The question I want to ask you is, how do you treat your gifts?
When someone gives me something, I treasure it with all my heart. (Yes, even the bad gifts.) Why? Because it isn't about the item - it's about them. They honored me with a gift. Recently, a friend of mine gave me something that I really will enjoy and treasure. I would not want to part with this gift for anything. Why? Because I love it? No. Because I love them.
Now with that said, How do you love your children? You might say. I provide for their needs. I tell them I love them. I work extra hours for those lessons they take. etc. That's good. But let's consider this.
God gave you your children. (See verse above). He has entrusted to you a soul. A soul that will spend eternity in heaven or hell. What are you doing to influence their life into heaven? I am amazed how some parents do everything they can to help their children have every advantage to get ahead in life. There is nothing wrong with that. But I also notice that they do nothing to give them every advantage to live by faith. I think that we can raise some very educated sinners who are doomed to spend eternity in hell.
I've heard this statement from many parents over and over again. "Well, I'm going to let them choose what faith they want to follow when they get older." Really? Do you let them choose when they are going to use a knife. Are you going to let them figure out how to drive a car by themselves? Are you going to let them decide when they are old enough to go out on a date by themselves? Why would you let the most important decision they will ever make in their life be left to chance? This explains why very normal people embrace some very whacked out religions. Nobody told them otherwise.
Now there are those out there that would say. But the church is this and that. The people at church are hypocrites. Blah, blah, blah. Then they say, "I don't want to raise my child in that kind of religious environment." First of all, the church (and the people who attend it) are a lot better than you think. Jesus said, "Get the telephone out of your own eye, before you try to pull a speck out of someone else's." For all the churches faults and failures, without it, society would crumble. That's the truth.
The Bible is clear. You are responsible to give your faith in God to your children. The question is, Do you have any faith to give them? If you asked your kids, "Do you want what I have?" What would be their honest answer? I shudder to think what some kids would say. They can be brutally honest.
The first step you have to take is this. Are you under the Authority of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? Have you given your life to Christ, placed your faith in Him and live your life to honor Him. If you live in rebellion to Him, you'll only produce children who will live in rebellion to everyone else.
The next step is - How do you honor your children? What do you say and do that gives them hope and life for their future. What are you instilling in them that will last beyond your years? Are you honoring them by praying over them, teaching them God's Word, living your life honestly and openly before them as an act of worship unto God.
Then - Do they see you struggle with your faith? This isn't a bad thing. Do they see you growing and changing in your relationship with Jesus. Do they see you face life on God's terms? Or do they see you face life with alcohol. drugs, rebellion, illicit relationships and other stuff. There is no shame in struggling. Remember this, they will do what you do. If you reach for a beer to relieve your stress, they will too someday. Now maybe your not an alcoholic. But there is no guarantee that they won't.