But in that mission to mimic or mirror Gods GRACE I put myself into a corner-- when to extend Grace and when not?
God always gives us grace-- HE IS GRACEFUL and merciful ALL THE TIME... However there are still often consequences for sin.. Payments to be made in the overall scheme of life.. Not in order to reach our salvation but simply in the rule of law-- both Gods and natures-- there are consequences to sin- to actions.
So I can look at Gods word and read "Children obey your parents..."
And KNOW that this is what they should do! And when they don't-- Gods very words speak to me on what should happen-- discipline. But where does GRACE fall.. How do I know that I am choosing the right thing to extend grace for-- maybe THIS is the thing I should discipline for because it is the tip of a much larger issue. Maybe it is when direct disobedience is apart of the issue... Maybe I wish that there was a list.. A master list! A long, long list of every infraction a child could think of.. With consequences listed! Wouldn't that be a gift!!
But it would just be a list of consequences-- not very helpful to the individual-- because the list couldn't account for circumstances or see a child's heart. A list couldn't know the back story or the silly reasons a child might disobey. A list wouldn't see a pattern of disobedience or keep track of a child's spiritual growth. A list would never SEE grief in a child's eyes and know they understand the gravity of the situation... Or hold them when they are already under the weight of a natural consequence. No a list would not serve us any more than it served the Jews way back when... A do and don't. Pages and pages of consequences.
We must simply TRAIN up our children and search for GODS truth and pray. Surely we will miss opportunities to extend GRACE and instead just dole out a punishment... And surely we will miss opportunities to "learn the lesson" with a consequence and instead let things pass.
But the truth of the matter is IN this we as parents are extended grace too... When we fail .. There is grace. And sometimes when we fail and miss the boat in training our children it is THE CHILDREN who receive the natural consequences. And we pay by suffering along beside them... But we still know and understand Gods perfect grace... And hopefully our children do to.. Not just the words... But truly grasp the concept of GRACE.
Let us not be legalistic in our discipline-- and let us remember that training is what is done minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and week by week-- it is the training that we must implement... And participate in. Not simply the laying down of law. Not simply the handing out of sentencing but teaching them Gods word that they might find a compass to live by..
Maybe this is all moot... How could those faces DO anything wrong! Sigh...