If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that not long ago our evening entertainment was watching a raccoon attempt to steal our cat food container.
After getting about half way across our yard with our now-destroyed plastic tub,
he flipped it over and worked until he pried off the lid.
He then began to feast on Marbles' daily source of nutrition.
The next night Tim sat our cat food bag inside our dog food container and placed a full, three-gallon can of deck stain on top of the tub.
In the morning, we found the three-gallon can laying beside the tub and the lid to the tote popped off and laying beside it too!
Once again, the raccoon had successfully stolen from us!
Last night before going to bed, I laughed when I saw that Tim had now added a cinderblock to the top of our treasured food container.
What lengths we go to in order to guard things that are precious to us!
As I thought about Tim doing everything he could to guard our pets' food,
I thought about what the Bible says we should guard.
As I read this morning in Proverbs, I realized that while God doesn't have any words of wisdom about dog food or raccoons, He does have a strong opinion about what we should guard.
I thought of our kids as I read this morning.
I thought about what I want them to guard as the most treasured part of life.
I also thought of the boys Olivia will date throughout high school and college and what I want them to know.
I decided that Proverbs 4 contains the very words I want all of our kids to live by as well as good instructions to share with the people they choose to date.
I think I'm going to print this chapter out and hand a copy to all the boys who consider taking Olivia anywhere outside of our presence.
I'm going to hang a copy in Olivia's room too.
I'm glad a raccoon tried to steal our cat food!!
He reminded me that there is an enemy trying to steal from our kids every single day,
and they need to know what truly needs to be guarded in a world full of masked bandits!
Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
pay attention and gain
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
"Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.
"Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do
not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one's whole body.
Above all else, guard your
for everything you do flows
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.