Friday, August 13, 2004

Grace In Discipline?

A few of you moms out there have expressed a belief that we need to show our children Grace when they disobey or do something wrong. That as Christ showed us Grace by taking our sin upon himself, so must we do for them.

This sounds lovely, and very appealing, but I do have certain questions. You see, some mothers don't wish for their children to be motivated by fear. While my visceral response is to agree with that, my head is doing a wonderful job playing devil's advocate. You see, I don't speed for "fear" of getting a ticket. I don't use drugs for "fear" of losing my family, home, job, and freedom. I don't steal cars for "fear" of getting arrested. We are told in scripture to fear the Lord. While some may interpret that as "respect" I submit that if faced with even a small glance of the Shining Glory of God I would cower in fear of His Majesty. And I know for a fact that no one loves me as much as He does. Fear keeps me away from cliffs, and from touching hot things. In life, fear can be healthy. So what's wrong with a little fear?

Also, I'm not sure what it means, on a practical level, to show Grace to your children for misdeads. This is not meant to be disrespectful to any of you moms who are currently on this child-rearing path. I honestly don't know how to apply the principal on a practical level. When Piper tries to sit on Bridget's head, shouldn't there be an immediate negative response to encourage her not to choose that action again? Do I just look at my two-year-old and tell her that as Christ has forgiven me, so do I forgive her? I do forgive her, but I also have to protect the baby. I just am unclear how to use the ideal.

So any of you moms out there with an opinion or advice on this subject, I would love to hear from you.



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