Samuel was a godly man and an obedient prophet, but unfortunately he didn't learn anything from Eli's mistakes as a parent, causing the people to confront him about his sons and to reject them as their future leaders.
Obviously, we as parents are not fully responsible for the actions and decisions of our children, but we are held accountable for how we raise our kids and our parenting clearly has an impact on how they turn out. That said, ultimately they are responsible for their own actions - sometimes the best of parents have children that choose to live in rebellion. We are responsible to parent well, but we are not responsible should they reject our teachings. Obviously, we will all make mistakes as parents and God's grace covers those mistakes just like all our other sins, but this passage is a great reminder to me that we need to take our jobs as parents seriously, and not rely on Sunday School teachers or youth leaders or anyone else to do our jobs for us. Our home is our first mission field and we cannot forget that!
Ultimately, the Israelites were rejecting God as king - they wanted to be like the people and culture around them. This is a reminder to us that we need to be careful not to be swayed by the culture around us. We should be living counter-culturally, and if we're not, it's probably time for some self-evaluation to see how our lives are lining up with God's Word.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 9:37-62