Luke and I have started our parenting philosophy discussions - these will be ongoing until the day God calls us home to him, since we'll never be done with the parenting process, but it's exciting to start them up. Of course, we had small discussions about parenting during our dating/engagement period, because who enters into marriage without talking about big stuff (ok, some people do, but those aren't the smart ones)? Now that we have a baby on the way, it has become real to us, and we'll actually have to put into practice soon what we are just discussing today.
So, we ran through a couple topics tonight, like discussing how our parents raised us and what we liked and/or didn't like about their methods, and how we can merge those ideas and bring in our own. My biggest fear has been discipline - specifically, being consistent in it. Kids are cuties and they can easily manipulate. A friend of mine gave me a great example tonight. She told the story of a little girl she knows who, whenever she's in the midst of her punishment or is about to be punished, turns to her dad and says, "Daddy, can we go talk about Jesus now?" That girl must win EVERY SINGLE TIME! Who can say no to that? And girls are smart - they learn early on how to work the system, while I'm not sure that boys every really figure it out. Granted, there are exceptions. Since I think we're having a girl, we're in for a whole heap of trouble here! Luke especially, because even our dog Molly knows how to push his buttons.
Thankfully I was reminded tonight by the same friend that though we may not always see it, God is working in us and through us, and we are free to enjoy relationships. So I'm trusting Him to work through us and in us as we take on this new role of parents. There is much grace extended, and though we will definitely make mistakes with our children, God is still working in their lives. Praise God for that!
On another parenting note, I found this fun website. It's a guy who posts a new rule every day or so, to his unborn son. It'd be fun to start a list like that for my son or daughter, with things that I've learned over my lifetime.