I am so aware of my need for grace...my need for a Savior. Every. Single. Day.
Without Jesus I have nothing.
Over the last several years I have become more and more aware that my precious daughters need a Savior too. Our children are born into a broken world, and they need Jesus just as much as we do.
Just because our children's struggles, challenges, and sin issues look differently than ours, it doesn't mean they are in need of Jesus any less.
Our weaknesses and challenges may seem harder and greater than theirs, but they need Him just as much as we do! Our sin may seem bigger and more ugly, but their sin is still sin, and they need the forgiveness of a Savior.
To sin means to "miss the mark." The Word of God is our standard, and when we sin, we are missing the mark...we are living below the standard. We miss out on the abundant life we could be walking in because we're stuck in our sin.
It's our responsibility to show our children what a relationship with Christ looks like.
We should be modeling repentance and forgiveness.
I want them to know how to run to Jesus, not away from Him, when they have failed.
I want them to know how to find Him when they feel weak.
I want them to see and feel the power of forgiveness and the beauty of grace.
I want the words "please forgive me" to flow easily from their lips.
What's the best way for them to learn these principles? My living them.
If I want those words to flow easily from their lips, they better be flowing easily from mine.
If I want them to run to Jesus when they have failed, they better see me doing the same thing.
If I want them to extend forgiveness, they better see me offering it.
Have you ever heard your voice coming from your child's mouth? It's nice when it's the good things they are parroting...it's not quite as nice when you see your own sin mirrored back at you. I can think of so many times I have stood listening to one of my girls thinking, "That's me."
Our children are soaking up the way we live and the way we speak. If we want our children to find the Gospel...to find Jesus...then we better be living it in front of them.
This is such a weighty, and yet, at the same time, a freeing idea. When I get caught up in thinking that I am going to "mess up" my kids or "miss something" in our training them, it's time to take a step back.
We need to keep the one thousand foot view...keep the big picture in front of us. If you're like me, there are plenty of days that you're parenting from a zoomed in perspective.
Sometimes we need to zoom out and get a broader perspective. Don't miss the forest for the trees.
I realize that everything my day holds...every issue that comes up in my own heart...all my failures and struggles...it all comes down to me and Jesus. Ultimately, it's the same for our kids.
We say this to the girls on a weekly basis, "Repentance opens the doorway for grace." We are teaching them to come to us and not hide from us when they have failed...and in those moments, we can direct them straight to Jesus. We get to represent Him to our children.
What an honor as parents - we get to be His voice, His hands, His feet.
This Easter season, let's keep in mind that we are not the only ones in need of a Savior. Our children need to know the power of the cross and it's work in their lives!
If we live like we don't need Him, our children will never know that they do.
I will never forget the year that Victoria was around 3 years old, and we were reading about the crucifixion...
Now, you have to understand that Victoria has grown up hearing about Jesus. She's been hearing the Easter story since she was a few months old. We read her little Bible to her from day one.
This particular day, as we were reading, I was trying to go a little deeper...I wanted her to start feeling the significance of Christ's love.
She used to look at the pictures in her Bible and say, "Jesus got a boo boo? Jesus was sad?"
So on this particular day I was laying it on thick, "Yes, baby. Jesus was hurt...He was hurt very badly. He had lots and lots of boo boo's, and He was in so much pain. He went through all of this because He loves us so much. He loves you so much."
Her sweet face looked so thoughtful as she stared at the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. Just when I think her little heart is "getting it" at a deeper level... she sweetly exclaimed, "Look, Mama! That's so nice!"
"What's nice, Baby?" I asked. "Look! Jesus had friends with Him when He died on the cross!" she said happily!