A few years ago I ran into a neighbor coming out of the grocery store. She proceeded to brag on her kids. Both of her children had graduated from college. One had become a doctor, and the other was an accountant. “So,” she said proudly, “I guess we were a success as parents!”
As I headed to my car, I had an uneasy feeling in my gut. Don’t get me wrong- I want my kids to get a college degree and find gainful employment. But ultimately that’s not what will determine whether I’ve been successful in my parenting. What matters is that my children follow God’s leading. It shouldn’t make any difference to me if my son become a surgeon, drops out of college after a year to serve in a developing nation, or flips burgers down the street. If he is walking with Christ and being responsive to the leading of the Spirit, then I’ve done my job.
Make no mistake, your sons and daughters will follow your lead and live up to your expectations. If through your parenting you imply that the aim of adulthood is a high-paying job or an expensive house, your children are likely to pursue those goals with more vigor than they pursue their faith. Everything else pales in comparison to a personal relationship with Christ.
If we want to raise our families to love and serve God, we have to be clear about our priorities. Like Joshua, we have to face up to those around us and say, “If serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, them choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Raising Your Kids To Love the Lord