Christian Parenting: Grace-Full Parenting
From the Christian Parenting Corner
by Sylvia Cochran
by Sylvia Cochran
What signifies the relationships in your household? Are interactions with your children and co-parent filled with grace? Conversely, do you hold grudges and let yesterday’s disagreements color today’s exchanges? Grace filled parenting should be the hallmark of a Christian household, but far too often grace gets lost and the worldly example of tit for tat wins out.
Grace-Full Parenting Replaces Rules and Regulations
As a Christian parent, you doubtlessly know that God’s grace is offered to all of mankind, even though it is entirely underserved. What is more, God’s grace can never be earned or paid for by man. Sinners who have separated themselves from God have no way back, other than through the mediation and intercession of Jesus Christ.
Grace filled parenting follows a similar concept. Rather than relying on the rules and regulations of the household to carry the familial interactions, grace is the choice to forgive and consciously banish ill will and negative thoughts about other family members from your mind and heart. It is not dependent on vociferous apologies or shows of making amends.
If your child disobeyed you today, do not let her feel the sting of your anger and disappointment tomorrow. While they are young, this is a relatively easy concept to remember; it is when they hit the preteen and teen years that this becomes progressively harder to put into practice.
Grace-Less Parenting Results in Legalistic Attachment
Have you ever spoken with a friend and heard her sigh as she has to make a mad dash to the grocery store for a last minute mother’s day card or birthday gift for a parent? If so, you have probably come face to face with the results of grace-less parenting: legalistic attachment or devotion.
Guilt promotes rebellion that results in parental wrath; subsequently the adult child will have a legalistic attachment to the parent but with very little sincere love and heart behind it. Hence the sighing and complaining while still fulfilling the supposed duty of procuring a card to honor a special day that in other families is a time for joy, reminiscence, and enjoyment of closeness.
Adding Grace to Your Parenting
Christian parents, you will be heartened to learn that adding grace to your parenting is surprisingly simple: it stems from being at peace with God as well as yourself. 1 Corinthians 15:10 teaches that Paul claimed the underserved grace of God and saw it as the root cause of all that he had become when he turned away from persecuting Christians and instead became a disciple of Christ himself.
You, too, can live by grace and remind yourself again and again of the grace you have received. In so doing, it is virtually impossible not to also forgive the disrespectful preteen in her room or the teen who is trying your patience on a consistentl basis. Just as God’s grace was not without effect on you, count on it that your grace toward your children will not be without effect on them, either.
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