How does grace permeate your parenting?
I, admittedly, fail often at extending grace to my children. I think that Christians have a propensity for either grace or legalism. I think there is a time and place for grace and mercy and a time and place for justice. We see both in the Bible. We see the perfect balance of grace, mercy and justice in the Lord.
I, have a tendency towards justice. I want grace for myself, but justice for others!
How does this translate into parenting? I often focus on the consequences of my children’s disobedience and forget to parent to the heart of my children. Why did they act in such a way? What is the deeper root of my son’s poor attitude, my daughter’s tears, my other daughter’s deceit? If I simply dole out the consequences without digging deeper, I will miss my child’s heart. If my children simply learn to live by a set of rules and regulations, I will be training up little pharisees with outward good behavior and not children of grace with character that runs deep.
Let’s take a look at Jesus and his disciples. Jesus knew that Simon Peter would deny him. He even told him so… Jesus allowed this to happen. He didn’t plead with Peter to side with him. He didn’t punish Peter for denying him. I can only imagine what Peter felt when that rooster crowed and Jesus words were made true. Did he feel guilt and shame? Did he feel that he’d ruined his chances with Jesus? Did he feel unworthy and turn in on himself? Jesus allowed Peter to fail spectacularly so he would understand grace. When Jesus rose and came to the disciples, Peter had to choose to accept the grace or deny it. He accepted it. He had been humbled and understood that Jesus loved him no matter what.
Do we allow our children to fail and then extend grace or do we capitalize on that failure with a chorus of “I told you so’s” and “You should have listened to me’s”?
I, unfortunately, am often short on grace. This is an area where I need grace. I need mercy. I need to learn to love my children in light of the gospel. I am not saying that discipline and correction are not part of my role as a mom. But what I am saying in that those roles need to be administered in light of the grace that has been extended to me from the cross. I fail spectacularly often… am I going to allow God’s grace to transform me or will I continue to try to do things on my own?
How do you let grace permeate your parenting?