Have you ever known kids who were always at church? If the church was open, they were there! They would go to camps, and missions trips, say all the right things when asked questions about God or the Bible, and would always "appear" holy. Yet, when they became adults, they somehow stopped attending church all together and eventually want nothing to do with church or God. Many times we can't figure out what happened. There are many reasons, but one reason I have seen in other families is that the parents don't practice what they preach! They doll their kids up for Sunday and Wednesdays, parade themselves around like they are the holiest of family to the outside, and then when they get home, all of it changes. They shell off their Sunday clothes and Sunday attitudes and leave it at the door. They open the fridge, grab that can of beer, swear, yell at the kids to leave them alone, and turn on the tv, viewing what most would think to be inappropriate to watch. Their children observe as they go from Saints to Sinners in a matter of seconds as their mind becomes confused. They start to view their families as hypocrites and realize that church is something they just "do" for a moment, but not for a lifetime. As soon as they become adults and have a choice, they drop their life of hypocrisy and run as far as they can. They no longer want to parade themselves around. They turn their backs on anything that reminds them of the life that their family put them through, and decide that if that is true Christianity, they want no part of it.
We as parents are responsible for not just the physical and emotional needs of our kids, we are also responsible for their spiritual growth! I had someone tell me that they babysat a child in their home and they would pray with them and tell them about Jesus. By the time the parents worked long hours, and finally took the child home, fed them, and put them to bed, the babysitter actually saw the child more than the parents. Yet, when the child got home, they were surrounded by swearing, alcohol, and a complete lack of respect toward God. Even though the babysitter had more time with the child, who do you think the child followed? The parents!
May God help us to be a true example to our children. Our lives should match at church and at home. If we are truly following God's word, and have Christ in our heart, then there should be no difference in the activities, attitude, and love that we show our children from the moment we step into church to the moment we step into our homes. May God remind us that we are the one main example that our children see, and they will follow in our example. Let us make sure that it is truly a Godly one!
Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord."