I have been blessed with six great kids; four boys and two girls whom I love very much. Like most parents, I want the absolute best for them. I want God’s best for them. Yet in my pursuit for God’s best, I have occasionally stepped out of bounds in understanding my parental role.
I have learned to choose grace over control.
At times, parenting can be watered down to behavior control. Through the guise of the do’s and don’ts we demanded of kids we’ve inadvertently become obsessed with what behaviors we can get from our kids. Instead, we should be more pressed in to what we can do for them in their thinking, reasoning, trusting, and believing.
It is reasonable for parents to expect their child to be respectful, reverent, and responsible. Many times the action plans, strategies, and tactics we implement and enforce have only provided the parent with a false sense of achievement. Things work perfectly until the child begins to express his curiosity and capacity for reasoning, then all our parental hubris begins to wane and tail spins out of control.
It can be all about control.
So… what do parents typically do to remedy their ego and their kid’s behavior? They impose tighter home policies and procedures. This will not improve the situation.
God’s Word very clearly states as His children we are no longer under the schoolmaster of the law, but under grace. He teaches us how to live a life of success and promise.
If God uses grace to teach me, I should be using this same grace to lead and guide my kids.
Grace will teach parents to be what they need to be for their children. This will prove to supersede and exceed all your expectations as a parent. Through grace flows God’s love. His Word tells us of the commandment that Jesus gave to His disciples and all Christians, “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
Grace is a gift that we have been freely given by God. Showing that grace and love to our children is so much more important than our ability to control them. It takes a paradigm shift to embrace a different way of parenting but it is very rewarding. For me it has been refreshing to approach parenting from God’s perspective instead of my own.
I am free and so are my children!
I chose grace over control.
“……as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
What experiences could you share about showing grace?
By Thomas Williams
Husband to Karla
Dad of 6
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Speaker, Writer, and Advocate for Children