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  Realistic Expectations Promote Graciousness  

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Isaiah 64:6
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Our Spiritual life runs because of God's grace. We are saved by grace and not by works. Our righteous acts are like filthy rags. We cannot build our identity on our achievement and look down on people for their mistakes.

We have to build our children with this biblical foundation that God's grace is our life line and God's grace is sufficient for us. We should teach our children to recieve God's grace and to show this grace to others.

Children who have had the core emotional need for realistic expectations met have a sense of graciousness. Deep down in their being, they understand this reality: "Everyone makes mistakes; no one is perfect". They also appreciate that "while it is certainly true that we will often reap what we sow, it feels great when others are gracious with me, and therefore, I should extend grace both to myself and others".

Children who know how to give grace and act with forgiveness will probably experience less stress as adults and be blessed with many friends! It is thus a wonderful mind-set to inculcate in your children: when your children consider discipline to be training and helping, rather than retribution, they would be less likely to be punitive themselves. Notwithstanding that there is a time for other measures, discipline, training, teaching and giving lots of grace will go a long way towards helping your child develop a Christ-like outlook on life.

Today's Practical

Have you been bringing up some of past sins of your child over and over again? Ask your child if they have been feeling like that? Also ask your child if they have a feeling that you have not forgiven them of any of their past sins. (may be the one you are constantly bringing up)