I've been thinking a lot about the end result of our parenting. When our first daughter was born everything seemed like such a whirlwind. I went back to work after 3 months and I remember just stumbling around work that day trying to form a complete thought and wondering what it was I used to do there. All I had worried or thought about for 3 months was diapers, feedings, naps, cute outfits, my own weight loss, and enjoying every single moment of my daughter. Parenting very quickly took on a new weight.
I can't remember exactly when it happened. But at some point it occured to me that we didn't just have a baby...we had a child. To raise. All the way up. Seems kind of obvious? Well, it wasn't to me. Just as "being pregnant" turned into "(gasp) we are having a baby!", "we have a baby" turned into "we have to raise her!" I didn't just become a mommy--we became parents. And we had no plan.
Thankfully, God changed all that. I am light years away from where I started as a parent. I don't have it all figured out, but I certainly have more insight into this task than I used to.
I don't believe most people (Christian or otherwise) actually think through their parenting all the way. You just dive in with both feet and try to keep your head above water for 18 years. New decisions come up and you talk to some friends, decide which way you will go and continue on. Folks, even Christian parents operate this way. It should not be like this.
We have the Bible. We have prayer. We have older women to teach us. And we have a great responsibility. Not to just work out a compromise with our little one to get through the meal and on to the next thing----but to train them, to teach them, to disciple them. To hold our children to a higher standard so that when they are not in our arms or homes anymore, they will be able to stand firm. It isn't about "making it" through the day or a difficult stage, or the teenage years. It's about raising godly young men and women. That goal alone changes our daily decisions about how we handle things. Or it should.
I know I keep talking about this, over and over. Others say things much better than I do. Mrs. June had some good thoughts today over at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. Also, Grafted Branch really made me think at Restoring the Years yesterday.
Do other people sit around and think about things like this? Do they put this much thought into the thing called parenting? I'm thankful for women like those mentioned above because it lets me know that I am not the only one who thinks about these things on a weekday night.