First, your relationship with your children now sets the trajectory for how they will relate to you for the rest of your life. If you are unapproachable when they are at home, don’t expect them to be eager to approach you as adults. If you are highly critical of them as children, don’t expect them to be coming to you later for advice. But if you are ready and willing to talk to them when they are young, they will seek you out when they need advice as adults. Remember that you are now sowing the seeds of what you will reap form your adult children for the rest of your lives.
Second, whether you know or like it, you are the model for what they will be like when they become parents themselves. When you show your children that they are a priority, you are setting a good example for them when they have families of their own. If children are seen as hindrances by parents, this attitude is reproduced when they become parents.
Finally,…you as their earthly dad, are laying the foundation for their relationship with their heavenly Father. You are their first exposure to a relationship of authority in the world. How you develop that relationship and wield that authority will either help or harm their view of God. There are countless examples of people who have difficult embracing a loving heavenly Father when they have had neglectful, absentee, or even abusive earthly dads. Of course, no human can perfectly represent the glory and grace of our heavenly Shepherd, but by his grace and through his Spirit we can set a healthy foundation for their relationship with the Father in heaven.
– Timothy Witmer, The Shepherd Leader at Home, pp. 57-58