Much good material has been written of late about why children abandon the faith in which they were raised. Children may also leave the faith because they were made to be the most important people in their home. Let me explain.
Parents, your highest priority in life cannot be your children. As wonderful as children are, if they become the main focus of your life you will provide a distorted view of God's world for them. Your primary focus is to know and honor God. You must love and know God first and foremost. That is why Jesus sums up the commandments by saying that first you should love God with all that you are (Matt. 22:37-40). If this isn't what motivates you, you will not be able to exercise faith when difficult times come. Faith in man cannot sustain life. If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children or your spouse, you will be disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your spouse and/or your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God you will be deeply hurt. You will set yourself up to be disappointed and crushed when your family fails you. No spouse, no child can provide comfort that can only be found in God. God will have no other gods before him. Your first loyalty must be to God and God alone.
After God, your husband or wife is to be the focus of your life. In Ephesians 5 husbands and wives are instructed to relate to each other as they would to the Lord. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves His church. Wives are to submit to their husbands as they would to the Lord. The point is that your spouse is to be the most important person in your life apart from God. God intends for your relationship with your spouse to be permanent in this life.
Children, then, come next. You are to train your children to know God and then prepare to leave your home. Yet, things get turned around.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]