" />

Parenting in light of God’s grace to you

Paula Hendricks

Paula Hendricks | 07.15.10
Twitter: @PaulaWrites678


Sarah Newell is a young mom who recently realized that her method of discipline was putting her two-year-old daughter under guilt. Lots has changed, and Sarah now considers discipline a joy!

Join us as we talk about how to parent your kids in light of God’s grace toward you, why you might want to ask your kids to forgive you, and more.

Get the Flash Player if you can't see this player.

Is God's grace toward you impacting the way you discipline your kids? If not, maybe it's time to meditate on the way He parents you . . . 

Topics: With Your Kids


  1. Way to go! It is VERY important to teach your children that you are still in need of discipline, too. God is not finished with our training, too! So, being gracious to our children is essential. God is so gracious and merciful to us! Parenting should always be heavier on the side of grace (vs. law), for that is how God has dealt with us.

    However, God is also just. We must work at being balanced. It is very, very hard to balance and it requires walking in the Spirit.

    One thing we've found most helpful is to NOT tell our children (we have 5, ages 14 to 6) that "God is not pleased." That could not be further from the truth! Because of Christ, God is pleased. Jesus satisfied that for us and God sees us through Him. It is especially important to remind them of this essential truth. My ultimate goal is to be obedient and joyful out of my genuine LOVE for God and Jesus Christ and what was done for ME on the cross, rather than out of a desire to please Him or make his heart happy. His heart is already happy because of Christ. And for that, I am so thankful.
    posted by Diana
    on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 11:02 am
  2. Thank you for this. I too am learning a lot about this. One thing God has challenged me on is "how do I view my kids?" Do I become frustrated with THEM, or do I direct my frustration to their SIN, and still offer love and grace to them.
    I used to think grace was letting things go. I see now that God's grace is loving us and welcoming us as His kids even tho He can't just 'let our sin go". Our sin had to be punished - that's why Christ died.

    So now, I address my kid's sin, and I do it with hope - not guilt. I used to ignore issues until a boiling point - saying "i'm sick of you" or "you're driving me crazy". God showed me how wrong that was. My kids sin, but sin is not what they ARE, they are image bearers of God. I need to point out to them that I will not tolerate their sin, but that THEY are welcome in my presence.

    Now I quickly pray for God's view, and then instead of avoiding the situation, I face it. I think first - WHAT really is the problem , and WHY am I mad right now, and HOW can I address this well, so all will benefit?

    I address the sin specifically, and also encourage what I WANT to see. If the child is really struggling, we pray asking Jesus for help. I often point out how Jesus took our punishment, and how He promises to help us obey, as He lives in us. Using scripture to exhort them with hope - that they are God's child, that we can do all things in Christ. Filling them with promises that encourage them to obey - not burdening them with condemnation. There IS a very life giving way to use the Bible in discipline - making disciplies, teaching self control... I am only scratching the surface on this.

    Praise God that He IS bigger than all our failings and our baggage - praise Him for making all things new!
    posted by Elizabeth
    on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm
  3. Hi,

    I am so convicted by this message. It is the very thing that I have been struggling with. I need help in this area of disciplining with love and not condemnation. It seems that i mirror the things that were said to me as a child, and that, I do not want. I would love some guidance with this. I have been praying about this for some time.
    posted by Tracy
    on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 10:43 pm
  4. I'm reminded by my daughter often about choosing not to blow things out of proportion. So many times she responds to my discipline with an "I'm sorry, Mommy" and moves on moments later without a second thought. This puts me in the mindframe that God would like for us to adopt. Learn from the mistake and move on. Sure, she only has the attention span of a two year old, but her wisdom is far-reaching. God throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness once we repent, this should encourage us not to dwell on mishaps. I'm learning the lesson of choosing my thoughts and what I dwell on more and more everyday. Look at the big picture and choose your discipline to match the lesson that should be learned.
    posted by Refined Woman
    on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 3:34 am
  5. I never considered discipline JOY, that is an amazing way of thinking. That is definetly helpful when discpling my children.

