"God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." - Genesis 2:7
In the beginning, God created man in his own image. He learned and took the dust of the ground, molded a human shape, and breathed into him the breath of life. But, that's not the end; he also transferred his capacity to mold. Men and women, fathers and mothers - we are shaping our child's character and life physically, emotionally, socially, we know or not.
But, what's the problem? Reading the Bible, especially in the New Testament, God reveals his purpose with man: our Father from Heaven, who is well pleased in Jesus Christ, his Son, wants to bring many sons to glory, sons molded by the Holy Spirit in Jesus' likeness.
In God's presence will be only the man who has a character like Jesus has. The problem is that after sin entered in the world, the man lost his image, his likeness, and it is our corrupted character that we are transferring and unknowingly inculcating in our child's life.
Now, the good news: we are allowed to work together with the Holy Ghost to recover, step by step, his lost image in our lives. By his grace, like in the beginning, we are molded again in his image and likeness. Also, we received the power to shape our child's life after his image and likeness, with his help.
Very simple: when you start, because you can only give what you already have/are. So, even if you don't have one yet, every decision you make now will affect him/her further - the decision of being born again, to marry a real Christian, or to be involved in God's ministry. Starting today, mold Jesus' image in your or child's life, taking right decisions.
Maybe you have children. Have you ever thought about what's affecting them? School teachers? The street? Internet? TV? Yes, they have an influence in your kids' lives - that's good or bad. But, the most important influence has to be yours. The parents have to be careful. How to go about doing this? What instruments do they have from God?
First, we have the Bible. Are you reading it with your children? They have to know that this book changed your life, and it can change theirs, too. The Bible is molding our characters, transforming them into the one that resembles Jesus' character. Why? Because, Jesus is the living Word of God (John 1:1).
We can enter in God's presence by prayer, in Jesus name. We have the chance, people from Old Testament didn't have. What are we doing with this privilege? We must teach our children to pray as soon they can speak. It will be a blessing for them. Teach them to see in prayer a living style, a shelter in difficult times, and a joy to share in the good times.
Another instrument is your example. Some say that the personal example is the most important instrument to influence people around you, but keep this in mind: it is the only one. Be that person you are asking your kid to be. Walk in Jesus' ways and your kids will follow you. Walk in world ways and your kids will do the same.
Final, but not less important, is the Church. That's a very good instrument, which has to teach, discipline, and mold you and your children. Be involved and involve your children in church ministries. You may start with Sunday school or with kids' choir (if you have).
Too many Christians, raised in church, are doing nothing because their parents were doing nothing, or they were not involved since childhood in church ministries. Let your church be the instrument in Holy Ghost's hands, for you and for your children.
God wants us in his glory, but only if we have likeness of his Son. His will for our kids is the same. So, take care of them, and work towards shaping their lives to eternity, according to his will.