I was reminded yesterday during the Sunday School class I attended with two of our daughters and their husbands that God demonstrates kindness to us daily. It is easy to focus on the judgement of God and the often devastating results of the sin that we see all around us in our world. Yet if we are honest, we must admit that God shows patience and love to us even when we don’t deserve it. The Sunday School class is studying Romans and Paul wrote this letter because the Jewish Christians were requiring new Gentile Christians to be circumcised. Paul begins telling these Roman Christians that they do not have a right to judge and are actually condemning themselves when they judge others. (Romans 2:1)
Romans 2:4 is a verse that jumps out at me each time I read it and one that we as Christian mothers and grandmothers need to take to heart.
Romans 2:1-5 (NIV)
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
God’s kindness is what leads us to repentance. How can we apply this to our interactions with our children in a way that will lead them to repent – not to us – but to their Heavenly Father? When the woman broke the bottle of perfume on Jesus’s feet and washed His feet with her hair – it wasn’t because he had shouted at her and told her that being a prostitute was sinful. Her repentance came because she felt God’s love through His son Jesus. Jesus didn’t have to say, “Now you know how bad being a prostitute is… it is sinful….” No – that woman knew she was full of sin. She also knew Jesus would forgive her and cleanse her heart.
Mothers of small children have the important task of teaching their children right from wrong. Lying is not just a bad choice – it is wrong. As our children become older and begin to make choices based on what they have learned about right and wrong, parents must then help children become sensitive to their conscience – the voice of the Holy Spirit in choosing behavior that is right. We parents will not always be with our children and it is important that children learn to respond to God’s leading at an early age.
I remember one of our daughters coming in to us crying because she had lied to us and felt very convicted. We had no idea she had lied to us. We were so thankful her heart was tender toward God. She still suffered the consequences of her lie, but we showed love and acceptance of her desire to repent. Doesn’t God do that to us? God does NOT beat us over the head with our past sins – in fact He buries them as far as the East is from the West.
Let’s be agents of God’s loving kindness to our children just the way our Heavenly Father shows kindness to us.