So, when my grandsons do not make a wise choice, what do I do? I give time-outs, we talk about what happened and how even when they are tired or have had a long day, they still have to obey and learn to make wise choices. I lean heavily towards showing my grandsons - and definitely giving them - grace.
As I thought about this, I thought about the children in our ministries and showing grace to them. There are definitely times when children in our ministries do not obey and we have to implement a discipline policy. Our discipline policies need to be firmly grounded, saturated and immersed in grace. I believe this for the following reasons . . .
- Because God gives us grace. How can we not be people who are generous with giving grace to others when God has been so generous to us with His grace?
- Because I - we - want the children in our ministries to understand what grace is. We want them to experience grace from us - a small grace, so they are able to understand and experience grace from God - a very large grace!
- Because we love the children in our ministries. When they are sorry for what they do and ask for grace, how can we refuse? We need to always be generous with grace for them.
- Because we want them to grow to be people who are generous in giving grace to others. When they have experienced it, first of all from God in a big way and then in a smaller way from others, including us, they will be more likely to show grace to others.
- Because we understand they are children and are just learning to make wise choices. We know there will be times when they do not make wise choices and want them to know they do not have to be defeated by those unwise choices.
There are certainly other reasons, but when it comes to the children in our ministries, how can we not give them grace? This does not mean we do not have a discipline policy, but rather we make sure our policies are strong in reflecting grace to the children in our ministries. How do your discipline policies reflect grace?