God is Good- Day 22

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good:
 for his mercy endureth forever." 
Psalm 136:1

It says this over and over throughout the Psalms, so it must be very important. God is good. His mercy endures forever.

it is an enormous responsibility to be a parent. We are modeling God to our children. Their first impressions of God are in large part formed by their parents, and unfortunately, many of us have had our thinking about God twisted because of our parents.

How does God parent us? First of all, He creates a beautiful place for us to live. Healthy food, clean air and an abundance of sensory delights are found in this first home.

He gives us rules to live by.

He provides a way for us to come back into relationship with Him, no matter how badly we break the rules.

Although relationship is always available, He does allow natural consequences for our mistakes to teach us to avoid those mistakes in the future. 

He gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us.

Can you see a correlation to our earthly parenting? It seems so simple when broken down in this way;
We prepare a spiritually and physically clean home for our children, with whole parents who can lay aside their own ambitions to minister to their children.

We give our children healthy rules and boundaries to guide them into civilized and godly living.

We offer them mercy when they break those rules and boundaries. 

We also offer gentle consequences for the lawbreaking.

We continue the cycle, praying that the Holy Spirit will fill our children and begin to guide them internally so that our external control of them can diminish

Parenting isn't a grace or law proposition. If the Israelites hadn't known the law, they wouldn't have known their need for grace. 

If we remove all rules from our children's lives, the need for the merciful love of our Lord is gone. 

However, if we make it all about performance and never model for them the great mercy and goodness of God, they will live in fear of failure. 

I don't want either for my children. I don't want lawless reprobates who are sure of salvation, and nor do I want timid and fearful legalists.

I dream of children who know the truth and can truthfully acknowledge that they fall short of perfect obedience of what is true.

Children who know that although they are imperfect, they have a perfect God who loves them and puts upon them His perfection.

I dream of children who know they are made perfect and set free and who acknowledge the cost of that freedom.

I dream of children who are overcome with gratitude to the purchaser of their freedom. Children who are so in love with the one who paid the price for their freedom, that they would gladly serve Him. 
This is my dream.

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