As parents, we must target the children’s hearts. We cannot merely target behavior, or our parenting will be shallow and superficial, and we will raise our children to be spiritually shallow.
The goal of parenting is not behavior control. It is not merely to produce well-mannered children. It is not to teach our kids socially commendable behavior. It is not to make them polite and respectful. It is not to make them obedient. It is not to get them to perform for our approval. It is not to conform them to a moral standard. It is not to give us, as parents, something to be proud of.
The ultimate goal and proper focus of biblical parenting is redemptive. Parents are responsible to lead their children to Christ.
John MacArthur, What the Bible Says About Parenting (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2000), 148.