I have almost finished C.J. Mahaney's lectures on Gospel centered parenting. One of the main things that I really appreciated from his second lecture entitled "The Imperative of Instruction" was when he said that the most important thing, the minimal essential, the reason that you did everything else in parenting was to lead your children, through God's grace to salvation. As I have evaluated my parents I have always said that they were good parents. I was talking with my mom the other night about just this topic. With this essential in mind though, my parents (and Amanda's parents) were more than just good parents, they were, through God's grace, successful parents. Because of the examples of our parents, because of the instruction that they gave us, the prayers that they prayed and more than anything and ultimately only because of God's unmerited favor, Amanda and I as well as all of our siblings love Jesus Christ. It doesn't get much better than that.
As a parent, that is a pretty freeing conclusion. It doesn't really matter if our kids are the smartest, coolest, to what college they go, or many other periferals. These things only matter in as much as they affect or promote our kids' salvation. It is a constant and true center.
Both Amanda and I will be forever grateful first to God and to our parents for the way they raised us and the Gospel they passed down to us. It is our prayer that, through the power of Christ's Gospel, we can be as faithful.