    Thankyou very much.
    posted by Sharon
    on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 7:24 am
  6. Wow what a precious post! Sarah you are just at the beginning and yet God has gifted you with wisdom and application of how the gospel plays out in your home! How we need the grace to obey and love and discipline as He does. May your wisdom in parenting and love for Christ continue to grow you and conform you to Him and may grace may abound in your home as you respond in obedience to love your kids and may you continue to receive much Joy as you point your kids to Christ!! I am in the midst of learning these truths and applying them and learning that how it says in Hebrews that He trains/disciplines those He loves so that He may share in His holiness. He conforms us through His discipline and training and He has redeemed us from the pit and has not allowed us to continue in our sin. We should be ever so grateful to our kind and good GOd when He uses circumstance to train and shape us, refining us. I am teaching my kids whenever an authority in your life corrects you be thankful it is GOds grace to you! I look back now that my oldest just turned 11, then I have a 9 and almost 8 year old and I see the consequence of disobedience and lack of wisdom, parenting out of fear and guilt and control. He is a God of redemption and is working it out for His good. I now pray with my kids biblical and eternally minded prayers that point us to the cross for forgiveness and it is humbling as I confess wrong and seek the Lords hand to enable me to will and do what He desires for me to do so with them!! I am at home with one of my children, while the other 2 are at music camp, and have started schooling him this week. he has been a challenge and I take ownership of that as the Lord is revealing to me my own heart in this. He has used this time not to learn the ABC's but to shape His heart to to obey and show Him how the Lord hates sin and there must be a consequence but that He loves us and this is for his spiritual good that Mommy sets boundaries and limits for him to not let sin abound in his life.Sarah thank you! SO timely!!! I know way more than I obey! May He give us all grace to set aside self and love our children to the point of sacrifice to train them up!
    posted by GRATEFUL
    on Friday, July 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm
  7. Hey, Tracy,

    You might want to listen to "Three Gifts of Parenting." It's an interview that's airing right now with Denise Glenn: http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh/today.php?pid=10606.

    You might also find the book "Don’t Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman helpful. Here's a description:

    Do you find yourself threatening, repeating your instructions, or raising your voice in an attempt to get your children to obey? Through personal experience and the practical application of Scripture, Ginger Plowman encourages and equips moms to reach past the outward behavior of their children and dive deeply into the issues of the heart.

    You can order it here: http://store.reviveourhearts.com/dontmakemecounttothree.aspx.
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 8:40 am
  8. I really want to understand this concept because I know my children and I need to have a Gospel-centered home. However, after listening to this interview twice now, I still don't understand. Why should my child not feel guilty when they sin? What are the different words you use to talking to your child about their sin in a gracious way? I need to hear more of the practical application side of this because I am missing it. Also, I don't understand how to view sinful children that have not chosen to follow Christ yet (specifically due to their very young age). If they are unregenerate, what is God's response to them. If they believe in Christ then they are forgiven and there is grace, but what about the rebellious 3 year old who does not choose to follow Christ or obey parents? Please help.
    posted by Amy
    on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm
  9. Dear Amy,

    I’m so glad you desire to raise your children in a gospel-centered home. The gospel is “good-news” to sinners of all ages! Through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus brought life and hope to us while we were yet dead in our sin! That’s incredibly good news… but the gospel not only brings us into a personal relationship with the Living God it is also defines our daily lives once we are saved.

    As a mom, you’ve been given the opportunity to live out the gospel as you train these precious little “sinners” in the ways of the Lord and point them to the good news of the gospel… that through brokenness and repentance there is forgiveness and reconciliation.

    God’s response to unregenerate three year olds is the same as His response to you and me… He loved us while we were yet dead in our sin. There is nothing we can ever do to make God love us more or less. His love for us is not based upon us at all it is based upon who He is!

    We must ask the Lord then to give us His love for our children - a love that sees them as He sees them; a love that will discipline them not because their behavior is irritating or inconvenient to us, but because it grieves God’s heart.

    I want to encourage you to get Ginger Plowman’s book Don’t Make Me Count To Three. A number of my friends who are young moms have said the practical applications of gospel-centered parenting in this book have been tremendously helpful to them. You may also be interested in the pamphlet Ginger has created called Wise Words for Mom’s as it uses scripture to teach what God thinks of children's negative behavior as well as encourages them to use positive behavior that honors God and helps create peace and joy in the home.

    Persevere, dear friend; you are on the right path!
    posted by Carrie Gaul
    on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Leave a Comment:

We love hearing from you, and will post your comment as long as it is appropriate, and is written in a tone that is encouraging, edifying, and loving to others. Even then, know that the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts.