Through every difficulty, failure, or triumph my daughters experience, they are still in Christ and have everything because of it. My wife, Sarah, and I work to keep that foremost in our thinking and approach. We work to keep that secure foundation in our girls’ thinking as well. And we’re careful not to send them any confusing, false message that tells them they don’t already have everything in Christ—they do! We want to be so positive about God’s grace to us that earning God’s favor and blessing remains something Jesus already did for them—and not something they have to do for themselves.
Some people will say we’re giving them a license to abuse the grace of God. We believe we’re holding them to His grace and keeping them in awe because of it. We’ll take the risk.
Consider Paul’s thoughts on this subject:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14
What is it that teaches my daughters best? The grace of God. God’s grace is not only the condition in which we stand with Him but also the power by which He works in us. Knowing God and how well-off they are with Him through Christ works and teaches my girls to say “No” far better than any list I could come up with and drill into them.
(Excerpted from my book, “God’s Astounding Opinion of You,” chapter 12: “Aliens Have Landed—The Proper Care and Feeding of the Everyday Foreigners in Your Family.”)