We were in the thick of the teaching and training of a feisty, stubborn, 2 year old. He was my hard to handle child, and he answered most of my requests with the question “Why?” or “No!” On this particular evening he was standing in front of our fireplace, huge tears streaming down his chubby cheeks, because his parents would not allow him to touch the fire! Each time he crossed the designated “don’t go past this point” line, he would be met with an undesirable consequence. The battle continued until he reached the point where he would stand, toes firmly planted on the line, crying because he couldn’t have what he desired! His father and I calmly explained to him the danger involved with fire, told him that we loved him, and that we wanted to protect him. Still, the tears continued to flow because he had been denied his heart’s desire.
God has brought this somewhat comical scenario to mind many times over the years, when I have felt disappointed or upset over circumstances that were not exactly what I had wanted. It has served as a reminder to me that we can all behave very much like that stubborn 2 year old, often wanting something that God is withholding from us for our own good. When I am reminded of how patient and loving God has been with me, it reminds me that I am not much different than my own children when they were toddlers. We have all been born into a sin cursed world, our flesh often crying out for things that could potentially cause us harm.
On a daily basis, God lavishes me with His riches and blessings when I don’t deserve them, when I have done nothing to earn it, when I have not heeded His warnings, and I have even resisted His counsel. We have an amazing privilege and opportunity to teach our children what the meaning of grace is by putting it into action as we interact with them through every season of their lives, as we respond to them in the challenges of daily life— even when they resist authority, even when they make mistakes. As they navigate the battles of life, they need us to extend grace to them daily and celebrate with them in times of victory.
6 Important Prayers That Will Help You See Your Children Through Eyes of Grace
1. Pray for God to work in the heart’s of your children.We see in God’s Word that when Jesus looked at the heart of sinners, his primary goal was for there to be a changed heart and that there be reconciliation with God. Paul says, “If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness” . God’s focus is restoration. Consequences? Of course! But always with the goal of restoration!
2. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. As a parents we must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us as we live life with our children. Interacting with our children in this way will bring God’s grace into each moment – even the difficult ones!
3. Pray that God would enable you to see your children through “eyes of grace”. As he enables me to see them in this way, I find that my frustration and irritation is replaced with a desire to connect with my children and show them the same grace that God shows me every day!
4. Pray that you would be daily reminded – A huge part of your calling as a parent is to come along side your children in their process of growth, and to treat them in the way you desire to be treated in your own process of growth! The same way God treats you on a daily basis.
5. Pray that you will be grace-driven and not performance-driven. We can choose to have a rigid, rule-oriented, performance-driven environment, or we can choose to have a flexibly structured, grace-filled home.
6. Pray the you will learn how to be your children’s biggest cheerleader and support system. Celebrating your children and showing them the same grace you have experienced from your Heavenly Father helps to view your kids as more than just your children who need to be raised, but as precious people who need to be pointed to Christ.
Lets pray that God will open our eyes to how we can live a grace filled life with our children, pointing them to our Savior.
**Gina has a newly updated book entitled: “Grace Gifts”. You can purchase your copy at amazon.com!
“As parents we can be tempted to look for methods of parenting, when what we really need is principles. The principles found in “Grace Gifts” can be carried out a hundred different ways. They can actually be custom-fit to your particular family. “Grace Gifts” is a short book, is perfect for busy moms, and is filled with ideas and practical ways that can help your children understand God’s grace. It is one of those books you will want to reference over and over again.“