Why do most parents instinctively try to instill rules first into their children? Join us today on Home School Heartbeat with host Mike Smith, as mom, author, and counselor Elyse Fitzpatrick explains the allure of law—versus the simplicity of grace.
Has Elyse Fitzpatrick inspired you to bring more grace into your parenting? Learn more about how the gospel of grace can inform your parenting. To learn more or order her book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids in the Love of Jesus, follow the link.
Elyse, parenting by grace sounds very attractive, but if grace is so effective, why are we as homeschooling parents so attracted to teaching our children through the law alone?
We’re attracted to law for several reasons, Mike. First of all, we intuitively think that the law will make our lives tidy and well-ordered, and, in some ways, that’s true. Charts listing daily chores are helpful, but in our pride and unbelief we wrongly think that if we could just discover the right laws and put them on a nice chart, our kids will turn out the way we hope they will. Of course, the truth is that the law, without the gospel, can only serve to make us and our kids either proud or despairing. It will make us proud and judgmental if we think we can obey it, and it will make us despairing and rebellious when we see we can’t. The primary purpose of the law is not to transform our hearts, but rather to be the vehicle that drives us to Christ as our only hope. Let’s face it, although we believe that we need someone to save us from eternal damnation, we’re all hard-wired legalists. We don’t think we need we need salvation every day. Even though we believe the gospel, we’re still not convinced that the gospel is the only answer to a transformed heart and life.
Well, Elyse, that’s certainly true about many of us. And thank you for sharing your insights today! And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.