As we bring our summer book study to a close, it’s time to look at how this all translates into motherhood.
How does our everyday parenting journey look different because of all we’ve learned about being a “Mom Set Free”? If we really don’t have to put so much pressure on ourselves and we can actually trust God with the children He’s entrusted to us, then what does that mean for today?
What’s so great about learning to live in freedom? Well, everything, but what happens is when we learn to live in grace and freedom ourselves, we automatically begin letting others live in the freedom that Christ died for them to experience too. We can stop pressuring our kids to be better at everything and teach them to rejoice in who God made them to be. We can be moms who walk alongside our kids, broken and in need of a Savior, as we let the grace of God overflow from our own lives.
Now, does that mean that we don’t expect our children to obey? Does God’s abundant grace mean that we don’t need to set rules, boundaries and consequences for our kids? Absolutely not. We are still responsible to train up our children so that they learn to trust and obey God as adults.
The best way we can apply grace and freedom to our motherhood daily is to relate to our children the way God relates to us. Think about how God treats you when he wants to get your attention about something that needs to change in your life. When God convicts, he doesn’t condemn. When he points out a weakness he does it firmly but with kindness. When he corrects you, he does it with unconditional love and acceptance. And that’s our model for parenting.
Do we always get it right? Well, I sure don’t, but I keep going back to my Heavenly Father for more grace, wisdom and mercy. Remember, we can’t give what we don’t have, so in order to lavish God’s grace on our children we need to be sure we’re receiving a hefty portion for ourselves.
What’s Powerful in Parenting?
One of the most powerful ways we can parent with God’s grace is to confess when we’ve sinned against them. Let’s face it, they already know we aren’t perfect so when we blow it with our kids, why don’t we just admit it? When we apologize for losing our temper or acting out of anger it gives our children hope for their own shortcomings. When we model for them how to come back to the cross for forgiveness when we mess up, we’re making it a little easier for them to do the same.
Confessing, apologizing and asking for forgiveness make a powerful impact when it comes to parenting. Not only do they show our children we aren’t perfect and we don’t expect them to be but it also points them to the one who is perfect–Jesus.
I think it’s important to make another distinction when we parent with grace. There’s a difference between the child’s behavior and the child himself.
We can be completely against something the child has done while also being completely FOR the same child. Let me give you an example. When one of our children was in middle school, we faced a shocking and devastating situation. This child, who was actually a teenager, had been sneaking around for months, lying to all of us and others, doing things we had specifically forbidden. When it all came out, there were many people hurt, relationships wounded and trust broken. I cried for days. It was as if we didn’t even know this child anymore.
Of course, we talked through the situation and spelled out how these actions impacted us and others. Of course we needed to give consequences. Trust needed to be rebuilt and that would take time. But when the dust settled, we made every effort to treat this child with the same love and kindness as before. I remember a young friend who knew the situation visiting the next day. She was astounded to see us treating this child the same as we always had. See, that’s not how it would be at her house. And that’s not how it was in my childhood home either.
Grace makes all the difference.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Jesus said, ”And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”
(John 8:32) This summer we have learned the truth from this book study and God’s word. It can set you free to be a mom who lives in grace and freedom.
On page 229 of Mom Set Free, author Jeannie Cunnion asks some big questions that can transform our lives if we let them…
- How would your life – and your parenting – look different if you really believed and lived from the truth that God can’t stop loving you? Just as you are, not as you wish you were.
- What burdens can you now lay down at the Cross…because you believe He is for you and can be trusted with your life?
- What shame can you finally shed…because you believe there has never been a moment of time or even a minute of your life that His heart has not belonged to you?
- From what striving can you cease…because you believe Jesus has already been “good enough” for you and that He will never abandon you?
- What sin is no longer your boss…because you believe you are a new creation in Christ and you desire to live out of that identity?
Wow. I think I’m going to grab a journal and sit with these questions for a while. I’ll ask God to show me how He wants to set me free. Will you do the same?
By Contributing Writer: Deb Ober
You can check out our whole Mom Set Free Summer Series here.