Grace that Trains

Grace does not forbid giving directions, promises, corrections, and warnings. Only cruelty would forbid such help. (Bryan Chappell)

This is the sixth post in our series through the book, Give them Grace, by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. As the authors have been working through being more grace-based in our relationships with our children, the question of discipline has probably come up in your mind. In this chapter (chapter 5), the authors discuss grace that trains.

This chapter is very helpful in that the authors take the time to practically connect grace and training. Through a study of New Testament and Old Testament passages on training children, Fitzpatrick and Thompson have come up with five different categories of training, which are very instructive in that they guide us in addressing the different situations in which we need to train as parents. The categories are Management, Nurturing, Training, Correction, and Promises.

“Management is simply your effort to control outward behavior.” Management is used in those times when you don’t have time to discuss or instruct, you simply need your child to do what they are told now. “It is not meant to get to the heart, although a child’s obedience to the outward rules may be evidences of faith.”

Nurturing addresses your child’s heart. It is intended to give them hope and feed their soul with gospel truths of how Jesus has cared for them. “Even if your child refuses to open up to you or listen to you, you can still nurture the heart.”

Training is specific instruction in what Jesus has done. If we are to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), then we need to teach them of what Jesus has done for them and how that applies to their daily life.

Gospel Correction “reminds us to bring correction to them in the context of what Jesus has already done for them and his great love for them.” It is intended to help them when they doubt the truth of God’s Word or forget all that God is for them in Christ.

Finally, the authors address the category of Rehearsing Gospel Promises. They address this category to both the non-Christian and the Christian, since gospel promises would be addressed differently to each. To the Christian, the emphasis is upon who we are in Christ, rather than who we are because we failed at something like a sporting event, for example. The non-Christian is addressed differently, because their anger over failure at a sporting event is because winning is all they have. Life will not satisfy, only Christ will satisfy.

These five categories (MNTCP) can be remember easily with the acrostic Moms Need To Constantly Pray. We are all completely dependent on God, for salvation and parenting. Read this chapter and find some help for your parenting.

(You can read the other posts in this series: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5)

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