Parents want to create a loving, nurturing environment for their children. However, they often struggle with balancing discipline and compassion, forgiving mistakes, and empowering their kids to thrive. In this podcast/blog post, I share 3 words that changed my parenting: love, mercy, and grace and how that looks in our parenting. By embracing these 3 Biblical words, parents can strengthen their relationships with their children, foster emotional well-being, and create a family built on connection.

 

3 Words that Changed my Parenting – and they Can Change yours Too!

About 15 years ago I was in church service listening to a pastor who I had known since I was 10.  He talked about grace in a way that was different than how people usually defined grace.  And it made me want to understand grace.  I really believe that when we can put words to something – and be able to speak it out, not necessarily teach it in a formal setting, but when we can find our own words to explain something – that is when it gets into our heart, its when we understand it, and it is then that it changes us.  

Grace is often defined much the same as mercy – but I see mercy and grace spoken of together, in the same sentences but as if they are different things.  As I studied words from the Bible I saw a definiton for grace that made sense.  Grace is the divine influence on the heart.  I read somewhere that it was the hovering of the Holy Spirit over our heart, empowering us to walk in all that Jesus taught.  Jesus sent us grace – empowering grace – when He sent the Holy Spirit.

An image that helps me understand grace, is that of a hostess.  A hostess helps her guests do the party well.  If they are awkward, or overwhelmed, or under-prepared she steps in and helps, supports, guides, them so that they do the party well.  That is the work of the Holy Spirit in our life – graciousness – empowering us to do life well – according to the will of the Father.

text graphic: definition of grace

Once I started to see grace in a different light I then started to see the power of love and mercy.  Three words that Jesus offers us – love, mercy, grace.  

  • God’s love accepts us – it is unconditional
  • God’s mercy forgives us – it is never ending
  • God’s grace helps us – it is empowering.

When we walk in God’s love, mercy and grace for ourselves – we are changed. And a changed person relates to others in ways that are different than before we were changed.  

As we accept God’s love, mercy and grace – we can offer that to our children?

  • Can we parent with love that is unconditional
  • Can we offer never-ending forgiveness – mercy, day after day?
  • Can we help our children to do life well?  In a sense empowering them to do life well.

 

Doing life well isn’t about success in terms of winning, and being the best, and doing the most.  That is not God’s ways.  Doing life well is about knowing Jesus, its about being in relationship or right standing with God.  I have that Colin song going through my head – the greatest treasure in the whole wide world is peace with God.  

That is what the Holy Spirit does – he hovers over our heart – and guides us so that we have peace with God.

Now the love, mercy and grace that we can offer our children is never going to be to the depths of God’s love, mercy and grace.  And yet, when Jesus changes our heart, we can reflect His love, His mercy, and His grace to our kids.

  • We can love unconditionally, 
  • Forgive always
  • And be a helping support, to our kids.  

 

This changes our parenting.  We stop being bossy, demanding, unrelenting.  We can still be firm, have expectations and standards, we can still teach our kids what to do – but with a different heart – a heart that has been changed by the hovering of the holy spirit.

That’s it for today.  I just wanted to introduce those words to you – and to encourage you to think about how Jesus has changed you – and if you are parenting from that place or are you still parenting as the old person – the person before you met Jesus?  So as you go about dealing with all the things this week, every so often just pause and ask yourself – am I showing Jesus’ love, mercy, and grace right now in this moment.  

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Bible verse text

Peace and Life?  or Chaos and Brokenness?

The heart and the flesh – I don’t think we talk about the flesh enough. The flesh is that willfulness inside each of us that every-so-often (or so-very-often) pokes its head up and makes choices that are selfish and not God honouring. The cross broke the control of the flesh in our life, but if we take our eyes off the cross, off the Spirit, then the flesh starts to get its own way again.

  • This is why Paul tells us to renew our mind.
  • To walk in the Spirit.
  • To put on the armour of God.
  • To guard our heart and mind

When we walk in the Spirit, when our heart, and mind is focused on the Spirit then we have life and peace.

I believe the opposite is true too – when we have chaos and brokenness – there are aspects of our life where the Spirit is not ruling – the flesh is.

As you go into a new week, consider the things happening in your home, in your relationships, in your parenting – is there life and peace? Or chaos and brokenness?

Take it to the Lord in prayer… fill your mind with God’s word … and let your thoughts, words, and actions reflect the Lordship of Jesus in your life.

How we Respond is the Key in all Parenting Situations

quote and image of Belinda

God shows us love, mercy and grace…

Parenting with love, mercy & grace changes how we react to our children when they are annoying, frustrating and struggling!

God shows me

Unconditional Love which accepts me

Never Ending Mercy which forgives me

Empowering Grace which is always helping me

In our flesh – we can’t do this. But when we walk with the Spirit, letting Him change our heart and our actions then we can.

a child about to push a button

“My Child just Pushes my Buttons”

How are you going to respond the next time your child creates a situation where you feel annoyed, disapointed or frustrated?

I encourage you to pause, take a breath, pray, and speak and act with love, mercy, and grace.

 

 

coffee and flowers with text overlay

God’s Grace Helps us get Unstuck!

God’s grace is the helper – the Holy Spirit that helps us do all that Jesus taught.

It doesn’t enable bad choices, but empowers good choices.
It doesn’t settle for sin, it helps us grow to be like Jesus.
It doesn’t accept our sinful state, it gives us hope by pointing us to Jesus.

Have you ever heard the phrase greasey grace? We don’t want that for ourselves or for our kids!

 

 

Further Reading:

What does it Mean to be a Christian Parent:  The truth about Christian parenting isn’t in the things we teach our kids but rather in how we respond. Do we respond as followers of Christ?

Pursue Peace in Your Heart and HomeWhen we pursue the things of peace, our choices reflect Christ’s righteousness; our right standing with Jesus, brings joy and peace every day.

How to be Calm, Gentle and Positive Towards your Children Every Day:  5 keys mindsets for parents to be calm, gentle and positive. When you change your beliefs you change your actions. You can be a gentle and positive parent.

 

 

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