I have a confession to make. I did something terrible. You know those sins you’d rather have no one know about? This was one of them.
What did I do?
I tore a dress.
When I was 8 years old, I tore my mum’s favourite and most expensive dress. I know, it’s really bad. It was so beautiful, I had to try it on, even if it didn’t fit. I put the long dress on me and I took a step and landed on the bottom of the dress, tearing it along the seam.
Immediately, I knew I was in big trouble. It was absolutely, 100% my fault!
With tears streaming down my face, I showed my mother what I’d done. She looked at me with shock but then something amazing happened….
…. she hugged me.
She told me she could easily get it fixed and it’s going to be alright. Honestly, it wasn’t fair that I tore the dress and now she has pay to get it fixed.
This was my first real experience of grace. It became clear that grace isn’t about getting what we deserve. I deserved punishment. But I didn’t get it. I got grace instead.
Here are 3 ways to teach grace to children.
Before you can teach your children grace, you need to experience it for yourself. When we accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness into our lives, we receive grace. It’s not something we can earn or even deserve, but because of God’s love we can experience grace every day. So we need to practice remembering.
Take a moment to pause and thank God for His unconditional grace. It’ll become easier to show your children grace when you remember who gave it to you first.
The golden rule states “Treat others as you’d like to be treated” (Matthew 7:12). As your child’s role model, exemplifying grace is the best way to teach them about it. Explain situations where you’ve shown or received grace from others, giving them examples to think about and possibly even practice. Share your thoughts, invite them to ask questions and spark that conversation.
Take the time to read the Bible with your children, showing them stories of true grace. As they read more Bible stories, they begin to understand grace and identify situations where they can start practising grace. The precious time spent together will also deepen your relationship with them.
Remember: Grace-based parenting does not mean your children can do whatever they want. They still need to learn discipline, responsibility and understand there are consequences for their actions.
How will you show a child grace this week? It doesn’t take much. It can be as simple as a hug.
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