Why grace? Of all the adjectives I could choose to qualify the kind of parenting we are to do, why do I choose this one? Why not Bold Parenting, Smart Parenting, Savvy Parenting or Tough Parenting?
Because they don’t capture God’s heart. They don’t even come close. There is only one phrase that works—Grace Based Parenting. This phrase captures the heart of God in an all-encompassing way. Grace includes His love, embraces His mercy, and honors His sacrifice.
Grace came down on Christmas morning. God wrapped up His whole wonderful plan for us in this single, simple word. Grace sings out “Joy to the World.” It calls out, “Come unto Me.” It cries out, “It is finished!”
As a parent, you have been singled out to do a favor for God. He wants someone to be His voice, His arms, and His heart. He chose you to assist Him in a miracle. He gave us children and then urges us to give these precious lives meaning.
This is where many parents panic. They wonder how on earth will they do that? And just like the angels said to Mary, Jesus says to you “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God”.
The answer to your uncertainty isn’t on earth. It’s found in heaven. It’s sitting on an eternal throne. He has many names, but among one of my favorites is “The God of Grace.” So when you wonder, how am I to raise up children to love and serve God?, the answer is actually not that difficult . . . you need to simply treat your children the way God treats you – with grace.
And here’s the good part. If the only thing you get right as parents is His grace, everything else will be just fine.
I can vouch for that. I didn’t have a lot going for me when I became a father. My role model was average, my experience was limited, and my talent was suspect. I made a ton of mistakes. But there has been one goal that Darcy and I have focused on from the beginning. We wanted to make sure that to the best of our ability, we raised our children in an environment of grace.
The result is that we have seen that what God promises is true, and His grace is sufficient. And every once in a while, something happens that is like a love note from God that says, “You chose the right path in how you raised your kids.”
Our second born of four is a son named Cody. One evening, during the winter quarter of his high school senior year, Cody had a brief conversation with me before he said, Goodnight and retired to bed. I was working at my computer and had assumed he had gone to sleep. But something prompted him to sit down at his desk and write a poem. Twenty-five minutes after I said goodnight to him, he came back out to read me what he had written. His poetic effort gave me reason to hope in the power of God’s amazing grace. My hope is that it will do the same for you my friend.
As you celebrate the gift of God’s grace at Christmas time and the start of a New Year, may you know that when all is said and done, OUR GOD STILL REMAINS.
My God Remains
When all that ought to be is gone
And freedom falls to feeling
And all that life’s been born to own
Gets lost in my soul’s stealing
When every color fades to gray
And love seems but a stain
And fleshly hope is thrown away
Indeed, My God remains.
When clouds form scenes of good times past
And every road not traveled
And all great things that never last
And every goal unraveled
When thunder drowns the voice of truth
And lies become my bane
I cry to God in my reckless youth,
And yes, He still remains.
When birthdays seem like one more day
And winter crowns my brow
When years long gone start to betray
My body years from now;
When Death sneaks slowly to my bed
And robs me of my pain,
My soul will bless the day I said,
“Thank God, my God remains.”
Copyright 2003 Cody Kimmel
(Adapted from Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel)