Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't Forget Grace!

I was visiting with a friend once when she told me about a book she was going through with a study group. I don't remember the name of it, but the concept, which she briefly described to me, has stuck in my head for quite some time. I have yet to practice it, but I feel like the time is approaching quickly that I should.
Natalie learns by example better then any other method, and I am sure that is true of most children her age. I even witness Zachary continually mimic our actions and words, some for the better, some not so much- like when I spank Natalie and he scoots over to 'help'. And the only way I finally was able to convince Natalie to eat a sandwich whole, verses deconstructing it before she demolished it, was to sit down with her at lunch time and eat my own similar sandwich, whole. There is just something about watching someone else do it first that I believe encourages children and in some cases makes them more eager to try it themselves. Maybe (on occasion) we should use the time when they are misbehaving to demonstrate a very important gift from God, by letting them live it through an example.
As parents, we give our children love, just as Jesus loved us. We offer them forgiveness, because Jesus forgave us. But maybe sometimes we need to try and show our children grace, just as God has shown it to us. I am not suggesting no discipline. God commands us to discipline our children to teach them right from wrong. But when they have that repentant heart attitude, and they can admit they did wrong, just as we must come before God to confess our sins before He pours out His grace over us; then we too might show grace to our children and not punish them for their wrong deed. Explain to them, that grace is the only thing standing between them and a punishment at that particular moment. Tell them, it is nothing that can be earned, it is simply given. Talk to them and use the opportunity to display how God gives us His grace, and that only God's grace is what saves us from an eternity apart from Him.
Discipline will always be a very important part of our job as parents, but offering grace occasionally to teach children more about God and His gift, should be too. After all, where would we be apart from God's amazing and saving grace?

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9

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