I remember when I first sent my kids off to elementary school. They were so tiny and cute with their giant backpacks and little smiles. The things I worried about for them felt so huge at the time: Will they make friends? Will the other kids be nice to them? Are they going to sit alone at lunch? Is their teacher going to be kind or scary?

Now, my oldest daughter is in high school, and I remember the first day I sent her off to Normal West. She was so tall in her fashionable clothes with her earbuds plugged into her iPhone. The little kindergarten girl could hardly be seen in this beautiful young woman I was sending into a huge new high school. Now the things I worry about are completely different. Will her friends be a good influence? Is she going to make good choices? Will some boy break her heart? Will she still confide in me? Am I losing my influence in her life as she gets older?

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to help instruct some fellow Christians in Rome who were a lot like my daughter – independent, making their own choices, and beginning to determine their own spiritual course. In clarifying what he wanted for them, he summed up what I want for my kids.

I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.
Romans 16:19

As my kids grow and become more independent and self-determining, I want them to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. I want them to be able to know the difference between what’s right and wrong and to always choose what honors God the most. I want them to be equipped to chart a course for their lives that leads them to God’s absolute best. A new school year is the perfect time to develop a habit of praying for your kids every day. My prayer for my kids has been the same for years, and I want it to be as true now as it ever was:
 

Lord, Give my kids the wisdom to know the right thing to do and the courage to do it. Let them be wise in doing right and innocent of any wrong.