I am not trying to raise bad kids either.
I am putting all my effort into raising children who follow Jesus.
Here is the harsh truth; you can raise a child to say please and thank you, show proper respect to their elders, work hard and tell the truth and they can be very far from God.
The Bible is clear that the people who get into heaven for eternity are those who follow Jesus Christ, not good people. Two verses underline this truth. John 14:6 says “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the father but through me.” Then in Ephesians 2:8-9 it states that we are “saved by grace … not by works, so that no man can boast.” Jesus is the key to eternity, and he is only received through faith and not good works.
I believe it is infinitely harder to raise a believer than a good kid. The goal is not just to keep them from sinning, but for them to understand that their failures are why we need the grace of Jesus. It is a struggle to get them to see sin from God’s eyes and not the worlds. It pushes my wife and me toward a faith community called Church and away from anything that disrupts that relationship. It means I must have difficult conversations about God’s direction and design for their lives in the face of failure and success. It spills into who they date and how. The life of a believer is not about a few good behaviors that our society approves. It is about total surrender to God.
Sure, following Jesus means doing the right thing as God desires. That includes loving your neighbor and offering comfort to strangers. It also means they will teach the truth and fight for God’s will in this world. As a result, some people will see you as good while others see you as evil. Remember that Jesus was loved by some and hated and crucified by others. To walk the way of Christ we should expect the same thing for our children and for us.
I don’t want to raise children that people praise as being good or hate for being bad. I want people to see their life and know their faith is in the Lord.
If when I die my children are not followers of Jesus, then I will have failed as a parent, even if everyone stands up and says how good my children are as people.