Could it be that the gravest mistake a parent can make in the upbringing of his children is a disregard for the way things will impact them eternally? A disregard for their souls?
The noise of our culture is so loud, pushing us to clamor for what we think will make our children “successful”, popular, happy and secure. We sacrifice our time, money and often tranquility to ensure our children get what the world says they need.
But what of their souls? Do we labor as much there? Are we willing to sacrifice all for the sake of their souls?
Even as Christians, there is a pressure to not be too different, though we *say* “love not the world nor the things in the world”. But what is our goal? Are we training them for the best life here–this one that is fading, or for the only life that will last?
J.C. Ryle articulates this important truth beautifully…
“Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you truly love them, then often think about their souls. Nothing should concern you as greatly as their eternal destiny. No part of them should be so dear to you as that part which will never die.
“This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all that you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, ‘How will this affect their souls?’
“A true Christian must not be a slave to what’s currently ‘in-fashion,’ if he wants to train his child for heaven. He must not be content to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is customary, or to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them, or to let them form bad habits, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called odd and strange. What if it is? The time is short—the customs of this world are passing away. He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than for the earth—for God, rather than for man—he is the parent that will be called wise in the end.”
~ J.C. Ryle
Quote courtesy of J.C. Ryle Quotes