Raise your hand if you want to be a godly mama to your precious little ones. Me too! Raise your hand again if you ever struggle with getting frustrated with your kids when they mess up, even when you KNOW in your head that is not the right response. See my raised hand? I struggle with this, well, daily.
As a mother, I need so much grace as I go about my day. God is so unbelievably faithful to meet me where I am and encourage my heart. That is why I want to reflect His love and grace to my kids. Giving them grace in the moment is my goal.
If you struggle like me, here are some simple ways to give grace in the moment of frustration:
1. Take a deep breath. Take another one. Now 8 more.
2. Throw up a quick prayer. Simply saying HELP is a great one. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to pray without ceasing, and I think in the midst of a stressful situation is the perfect time to send up a “help me” prayer request!
3. Smile. Yes, smile. Smile at those cute little faces, even though you don't feel like it. “A joyful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs17:22), and since your kiddos can't see your heart, let them see it on your face.
4. Make eye contact. Get those little eyes to look at you full in the face.
5. Think logically. Try really hard. Was this offense intentional or is it the result of being careless and silly? While even if they were being careless and silly it could still warrant a consequence, it should be a different thing entirely than if they were intentionally sinning.
6. Give grace in your words. Speak of love, Christ's atonement, and forgiveness. Giving grace doesn't mean letting them off of the hook for the offense, it just means that you speak love to them in the moment. It means you explain to them that without Christ, not one of us can get it right.
7. Issue a consequence due the crime, NOT according to feelings. If I issued consequences based on my feelings it would be something like a lifetime in prison, gruel for breakfast, and toilet duty with a toothbrush. Instead, we need to think through the offense and come up with the appropriate consequence and communicate the “why” of our choice with the child.
8. Pray together and HUG. Always, always, always end a time of correction or training with prayer and a big ol’ hug. Making those connections in the teachable moment is SO important!
Yes, we will fail our precious children. We will get it wrong. Thankfully, though, the Lord will never give up on us and HE will give us the strength to give grace in the moment!
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