Sunday, April 11, 2010

Grace is not like dessert

Has God ever spoken to you through your own mouth?

This happened to me today.  In our ABF (sunday school) class at church, we were briefly talking about forgiveness, and I actually can't remember exactly what I said.  Something about how when we forgive others, we are the most like Jesus.  Yet many underestimate the importance of forgiving and don't do it, or they only do it with their mouths and not their hearts, continuing to carry bad feelings or a bad attitude toward the person who offended.

And God spoke to me.  Instantly.

Do I forgive my children their little sins and "offenses" (as I suppose, against me) during each day?

Do I realize how crucial and absolutely important it is for them that I do so?


He broke my heart over it.

I remembered specific words I have spoken to Sam about lying and about earning trust.

Wow.  Do I want him to grow up feeling like he has to earn God's "trust" or love after he fails (even if it is the hundredth time)?

God's grace is limitless.  Is mine?  Not in relation to my children.  But it should be.  After all, I am striving to be more and more like Jesus.  And I'm telling my children each and every day to show Jesus and His love to everyone they meet.

My children will understand the fullness of God's grace first through me.  I want to provide them with as TRUE a picture as I can.  Not judgmental, angry, annoyed, reluctant.  But grace poured over them like I poured water over their heads as babies during their baths.  Like a baptism of grace.  Not like a cookie I give them after lunch as a well-earned treat.  Can we overdo this?  I don't believe so.  If our children are corrected and brought to repentance (for we are the ones that tell them to apologize at this point in their life), this grace should be given freely and abundantly.  Like Jesus.  Always like Jesus.

God reveals Himself to our children through us as their parents.  Yes, it is scary.  Yes, it is TRUE.  My daily prayer is for Spirit-filled parenting.

And God also reveals Himself to us through our children.  As I had demonstrated to me this morning.

Lord, give us the grace that it takes as parents to respond lavishly even to the grudging, "I'm sorry.  Will you forgive me?" from our children.  May they understand and accept Your grace more readily because of the grace they received from me.   And please love them through me and let them see that love, not the frustration of the mom ready to send them to their room for the rest of their lives.

Kind of like getting to eat dessert after you threw your plate of uneaten food against the wall in anger.  Not that this has ever happened at our house.  Yet.  I'm just saying, that's extravagant grace.  Actually, TRUE grace is always extravagant, isn't it?  That's it's nature.  His nature.

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