This week, we're in Chapter 3 of the Give Them Grace book club. To join us, all you need is a copy of Give Them Grace. After that, read these posts:
Join us in the Family Discipleship Facebook Group for more discussion throughout the week!
Simple Law of Parenting Debunked
If you're a Type A person like me, you like the rules. You like having boundaries and predictable outcomes. We like the “good parenting in, good children out” pattern of raising kids. Sadly, the world doesn't really work this way and it is certainly not God's way.
The authors keep telling us that there is no simple parenting law. God is all about grace and if we focus on the Law, then we're missing the point.
“We are always to do our best, striving to be obedient and to love, nurture, and discipline them. But we are to do it with faith in the Lord's ability to transform hearts, not in our ability to be consistent or faithful.”
So what is the point? The point is grace. It's all about grace. We do our best and pray that our children respond to God's grace.
The Wrong Reasons
“If you are angry, frustrated, or despairing because you work so hard and they aren't responding, then you're working (at least in part) for the wrong reasons.”
That line really hit home for me. Just the other day, I stood in my kitchen whining to my husband about how I must be such a terrible mother because I can't control my boys and they won't do what I tell them to do. It was a moment of frustration. I'd taken my eyes off the long-term goal and my role in the process.
You see, I could try to do everything right according to the law, and I'd still fail. I'd fail because my boys growing up to be godly men is much more about God's saving grace than any work I could ever do.
“Works righteousness is motivated by unbelief; it is a reliance on our abilities and a desire to control outcomes.”
If I come to the realization that my work for works' sake means nothing, the understanding that I can't control the outcome is what completely tears me apart. I'm a control freak. I'm a perfectionist.
But parenting isn't about the rules. It's about the story:
“God doesn't promise our children's salvation in response to our obedience, because he never encourages self-reliance. It would be against God's character to give us a promise that our children will be saved if we raise them in a certain way. That would mean that he was telling us to trust in something other than Christ and his grace and mercy. He would be encouraging us to trust in ourselves, and God never does that. The way of the Lord is always a way of faith–faith in his goodness, mercy, and love. Our faith is to be in him, not in ourselves.”
After reading chapter 3 of Give Them Grace, what do you have to say about the story? Do you need to stop trying to control the outcome of your parenting? How can you focus on grace instead of works?
Share your thoughts in the comments below and in the Family Discipleship Facebook Group.
Have you written a blog post on chapter 3 that you'd like to share? Please add it to the link-up!
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