Biblical love is different. It is never out of place. Even in discipline and correction, love is to dominate. This is why Paul says that if we don’t have love we gain nothing. The world and our flesh want us to act as if love is something we give to others if it is earned by their behavior. So when our children are disobedient, we seldom think about being kind. However, love is kind. Kindness is, therefore, never inappropriate or out of place.
Gospel-centered parenting is parenting that is not based upon making parents happy. The gospel means that I am secure in Christ, even when I am disobedient. As a Christian I do not want to stand before God and ask him to accept me based upon the best day that I ever had serving him. Even that best day would be a total denial of his goodness and grace given freely to me. Now what about my normal or bad days?!? God is always kind to me! Even in discipline, I am not treated as my sins deserve.
Now, move this forward to parenting. If we want our children to be kind we must consistently model kindness to them. Matthew 18:23-35 teaches us that we are to act in constant awareness of the grace given for us. It is easy to show kindness when our children are respectful and obey quickly with a smile. It is easy to show kindness when they clean the living room without being told. But when they are disrespectful and make a mess instead, being kind seldom enters our minds. Suppose God chose to follow our example when he disciplines us for our sinful behavior? I don’t know about you, but that is a thought that terrifies me.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]