I remember a particular time when Elizabeth and I had concerns about how things were going in our daughters’ lives. The issues that caused our concern weren’t big ones, but they were quickly recognized because we had been watching as part of our duty as parents. We worked through the minor issues, but it still took time — lots of time! Not an hour or two, but more like a month or two. Looking back, we are so glad we were on alert, noticed the problems, sounded the alarm, and took the required time to find solutions. That’s what kept those small problems from escalating.
Watching takes time and attention. If you see an issue developing with any of your kids, you need to devote attention to it. Don’t let your life become so busy you can’t help your children in their time of need.
What should you be looking for? Questions like these will help you keep watch over your children and know what’s going on in their lives:
- Who are their friends, and how well do you know them?
- Have you noticed negative changes in their attitudes and moods?
- Are there signs of rebellion toward you or your wife’s authority?
- Are there subtle changes in their appearance or the clothes they want to wear?
- Has their attitude about spiritual things changed?
I’m sure you can think of other questions as well. The point is, take time to observe your children. Know the condition of your flock. Be wise and follow this advice from Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.” In other words, pay attention as a good watchman.