Fathers should create an atmosphere which will make obedience an easy and natural matter, namely, the atmosphere of love and confidence.
Rules tell us how to obey the one we love, but it’s grace that tells us how to please them. It’s my natural tendency to use Grace as a last resort in my parenting style, instead of leading with it. Grace doesn’t mean letting your kids get away with everything. I love this example I read recently:
Imagine that on the first day of a new job your trainer gave you only negative instructions. Don t ever be late to work, interrupt the boss during his meetings, use the phone for personal calls You would eventually wonder, What AM I supposed to be doing? How do I do my job? We often lead children to the same exasperation.
Gracious parenting especially applies to correction. Be sure that your children know that you love them as they are, not as you would like them to be. As a good rule of thumb, ask yourself, What kind of correction is most helpful for me?
Here are 4 ways Grace should come across in how I parent my children:
- Tone of my voice when giving correction. Do I yell, raise my voice, or communicate in a demonstrative ways?
- The feeling I leave my kids with after I’ve corrected their mistake. Do they feel destroyed? Are they left with any hope for being better next time?
- The next conversation I have, after the correction. How quickly can I move on from my own frustration with their mistake? Can I let our day continue in a graceful way?
- The attitude I display in the minutes and hours after the correction. Do I find myself holding a grudge the next day? Am I quick to keep them from committing the same mistake again, without giving them a chance to learn?