Generations before Eli, the Lord had commanded Israelite parents to teach their children about Him and His ways (see Deut. 6:4-9). Not long after, we saw how tragic failing to obey this command could be when an entire generation arose who did not know the Lord (Judg. 2:10). Now we see again, in the case of Eli and his wicked sons, the importance of passing on the faith to the next generation (1 Sam. 2:12).
We are all accountable for our own sin and relationship with God. We cannot blame our parents for our rebellion against God any more than we can credit them for our salvation. Parents play a role, a key role, in our evangelism and discipleship, and yet, we are each accountable for ourselves and will stand before God as such. We are also held accountable in the role God has given us as stewards of the children He has entrusted to us. When Eli was very old, he implored his sons to refrain from their evil actions (vv. 22-25), but it seems he did not understand the gravity of his role in influencing the next generation toward God, such that he was counted guilty along with his sons (v. 29).
If you have children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren, how are you discipling them and pointing them to Jesus? If you do not, whom else might God have placed in your life to care for spiritually?