That is primarily because my wife and I aren’t perfect – and they are products of our genes and environment. But 10 years ago we were introduced to a message that has greatly transformed the way we raise our kids.
Tim Kimmel has been teaching on parenting and how to raise kids for greatness for 30+ years through his ministry, Family Matters. 10 years ago I first heard him speak on Grace Based Parenting when he released his book by the same name . The premise calls us to raise and love our kids the way our Father in Heaven loves his kids. I bought the book and remember reading it – but truthfully, we only had one small child at that point and parenting wasn’t that difficult – except when it came time for him to take medicine.
Parenting one kid wasn’t always easy – but it was manageable. I hadn’t read many parenting books and had learned parenting mostly from my amazing parents. I never doubted I was loved. I grew up in the security of a safe home and was encouraged to be who God had created me to be! I felt truly blessed!
The Lord expanded our family just as we were reintroduced to Family Matters and Tim’s message of Grace Based Parenting. The addition of 2 more children – and moving to Tennessee – and changing career paths (both my wife and I) created a good deal of stress in our home – and certainly challenged our strategy in parenting our kids. It’s amazing how difficult it is to parent when I’m focused on me and my own challenges.
Thankfully the Lord brought the Grace based message back to the forefront of our minds at just the right time – as our oldest was about to enter the teenage years, our middle was discovering that he knows everything and needs to run the world…..and our daughter was………….well she was a girl. We needed to be reminded how to love our kids the way God loves us!
We’ve been blessed to be at several retreats with Tim and Darcy Kimmel. They have poured wisdom and encouragement over us – individually, as a couple, and at large conferences. I remember a story Tim once told about one of his sons wanting a Mohawk haircut and how he responded with ‘grace’ to his son’s wishes. That story was providence for me. I’m fairly ‘square’ – so when Parker (my middle son) wanted to do something ‘special’ for the Superbowl I was able to remember the mantra Tim taught me – “If its not illegal, If its not immoral, if its just annoying……..let it go” (Cue Frozen music)
As you can see…….it was wasn’t illegal or immoral – and hair will grow back…….well for some it will! When I texted Tim this picture to thank him for instructing me years earlier on how to respond in this situation, he congratulated me for helping create a moment for my son.
Grace Based parenting isn’t an easy process – or something that Anna and I have mastered. But its message is a constant reminder in the halls of our home to have a kingdom mindset as we love and lead our kids – To not get bogged down in the stuff that doesn’t matter, but to celebrate the things that do! And ultimately, to help raise our kids for true greatness!!
This weekend I’m taking my sons to Texas to watch the Cowboys vs Redskins game in Dallas. Parker is a die-hard Redskin fan because of RG3, and Jake and I are Cowboy fans because…… we’re from Texas! Creating memories is something my parents did well for us when I was growing up. I’m thankful that was modeled for me – and hopefully this weekend will be another moment created for my boys. And there will be Grace………unless of course, the Redskins win.
For a greater understanding of Grace Based Parenting watch this