You are training your children and they are going to go the way you train them to go. Little children are designed to learn and you are training them. What will they learn? They are learning to be selfless or selfish. They are learning to be givers or takers. To be kind or brash. To be thoughtful or thoughtless. To be humble or proud. To be modest or vain. To be industrious or a slacker. To be responsible or untrustworthy. To be nurturers or discouragers. To be spiritual or fleshly. Be assured that your children are learning these things from you.
I have had parents of grown children very adamantly say they aren’t responsible for the wrong direction their children went.
Firstly, parents are always taking credit when their children went the right way. But taking responsibility for the wrong direction the children went is harder to find. If parents are instrumental when their children go the right way, they are also instrumental in the wrong direction their children go. This is not said to condemn anyone. God has grace to save for parents who were less than effective in spiritual training – if they have faith and humility about the matter.
But secondly, no one is a perfect parent. No one can claim complete credit for all the good their children do and no one, and I mean no one, can absolve themselves of any responsibility for the wrong way their children go. So when children go astray, parents must examine and own when their training of their children wasn’t up to God’s expectations. Parents, if my selfish spirit overshadows other traits, that is going to affect my offspring. Parents, if my daily thinking of money and how to cling to more of it overshadows other traits, it will affect the children. If your thoughtfulness for the sick and the weak in the body of Christ is always being seen, it will overshadow the weaknesses in your character. We are none perfect, and so we must always be conscience that our children are watching and learning.
If your children are young, work especially hard to always show your love for Christ and your desire to always be pleasing to God. Make God and everything about the church of Christ to be the center of your life. Anything less simply will not do. God bless you young parents. I say this with humility and love.