Today’s Scripture: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

They watched their children grow from day one. The parents living in Chichen Itza fed their children, clothed them, bathed them, and put them to sleep each night. One day, they took one of their children and climbed the long flight of stairs at the center of their city to a high cliff with a body of water below. Then they did the unthinkable: they threw the children to their deaths as a sacrifice to their gods.

Life at Chichen Itza wasn’t too good for the children who grew up in the early Mayan culture. But if you haven’t noticed, things aren’t much better for children growing up in America today. There is a battle raging for the lives of children even before they are born. Millions have been murdered through abortion. Those children who do survive must live in a world that teaches that the occult is good, that it’s okay to have two men or two women as parents, that we evolved from rocks over millions of years, and that the things taught in the Bible are untrue. Turn on the TV for five minutes and you’ll see this for yourself — or read through the textbooks at public schools. When you consider what children are learning from today’s culture, it is not difficult to draw a comparison with the child sacrifice at Chichen Itza.

Considering the culture, what can parents do to protect their children today? For starters, they can support groups which believe in the sanctity of life and work toward educating families about abortion. Parents can also provide a safe environment at home. They can set up boundaries for what their children watch on television, movies, and the Internet. They can also provide accountability by setting aside time to talk about the things they learn at school and from their friends. As they do this, their homes will become places of refuge and security.

Rate the “kid-friendliness” of your home on a scale of 1–10, with 10 being the safest. If you feel your home needs improvement, then seek out parents who have been successful in raising their children and apply some of their safeguards in your home. Do it for the sake of children.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder