As we enter this new lockdown with the nurseries and schools closed, I’m asking myself, “how are we doing?”. It’s true that we’ve been through the first lockdown, so we’re more prepared for the three or four weeks ahead. But let’s face it, working from home, homeschooling, meal preparation, household chores, constant noise (ohh, especially constant noise) can be very challenging.
I have to admit that after this first week, I already needed to step away and take a deep breath to release the tension. I was so emotionally tired and all that was coming out of the depths of my soul was “oh Lord, I need you so much”. Thankfully, we have a God who answers when we call on Him! Then I heard His voice: “let My grace reign in your house”.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) says 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.
It’s so powerful to realise that it’s at that moment when we cry out to Him, when we recognise our weakness and our inability to manage everything without Him, that His power can be manifested. We tend to think that we have to manage everything, to put the weight of the world on our shoulders! To be strong and successful! But of course, very quickly we become exhausted, we have less patience and we react in a hostile way towards the people we love the most – our family.
So, I prefer to brag about my weaknesses. No, I can’t separate anything from Christ, at least not for long, not without sacrificing my mental and physical health and not with the right attitude. So yes, I need His grace.
“Let My grace reign in your house.” What does that mean? How can we succeed?
Giving grace to the children, our spouse AND ourselves is not always easy, but after all, if we are on this journey of becoming more like Jesus, we are called to grow in grace and to TEACH our children to grow in grace too.
Let our homes be places where everyone can make mistakes, everyone can trip up again and again, because the children will make the same “mistakes” over and over again and so will we!
I realised this week that one of the most important things is to keep the accusations and blame to yourself; keeping them out of our heads and helping the children to leave them out too. For me, it is emotionally difficult to listen to my children blaming each other, constantly bickering, not taking responsibility for their mistakes and making “it’s not me, it’s him” accusations. Yet I do the same thing; “I reacted like this because they made me lose my patience”.
But how wonderful it is to recognise, “yes I was wrong, I am weak, I should not have raised my voice, I need God”.
Let’s show our children that they need God! They and we as parents all need God’s grace, the grace that forgives and transforms us!
Be an example of humility and acknowledge in front of the children that we are weak, but that God is strong! God transforms us. After all, children learn by watching, and if we want them to know this grace, we must experience it first and let them watch us.
I will end with this, he who is forgiven little loves little, but he who is forgiven much loves much. The truth is that we need His forgiveness all the time, but we don’t realise it because they are not “big sins” but “little sins” that affect our daily lives. Irritability, lack of patience, etc. are the little things that make us who we are, that define our character, so overcoming them will allow us to move forward, and have a home where His grace reigns and where the fruit of the Spirit is evident!
Recognising these things as weaknesses and bringing them before God will make all the difference. Confess them as sin, repent and ask the Holy Spirit for help! This is the way to sanctification. The Lord is faithful to forgive us and transforms us little by little before the eyes of our spouses and children.
So let’s take advantage of this time of confinement to let ourselves be transformed by God! We will come out of these few weeks more like Jesus, for when I am weak, that is when I am strong.
Families Pastor – Hillsong Paris