The fruit of grace

 

I am thankful.  My heart is full.  It has been a beautiful week with my boys.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts like this one ..... and this one .... and this one, you know I'm quick to confess how hard this parenting thing is and how often I get it wrong.  But today, well, I really just want to celebrate God's grace because I have seen the fruit of grace in my boy’s lives this week and I am thankful.

Last Friday I was sitting here thinking, “Wow, now that was a rough week!”  And there were moments I wondered, “God, can grace really reach a child’s heart? I know your grace has changed my heart, and it’s changed our family as a whole, but can it *really* change a young child’s heart?  Can I see the fruit of your grace NOW in their little lives?”  Yes, it was that kind of week ~ it was enough to make me doubt.

 

Romans 6:17-18

Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

 

But how faithful He is, even in our questioning and doubt, to reveal His glory and His power.  This week Jesus reminded me that indeed it can ~ grace can change a child’s heart.  We all crave unconditional love.

Our souls were designed to crave the heart transforming, life changing grace that Jesus purchased for us on the cross.

Matthew 19: 13-15

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

 

There were precious moments this week that reminded me that grace not only tenderizes my heart, it tenderizes my kid's hearts too ~

I listened to my boys telling their friend all about how Jesus loves us so much He died on the cross and rose again to pay for our sins.

I listened to my boys playing with their Legos while singing these beautiful words to the music blasting from my ipod:

So don't let anybody tell you that you're not loved

And don't let anybody tell you that you're not enough

Yeah there are days when we all feel like we're messed up

But the truth is that we're all diamonds in the rough

So don't be ashamed to wear your crown

You're a king you're a queen inside and out

You glow like the moon, you shine like the stars

This is for you, wherever you are

This, this is for all the girls, boys all over the world

Whatever you've been told, you're worth more than gold

So hold your head up high,

It's your time to shine

From the inside out it shows, you're worth more than gold

You're worth more than gold

So don't be ashamed to wear your crown

You're a king you're a queen inside and out

~ Gold by Britt Nicole

 

When Brennan’s temper flared this week, instead of losing my temper too, grace enabled  me to hug him tightly and whisper in his ear, “Oh how I love you, oh Brennan I just love you.”  When Cal failed to listen and obey in a thoughtful and respectful way, rather than get frustrated and feel personally offended, it was grace that allowed me to kneel down, look in my sweet son’s eyes and gently lead him in obedience and respect.

Because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of grace can flow through us to our kids, and we can experience the unconditional love of Jesus together. (Romans 5:5)

I’m not saying it was a perfect week- it never is. It was just a week where we went to the throne of grace together and we were changed.  And I’m not saying any of this happened because of the kind of mom I was ~ No, it happened only because of the God we serve- a good and kind and faithful and powerful One.

 

 

Surrendering to grace is not easy, especially in parenting.  My nature tells me that giving my kids more law will make them become more like the person I want them to be.  But the gospel tells me that giving my kids more grace is the only way their hearts will be transformed and a desire to love what Jesus loves and do what Jesus would do will transpire.

 

Romans 6:14

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

 

The law provides no enablement to resist the power of sin; it only condemns the sinner. But grace, sweet grace, enables.  (Romans 6:14)  Grace, not law, produces fruit.  And I was blessed to experience that this week with my boys.  It was a precious reminder indeed that grace really can melt a child’s heart, just as it melts mine.

I'm excited to continue this conversation in the next several posts where we will be looking more closely at how we can surrender to grace in our parenting.

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