“Don’t play with the lamp.”
Click, the lamp turns on.
“Stop touching, it…now.”
Click, the lamp turns off.
“I said stop and then you touched it again. Now you have to get a consequence.”
“But I was just trying to help you and turn it off so it wasn’t on anymore.”
“This time I’m going to show you grace and I’m not going to give you a consequence. But next time you don’t obey the first time there will be a consequence.”
This is a conversation that usually has a different outcome, but on this particular day I could tell that Lyric thought he was doing the right thing. And honestly, I didn’t want to disrupt the day by teaching him that “no means no, even when your trying to help.” My laziness won out. I would not recommend this lapse in consistency to moms…it never ends well. But as I was telling Lyric that I would be showing him “grace” I realized that wasn’t what I was showing him at all. What I was doing was letting Lyric get away with his disobedience. He had done something wrong and I was choosing to overlook it. But the grace I’ve received from God isn’t like that at all. I didn’t get away with anything. There was a consequence for my sin and someone had to take it. It wasn’t that I got away with it, it’s that Jesus stepped in and took my punishment. God didn’t overlook my sin; God saw my sin covered by the blood of Jesus. All at once I realized how I’ve mishandled and taken grace for granted. I’ve looked at grace like a “get out of jail free” card. Grace wasn’t free at all, it came with the highest price. Grace cost everything. The payment for grace was paid…for me. I’ll hardly use that word as my little anecdotal parenting fluff again. I want that word to represent one thing to our kids: captives set free by a payment they could never afford themselves.
As hard as parenting is, it reveals so much of the Gospel to me…even in the midst of parenting fails.