My husband and I have started a little journey in search of wisdom for raising our kids. We are flying into the elementary school years, leaving the baby hood behind us, and really it’s getting a little terrifying. I felt like I had the baby and toddler thing down...schedules and cuddles and naps, I was the mama other mamas called for advice.
Now, if someone came to me for advice I might burst into tears I feel so lost. So I turn where I always turn when I am lost, God’s word plus people who really know and love God’s word.
Here is the overarching, overwhelming (embarrassingly obvious) theme that has smacked me in the face while on this hunt for wisdom, we NEED grace in all things parenting.
When our kids were babies the word grace really only seemed to apply to me. I needed grace to get through every day, I needed to drink grace in by the bucketful in order to put one foot in front of the other. Now that my babies are growing up, I realize they need grace too. (Not that they didn’t before, it was just so freely given to their innocent, sweet, chubby selves it hardly seemed like a parenting plan.)
Now, this is not a parenting blog, and I am not here to tell you how to raise your children, you can find that any place. What I do want to share with you is the crazy incredible concept of grace and how it can not only change who you are as a woman, but who you are as a mama. And grace, as a result, changes who your children are, who your husband is, and the entire atmosphere of your home.
Grace, God’s unmerited favor, is impossible to earn and hardly deserved and given to us while we continue in our sinful nature. What if you met your children’s sin with grace? What if every consequence contained within it God’s amazing grace and lavish love? Still consequence, still corrected course, but sprinkled with crazy lavish love?
For example, what if a given punishment occasionally included you? The punishment for potty talk in my house is having to clean a potty, what if I joined my child in the cleaning? How humbling and beautiful for us to work on punishment together. I know I don’t deserve to be punished and my child knows I don’t deserve to be punished, yet I kneel by his side and scrub. By sacrificing my time and working out the punishment with my child, I get to put Jesus on display.
Showing my children what it looks like in the flesh to have someone take the punishment for their sin, can you think of anything more life giving? When I parent from a posture of loving well, of lavishing grace, of putting God front and center, then it is not about me (because in my own strength I could never do that well) but it is about Him.
I want my children to grow knowing that we all sin, even me, we all fall short of the glory of God.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
I want to demonstrate my love to my babies, but more than that I want to show them God’s great love and I want to show it to them through grace.