We all love our kids. Before I became a mother I never realized how deeply a parent loves their child. It is an intense love that goes beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. There is this primal instinct to protect, nurture and love them with every fiber of our being. With that said, let’s admit it, sometimes they can drive us a little crazy! Sure they’re angels but we’ve all experienced their dark side also. What mom hasn’t seen their little cherub throw a tantrum, or their teenager act in rebellion? The truth is they’re human and so are we. They’ll make mistakes, we’ll make mistakes and it is important that we’re forgiving and give our children the same grace our Father gives us.
I think about the many missteps I’ve made during my lifetime and I’m so grateful that God has always given me the grace I didn’t deserve. As a parent of a five year old I’m reminded of how important it is to give my daughter that same grace. We’re living in a tough world and discipline is vital to our child’s well-being. We have a responsibility to raise them with morals, values, and to instill a love of God in them. We also have the tough job of disciplining and correcting them when we see them headed in the wrong direction. I’ve always believed discipline has to be mixed with love for it to be effective. If you’re just barking orders and punishing your child and not taking the time to gently discuss why you’re disciplining them, chances are they’ll rebel or lingering hurt feelings develop. If our goal is to instill a love for God in our children, then we have to be an example of his love. His love is awesome! We may never be able to perfectly imitate God’s love for us but we can try act as Jesus did. We can show our children forgiveness, unconditional love, and grace.
Sometimes we are all just a little unnecessarily tough on one another. It is easy hold each other hostage to mistakes made and this has long term detrimental spiritual and emotional consequences. Does God hold all of our sins against us? When we ask for forgiveness aren’t we forgiven? The Lord knows we’re sinners, it isn’t a surprise to him and he doesn’t expect us to be perfect. It’s important our children understand we don’t expect them to be without fault. They should know there are consequences for their actions, but there is also forgiveness, understanding, and grace from us. When our children receive this from us they are more likely to give grace to others and to want to be on the right path. They’ll also feel more comfortable coming to use when they do something wrong or are in a s sticky situation. Give your children grace as the Lord has so freely given it to you, your children will appreciate it.
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