Failing The Grace Test
I fail the show-grace-to-my-children test a lot. But yesterday I had a chance to show grace instead of frustration with my daughter and was reminded of the grace I’ve been given.
We had ten minutes to spare before we needed to get in the car and head to ballet. I was running around searching for her ballet shoes and packing up my computer and planner to get a little work done while I waited on her to finish. As I was searching for a pen and getting our youngest ready to walk out the door, our daughter went to use the bathroom and accidentally peed all over herself. Her leotard and tights were ruined. Pee was everywhere. She’s been potty trained for years but she forgets that her leotard isn’t a regular skirt you can just pull up and potty.
She started sobbing because she was afraid we wouldn’t get to go to ballet. Over and over she apologized and truthfully, I wasn’t upset with her.
As I stood there and watched her cry huge tears, I felt the nudge inside to extend grace and to not show frustration. I was reminded that I’ve been shown a lot of grace.
Was it frustrating? Yes. It was time to go and now I was hand washing her uniform in my bathroom sink... so it wasn’t ideal but I wasn’t upset with her.
I finished hand-washing her leotard and threw it in the dryer. I calmed her down and assured her we would make it to ballet on time. We only had a few moments to spare so I had to jerk it out of the dryer when it was still a little damp.
We drove to ballet with it hanging on my rear-view mirror to dry a little more since it was a warmer day yesterday. She made it inside right on time and had a great lesson (even with the damp leotard).
You see, it’s easy to show grace when you’re not particularly stressed about anything.
It’s not, however, easy to show grace when you’re stuck in 5’o’clock traffic, running late, or exhausted from a long day.
Extending grace is important and I find it especially important when it comes to my kids. If they don’t see me extend grace to them then how will they confidently accept Christ’s gift of forgiveness one day? If they don’t see me extending grace (and correcting them) in our home then how could I expect them to believe Jesus won’t hold their sins over their head when they mess up?
I’m not sitting around waiting for them to fail so I can fuss at them. Sure, consequences follow negative behavior just like our spiritual walk, but grace is still extended even when they mess up. Even if the situation is their fault, grace and consequences can still sit together.
Perhaps this is for you today?
God isn’t sighing heavily and aggravated at you over your mess-ups, friend. Nor does He walk away from us stomping His feet when we frustrate Him. He both corrects us and He extends grace. We can’t live a life of sin without correction if we are His child but He’s also not waiting for you to mess up in the slightest so He can bonk you over the head. He guides us, corrects His children when we need it (which isn’t always fun), and loves us unconditionally.
May we show this grace to our children.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” Hebrews 12:6-7 KJV