And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
I heard the story of a father and his young son who were climbing a mountain. They came to a very difficult place on the trail, and the father was thinking about which way he should go. As he was deliberating, he heard his son’s voice behind him, saying, Choose the right path, Dad. I’m coming right behind you.
The primary spiritual responsibility for raising your children doesn’t belong to the church. It doesn’t belong to Sunday school or a Christian school. It belongs to you. It takes place in your home. You be the godly example, the godly leader. You read the Bible to your children before they go to bed at night. Pray with them and model what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
The Bible says, And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV).
Put parameters in your children’s lives and use strong standards to raise them. And start early, because it’s a lot easier to build a child than it is to repair an adult.
Parents have a direct influence on their children. Moms and Dads, your children are watching you. Little eyes are watching, and little ears are listening. They listen to what you say, but more importantly, they watch what you do.
Let’s say, for example, that parents drink in front of their kids. Then one day their kids have a problem with alcohol and they wonder why. Or a couple argues in front of the kids, sometimes even asking them to take sides in the argument (which is always a horrible idea). Then they’re shocked when their children have the same issues in their lives.
Live a life with the Lord that will make your child desire the same relationship with Jesus Christ. Be a good example.