Romans 2:4 has some important things to say to us about repentance and turning away from our sin:
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT).
God’s kindness woos us toward repentance. Not His wrath, judgment or power. His kindness. Which then begs the question: why is it that we’re kinder to strangers than our own family? Why do we think that hollering, belittling and shaming our kids will bring about repentance?
I’m not advocating being softies and letting our kids run wild. Not at all. Boundaries and limits are important. But it’s the way we treat our kids that we need to take a breather and re-think the way we approach them.
Our kindness will bring about heart change. How we parent matters.
We’ve seen it in our home, even recently. One of my kids was having a hard time in school, which turned out not to be an issue of brain power, but of simply not trying. I could’ve berated and said to try harder. (And I wanted to). But instead I sensed God say to slow down, ask questions, listen, and have a quiet conversation. The end result is that my child felt heard. We uncovered the “why” of the behavior, and ended up praying for each other.
We’re not perfect parents. We make lots of mistakes. But we have learned the importance of creating a haven in our home. If you’d like some free tips on doing that, I have a download about haven-making here.
What about you? Have you seen the power of kindness in your own life? In your kids? What happened?