This weekend we continued our Reset series, and I had the awesome privilege of speaking on “How to Have a Fresh Start in Our Families”. If you missed the message, you can listen to it here. Our theme verse for the Reset series has been Psalm 51:12-13, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.”
We are also two weeks in to our 21 Days of our Awakening prayer and fasting. Matt posed the challenge today that if you haven’t joined us in the fast or if you started with us but quit, to jump on board with us this last week and see what God will do in your life!
Our goal in life should be to live like Jesus, and that carries on to our families, into our marriages, and into our parenting.
John 1: 14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
If we are going to live like Jesus we have to be full of grace and truth. If we are going to parent like Jesus, we have to blend grace and truth. All throughout the Bible you see Grace and Truth together.
What does Truth look like? Rules, Discipline, Parameters, Confrontation, Objectivity, Consequences, Word of God
What does Grace look like? Affection, Acceptance, Praise, Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Pursuit
As I read each list you were probably thinking that is me or that is him. In our family, I am truth and Matt is Grace.
In the personalities there are some that lean more towards truth and some that lean more towards grace.
- Choleric – confident, decisive, opinionated, makes a good leader.
- Sanguine – fun, personable, spontaneous. Makes a good salesperson or public relations representative.
- Melancholy – organized, methodical, systematic. Makes a good administrator.
- Phlegmatic – stable, consistent, loyal. Makes a good friend or trusted employee. They just want peace.
2 personalities tend to lean more TRUTH – Choleric and Melancholy
2 personalities tend to lean more GRACE – Sanguine and phlegmatic
But if we are going to be like Jesus we have to have a balance of Truth and Grace. We can’t just say well that is just the way I am. Before you met Jesus maybe but if you are believer you have the Holy Spirit who is leading and guiding you and changing you. And He gives us the balance of Grace and Truth.
In our parenting we have to have a balance of truth and grace.
Extreme truth is:
Critical/ little or no praise
Extreme Grace Is:
Little or No Discipline
Extreme truth Produces:
A wrong concept of God
“He is distant”
“He is uncaring”
“He is Harsh”
An unhealthy drive to achieve
Rejection (I don’t measure up)
Extreme Grace Produces:
A wrong concept of God
He’s a pushover
He conforms to me
He is weak
Disrespect for Authority
Here is a great parenting formula and how to balance truth and grace.
Rules + Relationship = Righteousness (Godly Life)
Rules – Relationship = Rebellion
Relationship – Rules = Destruction You just want to be their best friend.
Our kids need rules and truth, but they also need love and encouragement and our time. Our kids will be told no at times but replace it with a yes of something. Give them choices.
Like I said, I am all about some truth and Matt is all about some grace. But as we parent together we talk about decisions, we balance each other out.
Here is a great visual:
Rules + relationship is like a playground with a fence around it. A pretty white picket fence. You know where the boundaries are. There is consistency of where you can go and what you can do. It is fun. There are shade trees to sit under and park benches so you can sit and talk and swings……..Everybody want to be at this playground.
Rules – relationship is a playground with a fence but the fence has bob – wire and no playground, no grass, no benches to sit and talk you know the boundaries, but you hate being in there. Feel more like prison Nobody want to go there.
Relationship – Rules is a beautiful playground with no fence around it. It’s got a swing set and beautiful grass and shade trees, but the kids don’t know the boundaries and mom keeps yelling at the kids DO NOT go in the street, but she never does anything if you do. She counts, boy does she count – 1, 1½, 2, Kids don’t feel secure anybody could come snatch them up. You can go wherever you want but it is very dangerous because there are no rules of what you can and cannot do. If you are a truth person this playground drives you crazy. 😉
Kids of all ages need truth and grace, rules and relationship. When they are younger truth and rules will play a bigger role. They still need grace but rules play a bigger role and as they get older relationship plays a bigger role, they still need rules, but probably more relationship.
But what happens is as they start reaching their teenage years and they are changing and growing up, we as parents can get offended, and carry an offense towards our children. Maybe they yelled “I hate you” or cused you out, or starting choosing to do things that is not how you raised them. Start drinking, do drugs, cutting, not eating, choosing destructive lifestyle, maybe they get pregnant. If we are not careful we can start to pull away emotionally and relationally. This is a time we have to get in there and work on the relationship and not pull away. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT for your kids.
To dad’s, let me say this to you, and in no way am I wanting to condemn, but I wanted to say that you matter in the life of your kids. How kids view their earthly dads is directly connected to how they view their Heavenly Father.
If Dad is distant and not there, their view of God is He is distant …..
If Dad is harsh and condemning their view of God is He is harsh…….
If Dad is truth and love, rules and relationship their view of God is …….
Moms and Dads, we have to go before the Lord and say what is missing in my home? Where am I out of balance, truth or grace? And, whatever is missing start to put in your home!
You may say I wasn’t raised in a home where there was truth and grace, how do I live this way?
Get in the word of God and read the life of Jesus and how He spoke the truth in love. His words were seasoned with “I don’t condemn you, I forgive you, I love you, now go and sin no more”. With the woman at the well, He told her everything she had done yet in love and it brought about repentance not rebellion.
Join a connect group At C3, we have some parenting connect groups and sermon-based connect groups. Either way, get connected with other believers.
Here are some great parenting books that are available in the Source…
1) 7 Secrets to Successful Families by Jimmy Evans
2) Teach them diligently How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training
3) Wise Words for Moms.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
Jesus is full of grace and truth. As a result, we are drawn to Him and His influences in our lives is redemptive and powerful. The family full of grace and truth will also be a place where family members are drawn. The function of a balanced family will be redemptive and powerful. It will be a place of lasting joy and loving progress.
Proverbs 3:3-4 “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
Remember, God gives us an endless number of fresh starts, when we allow Him to reset our homes and teach us how to balance truth and grace!