I hope you are joining us and reading Give Them Grace. Each week an HSV writer will share a preview of the chapter we will be starting (rather than the typical wrap up). We all have such busy schedules I hope this preview will give you an interest to be intentional and carve out some time to read with us!
This week, Jodi, Granola Mom 4 God shares …
I watched a funny video once. It depicted a rather stoic Jesus reciting the 10 commandments. Focusing entirely on obedience to these rules. In this parody, Jesus says, “I’m Jesus. And these are the rules.”
A rule enforcer? The ultimate spiritual police officer? This is a far cry from the reality of Jesus. But I wonder, is this how I present my Savior to my children?
We sit down to have a meal. Be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Before I sit down I hear the words, “Don’t eat! We haven’t prayed. Mommy, Gabe’s eating and we haven’t prayed. Make him stoppppppp!!!!!”
Or after a weekend with Grandma, Ezra will say, “Mommy, you have to close your eyes when you pray. And it is better if you fold your hands.”
We do our best to instruct our children, to train them up in the Lord. We read the Bible to them, hopefully daily. We sing silly church songs. Veggitales fills our DVD player. Our van drives to church each Sunday. We serve in children’s ministry. We tithe. We pray over meals, boo-boo’s, and nightmares.
It’s not enough.
Do our kids understand that it is only the righteous life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that saves them, as Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson point out in the first chapter of Give them Grace?
Just because my kids can comb their hair, brush their teeth, open the door for ladies, and sit quietly in church doesn’t mean that they know Jesus or that I have it all together. It means that either they inherited some DNA called obedience or some time-outs have been employed.
Giving my children the law . . . or teaching them how to act won’t save them.
Yes, give them God’s law. Teach it to them and tell them that God commands obedience. But before you are done, give them grace and explain again that the beautiful story of Christ’s perfect keeping of it for them. (pp 36)
As you read chapter one of Give them Grace, remember that “outward conformity to religious exercise is not proof of regeneration.” (pp 32)
Let me repeat, “outward conformity to religious exercise is not proof of regeneration.”
When I worked with my children this past week, I tried to hear my words as if they were recorded. What did I sound like? What was my posture? Was I pointing a finger? Were three fingers pointing back at me? When I demand obedience, why did I yell to accomplish it? Why was my ridiculous Super Glue attachment to perfection so important? Really . . . why?
- To look good?
- Impress others?
- To do the right thing?
Or am I a little misguided? Is it possible I still have yet something to learn? A new parenting skill. Bonus material straight from heaven. Discipline seasoned with grace. Words that train up my child, guide my child, and hopefully provide the plumb line for holy living.
I am seeing the need to use a set of 10 Commandments that aren’t made of stone . . . but of rubber.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)
I don’t wish to break my children’s spirit when I rescue them out of disobedience. Cracking the Law on their head. Causing a concussion resulting in rote obedience.
Instead I want to allow Jesus to use those rules as an eraser of our sin that HE carries and uses. Not us.
I want my children to know the Story — the Author of the Story . . . and not just what happens when the Author’s words are disobeyed.
I can’t wait to see what you thought of chapter 1 – please share your thoughts in the comments !!