The home is intended to be the training ground to fashion the characters of our children. As parents, we want them to develop qualities such as self-control, respect for authority, compassion and humility. The home is also where they are to become convinced of God’s love and to recognize His design and His authority over them.
These ideals will most likely be met when parents fill their homes with God’s GRACE. But, sadly, many parents know nothing of God’s love and they raise their kids in an environment of SHAME. Here are a few shameful examples of how some parents try to motivate their offspring.
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
“You are such a disappointment to me.”
“Why didn’t you try harder.”
“Why can’t you be more like so-and-so?”
“I don’t know why you were born.”
“I’m ashamed of you.”
The church reflects the home. Instead of describing the church in terms of grace, outsiders often describe it as a place of condemnation, criticism, and condescension. The way we will fill our homes and churches with GRACE is to follow our Lord’s example of how He treated people.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, (John 4)
— He did NOT SHAME her. He did not say, “What a loser. You couldn’t keep any of your previous five husbands, so now you’re just shacking up with a man.”
— Jesus applied the ointment of GRACE. He said, “I have what it takes to quench your spiritual thirst.”
When Jesus talked to the woman taken in adultery, (John 8)
— He did NOT SHAME her. He did not say, “You should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t you realize the hurt you are bringing to your husband or his wife?”
— Jesus applied the ointment of GRACE. He said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
When Jesus dealt with the demoniac living in the cemetery, (Mark 5)
— He did NOT SHAME him. He did not say, “You must have sold your soul to the devil, and now you are reaping the consequences.”
— Jesus applied the ointment of GRACE. He said, “Legion of demons, come out of this man.”
When Jesus spoke to Zacchaeus, a chief tax-collector and despised man among his own people, (Luke 19)
— He did NOT SHAME him. He did not say, “You greedy little man. You traded loyalty to your people for a few miserable bucks.”
— Jesus applied the ointment of GRACE. He said, “Zacchaeus, I want to come to your house and eat a meal with you.”
When a woman was anointing His feet with perfume, (Matthew 26)
— He did NOT SHAME her. He did not say, “What are you doing? Leave Me alone. Quit bothering Me!”
— Jesus applied the ointment of GRACE. He said, “‘Why are you [disciples] bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to Me. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’” (Matthew 26:10,13)
When Jesus spoke to Peter after His resurrection, (John 21)
— He did NOT SHAME him. He did not say, “Peter, I’m ashamed of you. You let Me down. I can’t count on you.”
— Jesus applied the ointment of GRACE. He said, “Peter, feed My sheep.”
The ultimate expression of the Lord’s GRACE was when He laid down His life on the cross to suffer His Father’s wrath against our sin. If you haven’t yet asked Christ to be your Lord, I hope you’ll do that soon.