Back to School Soul Care: Day 4

Encourage one another and build each other up.
— 1 Thes 5:11

In “Grace-Based Parenting” Dr. Kimmel says, “The primary way to give our children grace is to offer it in place of our selfish preferences. A grace-based home gives children the freedom to be different.” This could easily be applied to a grace-based classroom if you are a teacher. Or a grace-based resident hall if you have a roommate. Or a grace-placed workplace. Or a grace-placed marriage. Grace-based spaces give others the freedom to be different and put our own selfish preferences on the back burner.

As we come into a new school year, let’s be parents, teachers, neighbors, and care-givers who smile, remain flexible, and leave a critical spirit behind when it comes to our preferences. And we have A LOT of preferences. So often we lead from our preferences instead of a humble heart posture. Let’s be people who enjoy the creativity of those around us. Let’s fan into flame smiles and laughter and winks in our homes, our classrooms, our work places. Let’s allow our preferences to fall to the side and put our encouragement in the center.

Today's truth bomb: Let's minor on our personal preferences and major on our heart posture. 

Take a minute and think through the last 48 hours. What came out of your mouth that was critical based on YOUR preference?

Today, watch your words, your body language, and your posture toward anyone else in your path. Parents and teachers: catch your children as often as possible in making good choices and celebrate their loving heart. High five, wink, smile, squeeze, cheer, tackle, and love on all the beauty that comes from your child. Celebrate when you see sharing, when you see love, when you see kindness. You would want the same grace-based atmosphere for you.

Dear Jesus, I am sorry for my critical spirit. For my nitpicking, nagging, and preferences that do not matter. Continue to reveal to me when I am tearing my child or others down or embarrassing them or not accepting them based on external things that do not matter. Speak to me and show me the way. I come humbly before you. I need you to help me encourage and build up everyone around me. Show me how to praise and celebrate the loving heart of my child. Amen.

 

Amy Seiffert