It is a not uncommon occurrence: a mother slowly shakes her head and says to the father, “I just don’t know where we went wrong.” Something her child has done provokes the lament, and the provocation can range from bed-wetting to grand theft auto. The good news is that more children are guilty of something on the bed-wetting end of the spectrum than the grand theft auto end of it, and so things may not be as bad as they appear in the moment. The bad news is that they are sometimes just as bad as they appear—or even worse—and it is just for the parents to reflect on their work.
Before you get depressed and stop reading, trust me. My goal here is not to make you feel like a terrible parent but to encourage you from the Word and from my own experience with a lot of children and parents over the years—not to mention more than a little hindsight from raising my own children. Learn from where we (and others) went wrong, and maybe there will be fewer woeful sighs ahead in your parenting.