So what place do rules have in parenting? They point our need for Christ…

Photo. Nebraska Sandhills Facebook page, 2012

So how can we teach our children to rejoice in God’s generous mercy and love? We know that we need to train them in rules for obedience; that’s obvious. But how can we teach them about something so outside the norm, such as God’s joy in being merciful to sinners?

The first way we do that is to see and confess our propensity to live like one of the two sons [from the prodigal son parable in Luke 15. Admit even in the same day we are both sons – the rule breaker and the proud rule keeper.]

…the gospel is not good news to those who pride themselves on their hard work. It is infuriating news.

…[do you raise your kids who are wired to be the parent pleaser kids] who honestly enjoy making you happy think that your happiness and God’s are analogous? …she needs to hear that her desire to prove her own worthiness is one of the greatest hindereances to faith that she’ll ever face.

We hinder our children from enjoying God’s embrace when we teach them that their religious activity and obedience elevates them out of the category of sinner in need of mercy.

We hinder our children from coming to Him when we inadvertently teach them that the good news is meant for good people.

Keepers of the law never have full assurance [of God’s love and salvation], because they know their own heart.

Elyse Fitzpatrick, “Give Them Grace”, Crossway books, 2011, P71, 72, 75, 76.

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