Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Building a Home on Grace and Love ~ Guest Post by Rebecca Eanes

Building a Home on Grace and Love

The good message of the Gospels has reached every corner of the earth! Yet, there are many who reject God.

Those who defy Him and willfully sin know full well the punishment will be Hell, yet even in the face of eternal damnation, they rebel. Why? Because they have no relationship with Him.

They don't know Him. They don't trust Him. They do not know his Love or His Grace.

You see, it isn't the fear of punishment that keeps us on the right path, but a relationship with our Lord, because when we fully understand His mercy, His love, His grace, His heart, we want to follow Him. If fear of punishment alone was enough, everyone would be followers!

And though I fail often, my Father doesn't hurt me. He whispers in my ear, "That's the wrong way, child." He offers me His hand so I can get back up, He forgives me, and I try again.

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It is this model that I attempt to follow with my children. I have drawn them close to me, formed strong bonds of trust, and shown them my unfailing love and grace. We have had countless conversations where I have revealed my heart to them.

They know me. They trust me. They know of my love and grace.

Because they trust me, they want to follow me. They know I have their best interests at heart. They know I will not lead them astray. This doesn't mean they don't sometimes face the consequences of their actions, as we all do, but that when they do face them, I am right there, arms out, accepting them back into my arms immediately. 

When they stumble, just as I do, I don't hurt them. I lean down and whisper, "That's the wrong way, child." 

I help them up by teaching them, always teaching, gently, consistently, where the right path is. I keep them close and I affirm them often.

Have you noticed how much God affirms us in the Holy Bible? Have you paid attention at all the ways he affirms us? Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 4.4, Romans 15:7, Ephesians 1:3-4, Philippians 4:19 just to name a few.

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Steps for building a home on grace and love:

1. Form a strong bond of trust with each child. Spend time playing, reading, talking, cuddling. Respond promptly when they need you. Do not use harsh words, but always try to be kind. Pray daily for the fruits of the spirit to be evident in your parenting.

2. Teach consistently. Each misbehavior is a chance to teach your child correct behavior. Teaching correct behavior is more fruitful than punishing poor behavior because they need to know what to do, not just what not to do. Punishment pushes them away, teaching pulls them closer. 

3. Be a good role model. The fact is that children will learn more from what you are than from what you say. They learn what they live. Show them what goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, diligence, etc. look like. Would Jesus' followers have followed Him had he not lived what he preached?

4. Discipline gently and with empathy. If after teaching and problem solving, your child chooses to do something that is wrong, a natural consequence will likely follow. Allow the natural consequence to unfold if it is suitable, but convey to your child that you are sorry for his/her choice and the resulting consequence. Always let them know your are for them, not against them. Surely our Lord doesn't like to see us falter, but He still extends grace. If a natural consequence isn't appropriate, a logical consequence may be given with empathy with the purpose of teaching, not to condemn. 

5. Stay close to your children through open communication. Be affectionate. Show interest in what they are interested in. Affirm them daily. Build them up. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

6. Let nothing separate them from your love, for we enjoy that same unconditional love from God. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

7. And always remember the Biblical definition of LOVE. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Rebecca Eanes

Rebecca Eanes is a best-selling author, blogger, and the founder of Her books include The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting and a co-authored book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles into Action in Early Childhood. She is a homeschooling mama to 2, happy wife of her high school sweetheart, Jesus follower, dreamer, and joy-seeker.

She does not claim to be a parenting "expert" but writes parent-to-parent with the inspiring message of creating peaceful homes through positive parenting.


Note from Dulce: I have a somewhat different view of Hell than most Christians, probably quite different from Becky's, but I agree with her point that fear of punishment is not a valid deterrent, and it certainly does not change the heart.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Super Parenting Library Giveaway! ~ Grace Based Living by Crystal Lutton (Ends February 5, 2014)

Dear readers, I am so, so thankful for you all.  Really.  I felt so alone early in our parenting journey, but you have helped me to feel understood and supported, and your knowledge and generosity have helped me to grow as a person.  I wanted to give a tangible thank you, and since books are pretty much my favorite things in the whole universe (well, you know--along with chocolate and coffee), I thought about the writers who have given so unreservedly of their experience, wisdom and love.  Their words lodged deep in my heart and have helped me in so many ways.  So, to thank all of you, we are giving away some of my all-time favorites!  Each book will have its own post, and you may enter for any or all of them.  To enter, simply comment and tell me why you would like to have this book.  :) 


Grace Based Living by Crystal Lutton

When I first began questioning corporal punishment, the most important thing to me was finding out what the Bible really teaches about it.  I found the Arms of Love Family Fellowship site and read article after article after article.  It blew me away.   Crystal literally wrote the book on Grace Based Discipline.  Her teachings changed our lives in ways I would never have imagined.  Her book, Biblical Parenting, gave me a brand new paradigm for discipline.  Like many others who start off looking at parenting issues, I found that the grace of Jesus transforms all of our relationships.  Grace Based Living examines all of these, including marriage and parenting, from a foundation of Christ-based love, service and authority.  It is a life changing book in the best way.   Crystal is also a rabbi/pastor, and her ability to share Hebraic perspective has enriched my understanding of the Scriptures.  Along with all of this, she regularly serves as a Titus 2 woman to many, giving practical and loving help to other moms.  In the last few years, I have had the privilege of getting to know Crystal better, and seeing the wisdom, truth and mercy she shares has been incredible.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  :)  (And a PS--She makes lovely items for sale at Adorned by Crystal.)

You can win your choice of a Kindle version of Grace Based Living or an autographed copy!  To enter, leave a comment on this blog post telling why you would like to read it.  If you comment anonymously, please make sure that you either leave your email address (myemail at whatever dot com) or sign up for notifications for replies so that I can notify you if you win.  I will choose a random winner on February 5, 2014.  Also, please check out Crystal's website and FB pages--you will find some wonderful things there!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Most Embarrassing Moment, or To Thine Own Underwear Be True

Honesty and authenticity are important for bloggers, right?  Not sure if that really means letting you all in on some of my most humiliating moments, but my filter has always had a leak.  I offer my deepest empathy to all my friends who have found that sometimes things don't fit the way we expect, and then must walk away.  Head over to A Deeper Story for all the embarrassing details.  :)

At least they were clean