I don’t know about you, but I had a rough day. I was not a very nice or gracious mom today. My tone was mean, my patience was almost obsolete, and I had to apologize a lot. We had some good moments splattered throughout, but overall it was not good. I am really thankful for God’s grace, and for second, third and fiftieth chances… and that we don’t have to walk this road without Him.
All this to say, that Nicole’s post on living out grace is timely and needed; at least for this mamma.
Living Out Grace (Part 2)
Purpose: (Inspire a purpose)
The second driving need in our children is significance. They want to feel wanted, to feel important.
Think for a moment what is important in life to you? What do you stress about? Is it toxic? Maybe a clean house, gossiping, wanting more money, or having a good image is what’s important?
Children pick up on what is significant in their parents’ life. I found a great “kids project” on the internet last year; the project was interviewing your children yearly on the things they love, what goes on at home, etc.
Well, one of the questions I asked my (then two year old) son was, “What does mommy do with you during the day?” His response, “Mommy works on her computer, and I play.”
I didn’t realize that he would recognize that I was on the computer if I was still engaged in conversation with him. Needless to say, I changed that. Now, I make sure my computer time is limited, and try to line it up with naps and bedtime so that they have my full attention. This is why I cannot get an iPhone; I probably wouldn’t give my children the attention they need.
I can tell my children that they are important all I want, but if I’m not showing it- it doesn’t matter. I want to inspire my children’s purpose in their life. Micah 6:8 (NIV) says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
I have a mom friend who took her children to a glorified play land. Her kids played great until her son ran up to her explaining he accidentally broke a toy. The owner of the place was rude to my friend. My friend tried paying for the broken toy, but this woman wanted nothing to do with her apology. My friend had two options. She could have modeled grace towards the owner (in front of her children) by forgiving the woman and giving her another chance; or my friend could have chosen to never take her children back and become bitter.
The owner was clearly having a bad day and took it out on the customers (which so happened to be my friend). Does this give her license to treat others badly? No. But no one is perfect, heck- if I was judged on my worst day, I know I wouldn’t have any friends. Thank God for His grace, His forgiveness and His unconditional love.
Teaching your kids through life lessons like this can model to them the grace we should demonstrate to others. Is it an inconvenience or opportunity? Our children see our reactions, they hear our words, and they understand the division and unity. Inspire them with a purpose to submit to God, to walk humbly with him, to forgive others, to be a model of grace to those surrounding them. You are their example.
Hope: (Model your faith)
The third inner need of our children is strength. They desire to have strength in something. There are many knock-offs for this, I am going to go straight into the God-gift we can give them: Hope.
I heard a cool sermon by Francis Chan. He talked about searching for “God moments” in your life. That spoke volumes to me. I knew I needed to pray more with my toddlers, so I started. The key to prayer with your children is that you follow-up with them. For example, my three year old cut his finger a few weeks ago and we prayed that Jesus would heal his wound. We applied the band-aid and went to bed. The next morning I saw the band-aid on his finger and said, “How does your finger feel?” My son replied, “Better, Jesus healed it!”
That was a cool mom moment. I was searching for the “God moment”, prayed, followed up with answered prayer and my kids got to be a part of it! Your model of faith during rough times is important. Setting the foundation in the small prayers (cut finger/band-aid) build up to the moments when life is tough and we need a taste of hope. Jotting down these “God moments” are a great reminder to our children that God is working in their lives, that He is present, and that there is hope through Him. Jesus did not leave us orphans, He gave us the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth to be our aide.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
|Overflow with the hope He provides.|
By His Grace,
I’m Nicole. I’m married, I know- lucky him! My husband and I have two toddlers who keep us on our toes, laughing. We share a passion for our youth ministry; we love sharing God’s word to our 40 + youth kids. I blog about my adventures in motherhood at Mission:Mom.