Last year we listened to James Dobson from Focus on the Family, interview different people on various topics, from parenting to motherhood to being a wife.
This year it is Essentials of Parenting (Raising kids with a faith that lasts). One of the topics is Grace Filled Parenting. I grew up up a fairly legalistic family, many rules to live by, many do's and dont's, but not much compassion, forgiveness or grace. So when I hear the term "grace filled parenting', I immediately think permissive parenting.
Listening to Dr Tim Kimmell speak made me realise that parenting with grace is not letting our kids get away with everything, rather it is modelling Gods attributes for our children. Living out His love, mercy, forgiveness in front of our children so they can see how He wants us to live in this world. Our society needs to see Gods love, His mercy, graciousness, forgiveness - all His attributes at work in us, and the home is a fabulous practice ground for this.
My default position is to go back to the way that I was raised. It is so hard to get out of that mindset, but I don't want children to think that my love is conditional, that my motherhood is just a list of rules. I want my children to have a heart for God and to see God through me. It is a good thing we have a big God who can work through the lowliest of people.