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Giving Grace in the Midst of Responsibilities

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Aren’t there times even as adults that we need a healthy dose of grace? I know I need a lot of it. There are times when I reflect back on my day and feel as though I failed miserably at nearly everything I did.

One of the areas that is a constant struggle in our home is chores, and with such a large family, there are more than enough chores to go around. We homeschool, which also means that our bustling brood is here to make messes nearly all day every day. This only makes the presence of chores all the more blaring most days.

Chores are essential, and it is important for kids to learn to work, to work hard, and to complete the task well, but it is important that our kids know they are loved and accepted no matter how they perform.  Our kids cannot be made to feel like our love is conditionally tied to how they do in school, in their extracurricular activities, or even in their work around the house.

In Genesis 34:6, God proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”  Here we read that God puts up with a lot when he puts up with us…long suffering.  Just as He extends us grace after enduring with our annoyances, disobedience, and sin, we must extend that to our children as well.

While children should be disciplined for ignoring their chores, or responsibilities as we call them, or for doing work that is below what they are capable of, it is also realistic that at times grace needs to be extended here because sometimes, their work will be lacking in some way.

giving grace

How can we do this?

  1. Work alongside them.  Sometimes if my kids are just dragging their feet, coming alongside and helping in some way, even just a small way, can get them moving in the right direction.  It speaks to their heart that they matter, that we know that work can be hard and boring, and that we are here to help one another.IMG_3318
  2. Lighten their load.  Remove a few of their responsibilities.  Choose the ones you really want done, and give them a free pass on a few others.  Communicate that you really want these few things done, but that you are extending time grace on these few others.
  3. Let it go.  Remember here when I shared that we just ignored what wasn’t done and watched a woman-538396_1280movie for the night?  Sometimes, you just need to let it go.
  4. Give them a little extra incentive.  Because we don’t pay our children for taking care of their responsibilities, sometimes I will throw something extra special their way.  I might take someone out for ice cream because they worked extra hard.  Sometimes I give them a dollar or two, and at other times I offer an activity that can be done if they can get their work done by a certain time.
  5. Accept the work they have done.  If their work is not up to par, point out why, but accept it for the day.  Be sure to let them know this won’t be acceptable on a regular basis, but for today, it will be be acceptable to you.

Grace is a gift that speaks love to our children.  Tap into the strength that giving grace can give.

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