1 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Luke 17:1–2 (NAS)
This passage should haunt every step a father takes in raising up his children. The dad can create certain “stumbling blocks” by his words and deeds . When sets of eyes are watching you, rest assured what you say and do will grant permission to your progeny to follow rhe same courses in the future.
I am glad the Lord used a graphic illustration to remind me of the consequences of being a bad role model. Early on, in response to this very verse, and the versions in Matthew and Mark (Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42), I decided to withhold permission to my kids by what I said or did in certain “gray areas” well known as stumbling blocks. I did not want them to hang the bad influences like a millstone around my neck. The world has enough of its own, by the way.
Did this strategy work now that they’re grown? For the most part yes. Certainly my conscience is clear.
In general, when Jesus says, “Woe to,” take it to heart.