As a follow-up to my previous post about our Early Childhood Discipline Strategy, I feel led to express how important grace is in parenting as well. While we definitely see the importance of setting standards in the training of our children, we also see the greater importance of extending grace.
After all, we have been extended great grace by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)
Our children need to know that at times, although they deserve the due consequence for their action, our home is ultimately a place of grace.
One way that we extend grace in our home is to consider the basic needs of our children. For instance, when my children are over-tired, hungry, or longing for some quality time, certain unfavorable behaviors are likely to ensue. In those moments, the last thing they need is a time out or a spanking. What they need to see is a Mom and a Dad who is willing to extend grace and meet their basic inner needs.
As parents, we have a responsibility to constantly be entrusting ourselves to Christ and allowing Him to give us wisdom and discernment in how to balance discipline and grace as we become more and more in tune to the basic needs and inner workings of our children.
And to be completely honest, sometimes the best time to extend grace to our children is when they are least deserving.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)