Being a parent is one of the most exciting and terrifying experiences of any person’s life. Walking with our children through the ups and downs of life can produce both exhilarating joy and petrifying fear. This is probably what Solomon meant when he said, “A wise son maketh a glad father; but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1)
I am sure there are many reasons for our fears, but one big possibility is that we often feel like we do not have what it takes to raise our children right. And what Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel helps us to see is that on our own we don’t, but with God and His grace we do.
In the book, we learn about how grace works in our homes, and frankly, through the lens of parenting, we parents learn about how grace works in our own lives. Raising children is a great opportunity for us to really see the power of God’s grace at work in our lives and in our children’s lives. Trusting in God’s grace is both scary and freeing.
I really found the book incredibly helpful and encouraging. Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:
The reason grace makes the most sense as a bottom line for parenting is because of grace’s eternal appeal to the human heart.
…grace does not lower the standards in our homes; it raises them. It doesn’t push people away from holiness; it pushes them toward it. It doesn’t cause them to despise truth; it propels them to embrace truth all the more. It encourages people to aim higher in their relationship with God and helps them dream bigger dreams.
There is a deep longing in the heart of every child to “make a difference.” They were hard-wired by God to want to do more than take up space and suck up air. They weren’t born to be common denominators or mere faces in the crowd.
The teenage years are some of the most exciting years of parenting. When parents are fearful of this stage of their children’s development, it causes the children to be reluctant to trust them, or to turn to them when they are confused, or to confide in them when they are carrying a heavy burden.
Grace-based parenting is shrewd about helping children grow up and develop independence before they are sent out on their own.
Those who think that the wisest way to groom a child for spiritual maturity is to isolate him from the evil, corrupted world system or airbrush his childhood environment so much that it exposes only him to the good and never teaches him how to process the bad (or the counterfeit) will set a child up for a life of mediocrity at best and spiritual annihilation at worst.
Grace-based families are homes where children are given the freedom to be different, to be vulnerable, to be candid, and to make mistakes.