Let Grace be the Rule in Your Home

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The importance of setting rules and guidelines for your children seems like a no-brainer. A home without rules is chaotic. But what do we teach our kids in a home with all rules and no grace? In this post, wife, mom, and well-known blogger Sarah Markley shares how she seeks to teach her children grace through the way she parents them and the way she lives her life.  Sarah contributes regularly to her own blog, as well as  writing frequent posts at (in)courage, A Deeper Story, and The Art of Simple.


What was the atmosphere like in your home growing up? Can you relate to Sarah's experience of being in a good, but rule based home?
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How has your parenting been shaped by your upbringing? Give specific examples of what you do the same or what you do differently because of your experience growing up.
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Sarah noted that while they have rules and guidelines in their home, they don't make a big deal out of things that are preferential. What would be an example of a rule based on a preference? Are the rules you've set in your house based more on preference or principle? Please explain.
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What does extending grace to your children look like in your home? How is extending grace different than being lazy in enforcing rules at home?
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Sarah encouraged women to model grace for their children by extending grace to husbands and friends. Why does it often feel harder to extend grace to our loved ones than to those we don't know as well? In what relationships are you most likely to withhold grace?
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Our kids need to be taught grace, but they also need to see it lived out. When children feel as though their parents' love for them is dependent upon their ability to keep the rules, they become legalistic. They can't imagine a God who would love them without regard for their ability to perform. When children don't see grace offered to them and others, independent of reciprocity, they don't know how to extend grace to others. Be intentional about how you show grace to your children, and model grace in all of your relationships.