Let me start by giving you my "disclaimer" as to not be mis-understood by what I am going to say in this blog entry.
DISCLAIMER: The churches I attended as a child were wonderful churches with wonderful pastors. What I am going to say is absolutely NO reflection on them in anyway. I also was in a great school system with great teachers who loved education and children. What I am going to say in NO reflection on them either. I only want to talk about WHO plays the MOST IMPORTANT role in a child's life; I believe it to be the PARENTS!
Parents, listen up!
I am who I am today not because of the churches I attended, (though they played a role, but NOT the primary role)or the schools I attended (they played a role as well, but NOT the primary role), or the teachers who taught me (though they played a role, just not the primary role), or the friends I hung with (though they played a role, just not the primary role.) On and on I could go ... I am who I am because of my parents influence on my, day in and day out!
I do believe that EACH OF THESE and those I didn't mention (employers, peers, culture, etc) played a large part in who I am today, no doubt! But I contend that who I am today PRIMARILY falls in the lap of my parents. I, fortunately, had wonderful God fearing parents who dragged my lazy rebellious rear to church every Sunday until I left home at 19 years old. This is something I am extremely thankful for today! Parents, I don't care if your kids want to go to church or not, they go, and of course this would mean that you can't be a lazy-rear and not go ... it's hard to get them to understand the importance of God/Church when we don't faithfully model this.
Parents, we are our kids role model whether we like it or not. You want your kids to be honest, then YOU be honest! You want your kids to have a good work ethic, then you model a good work ethic, you want your kids to love God, then you model a life that loves God!
Kids attend school 9 months out of the year, which translates into roughly 180 days of school, and about 1,200 hours in class with the teacher. Parents spend pretty much 365 days with their kids and 3420 hours a year with their kids. (obviously the numbers change a bit according to parents schedule)
In my opinion School, Church, Employers should all compliment what we AS PARENTS have drilled into our kids hearts and minds! Or at least help prepare them when they step out into the real world, on their own, they have had godly role models day in and day out for 18 plus years to help them make right decisions.
Yet another disclaimer: If your kids are not making good decisions, and have maybe gotten themselves into trouble this isn't necessarily a reflection on you! Kids make their own decision that sometimes fly contrary to everything we modeled and taught! So, be encouraged!
I encourage us as parents with this; we definitely have better odds of our kids turning out right if we model for them what a "right" life looks like ... but just as Jesus modeled for us the perfect life, we still live contrary to His example, and He is perfect.
And lastly, God was Adam and Eve's only role model and He was absolutely perfect and they still chose to disobey and eat the forbidden fruit ... so take heart!