(Part 6 – Grace & Respect Walk Hand in Hand)
Let’s make sure that the words we speak to our children include words
of grace and respect.
If you’re a regular Listening on the Journey… reader, you know the last few blog posts have focused on the matter of respect. This topic has triggered many subsequent thoughts for me. In the last post, I communicated the notion that respect is linked to love.
Today, I’d like to introduce another thought: Grace walks hand in hand with respect.
One reader commented that respect is learned from childhood, and I couldn’t agree more. Children who are treated with respect and who watch respect modeled in the home will be more likely to grow into respectful adults.
Nothing breaks my heart more than when I hear reports of child abuse.
Like most conduct, abusive behavior toward children lies on a continuum of ultra-permissiveness to cruel violence. Most of us have at times fallen somewhere on the continuum.
I’m a grandmother now, but I remember my parenting years well. Sometimes—usually, because I was too tired to expend the energy required—I was guilty of not administering loving, fair, consistent discipline.
At other times—usually because I was too frazzled to discipline my own frustration—I raised my voice unnecessarily, made a comment I’d regret later or was overly harsh in response to my child’s age-appropriate behavior.
Devaluing children has been common throughout the ages. I love the way Jesus acknowledged little ones:
People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (Luke 18:15-17 MSG)
As I was getting ready to write today’s post, I decided to Google “grace and respect” to see if anyone else had linked these two attributes. My search unearthed the wonderful quote I used to introduce this post from Chuck Swindoll, one of my favorite contemporary Bible teachers.
Showing grace and respect to children is a great starting point. Grace-filled words and respectful actions— whether to our own sons and daughters, precious grandkids like Emmi and Reeve in the photo below, or the disruptive little one in the restaurant or on an airplane—reflect the heart of Jesus.
Today’s post concludes the R-E-S-P-E-C-T series. Next time, I’ll begin a series I’ve entitled, Grace Speaks… I hope you’ll join me.
Until then, blessings on your journey. May your days be filled with grace and respect…