{Raising Boys Day 21} Showing Grace and Love in Discipline

Being a mom is hard. 

I mean, tears falling into my kitchen sink hard. 

I’m going to be real for a minute.  I have two very sweet boys and I dearly love them.  One of them, though, well… he knows how to push buttons.  There are many, many times when I’m stretched to what I feel like is my absolute limit.  There are many, many, many times when I’m standing in my kitchen crying out to God asking for Him to just… take…it. 

Don't let discipline ruin your relationship with your child. Show them what it looks like to have a balance of love and grace when the need for discipline arises.

Little Man is a challenging child.  I read blog post after blog post and book after book.  I feel like I’ve tried everything.  I’ve tried time outs.  Natural consequences.  Losing toys.  I’ve yelled.  Spanked.  Lost my temper.  I’ve had to go sit next to my boy and humbly ask for his forgiveness.  I’ve been in tears asking my Heavenly Father for His forgiveness. 

There, in the quiet, tearful moments…. There was a whisper.  I love you, my child.  I will forgive you for anything. 

Whoa.

Does my son know that my love him that much? 
Does my son know that God loves him that much? 
Am I showing the power of that love and grace to him?  I’m afraid my behavior often times shows the exact opposite.

As a teacher, I was always told, “Don’t smile until December.  Let them know you mean business.”  If I’m honest, that never worked for me in the classroom.  Funny how I tried it at home and it never worked there either. 

You know what did work?  Grace. And love. 

Way before I got to that whole truth part.  If I spent time building relationships with my students, they were more likely to be respectful and hard-working for me.  While I did have to discipline them, I always wanted them to know that I loved them first.  If I spend time showing my sons that I love them and that our relationship comes first, they are much more willing to listen when we have to discuss the truth of their choices.  Grace and love before truth. 

Ephesians 4:26 tells us, “In your anger, do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”  This was one of the very first verses Little Man and I memorized together and it will be one of the very first verses I do with Baby Boy.  You can find our memory verse cards over at Mommy & Her MenI tried desperately hard to tell him that it was okay to be upset, but that it was never okay to be mean because we are upset.  This is, by far, the main thing I have to ask forgiveness for from both my son and from God. 

 In that quiet moment with the Lord, He reminded me that every single time I have had to go ask for forgiveness from Him, He offered grace and love.  Always.  The truth was there, but I know before anything else that He loves me.  I want that for my boys. 

In every act of defiance, in every unkind word spoken in anger, in every disobedience… I love them. There is nothing they can do to change that. 

As part of our “Breakfast with the Bible” study over the Fruits of the Spirit, we talked about love. 

Because He loves us, we can then love others.  One of our goals as parents is to raise children who know they are loved.  That doesn’t happen when we’re constantly telling them no or getting onto them for stepping across some line that we set. We love through actions.  We love through our words.  We love because we had the best model, Jesus. 

one of our goals a parents is to raise children who know they are loved. #boymom @CourtneyDimmitt Click To Tweet

If we are the models our children are looking at during their time on this earth, are we showing them how to love and love well? 

Are we showing them how to love even through anger? 
Are we showing them that grace and love come first? 
So I’m challenging myself.  And I’m challenging each of you as well.  Grace and love first.  The truth will always be there in the background. 

So what does this look like? 

Well, for me, it looks like a hug. Instead of pushing my son away when he’s being a little *difficult*, I want to pull him to me.  I want the first words out of my mouth to be loving and kind. I never want him to doubt my love for a moment.  It may end up resulting in a delayed consequence, if appropriate.  It may look like forgiving and forgetting.  What I’ve learned though, is that God is an excellent matchmaker.  He pairs moms and children perfectly. 

No other mama can do the same job for your kiddo. 

And no other kiddo can teach you how to be the mama God’s calling you to be.  

No other boy can teach you how to be the mama God is calling you to be. #boymom @CourtneyDimmitt Click To Tweet
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Courtney is an elementary teacher turned work-at-home mom.  She loves the Lord and has a passion for literacy.  She mixes the two into special moments for mamas and their little ones at Mommy & Her Men. Stop by and say hi!

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