Extending grace to your children, graciously

Pictures 2 389I don’t know how many times I have heard parents say, “This is grace, kid!” (or been tempted to say it myself)

Today, we had a long morning at the Social Security office and got home for lunch about an hour later than normal. When we pulled into the parking lot, I thought to myself, “Lord, please help me patient with these girls. They have been so good, but I know they’re going to have tons of energy when we get in the house and with my headache and rushing to get lunch on the table there’s bound to be some trouble.”

God gave me the grace to just smile at their louder-than-normal pitch as they rambunctiously played while I prepared a hasty lunch. I even thought of something to feed them that I knew they would like and consume quickly.

To my surprise, Gracie did not eat her food well. (If you knew her, you would think this was surprising indeed) I didn’t pay too much attention, or ride her about it as I had already decided that everything except complete rebellion was going to slide because of the crazy morning.

The other girls finished well, and I offered them applesauce for a treat which they loved. Of course, Gracie wanted applesauce, but it’s a pretty hard and fast rule at our house that you don’t get anything extra after a meal unless you’ve finished all your food.

I went around the corner to get the other girls treat ready and pulled out a bowl for Gracie, too. It would be okay if she didn’t finish her lunch this once. I wanted her to eat something before naptime, and for that matter, I just like her and wanted her to enjoy some applesauce.

“All right, kid, this is grace!”, I thought. At least this time I didn’t actually feel that way. But I did start thinking about how we give grace to our children.

When God gives grace, it’s free and loving and without a rebuke or a reminder that, “You don’t really deserve this, you know. Just remember that.” How many times am I guilty of that graceless attitude?

The grace I receive from God is so lavish and unassuming that very often I completely miss it. It is above my childish understanding; I just go on assuming I deserve all good things. At least a two-year old genuinely doesn’t understand.

When we extend grace to our children, it should be patterned after how God extends grace to us.

“Here’s your applesauce, Gracie.”


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