Grace based parenting may not be what you think
But some of the meanings that have been poured into the word “grace” are not exactly accurate…
- Some believe that grace means their sin doesn’t matter (when the truth is that it mattered so much Christ gave His life to remove it).
- Some believe that grace means they get a “pass” on their sinful behavior (when the Bible argues in exactly the opposite way – Romans 6:1-7)
- Some believe that others have no right to “judge” them regarding their behavior (when in reality the Bible instructs Christians to exhort and admonish each other concerning sinful behavior).
- Some believe grace removes “standards” of Christian behavior, and any attempts to uphold such standards is legalism (when most of the New Testament TEACHES standards of Christian behavior).
are carried over into the way many
Christian parents handle their children.
So what DOES ”grace” mean? It means that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He helps us.
He doesn’t remove the standards of holiness, or say that they no longer matter. He fulfills them for us in Christ AND helps us attain them practically through the empowerment of His Holy Spirit.
What true Grace based parenting looks like
Grace based parenting doesn’t remove God’s holy rules, or lessen the consequences of sin. Grace based parenting “helps” the child by showing them 4 things:
- The problem of their own sin.
- That they are breaking God’s holy standards.
- The love and help offered through Jesus.
- The role obedience plays in receiving and applying the grace of God’s help.
Notice how these 4 things were highlighted
THE PROBLEM IS IDENTIFIED: Johnny is sinning against his brother by not sharing.
THE STANDARD IS IDENTIFIED: Jesus (and mommy) expect him to love his brother by sharing.
GOD’S LOVE AND HELP IS PRESENTED: Jesus loves him and wants to help him love his brother (grace).
THE ROLE OBEDIENCE PLAYS: Jesus helps you when you obey Mommy and share.
In this case, the Mom is God’s tool to help the child obey. As he matures, Mom and Dad help him know how to obey on his own, relying on Jesus as his strength. But no matter the age, this pattern can be implemented. The sin is identified. God’s thoughts about the situation are revealed. God’s love for the child and desire to help him is clarified, and the action the child needs to take (with Jesus’ help) is explained.
Grace is God’s help to us. Grace based parenting is us helping our children to love and obey God.
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