Grace Based Parenting
by Tim Kimmel
– Parenting is one of the greatest positions in the world.
– Good intentions are not enough when it comes to parenting.
– Many parents have the fear strategy for parenting — they are afraid or want to avoid the world, homosexuality, vices, bad propaganda, etc., and they focus on that as parents.
– Fear-based parenting will result in kids that will look clean but not necessarily love God. God teaches and commands us over and over throughout His Word to not fear.
– Another type of parenting is behavior moderation parenting. This is the assumption that the right environment and removal of bad influence will surely make a child turn out well.
– Another type of parenting is image-controlled parenting. This is parenting where you assume people will know how good of a Christian you are by the good church attendance, haircut, no bad movies, etc. Kids know when you are living by a checklist instead of letting God lead. There is nothing wrong with doing good things, but there is something wrong the motive being that others see you and think you’re good because of how your children act.
– Another type of parenting is high-controlled parenting. This is not simply teaching them to do right, but controlling everything that they do. This, many times, will result in toxic fear, toxic anger, toxic strength and much more. High-controlled parents are blind to their control because they justify why they do everything they do… so they cannot see how this is going to result in destruction.
– Another type of parenting is herd parenting. This is where parents follow the fads of what is popular. If sports are the thing, they go that way. If a certain activity, dress, church or whatever is what everyone is doing, that’s the way they herd their children.
– Another type of parenting is duct tape parenting. This is trying to fix every little problem and situation in life, making it the most important thing to do.
– Many parenting styles are based on fear because we have a flawed view of God.
– Judgmental parenting would be comparing to everyone else — “at least we’re not that bad.”
– Legalistic parenting is where we are always trying to win brownie points with God. But these parents always appear stressed out because of how busy they are trying to do good for God. This is the idea of you are bad, but keep trying and you may please God.
– Grace-based parenting is the best way to go. Kids do not live by a checklist. They love God and want to please God, so they examine things but are happy and free. They are not driven by guilt and feeling a need to do penance.
– Grace does not ignore boundaries or live however it wishes, but grace realizes it needs God and God’s help. Grace-based parenting is based on how God loves, lifts up and helps us although we do not need it. It loves in spite of forgives would need it.
– Your children’s three greatest needs are:
1. A Need for Security
• Kids want and need a security of love. They should not have to act a certain way, do something or fulfill in order to be loved. Regardless of their appearance, behavior, talents or strengths, they should always be loved. Kids need love.
• Saying that we love them is good, but it’s not enough. We must love them like Christ loves us. Love them when they are unappreciative, undeserving and unloving.
• This does not mean that we ignore their sin, disobedience or bad behavior. Just as God does not ignore our sin, so we do not ignore their’s, but we still love them in spite of.
• Pointing out where our children mess up, their flaws and their failures will lead to insecurity instead of secure love. We must be careful that our focus is not on the negative.
• Kids need to hear that their parents are proud of them, love them and want them. If they think that you’re never satisfied (you wish she was a boy instead of a girl, or they are a hindrance to your lives) they will live with that insecurity.
• Kids feel secure love when there is open and constant love and affection.
2. A Need for Significance
• Help your children know that they matter and help them to find purpose in life.
• They need to have a general purpose of fearing God and serving God. God has made every person in this world with a spiritual dimension. Every person needs God, including your children. They will be lost in this world without purpose and aim, unless they know God.
• Not only do they need to know God, but they also need a specific purpose. Help them know where and how they fit in. Help them find a talent or something they like to do or do well. Everyone has specific gifts, talents and interests they have been given by God.
• They also need relational purpose. God did not create us to be a hermit and live by ourselves. They need to learn how to relate to others and live in a world with other people.
• Help of them purpose by:
A. Affirmation — Children need to know that they are loved and accepted.
B. Attention — Kids need and want your attention as a parent. Our attention of the finer details show that we love them and care for them. Our God shows attention to the details of our lives, and we should do the same with our children.
C. Admonished — Children feel more secure when they are admonished. Rules, boundaries and guidelines should be set in place for your children.
• We are to teach our children discipline, but we are to model it as well in our ow lives — Hebrews 12:11.
3. A Need for Strength Grace-based homes are homes where kids have:
1. Freedom to be Different
• There are issues that are biblically wrong, but there are many issues that we dislike as parents yet they’re not necessarily wrong. Our children need freedom to be different and do things even though we might not do it like that.
2. Freedom to be Vulnerable
• Our children will have emotional struggles and will be immature, but we must be careful as parents not to overreact, under-react or just plain write them off. Give them room to learn things.
• We must be careful not to dismiss their concerns, thoughts or questions. God teaches us to take cast all our cares on Him. He might be a busy God with the bigger picture, but he lets us go to Him with our small problems. And we should treat our children like God treats us.
3. Freedom to be Candid
• Candid camera was a show where people got caught doing silly things that they would not do if they knew they were on camera. Your kids are going to act silly and express themselves, but they should not be criticized, mocked or ignored as a result. They should be welcomed to act like themselves at home.
4. Freedom to make Mistakes
• Kids are going to make mistakes. Quit believing that your kids will never mess up and realize that they will.
• When your children messes up, forgive them, kill the fatted calf and move on. Don’t try to relive those pains, forgive and move on.
– The Grace-based home is like the prodigal son’s father: he leave the porch light on because the grace is on the inside not the outside.
– Treat our children as God treats us, with Grace, and other areas we lack in will fall into place.