Taking this thinking that “children are given to us to raise for Him” further is whether we think that our training of our children will have any bearing on their future choices either for or against God. While God is sovereign and our children have free wills, there is evidence in society, as well as in Scripture, pointing to the fact that Christian parenting of our children can and does have significant influence over our kids.
First of all, in our society when a child with a strong Christian upbringing goes astray, others’ first comments are either, “I guess he got in with the wrong crowd” or “Of all families I know, I sure didn’t expect that from their family with all that his parents have done to teach him God’s ways.”
Likewise, when a child with a drunken or abusive parent chooses the wrong path, the first response likely given is, “That’s no surprise the way his parents treated him or didn’t teach him, etc.” These comments show us that in our heart of hearts we know that the type of upbringing children have truly does make a difference in their future life choices.
Secondly, while Proverbs are not direct promises or guarantees, they do point out the impact that Christian parents can make in the life of a child. This is evidenced in Proverbs 22:15, among other places: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (ASV).
I think all of us believe to some extent that children are born with sin natures, but believing that it is worth it to give this Christian parenting our all—and leave other things by the wayside during our kids’ growing up years—is a gamble that many are not willing to take.
Unless we firmly believe that there is a fairly significant causal link to our parenting and our children’s character/Christian living, it can become very difficult to really press on to what we know we should do in raising our children for the Lord. Add to that, our immediate-gratification society and personal habits—and we can easily lose sight of the fact that what we do today, this week, this month, and this year with and for our children in the areas of character training will pay off for them in the long run.