What do we do next?" asked Tom as he and his dad worked at replacing the slab of cement at their back door.
"We've got the old cement out, so now we'll make the ground as level as we can. Then we'll place boards all around the area where we want the cement," replied Dad. "They're called form boards, and they'll hold the cement in place until it's set-until it dries." He handed Tom a spade, and they got busy.
"Wow! This is hard work!" exclaimed Tom when they were finally ready to mix the cement. "I'm tired."
Dad smiled and nodded. "And we're not done yet," he said. "We'll take a break for lunch, and then we'll get the cement mixed and poured."
After eating, they were ready to work again. Soon cement filled the area enclosed by the form boards. Dad showed Tom how to smooth it with a trowel.
That night, Dad said to Tom, "I'm thinking of those form boards we used today. Do you know what they were for?"
"The form boards? They kept the cement where we needed it," said Tom. "Without the boards, it would have run all over."
Dad nodded. "What will happen when we take the form boards out after the cement hardens?"
"Nothing," said Tom. "The cement will be set, so it will still stay in place when it's dry." He grinned. "And I can play basketball on it."
"Right," said Dad. "Those form boards are something like the rules we set up for our family. Rules give you boundaries and help you know what is acceptable behavior. As you become more mature, some rules can be taken away."
"Because my behavior will be set, right?" asked Tom.
"But for now, I obey your rules," said Tom. "But don't worry, Dad. I'm learning lots from you. When the rules are gone, I'll still follow them."
How about you? Your parents want to help you become strong and firm in godly character. They want to help you learn to make good decisions on your own. Listen to them, obey them, and make up your mind to continue to follow their guidance in your life.
Courtesy of Global Keys for Kids, http://global.keysforkids.org/transcript/352/english/, with some slight modifications. Used with permission.