I recently posted a lengthy article which laid out six supracultural biblical parenting principles. To be “supracultural” means they are principles that apply in every single culture. To be “biblical” means they are attitudes we see taught in Scripture, but not necessarily about parenting. I applied them to parenting, however, in my original article.
My original post is found here. It was quite long, so someone encouraged me to rerelease it as six individual posts. This is part two of six; it excludes the original introduction and gets right to the questions.
Does my parenting style emphasize grace?
Supracultural Principle: Christians believe in God’s grace, demonstrated and accessed through the gospel. As a result, we long to communicate grace motivations rather than law motivations.
We know this to be true: God has extended grace to us.
I recently taught the book of Titus to our church. There, Paul explained, “The grace of God has appeared. It saves us. It is training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.” This grace, he continued, makes us a people “who are zealous for good works.”
This is what grace can produce. Harsh law produces rebellion, a broken spirit, discouragement. But grace produces life. To see the death we were under, but the patience and grace of God in the midst of it, is life giving. To see my sin, but then to see His cross, awakens my heart.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel…it is the power of God for salvation.” God’s gospel power produces robust salvation. It is positional and future, but it is right now. The gospel is God’s weapon to save me from everything, including myself.
Do I believe this for my children? Do I only share good morals with my children? Do I often share the gospel with them?
This is often evidenced in how we talk to them of our own growth as individuals. Do we come accross as self-made or grace-made? Do we talk of the patience God has had with us, the transformation He has worked in us?
My children love to hear of God’s patient work in my life. To apologize to them, to tell them of my need of God’s grace and mercy, is helpful to their souls.
Do you show your children that we were all lost in sin, sinful by nature, in need of Jesus’ redemption? Do they know of the Spirit’s help to obey?
Are you satisfied with outward obedience? Do you pray for heart change and transformation? This will only occur via grace. The home cannot be filled with rules, yet absent of love. This graceless existence harms the work of God in their lives.
We must extend grace to our children. If I only favor my children when they behave well, I communicate law. But when they know they have been disobedient, yet I still love them, I communicate grace.
Sometimes grace works itself out in a home when parents remove temptations from their children. Sometimes we say, “Don’t watch that, don’t touch that, don’t do that.” There are times, however, when it is wise to just remove the option altogether.
The reason is grace. You know they are like you, born in sin. The flesh is strong and the sinful desires are real. Rather than put them in a position to fail, sometimes grace says, “I see your weakness and want to help you in it.”