What is grace? One definition is that grace is kindness we don’t deserve. Let’s say you make a huge mistake at work that ends up costing the company $1,000,000. They could fire you, and you’d probably expect that. Or they may offer you grace and you get to keep your job. While you might think you just got real lucky the company may see it as they spent a $1,000,000 training you and, knowing what you know now, you’ll never make that mistake again.
Our kids are in training. And as parents, we are the trainers. As much as we’d like to think our kids are perfect they’re not. They are going to make mistakes – some small ones (oops I spilled my milk) and some big ones (I know I don’t have a license but I thought I could drive…until that tree got in the way). Being the trainer isn’t always fun and it certainly can be a challenge. But it’s part of what we signed up for when we decided to have kids. How we handle our training, especially when our kids mess up, is important. Often discipline is the best course of action. But sometimes, maybe more than we think, we just need to offer our kids some grace.
Why is grace important? And why do my kids need grace? We made mistakes when we were kids. Probably some of the same mistakes our kids are making. And as we’re the ones doing the training we need to look at ourselves to see if maybe we’re not training them so well. If we do some self-examination and determine we’re doing a good job in the area of the problem, and our kids are being defiant or rebellious to our instruction, then proper discipline is in order to get them back on track.
But, if during the self-examination we realize that we haven’t defined clear boundaries or other areas of our training have been lacking (even if they should have “known better”) grace may be in order. Remember grace is kindness we don’t deserve. And sometimes grace is a better teacher than punishment
Think of the times you’ve been offered grace. I imagine those are fond memories. So add some “grace” to your parental repertoire. It could have an impact that will last a lifetime.