means receiving something that is undeserved. As a recipient of God's grace, I know that it goes beyond anything that makes sense to me. I have been conditioned to believe that one must pay for ones mistakes. That there is a punishment for every crime.
Nothing about grace makes sense.
Nothing about it seems fair or right.
As a recipient of God's amazing grace, it is my responsibility to live this grace out for others to receive as well. One of the main places I can do this is at home. My kids need to have an understanding of grace more than they need to comprehend science skills or math facts. They need to experience grace more than the joys of playing on a sporting team.
In what ways can we practically demonstrate grace in our homes so that our kids can truly come to understand what this term means?
1. We use grace in our dealings with our spouse: This one area is a super practical way for kids to see grace lived out. Do you treat your spouse with kindness and favor that is undeserved? I'm not talking about living as a doormat. I'm referring to a grace that goes above and beyond. Instead of responses to your spouse that are cutting and maybe even sarcastic, respond with grace. Allow your kids to see Jesus in the way you communicate with your spouse.
2.Don't remind kids of past mistakes: One thing I'm quick to do is to rehash the days events when my husband gets home from work. I often give him a rundown of all that happened. Included in this are the wrongs my children have committed. My daughter commented recently that this hurt her. Oh wow. Grace says "I forgive you." "this never happened." Grace doesn't throw things back in the face of the offender. Grace says "it's over."
3. How we talk about and treat others: This particular area is a deadly one for most of us. The way that we talk about other people in our home can easily show our kids what a grace based life looks like. We can't say things about another person's race, economic status, or the choices they've made without us demonstrating exactly what grace is not. Talk about others with much grace.
4. We intentionally love others: When we look for people who may be different than
us and extend grace to that person, then Jesus is glorified. It demonstrates in a practical way that demonstrating grace is beyond our own doing. We look for ways to build other people up. We love them in practical ways.
5. Shame isn't present at home: Most of us tend to be pretty good at shaming others, especially our children. When our home is full of grace we give kids (and spouses) room to make mistakes. We deal with mistakes and respond accordingly but we don't cast shame. We deal with each mistake graciously. "Grace isn't passive towards sin. It clearly upholds the moral and relational guidelines of the Bible and disciplines children when they make mistakes. But it always does it graciously without cultivating shame and with the child's best
interest in mind." (Kimmel, "Connecting Church & Home")
A family that is grace based is a family that is calling each other to live at a higher moral standard. It is loving (and understanding) each other enough to demonstrate the heart of Jesus rather than respond in the ways of the world.
How about you? How does your family demonstrate grace?