But for now what's fresh on my mind stems from a conversation I just had with a dear friend! I've actually been meaning to do a follow-up post on this anyway. Previously, I mentioned a parenting book I was reading in an earlier blog titled: Give Them Grace by: Elyse Fitzpatrick. I was only in chapter 5 at the time of the first post. I can testify now that the last page has been turned, that my heart has been hammered so hard with the Truth! As a result, change has occurred in so many areas of my life! It has totally made me seek the Lord considering the motivations of my heart and how I view parenting.
Obviously now is the time to follow-up since this recent conversation made me go back to the book once again to read and re-read all the sentences/paragraphs I underlined (yes, this is one of those books. Before you know it you've changed the whole page to yellow with your highlighter, because the Truth is so rich on every page). It's the Powerful Gospel-centered Truth that saturates each page that has once again stopped me dead in my tracks! Once again TODAY I have been reminded that my GREATEST need is the Gospel!
I. AM. CHANGED
Simply because the Gospel message through this book has wrecked my "moral ism"... forcing all of my "weight" to lean on GRACE!
Back to my conversation with my friend...
We were talking about the "terrific" 2's! If you're a mom, you know what I mean. Even if you're 2's weren't terrific, just change the number because that extra special "terrific" season will eventually come!
Why!?...simply because our kids have absolutely nothing "good" within them that drives them to obey from the heart, because they can't! Just to make it clear, neither can I and neither can you! That's why Jesus had to die!
My conversation was very transparent with my friend as we shared all of our fleshly thoughts when our children act out in public/home...have you had any of these?
- What have we done wrong in our parenting?
- Their children would never act this way (comparison).
- What kind of mom do they think that I am (approval)?
- I am a terrible mom. My child is ruined.
- I'm just going to act like I didn't see that behavior, because I am just simply exhausted in the correcting department.
I am learning though that God's design of parenting is NOT to show off or display our STRENGTHS as parents, but the complete opposite...to MAGNIFY OUR WEAKNESSES.
No, not something that I beg to be magnified. But oh how humbling to understand that my performance is meant to be crushed. I am not to be praised, but only Christ who can only transform the heart.
2 paragraphs from the book that I want to leave you with. I hope they not only challenge your heart, but bring freedom as well.
You're a Christian Parent, but Is Your Parenting Christian?
"Grace, or the free favor that has been lavished on us through Christ, ought to make our parenting radically different from what unbelievers do. That's because the good news of God's grace is meant to permeate and transform every relationship we have, including our relationship with our children. All the typical ways we construct to get things done and get others to do our bidding are simply obliterated by a gospel message that tells us that we are all (parents and children) both radically sinful and radically loved. At the deepest level of what we do as parents, we should hear the heartbeat of a loving, grace-giving Father who freely adopts rebels and transforms them into loving sons and daughters. If this is not the message that your children hear from you, if the message that you send them on a daily basis is about being good so that you won't be disappointed, then the gospel needs to transform your parenting too."
"Raising good kids is utterly impossible unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to put their faith in the goodness of another. You can not raise good kids, because you are not a good parent. There is only one good Parent, and He had only One good Son. Together, this Father and Son accomplished everything that needed to be done to rescue us and our children from certain destruction. When we put our faith in Him, He bestows the benediction upon us: "These are my children, within whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17) Give this grace to your children. Tell them who they really are, tell them what they need to do, and then tell them to taste and see that the Lord is good. Give this grace to yourself, too!"