We're continuing our Give Them Grace book club this week with Chapter 1. To join us, all you need is a copy of Give Them Grace. After that, read the announcement about the book club and the post from last week about the foreword and introduction. And don't forget to join us in the Family Discipleship Facebook Group for more discussion.
Areas of Obedience
The authors talk a lot in this chapter about the four areas of obedience. These are:
- Initial Obedience
- Social Obedience
- Civic Obedience
- Religious Obedience
Each of these areas is important for our kids to learn to obey, but none of these are tied to salvation. None of these types of obedience can win God's approval. None make a person right with God.
No one can perfectly obey God's law, but we still have to continually teach the law. When our kids realize that they can't obey God's law, we can point them to Jesus and their need for a Savior.
“Everything that isn't gospel is law.”
Has the Bible become a book of rules or a living story to share the gospel? While necessary, over-stressing these four areas of obedience can easily blind kids (and adults!) to their need for a Savior.
Law vs Gospel in Practice
This chapter was really eye opening for me in many ways. Sure, I understood the difference between law and grace, but I certainly haven't been putting it into practice in my parenting. It doesn't help that I'm a type A rule follower, which makes it easy for me to expect my boys to be the same way. It's so easy to fall into the trap of expecting my boys to be obedient to the rules but forget that compliance doesn't equal true heart change.
I need to change my terminology. Obedience in the initial, social, civic, and religious arenas is important to successfully living in society, but that kind of obedience will not save the souls of my kids. I must focus more on teaching God's law in a way that points their hearts to Jesus.
Two of my three boys have already made personal decisions to follow Jesus. But, they are still little boys. They are still immature and lacking in wisdom and experience. They, like all of us, are still going through the process of sanctification. The process of becoming more like Christ takes a lifetime. For them, it is vital that I remind them of their inability to follow the law perfectly and that the Holy Spirit lives in them to help them do what they are unable to do on their own. Each day is an exercise in faith, trust, and listening to the Holy Spirit within them.
After reading chapter 1 of Give Them Grace, what do you have to say about these areas of obedience? How do you encourage obedience in these 4 areas while making it clear that kind of obedience does not make you right with God?
Share your thoughts in the comments below and in the Family Discipleship Facebook Group.
Have you written a blog post on chapter 1 that you'd like to share? Please add it to the link-up!
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