We live in the age of the Child. Children are accommodated. They are the center of family life. They are the focus of the educational process. Instead of training children to worship God in all of life, our modern world idolizes them. Education thus becomes a means to serve children rather than to teach them to sacrificially live their lives for God. So parents live for their children instead of God. Children then follow their parent’s example and also live for themselves. When this happens, nothing good is accomplished. Marriages are weakened because of this wrong-headed focus. Children can never meet the expectations of parents who worship them. Divorce and child abuse increase. In the end, all that is left is relational rubble.
It is this relational rubble that leads to children becoming cynical and disaffected with Christianity. Children who have been the misplaced objects of worship by their parents cannot bear the weight of being idols. Children who are a means to their parents’ enjoyment and personal fulfillment will often despise the beliefs of their family and church. Children who have been relationally abandoned in the service to the god of parental expectations will find no comfort in a gospel that offers self-denial as it’s creed. These idol children have no need for worship because they are worshiped by confused, albeit, often well-meaning parents. These are among the reasons children turn from God. Children who are loved more than God are children without hope.
Parents, God calls you to love him first and foremost. This is how you prepare your children for the deceitful world that awaits. Doing anything other than this will make your faith appear self-serving. The self-serving idolatry of living for your children will ultimately destroy your marriage and your children. Attempting to save your life through your children will consume you and them.
Children need to see parents who live for and worship God. They need parents who will warn them of sin. They need parents who make God their first priority. These are the parents who can show genuine love to their children. Every attempt to love children before loving God will result in bitterness and loss. Love God with all of your undivided heart and then impress this love into the hearts of your children. This will bring life and light to your children. Show them the love of God and free them from the curse of idolatry. Do not live the glory of your children, live for the glory of God.