An often quoted Bible verse is Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Another translation reads Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. That sounds easy, right? One thing we can agree on as parents is that parenting throws us curve balls that we never expected.
I was recently reading Dr. Kevin Leman's book "Have a new you by Friday." He uses this book to help us understand why we are the way we are and to challenge us to not settle for status quo. I recently heard a wise man say that we look at the consequences of sin (the things we do in disobedience to God) as costly, however, the true cost is measured in the "what ifs;" in the missed potential because we chose our way over God's way. This Truth covers us as individuals, our role as parents, and the decisions that our children make as a result of their shaping and instruction that takes place in their early years.
The absolute best training we can do for our children are in the ways of the Lord according to God's Holy Word, the Bible. When parents fail to do this and disobey God it costs their children greatly. Psalm 78:4 (NLT) We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders.
The local church is a great place to start to put you and your family in the position to be taught and challenged with God's Word. Make it a New Years resolution to find a Bible believing and teaching church that provides an "honest to God" opportunity for your family to live in obedience to Him. It is only through obedience that we experience His true blessings and don't have to wonder about the "what if's."
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.