Somehow, it seems that grace is the hardest to give at home, where it should be the easiest, with my own people. The man I chose. The children I birthed. But I am often the worst version of myself at home. I need to daily seek the grace of God to fill me, so that it may overflow to my family, and then out from our home to our little corner of the world.
I have been watching mamas for a long time, and I have come to know that the mama sets the tone of the home. In other words, the grace my people extend to others is in direct proportion to the grace I am extending to them.
They cannot give what they have not received.
I must show my children how to extend the grace-gift to each other. I must show them how to admit when they’re wrong, how to ask for forgiveness, and how to repent of sin. I must do this not only by instruction, but also by example. When I sin against my children, or in their presence, I must come to the place of grace in the shadow of the cross and ask them to extend the grace-gift back to me.
When I sin against my husband, I must ask for the grace that he is so often so ready to extend. He is better at this than me. “I’m sorry” is such a hard pill to swallow. But once it goes down, the grace that washes both of us makes it so much easier for him to give the gift. Am I doing everything I can to make it easy for my husband to extend the grace-gift to me?
Freely you have received, freely give.
When I give my husband, my children, the gift of grace in the way I have received it from my Father, I encourage them to also give it. I have received Life from the Life-Word, Jesus Christ, and I give the grace that overflows from Him to my family. We give grace-filled words and grace-filled service. We give as we have been given, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.
And then from the grace we have found in our home, we reach out to others and extend that grace as well. Sometimes, the people we touch have already received the Grace-Gift. They know what it is to be washed in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb. And yet, they too need grace. They need it, because while Christ has healed the broken-hearted and bound up our wounds, He also calls us, His children, to bear one another’s burdens.
In this way, we fulfill the Law of Christ.
Other times, the people we touch have not yet received the Grace-Gift. It seems wholly and wonderfully strange to them. They are drawn to it, but they do not understand it. By showing them the overflow of the Grace-Gift in our own hearts, we show them the source of that spring: the Grace-Gift Himself, Jesus Christ.
Giving grace in and through our home is a daily laying down of my fleshly cry, “What about me?” As I seek to follow the One who laid down His glory for me, I follow His example. After He cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” He then cried, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In my daily interactions, I often know not what I do in the ways I offend God and others. May God grant me the grace to pray Christ’s prayer of forgiveness, freely receive His grace, and then freely give it.
Freely you have received, freely give.
- II Corinthians 4:15 “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
- James 5:16a “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, that you may be healed.”
- II Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
- Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
- Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”
- Luke 22:34 “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
- Matthew 10:8 “Freely you have received, freely give.”