I sometimes think about what I wish I had known when I very first became a mom. I ponder what I would have done differently. And if I could say one thing to new parents it would be "Don't try to raise the perfect child."
Before you have children, it is easy to see the mistakes of other parents or the misbehavior of their children and think that you have the answers. Then when you have your first child you have the opportunity to put all of these ideas into practice. You have the chance to do it the right way. You think that consistency is the key, that you will not grow weary while doing good. I remember thinking all of these things at one time or another.
But I forgot a few things and so might you...so I'll mention them here. You are a sinner. Your husband is a sinner. And all of your children will be sinners too. You can't do it all right. You will fail your children and they will fail you.
Remembering this will free you up to mess up and then keep right on striving for the goal. It will free you up to parent by faith instead of trying to do it all in your own strength. But more importantly it will free your children up in an amazing way. They won't feel the burden of having to be perfect! They will see you repenting to them and to God and learn to do it too. They will not feel that you want them to be your trophy child or that you want to have the perfect family. Instead they will know that you are here to help them on their journey as a Christian. They will see that you pray for God to bless your efforts, give you wisdom as a parent, and work in the lives of your children. They will see you struggle in many ways and learn how to fight the good fight. And, if you invest in them and love on them, they will seek out your friendship and advice long after they are free to make their own choices. Are you building that kind of relationship now? While they are little?
Sure there will be spankings. There will be no no's. There will be serious training. Afterall, we are all soldiers in the army of the Lord. But it will be for God's glory and your children's good. It won't be so that you (or I) can say that we did it the right way.