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  • Laura Goodyear

Looking for a safe place to land

Dear Friend,

I’m not sure there is anything quite as humbling as child-rearing. For one thing, children have no filter. Questions like, “Mama, why is your butt so big?” certainly prevented my vanity from running amok.

But I was even more humbled by the daily challenge of disciplining and shaping the characters of my little people. Do I come down hard on this issue or offer grace? Is this a rule or a guideline? How do you teach a kid to share his cookie when you don’t even want to share yours?

Despite all these questions and obstacles, there was one guiding principle that my husband and I were committed to: We wanted to be a safe place to land for our kids. We wanted them to know that when they messed up, they could tell us.

Flunked a test? Let’s talk about it.

Totaled the car? Let’s see what needs to be done.

Being a safe place didn’t mean that we did not discipline - actions always have consequences - but we wanted them to know that we were on their side and would walk through even their biggest mistakes with them.

Kinda like Jesus is with us.

Hebrews 4:15-16 says:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus – perfect, sinless Jesus – sympathizes with us in our weakness. He knows how hard this life is. He understands our sinful nature and the fallenness of this world better than we do. And he promises to be a safe place to land.

He is not an angry parent waiting to pounce on you like you just broke curfew.

He’s here to help.

He is not irritated that you are a repeat offender.

He’s delighted to offer you grace and a do-over.

Jesus sympathizes with us in our weakness.

He promises mercy and grace to help us in our time of need...and yet some part of us often thinks we are the exception to that rule. So we hide. We pretend. We shame ourselves and drown in condemnation. We do everything except run to the one person who totally understands and can actually help.

Just because Jesus didn’t sin does not mean that he expects us not to sin. Seriously. He understands our limitations better than we do. Is his grace an invitation to sin? Of course not (Rom. 6:1). But it is an invitation to bring our whole selves to him and allow him to transform us from the inside out. Grace does that kind of thing.

So, friend, no matter what you’ve done or what you’ve been through, let Jesus be your safe place to land. And if you have kids, I hope you will do the same for them…


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