One of the most transformative ways to approach life is with grace. Offer mercy, forgiveness, and compassion to the people in our lives. Grace is not abstract or theoretical, it is real and practical, radically beautiful in that it is utterly undeserved. American author, John F. Macarthur Jr., wrote, “If I’m not showing grace… have I forgotten the grace I’ve been shown?”
Be a Role Model
Demonstrate grace by handling adversity with emotional intelligence and empathy. Strive towards self-awareness—and the realization that we ALL fall short of the glory God intended for us in our lives. Navigate challenging situations with poise and composure. Show children what grace looks like in everyday life by putting it on display through attitudes, words, and actions.
Teach Children the Basics
One of the first ways we can start teaching children about grace is to help them with active listening. Encourage them to give their full attention when someone is speaking, to then communicate understanding with welcoming responses and body language, and to truly care about the other person’s perspective. Help children reflect on their own behavior and actions. As kids reach a certain level of maturity, teach them how grace can help them build and maintain deep and meaningful connections with others.
Ask questions like, “How do you think that made the other person feel?” or “Is there a better way you could have handled that situation?” Waiting their turn, respecting personal space, and saying “please” and “thank you” are fundamental building blocks for children learning about grace. Upon this foundation, dad can help children learn to manage their emotions in healthy ways. Techniques like deep breathing, counting to ten, or taking a short break can help children learn to maintain their composure.
Emphasize the value of humility in admitting when we are wrong and apologizing when necessary. Encourage acts of kindness and generosity. Highlight the joy that comes from helping those in need.
Canadian-American teacher, Harry Ironside, wrote, “Grace is the very opposite of merit… Grace is not only undeserved favor, but it is favor, shown to the one who has deserved the very opposite.” By responding to conflict with grace, people find common ground and work towards mutually beneficial solutions. Grace is the white flag that makes the first offer of respect, hope, and healing.
Remember to Show Yourself Grace
EVERYONE makes mistakes. Grace for oneself helps us bounce back from setbacks. By responding to life’s ups and downs with grace, emotions that may otherwise manifest as anxiety and self-doubt can be realized in the form of perseverance and self-confidence. Remember the words of English teacher, Arthur W. Pink, who wrote, “Grace can neither be bought, earned, nor won by the creature. If it could be, it would cease to be grace.” None of us are perfect—and that’s ok.
Grace = Success
With grace, we are more likely to build stronger and healthier relationships, communicate more effectively, and resolve conflicts peacefully. Collaboration is a natural progression of grace; graceful people earn respect and trust. Grace promotes harmony while encouraging consideration and understanding. American author, Lysa Terkeurst, wrote, “I give grace because I so desperately need it.”
When you live with grace in your heart, happiness enters your life. American author, Max Lucado wrote, “When grace moves in… guilt moves out.” Remember that teaching children to have grace is an ongoing process that requires patience and consistent reinforcement. Everyone needs a little bit of grace—let’s embrace its healing power by extending it to others.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” —1 Corinthians 6:19-20
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.