Most Christians know Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Once you have lived several decades as I have, you will know first-hand how true this verse is. Those early lessons, when the world seems so big and we are just beginning to form our understanding of the many important lessons about life, always loom large in our memory. We tend to remember for the rest of our life the really good and bad memories and the basic moral lessons of those tender years. Because children are so fragile in those years, it is of the utmost importance that they be taught gently. In addition, those most important lessons must be reinforced over and over again until they are burned deep into the psyche of our children. Deuteronomy 6:7 admonishes us to teach those lessons diligently in every conceivable activity throughout the day, every chance you can possibly fit in. Such moral lessons are too important to be left to chance, so such moral training must be done deliberately, looking for and taking advantage of every opportunity.
Of course, such training requires that you have a real relationship with your children. Despite what most parents in our modern society think, children are not a hobby. They are not something you do when you have time, squeezed in between the “more important” events of your day. And they are not a nuisance that keeps you from your life of self indulgence and selfishness. Children are the main thing. Your responsibility to your children is more important than anything you are doing at work. God will judge us more harshly for what we do with our children than He will for any great accomplishment we think we achieved at work. I have written before about the parental failure of many Christians in my parents’ generation (or at least, people who claimed to be Christians). There was a Satanic lie that apparently was widely believed, perhaps even taught from pulpits judging by how widespread it was. This lie was that the work at church or in the various mission fields was more important than what happened at home. Consequently, people believed in this lie and comforted themselves with it, using it as an excuse for being bad parents. But the Bible is very clear that we are to make sure that we get things right in our home first before we even attempt to work outside the home in the community. In fact, if we neglect our duties at home, the Bible tells us that we are worse than infidels (non-believers).
I pray that you will know God’s will for your life and that, if you are a parent, you will get your duties in the home right before you attempt to minister outside the home. Remember that God will judge us more strongly for what we do wrong or right in the home than he will for our works outside the home.