This following quote from Matthew Henry serves as a check to our fatherly ambitions. Fathers will go to great lengths to see their children succeed in sports. Sadly, that same vigor is rarely matched in a father’s spiritual discipleship of his children. We fathers must remember that God has given us children for his glory. He desires each child to be a worshiper of him alone. Our job is to train them towards this goal.
Here are Henry’s words…
Consider what your children are now capable of, even in the days of their childhood. They are capable of receiving impressions now which may abide upon them while they live. They are capable of honoring God now, if they be well taught; and by their joining, as they can, in religious services with so much reverence and application as their age will admit, God is honored. The hosannas even of children well taught will be the perfecting of praise and highly pleasing to the Lord Jesus.
Consider what you children are designed for, we hope, in this world: they must be a “seed to serve the Lord,” which shall be “accounted to him for a generation.” They are to bear up the name of Christ in their day, and into their hands must be transmitted that good thing which is committed to us. They are to be praising God on earth, when we are praising Him in heaven. Let them then be brought up accordingly, that they may answer the end of their birth and being. They are designed for the service of their generation and to do good in their day. Consult the public welfare then, and let nothing be wanting on your parts to qualify them for usefulness according as their place and capacity is.
Consider especially what they are designed for in another world: they are made for eternity. Every child thou hast hath a precious and immortal soul, that must be forever either in heaven or hell, according as it is prepared in this present state—and perhaps it must remove to that world of spirits very shortly—and will it not be very sad, if through your carelessness and neglect your children should learn the ways of sin, and perish eternally in those ways? Give them warning, that if possible, you may deliver their souls, at least, that you may deliver your own, and may not bring their curse and God’s too, their blood and your own too, upon your heads.