Making Easter real to your kids can happen when you’re NOT at your scrubbed and shiny Sunday best!
“Stop arguing and get moving – NOW!”
“NO!!!!” my strong-will son responded with steely determination.
I had frequent conflicts with Daniel, our oldest child. I often ended up feeling discouraged and ashamed after our conflicts, even if we apologized to each other.
On the day of the particular power struggle mentioned above, I was feeling angry and discouraged once again. But I paused to take a breath, and an awareness of God’s love broke through. I gently said to Daniel, “You know what I think God just told me? That He has so much mercy on us in our struggle. He knows how hard it is for you and I to get along sometimes.”
That insight brought a peace that made it easy to reconcile and solve our problem. But more importantly, it became a defining moment for me, and for our whole family – Jesus’ love was so very real in the worst messes of our family life!
You can bring this grace to your family in a powerful way as well, with a simple statement in an ugly moment like, “I’m so thankful that Jesus loves us right now, even when we’re being hurtful in our anger.” God’s grace and mercy when we sin are not wishful thinking! You can experience true peace as you embrace that they are so real and precious. (This doesn’t condone hurtful behavior, but it brings the grace that helps to resolve it well.)
The message of Easter is powerfully validated in your home, when your kids watch you receive and pass on God’s grace and truth in the intensity of family conflict! Creating Easter traditions and attending Easter services are important, but kids look to parents as their primary example of how faith impacts real life. Celebrating God’s grace in conflict is a key way that parents can demonstrate that His mercy is real and abundant when we need it most.
After a conflict, when your kids are calm enough to be open to a little teaching, you can read 1 John 1:9 and add, “You know what? Jesus died for us because He knew how much we would mess up in our relationships – with God and with each other. He forgives us right away when we ask.”
When you have a family blow up, don’t waste a good crisis – It’s an opportunity for grace to abound in amazing ways and for you to model faith when it really counts!
Some more practical ideas:
- Offer a hug to a child that doesn’t deserve it, and let them know, “Jesus loves you, Buddy, right now.”
- “Let’s take a break. Everyone can find a comfortable place. Probably none of us is remembering how much God loves us right now, and we need that to help us.”
- “We’re gonna pray real quick here, and ask God to help us figure this out.”
So the next time it all falls apart… “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
May you deeply treasure the death and resurrection of Christ for you and your family this Easter!
- Do I know God’s sacrifice for me personally? Am I confident I’ve received that grace?
- How could I truly embrace God’s grace for me when I blow it, and pass that on to my kids?
Share this tip to encourage your friends and family with a fresh perspective on Easter grace!
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