"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." – Proverbs 22:6
One of the greatest callings is being a parent. Not only does it bring wondrous joy, but it also offers the great opportunity to prepare the next generation of Christians to follow God, advance His kingdom, and bring Him glory.
God commands us to bring up children in God's ways and prepare them to do even greater things than what we do now.
Sadly, this opportunity does not always appear as more appealing than other duties. Some parents might have found other opportunities—business, career, self-satisfaction, and even sin—to be more appealing.
But God puts premium on the next generation and allows us to participate in that work by training them in the way they should go. How do we know whether we are or aren't doing our part to train and prepare our children to walk in God's ways?
Here are five signs to watch out for and avoid.
1. They know something about God but they don't really know God
As parents, our job is not to force God down our children's throat. The goal is for them to know God not by feeding them scriptures, forcing them to go to church every week, and pushing them to memorise Bible stories. The goal is to give them an avenue to grow in a relationship with God.
The best way we can do this is to allow them to depend on God for their own needs and allow God to meet those needs.
2. They don't grow in their spiritual disciplines
The best way to grow in a relationship with God is to practice spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and prayer. The best way to train your kids in this area is by setting a good example. It's hard—almost impossible—to train someone in an area we aren't any good at ourselves.
3. They live entitled lives
A life lived in the ways of God should compel us to walk in selflessness and sacrifice. When a sense of entitlement and selfishness take their roots on children, they will go down the wrong path and must be brought back to God's good ways. Once again, the best way to lead them is to lead by example as Jesus did. If your children are showing a sense of entitlement, ask yourselves today: Are they seeing this attitude from you?
4. They don't obey your authority
Obedience to the lordship of God and obedience to the authority of parents are heavily intertwined. Children who have no problems respecting, submitting to and loving their parents will find it much easier to submit themselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
5. They cannot seem to find their purpose
Knowing God means knowing one's purpose in life. A child founded in his walk with the Lord will always be guided to take a path that will prosper them and give them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). When our children can't find purpose in life, chances are we aren't leading them to the giver of purpose.