Knowing you might scan this whole post searching, let me offer those two words right now: BY GRACE.
An introduction: Years ago I came across a parenting book whose title made me laugh a little. Grace-Based Parenting? Really? At the time, it sounded to me like a manual for the weak-willed parent needing escape from disciplining their children. Or something like that.
How completely wrong I was. How completely lacking my understanding of GRACE.
Why do we need grace in parenting? Simply put -- because we've given birth to (or have embraced into our home) a sinner.
While in theory this doesn't surprise us, in reality we can be quite taken aback when Jackson won't mind his manners, or Julie has zero interest in saying she's sorry.
Secondly, we're prone to the same mess-ups as well. We Moms also struggle with needing to apologize and being respectful. We get angry, speak out of turn and sometimes don't care about letting our little light shine. Under a bushel we go. Willingly.
But, this is exactly the kind of people Jesus came for -- sinners. And He saves us BY GRACE.
Grace isn't wimpy, it's what brought us to Christ. Grace isn't shutting our eyes to what's going on, it faces the realness of sin and offers a better way.
How GRACE applies to Parenting
Here's a bold statement: every one of our children's negative actions isn't directly related to whether or not we do everything right as a parent.
Please don't misunderstand -- God cares quite a bit about what happens to children and how we treat them. We're accountable to Him for the choices we make for their wellbeing.
But they are God's children who need a Savior, long before they are our children who just need to behave in Sunday School.
And God's primary way of dealing with His children is grace. He often gives us this favor by allowing freedom to make decisions within clear moral boundaries. By an incredible kindness and lavish love that doesn't excuse our wrongdoing. By coming alongside of us in areas of weakness and carrying us through.
I believe He's expecting the same from us as Moms. Here's a quote from the book:
"Grace does not exclude obedience, respect, boundaries, or discipline, but it does determine the climate in which these important parts of parenting are carried out."
May our parenting reflect these two words as a foundation -- BY GRACE.
*If you're stuck in understanding this grace thing (and I can relate), I've offered a few resources at the end of this post.*
A Prayer for Moms
Will you pray with me?
Father in Heaven we pray:
By grace...may our homes be environments of incredible, unconditional love.
By grace...we'll provide our children freedom from fear-based parenting
By grace...our children will be surrounded with words of hope, of forgiveness when they completely blow it
By grace...we'll lead them to You, the only One who is mighty to save
By grace...we'll honor this calling of motherhood, and do it to the best of our ability; trusting You to provide each and every need.
By grace...we'll work, play, worship, laugh, cry, share, talk with our children, giving our attention even when we don't feel that we can. You'll help us to do this by grace.
By grace...we'll discipline and disciple with the end, and not just the moment, in mind
By grace...we'll be a mother, a family who honors You and makes your name great.
By grace Lord...by grace, we ask for all of this in Jesus' Name.
post written by Daniele of Domestic Serenity
Any other books you'd suggest?