There's no doubt about it. Parenting is important. The way we steer our children, spiritually, emotionally, physically and academically really matters. We have the ability to set them up for success, however you define it, or leave obstacles in their path. If you've read any other entries in this blog, I would hope you recognize my belief in this fact.
As my children grow older, I recognize more and more that regardless of the direction that their father and I set them up on now, ultimately it will be their decision how to manage and lead their lives once the time comes. As I read through 2 Kings (BIBLE BOWL 2020), I see this over and over. There are godly kings who end up having kids who turn out to be evil kings and vice versa. In so many ways this confounds me. I want there to be a simple formula that says, "Teach your kids God's ways. Read the Bible to them. Take them to youth activities and pray over them. Then you will have godly kids." Sadly however, there isn't one. I'm sure you know people who did all the "right" things with their kids and still ended up with kids making heart breaking decisions as adults. Here's the king & father duo who brings this out most of all, Josiah and Manasseh. Take a look,
"1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." 2 Kings 22:1-2, KJV
Josiah is one of only 5 kings listed in the combined books of 1&2 Kings as doing right in the sight of the Lord. There are almost 40 kings listed in the whole book! Josiah at the tender age of 8 is listed as one of the good kings. Here's how this gets even more interesting. His father Manasseh is considered by some as the worst king in all of Judah. He was incredibly evil. Child sacrifice and idol worship were just two of the sins that he committed. And yet somehow his son became one of the best, in the sight of God!
Now don't misunderstand me. By no means am I saying throw caution to the wind and stop trying to teach your children about Jesus or all the many other lessons we know we need to teach. However, I am saying (to me, and you just get to listen) that we can relax the pressure that we place on ourselves to ensure that we raise godly children. One of the lessons that I'm learning more and more is this is all in His Holy, just, and more than capable hands. My job is to do the absolute best to the absolute best of my ability and allow Him to make Himself known to them. He adds the increase!! Thank You, Lord!!