Thursday, March 29, 2007

Concerning Spankings...and Grace

One day, when Corban was four years old, and Micah was nearly two, I had to run to the grocery store with both of them. This particular store has great prices, but also requires you to bag everything yourself, so with two little ones, it was rather difficult. And to make it even harder, Corban was so squirrely, grabbing things off of the shelves, and laying down in the aisles! This had garnered several warnings (yes, back when I warned instead of requiring first-time obedience – which is still catching on!), and I finally told him I would have to spank him when we got home. He grew quiet.

On the drive home, he kept weeping in the back seat, saying, “Mama, I’m so sorry. I was so bad. I’m so sorry.” I told him I forgave him, and then began thinking about grace. I could tell he was really sorry, both in his heart, and in his bottom! (laughs) I began thinking that I would like to offer him grace, and how I could use the opportunity to define this marvelous word.

So when we arrived home, he tentatively asked me, “Are you coming? I’m going to my room.” I knelt down, and said, “Corban, do you know what? I can tell that you are really sorry, and that you realize exactly what you did wrong, and that it makes you sad, too. Do you know what grace is?” (He shook his head “no”.)

“Grace is when you deserve a spank, but Mama will hug you and pray with you instead. (We always do this, but the spanking usually comes first!) God gives us grace every day! We deserve bad things for how naughty we are, but Jesus took the punishment for those naughty things, and now we get to hug God and pray with Him, through Jesus!”

All the while his amber-brown eyes looked seriously into mine, and once in awhile he nodded. And so we hugged, and prayed, and off he bounced. I laughed when I heard him explaining his new word to Daddy that night. “It’s when I’m s’poseta get spanked, but I don’t, ‘cause Jesus died, and I’m sorry.” Grace in its simplest form, and yet I could see we would need to have another talk about the fact that sometimes, a punishment would still be necessary! At least in our house.

Well, dear reader, a few weeks later, another incident occurred that required a spanking. Exasperated, I let Corban know that I would meet him in his room a moment later (taking my self-imposed sixty seconds to calm down so I wouldn’t spank in anger). He looked at me in shock, then turned and ran down the hall, screaming…

“GIVE ME GRACE! GIVE ME GRACE!”

My sixty seconds were extended to one-eighty, for Mama cannot spank when she is laughing. And oh, yes. The spanking still occurred that day.

But the honesty of that statement was not lost on me.

We should all be spanked. But we aren’t. ‘Cause Jesus died. And we’re sorry.

Reach heavenward with your arms, and whisper it with me...Give us grace.

And feel Him catch you up into His arms, hold you close, and whisper into your ear... “You shall have it, Beloved.”


As you enter into your weekend, friends, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)

30 fellow travelers shared:

Jessica said...

Amen Sista! Preach it!

Cindi said...

LOL! A great reminder gently wrapped in a funny story!

Jen said...

LOL great true life story

here in New Zealand the government are trying to pass a law where a parent by law is not allowed to spank their own child.

Laura said...

What a funny story. I think I come to God like that a lot.

Anonymous said...

(With chuckles *and* tears)

Such a sweet story. We've had similar intances of offered grace/no punishment. For, "He does not always treat us as our sins deserve." I'm so grateful.

As a parent, I find it a constant struggle to know how to be consistent in discipline
(admittedly important) and reflect this aspect of God's heart. We began our parenting with "first time obedience" training, but have now backed off, thinking it's not very much how God treats us. And, it wasn't working too well for us either. Hopefully some day we'll figure out the right balance - with God's leading, of course.

Miriam

Andrea said...

Great, Elise. You are a very good mama. (With God's grace, of course--haha.(me too) Seriously, you are. :)

Thanks for the fresh perspective and reminder of what His grace is all about.

deb said...

Elise, I like this story! I always remember the word g-r-a-c-e with this saying: God's Riches At Christ Expense. He did SO much for us, and I like the way you taught that word to your son.

dani-hermit-be-gone said...

Elise, that is a wonderful story! How encouraging to hear about Godly mommys obeying the Word raising em' right. You are an example to me, although I'm not a mommy yet. I love to store away info in case I get to be one some day..

Beverly said...

Elise ... what a wonderful story. I love the opportunity you took with Corban to teach him of God's grace. It was so humorous how he chose to plead for grace ... and how often we have to. Beautiful.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the morning laugh! But really, this was a wonderful illustration for your son. You did a great job teaching him this principle.
Blessings!

bluemountainmama said...

my arms are lifted....i SO needed to hear that this morning. i have been very frustrated with myself and my "flesh" as of late....

what a wonderful lesson your son learned from his wise mommy....just beautiful, elise....

QueenHeroical said...

