Dancing and not Marching

I read a quote recently that said, "grace based parents don't march, they dance." I have been thinking about that the past few days. What does it mean to dance? Sometimes it's easier to march. Following rules isn't a bad thing but the temptation is to fall in to legalism and judgmentalism that can take us away from grace. When my child disobeys me there is certainly a consequence but the way I respond to my child must be in grace. I must be committed to loving my child through the situation. It doesn't mean that there isn't truth spoken. But what does it mean to parent in grace?

Each of my children are different. Their needs, their struggles, their motivations, their personalities, their issues are different. I need to be prayerful in the way I parent each of them. I need to seek God's heart for each of child. While it's important that I call sin, sin-  I need to also make sure that my discipline and correction of them is not only in truth but also in grace.

My Lord corrects me daily. When I sin, He nudges me and shows me what I've done wrong. But He receives me back in grace. When my heart is repentant, He forgives me! I need to do the same. When my kids sin I cannot rehash the multiple times they have disobeyed in this area. My end goal as a parent is not obedient children. My desire as a parent is that my children learn to live by the Holy Spirit and learn to hear His voice in their lives. Outward obedience won't be enough in the long run. I can tell sometimes when my kids are obeying outwardly, but their heart isn't in it. It takes more time to sit down and talk about those issues of the heart.

I want to dance, not march. I want to grow in patience and gentleness as I lovingly direct my kids to the Lord. I believe this is what it means to parent with grace.


  1. I really like what you said, Jenn, that the goal of parenting is not to have obedient children. It is so easy to think that way. But helping them to develop their own walks with the LORD and to learn to hear His voice is so much more important than having our kids think that God only approves of them and loves them when they perform well. One of my biggest desires is for our kids have humble and repentant hearts that respond to the Spirit's leading and His conviction, and that they know in their hearts (not just in their minds) that God delights in them for who they ARE, not for what they DO.


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