I sat at the Oak Hills main campus this week for Sunday service and listened to Dr. Kimmel speak about a grace based family and knew I had to share this message with all of you. It spoke to my heart and made me pray for God's forgiveness in my failures as a parent and offer thanks that despite my lack of grace I have an awesome family.
There are four freedoms that a grace based family provides the people they love, the first is the freedom to be different. Yes our children will often want to do things that we don't agree with and grace is required to allow them to do things that they feel help them express themselves. We as parents should provide guidance but not the kind that starts with outright no's with no explanation or reason. Train a child in the way he should go doesn't mean make excuses and deprive our children of the freedom to learn from their own decisions.
Second, the freedom to be vulnerable, is one that is difficult for most of us as we want to protect those we love and therefore stand in the gap every chance we get. But God allows us the vulnerability of not interfering with every aspect of our lives and so too we must learn to stand back and allow those we love to experience the vulnerability of life's challenges. Trust God to watch over them and allow them to experience life even when it makes them vulnerable.
Thirdly, be candid and speak your mind with love and grace. Don't make excuses or create non existent biblical support for your position but rather be vulnerable and state your fears. Your love one's will better understand your position if you tell them the truth about how you feel about what is taking place in their lives. Our unwillingness to be vulnerable often leads to a lack of grace and decisions that are more our reality than that of the love one we are addressing.
Finally, we must be graceful in allowing our loved ones to make their mistakes without reacting unkindly. I have messed this one up too many times with my friends, children and my lovely wife. Oh, how this one makes me cry for forgiveness. Our loved ones will make mistakes, yes even after we warned them not to do something and they do it anyway. It is in this time that we must demonstrate the Grace of God, showing understanding, compassion, and love. How can we not, given the reality that our heavenly father has provided us with his grace and forgiveness. Yes discipline and correction are a form of God's grace, but so his forgiveness and compassion. Remember Romans 5:8, but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Praise God!
These four freedoms remind us of God's willingness to give us the freedom to choose, let us do the same for those we love. Just a little advise to go!