At our house, we've instituted a new "Get Out of Jail Free" program for Patriot. I felt like we were on him all the time about his behavior: you're being disrespectful, you need to obey, no whining, stop crying. The poor kid was enduring correction after correction and Mom and Dad were going crazy. Something had to change.

I've heard it said that, to a young child, God looks a lot like Mom. So, I try to model my parenting after God's parenting of us. (As a side note, if you ever want to feel better about your parenting, consider God. We know He is the ultimate parent, yet look how his children -- us! -- behave. If He can't make His children obey, I'm certainly not going to!) How does God deal with our disobedience? According to 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

What our house needs is less correction and more forgiveness! We have taught Patriot to confess his sins. If he can tell me he's sorry and correctly identify the wrong-doing, before I administer the due correction, he is forgiven for that sin. Thus he "gets out" of the time-out or spanking he deserves. If there are natural consequences, he still suffers those (i.e. He still has to clean up the mess he made.)

So far, our new "Get Out of Jail Free" program has made for a more pleasant home. I hope we're learning a lot about grace.
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