The Pressure is off!
A recent conversation with my husband reminded me just how much pressure we put on ourselves as parents to raise virtuous kids. It all started with Mike pointing out how our own kids struggle with so many of the things I wrote about in my book. And he was right.
Thankfully, my book isn't about all of the things my kids and I have mastered. It's about all of the things Jesus has mastered for us.
Who has kids who struggle with thankfulness, and kindness, and respect, and self-control, and……?
Let me be the first to answer that question.
I do! I do!
While our boys are incredible little guys with extraordinary hearts - they are human and fallen just as we are.
And…. side note…. my kids have a mom who struggles with those things too, and then some.
We haven't arrived. We're still traveling. Always will be. And He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
We are growing in grace, which is not about becoming more and more aware of how much "better" we are getting, but becoming more and more aware of how much we need Jesus to convict us, melt us, and mold us into His image.
I appreciate what Mark Galli recently wrote about this dilemma in Christianity Today ~ "My hope is not fixed on improvement in this life, but on transformation in the next. It seems to me the greatest transformation is not necessarily in outward virtue, but in increasing levels of self-awareness—awareness of the depth of our sin—and consequently increasing repentance and humility. Not a humility that points to some virtue in our lives and says, "It wasn't me, it was the Lord working through me," but the deeper humility that sees the desperately wicked heart and desperately prays daily, "Lord, have mercy."
If you're struggling today, feeling like you're trying so hard to get it all right so your kids get it all right, and none of it seems to be working out all right, I want to give you this good news.
The pressure is off!
In case you missed that, I want to say it again. The pressure is off!
Jesus did for you and me what we could never do for ourselves.
Christ never sinned but God put our sin on Him. Then we are made right with God because of what Christ has done for us ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21
Find your joy in His perfection on your behalf today.
And then encourage your kids to do the same.
The most important thing we can do for our kids is captivate them with what Jesus has already done for them.
In our training, in our instruction, in our discipline with our children, let us remember to give our children grace - the wholehearted and unconditional love of Jesus, which is the only thing that inspires and compels their hearts with a sincere love for God and one another. (more on that here!)
Our children need to know just as much as we need to know - "The pressure is off!"
Let's give them grace by never tiring of telling them, "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. You are not what you do! You are who Jesus says you are- a wholeheartedly loved child of God. In Christ you are fully known, fully accepted and fully loved."
That's the message I've been so excited to share on radio and television interviews since the launch of the book so I'm sharing one of those interviews with you here, from my time on the 700 club. It's a quick six minutes but I'm hoping the good news of God's grace will encourage your heart today.
For more good news, you can keep reading about "The Pressure is Off Parenting" in my newly released book Parenting the Wholehearted Child.