I demonstrate my reliance on You to provide all that I need in this place where You have planted me. Help us to choose the freedom found only in our relationship with You, forsaking all earthly temptations. Thank you sweet Father for the goodness in our lives. Amen