In the past few weeks my family and I have had some wonderful opportunities to walk through crowds from Disney World to a Rockies baseball game. One of my first realizations was that it was impossible for the five of us to stay together in the midst of people of all sizes, strollers, opposing traffic, tour groups, wheel chairs, etc. As each one fought through the challenges all one could do was look around and see if the others were still in the vicinity. In my case I would try to remember what color shirt or what hat each one had, so I could spot them and try to keep track of where each one was at.
Then it struck me. This is so much like raising children to be Christian. You can't always be together and keep track of everything they are doing. Each one will have diversions, meet other people with different ideas, get jostled around by various challenges, and move forward at different speeds. You just hope that their relationship with Jesus and the truth of the Word you planted in them will be enough to be their guide so that you all end up at the right place. So periodically, you may see them, share a word, or even have the opportunity to make comments, but the individual direction is clearly out of your control.
As parents who have been entrusted children, it is our most sacred responsibility to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Unfortunately, there is also an enemy who desires to instill in them the opposite, the way of the world. This oncoming contrary wave challenges our convictions and the price we are willing to pay to complete the God-given task of making sure each one is grounded in truth. Many parents have sacrificed much to home school their children themselves or to send them to a Christian school that teaches Bible principles in order to plant God's truth and ways in their hearts. Others have taken the broad path of "free" public education only to see all their children's Biblical values undermined and polluted with such issues as homosexuality, rebellion, toleration of sin, abortion, living for one's own pleasure rather than for God, and other worldly ideas contrary to the truth the parents have taught. Then as the years of life pass on, the child can no longer be seen heading the right direction and the final heartbreak is that he or she will not end up in the right place.
God will make a way through the crowd for you and all your children to arrive safely. Even though it may cost time, money, and laying aside other desires, nothing compares to obeying God in this sacred trust of bringing up children to know Him. The cost is nothing compared to the glory of God. Eternity is a long time and you and your family will be eternally grateful.