Children are never perfect--and I do not want to paint a picture that is unrealistic. Ray wouldn't have to tell me that we are "getting the behavior that we want" if our children were perfect! (Boy, I really don’t like it when he says that!)
I have heard people say, “I just wish my kids were perfect, like the Duggar kids seem to be on television.” Well, I’ve never seen the Duggars on television, though I met Mrs. when we spoke at the same conference several years ago, but I can assure you that even the Duggar children are not perfect. I am sure that they go through the same pressures and misgivings in their child training as the rest of us do. Again, however, their joys are multiplied many times over when their training and heart-teaching are effective.
For me, it isn’t so much that I want perfect children (I mean, we all want everything to be perfect, right?) as much as it is that I want to be obedient to the parenting that God has called me to. I know that Mom's and Dad’s obedience in our family will yield the greatest fruit in the lives of our children.
Many nights, I go to bed weary and worried. How will we help our young adult daughter through the difficult time she is having? How can we turn a bad attitude around? Is a recent trend in one of the kids indicative of something much worse? I wouldn’t be obeying God if I didn’t at least think about the negative character of our children as part of my obeying God is watching out for the negative character and working, with the Lord and the child, to improve it.
Even the most disciplined parents have problems. We are not guaranteed perfect children even if we do discipline and love consistently. However, the alternative that we see in the world--joyless, problem-saturated homes--is enough to keep me moving ahead in what I know the Lord has shown us.