I have had a similar happening regarding the word: mercy :)

And yes, I am trying to remember, daily, that "there by the grace of God, go I."

grace and peace to you as well, Elise.

--Krina

and thank you for the kind encouragement.

Kendra said...

Elise, this is a beautiful post. I do the same thing with my little ones sometimes. Except, I always call it mercy. Now I'm wondering if I have my definitions right. I thought that grace was receiving what we don't deserve and mercy was not getting what we do deserve. But, maybe I'm wrong there.
Anyway, both are granted to us because of what happened on the Cross. Our punishment is nullified and we receive blessings that we couldn't possibly deserve.

Elise said...

I believe that one of the definitions of grace is, in fact, "mercy". How beautiful is that?
In giving someone what they don't deserve, it can be called merciful. We who have been graced much, need to remember to pass it on to our children, yes?
I'm so glad you do the same with your own, Kendra!

Grafted Branch said...

I'm glad you taught him about grace -- or mercy as the case may be. I'm gladder still that you spanked him the next time. At my grandfather's funeral, a very old friend of the family (that I don't know personally) came to me and said something to the effect of,

"You're Joe's daughter? *whisper* You know...they never spanked him as far as I know. He could always talk himself out of it with a sincere show of repentance. He was such a good little politician that way."

My father is one of four siblings raised by a Bible church pastor; all but him walk closely with the Lord. He's been downright antagonistic to the Savior, His Gospel and to God's people for 35+ years. I pray for him all the time. He's still an affable man and I love him so much.

Kendra said...

That makes a lot of sense, Elise. Thanks so much for helping me to understand.

Christine said...

That is the best post I've read in a long time. I've done the grace-instead-of-punishment dance with my kids on occasion to teach them, too, but I could never write about it as beautifully as you have!

Joel and Jaime said...

I'm with everybody else, Elise--that was a very wise and beautiful thing you did for your son! What a great lesson for us ALL to learn!

Beka said...

That was such a beautiful description of something so true.

I remember one day when I was a young girl, maybe 10 or 12, and one of my brothers and I did something that deserved a spanking. My dad took us both upstairs, intending to spank us, but instead knelt with us and gave us grace. That incident always stayed with me, and I've pondered it so often. I'll never forget it, for it was something God used in my life to help me understand grace more fully as a child. I hope and pray that your Corban, as well as your other 2 precious ones, will come to know God's grace in their lives.

Many blessings, dear friend!

The Preacher's Wife said...

Oh I love it...now I know what to holler when I've messed up yet again...

How we learn from our wee ones...No wonder Jesus said we must come like children..:)

Lyn said...

Wonderful post. As usually you are a guide to me! This will be remembered on those really hard days.

Jenny said...

You have something to pick up over here....
http://lifeisnotacereal.blogspot.com/2007/03/blog-award-that-makes-me-think.html

Thanks for making me think!

Jennifer

Danielle said...

I'm so glad I popped over! Hearing of God's grace is just like stepping out into a freshly washed world after a rain - it smells heavenly :-).

When we attended Bill Gothard's Basic Seminar years ago, he defined grace as "the desire and power to do God's will". Truly His grace, when properly received, is the ultimate motivation to obey the Lord - don't you agree? Your son sounds like such a sweetie :-).

I also think that relationship with our Heavenly Father is so key in teaching true grace. I've heard that children are rooted and grounded in the souls of their parents. There is so much wisdom there because when you see the fruit of Christ in a child - you know it didn't come from you, but from our precious Lord.

Thank you for praying for me dear sister - I need it right now.

Danielle

Holly said...

That was so precious! I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog and saw this! I'll have to remember that for when I have little ones someday.

LoryKC said...

Just found your blog and I love this story! A wonderful lesson--with the humor that only a child can add! I'll remember this one for a while! Thanks!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

I read this the other day and didn't comment. It made me want to nominate you for the Thinking Blogger Award, and I linked to you in my post today. Just a little 'thank you' for sharing your sweet spirit with me!

Munchkin Land said...

What a great story, and I love how you used the correlation between your grace and God's grace. What a great lesson for him to learn! And a great reminder for the rest of us too!!

Stacy said...

Somehow I missed this post when you originally posted it.
I had a huge smile on my face as I was reading this, Elise... because we do the same at our house, and I have heard those same words from my children, "GIVE ME GRACE! Will you PLEASE give me GRACE?!?!"
It's a beautiful thing to give, and to receive, isn't it?

Love to you,
Stacy

Shelley said...

So simple and yet so powerful! What a concept! Thanks for sharing. I've got to share this with others...too good!

Julie said...

I loved this! I featured it in an entry called Soul Care... where I talk highlight the blogs that make me think and inspire me!

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