Last spring,our beloved Amy wrote a beautiful guest post for me. In it, she allowed us a peek inside her mission for her home –that it might be a place filled with joy, an overflow of her experience with the Ultimate Joy. Her words have crawled into my mind and I often think about the atmosphere I long for and the one that, in all reality, I create. As I’ve thought this through and sought God’s heart on how my children can experience our home as a place of joy, I realize more and more that before our home will be consistently joyful, I must consistently fall before the Father and plead with Him that I might be filled with grace. Over and over throughout the New Testament, we are reminded of the pivotal role of grace in the gospel of Good News. Without grace – unmerited favor from our God – there would be no gospel. Without grace, there is no Good News. I’m learning more and more every day how to extend grace to those around me – to neighbors and strangers, to those who I relate to and those I disagree with, to my husband and to my friends. How is it possible that it is so difficult to extend grace to my own children? When I hold up my words, my tone, my actions, and my thoughts to the truth of God’s Word, this is a glaring example of my weakness and my need for surrender (once again).
“Let your conversation always be full of grace . . .” Colossians 4:6
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15
Oh, how how often my conversations with my children lack grace. Oh, how often they miss the grace of God in my interactions with them. Oh, how I wish that weren’t true. I have to think that this is the hardest context in which to extend grace because it is the one dynamic in which I am responsible for both encouragement and correction. It’s so easy to become consumed in the correcting and lose a heart that is soaked in grace. And yet. Grace is unmerited favor, and I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father extends grace towards me even as He corrects me, that His favor towards me is evident even as He responds to my disobedience. And if my children will grow to understand God as Parent through the ways in which they experience me,I’ve decided I want to err on the side of grace every time. In chapter 4 of his letter to the church, James reminds us that it is God who gives us more grace. More grace, more grace, more grace, more grace. I whisper it all day long. Further reading: Families Where Grace Is In Place– Jeff VanVonderen Grace-Based Parenting– Tim Kimmel Any and all ofAnn Voskamp’s reflections on mothering Megan is a wife of twelve years and mama to two beautiful girls. She writes on natural living, mothering, and faith atSortaCrunchy. photo source