“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” Ezekiel 18:20
My father was a good man in many ways, but he was an agnostic. While he lay dying from lung cancer, I tried to talk to him about spiritual things. He refused, saying, “I’m not convinced there is a God.”
As much as it broke my heart when he died denying Christ, when my oldest son renounced his faith in God in his mid-thirties, I was devastated. I had wrongly believed that all I had to do was train him up in the faith and he would remain a faithful Christian. Though my heart will always be pained at the choices my father and my son made, I can’t let their unfaithfulness destroy my steadfast faith and hope in my Savior.
In the Bible there are many instances of godly parents who had ungodly children. But there are also wicked parents whose children become faithful to God. Each of us has free will to choose or deny the Lord, apart from what our parents or children decide. God is our heavenly Father, and we are his spiritual children. That’s the family relationship that matters most.
If you have unbelieving parents or children, keep putting God first in your life.
Your example of faithfulness may be the way to shine the light of truth for them. Our relationship with God is not dependent upon what our family members believe. We are one-on-one with our Father in heaven.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving your creation enough to give us free will to choose to love you and devote our lives to you. Please, give us the strength to remain faithful, even if beloved family members choose otherwise. Amen.