From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
A teenager once complained, “The problem with parents is that by the time you get them, they’re too old to change!” This brings a smile, but the truth is that moms and dads don’t go into parenthood experienced, so they are bound to make some mistakes. The important thing is for parents to teach God’s word and be a consistent example. Be humble before the Lord and ask for His wisdom. Pray that God may crown your home with grace, love, and mercy, and pray daily for your children by name. It blesses the Lord greatly when the influence of Christian parents builds godly character into their children.
Responsibility lies with the parents who gave life to their children and have the greatest love for them. Verbal instruction should be accompanied by example. If children see parents behave contrary to what they teach, it can cause children to rebel and turn away from truth. If children hear parents talk about honesty, yet fail to see it lived out, this inconsistency will do great harm.
Parents are responsible not only for meeting the physical needs of their children—which even nature teaches—but also for their spiritual growth. The Scriptures, which God intended for everyone to obey, says, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up … You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). What a privilege parents have to instill truth—God’s truth—into their children and grandchildren, and God will help parents who commit themselves to prayer.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)