Please tell me I am not the only one who has uttered some of these phrases:
Is it really that hard to be kind to your sister?
I cannot believe you won’t share; can’t you just try?
That’s not the sweet girl/boy that I know.
Why can’t your words show love?
How difficult is it to obey me the first time?
Over and over I am appalled when my children behave badly–when they fight over the puzzle pieces, when the sisters communicate by shouting rather than speaking, when they delay to obey me. But, being appalled by this behavior from my little people is like being appalled when a dog barks. They are little humans. Romans 3:23 tells me that we all fall short of the glory of God; we are all born sinful.
So, when my girls tell me it is too hard (in a whiny voice) to love others in the way I’m exhorting them to, I am “…not to argue with them…[I am] to agree with them and tell them of their need for a Savior.” (Give Them Grace by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson)
Mommas, on this Good Friday, let us break this pattern of pushing our kids to be good (righteous) by trying hard. And, to accomplish this, let’s start with our own hearts. I don’t know about you, but I easily get caught up in my pride that leads me to believe I can try hard enough to obey all of God’s laws and meet all of His expectations. I may not consciously think those kinds of thoughts, but when I try to be like Jesus of my own strength, that is what I am demonstrating. The pharisees were so caught up in being good that they missed the grace Jesus offered; they missed Jesus. They nailed him to a cross and killed Him. Trying to accomplish the law on our own, kills the grace God offers through Jesus.
The law defeats us. The law is impossible for us. The law is crushing because it shows us that we are indeed incapable.
But, God. (get ready to shout, Hallelujah!)
BUT, “God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” (Romans 8:3, NLT)
In the book, Give Them Grace, the writers exhort that we don’t teach our children the law to make them good, we teach it to them, so they will know their need for a Savior. “The law won’t make them good. It will make them despair of every being good enough, and in a way it will make them open to the love, sacrifice, and welcome of their Savior, Jesus Christ.”
So, today, mommas, let’s keep giving them God’s good law, but let us do it with a healthy dose of grace & a reminder that Jesus did what they cannot do. Jesus paid the price they would have paid. And, Jesus desires for them to freely accept His gift of being credited with all of His goodness & righteousness.
Happy Good Friday, Mommas.