How Do I Create A Household Of Grace?
A household of grace is where free and unmerited favor permeates the climate, environment, conditions, atmosphere, mood, attitudes and speech of a family. As a Christian parent you are called to be a minster of grace in the same way God extended grace to you through Jesus, so that your children can thrive.
Establishing An Environment of Grace
- Grace is free and unmerited favor. It is unmerited and free for the receiver but it is costly for the giver. As believers, we have experienced this in salvation. We didn’t do anything to deserve our sins to be forgiven but it was freely offered to us. It could be freely offered to us because Jesus paid the price for our sins. This favor means doing more good things for others than they deserve and greater than they imagine. In Christ, God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings. He speaks well of us and no evil. He has given us the benefit of a new life empowered by the Holy Spirit to live for Him.
Ephesians 1:3; 2:5-8; 4:7; Romans 3:10-12; 4:16; 11:6; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Timothy 1:9-10
- Therefore, a household of grace is one where free and unmerited favor permeates the family in every area of life. Parents set moral boundaries (what is right and wrong) that are rooted in the grace of the gospel and teach their children to live according to it. This means hating evil and loving good motivated by Jesus’ humble sacrifice on the cross and the expectation of His glorious return. The heart is the aim because saving faith is the only way they can be justified. This often results in children with a heart of faith and repentance because they see their need of the gospel of grace. If we establish this kind of household, then we can guard against the following ways of legalism or abuse:
Titus 2:11-15; Romans 3:10-31
- A household of judgment—is one where criticism and hypocrisy permeates the family in every area of life. Parents set moral boundaries that are rooted in God’s law but parents teach their children to use it as a means to judge others even though they themselves fail to live up to its standard. This means judging those who do evil things but they themselves do evil things. The heart isn’t the aim because judging others becomes the way they justify themselves. This often results in children with hard and unrepentant hearts who don’t see their need of the gospel of grace.
- A household of authoritarianism—is one where obedience and self-righteousness permeates the family in every area of life. Parents set moral boundaries that are rooted in God’s law, but they also make their own rules and regulations that become equal to God’s. This means working hard to please God, but they themselves are never able to accomplish it. The heart isn’t the aim because outward conformity becomes the way they justify themselves. This often results in children with rebellious and unrepentant hearts who don’t see their need of the gospel of grace.
- A household of permissiveness—is one where appeasement and indifference permeates the family in every area of life. Parents set moral boundaries that are rooted in God’s grace, but they accept or allow sin. This means knowing they aren’t under the law, but they themselves choose to continue in sin. The heart isn’t the aim because the lack of conviction (guilt and shame) excuses the necessity for justification. This often results in children with resentful, carnal and unrepentant hearts who don’t see their need of the gospel of grace.
Putting An Environment of Grace Into Focus
- Grace in the home creates a place where affection, appreciation, acceptance and assurance reign. This kind of environment allows your children to thrive.
- Affection: Grace says, “You are loved.” Your home should be a place where your children know that you are willing to love them in the same way that God does: sacrificially—you are committed to their good no matter the cost; securely—you give them all your love and they don’t have to earn it, nor can they loose it; perfectly—you are not selfish, but work towards their best interest; relationally—you spend time with your children, both in quality and in quantity, to nourish and cherish them.
John 15:13; Romans 5:8; 8:35-39; 1 John 4: 9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 5:22-33
- Appreciation: Grace says, “You are important.” Your home should be a place where your children know that they were created for an important purpose and that God works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure. God has a plan for their lives. They can accomplish great things. It starts with teaching them how their lives fit into the will of God that is revealed to them in the Bible—allowing His desires to become theirs and giving them the freedom to live out their God-given purpose.
Psalm 37:4-5; Romans 8:28; Philippians 2:12-13; James 1:5-7; Proverbs 3:5-6
- Acceptance: Grace says, “You are accepted.” Your home should be a place where your children know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Parents allow their children to be different from them and each other by accepting their differences: predetermined characteristics (gender, body structure, etc.) and relative characteristics (talents, personalities, temperaments, etc.). But they also teach them how to bring all their characteristics into submission with Christ for His glory.
Psalm 139:13-18; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
- Assurance: Grace says, “You are assured.” Your home should be a place where your children know that they can have confidence in the sovereignty of God as they go through life’s changing circumstances. As the family processes the struggles and hardships of life they are taught to rely on the sufficiently of God’s grace—knowing and confidently expecting that He can work good out of it. There is a lively hope in God.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 1:6; 12-14; 29-30; 2:4-16; 2 Timothy 3:12; Philippians; Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20; Hebrews 2:10; 4:14-16; 11:1-40
- Grace in the home creates a place full of grace and truth. Grace doesn’t compromise the truth. Truth doesn’t compromise grace. They support each other. Jesus it the perfect example of how these two co-exists. Grace can only be given after justice is satisfied. Grace and truth work together to renounce ungodly living and to embrace godly living. Therefore, neutrals are dealt with in a way that doesn’t confuse or hinder the truth. You don’t condemn certain things or actions (calling it “worldly”) just because you don’t like or understand it. You have to look at the attitudes and how it is being used in your children’s life. Grace is extended to allow your children the freedom to be different and creative. Mistakes are allowed to be made. Forgiveness is easily accessible. Questions, cares, concerns and doubts are all welcomed. Truth is taught and firmly stood upon.
John 1:14; 1 John 2:15-17; Titus 2:11-12; Colossians 4:6
- What is grace?
- What is a household of grace?
- What are the three households of legalism or abuse?
- What four things does grace in the home create?
- How does grace and truth work together?