“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8-9).
If we are saved by grace alone and not by our works, we can rest in the truth that our children are saved by grace alone and not by their works – or ours.
We can quit worrying about whether we’re doing everything right, because we can’t do everything right. And God knows we can’t. He knew we couldn’t when He gave a child to the world’s first parents.
We can quit worrying that we will make mistakes that will derail God’s plan for our children. God knows the plans He has for each of our children, and He will carry them out. We will make mistakes, but He is much stronger than any mistake we can make.
We can quit kicking ourselves for the parenting mistakes we have already made, and rest in the fact that God understands our weakness. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13-14). He will forgive when we repent, and He will weave our failures into His bigger picture and still work out His sovereign plan.
We can quit trying to force our kids to conform when they don’t respond to our guaranteed-to-work methods the way we think they should. We can present them with the truth, disciple them along the way, and trust God to keep working, to keep sanctifying.
Yes, I have a job to do. I am called to obey Him, and called to the good work of discipling my children. God will discipline me if I choose to neglect that work. But my works do not bring about their salvation any more than they accomplish my own. I have nothing to boast about.
What would I do differently if I were starting again?
I would, by God’s grace, remember more often that He is in control. I’m not. I would trust Him more, knowing that I and my children are in His strong and gracious hands. It’s not about me and my works, and that’s good news. It’s about Jesus and His finished work on the cross. It’s about grace — God’s undeserved favor poured out on our household because of His Son.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
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