Parents’ Responsibility to Righteousness

Every time a parent brings sin into their home, we become responsible for its influence on our children. Children are always learning; every observation they make, every experience they have, affects their ideas about God and eternity, their understanding of what it means to be human, of how to interact with community in general and other people in particular, their perception of what is right and wrong, and how to engage it. Whether we work deliberately to teach our children or not, the children continually develop their values and ideas as they observe our decisions and conduct.

Parents who speak of God and Christ and salvation while entertaining themselves on that which endorses what God has revealed to be wicked, belie the seriousness of evil before their children, and teach them to “count the blood of Christ a common thing.”[1] Parents who use foul language in their children’s presence teach disdain for God’s call to be holy[2]; to be separate from sin and the world.

When parents are selfish, deceitful, or lazy, they set the example for their children to do likewise. If these parents also speak of Christ and salvation, their children come to view Christ’s death as a means of facilitating one’s pursuit of one’s own pleasure without consequence, because they will come to think we may “sin the more, that grace may abound.”[3] Children will see no reason to avoid the “unfruitful works of darkness”[4], because the example set for them encourages their participation in those things which please their palate while perverting the righteousness of God.[5]

Parents who profess Christ while pursuing sin, cheapen Christ’s atonement to their watching children. We are not approved by God by our good behaviour; rather we are condemned by God for every wrongful act, as well as the unfaithfulness toward Him that motivates each one. Only the loving kindness of the holy God Whom we have offended makes it possible for anyone to be freed from the punishment for our wickedness; how can our children view the offense against God that sin causes as anything other than trivial when we make noise about the cross of Christ while continuing in their sight to be and do those things that made His cross necessary?

Our responsibility as Christians are to have our minds renewed[6] by meditating upon those things which are “true, honourable, just, good, pure, lovely, and of good reputation.”[7]  We are to remain apart from everything that dishonours God and defiles God’s creation[8], ensuring that everything we choose to do, think, or say will glorify God in and to His creation.[9] There is no exception clause to this obligation; rather the defining characteristic of our professed faith toward God is that we love and trust God completely, and live our lives by His Holy Spirit in righteousness and truth.[10] 

Our responsibility as parents is to “train up our children in the way they should go”[11], which is in the ‘nurture and admonition of the Lord.”[12] How dare we consider the fate of our children’s souls so much less valuable than the pursuit of our own convenience or the satisfaction of our fleshly desires? How will our children come to recognize sin as the despicable and vulgar rebellion against God that it is? How will they learn that every sin of every type is an offense against their Creator?[13] And however will they come to hate sin as God hates it, so that they will learn to come to Christ for forgiveness of it, to be reborn by the Spirit of God into a ‘new man’ recreated in the image of a holy and righteous God as God originally intended?[14] However will they fail to disdain the LORD Jesus if their parents persist in preferring sin to Christ? 

Paul warned Timothy that before Christ would return, evil men would become worse and worse, and wickedness would be rampant upon the earth.[15] The grandparents of our generation could not have imagined the depths of wickedness into which society would descend in our day. We could not have anticipated the aggressive campaign of evil that would assault impressionable minds through every possible means, as the devil wages his final attack against God’s image-bearing creation. But as wickedness advances toward total consumption of the social order, parents, and particularly Christian parents, continue to sacrifice their children on the altar of Molech, offering the souls of their children up to the idols of self-satisfaction, self-justification, and self-approval. 

Parents! Time is long past for we who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ to live what we say we believe, led and instructed exclusively by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scripture,[16] so that when our children watch us, they see the life of Christ in us, and are led to the Saviour for forgiveness and redemption to eternal life.  

2 Cor 6:14-18  “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters’, saith the Lord Almighty.” 


[1] Heb 10:29  “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

[2] 1Pe 1:15 “But as He Who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct…”

[3] Ro 6:1  “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? May it not be!”

[4] Eph 5:11  “and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

[5] Ro 1:25 “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

[6] Romans 12:2  “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

[7] Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

[8] Ro 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

[9] 1Co 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

[10] 2Co 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

[11] Proverbs 22:6  “Pr 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

[12] Eph 6:4  “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

[13] 1Jo 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin…”; Romans 14:23 “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

[14] 2Co 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

[15] 2 Timothy 3:1-7  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

[16] Ro 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”; 2 Tim 3:16  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”