When I was in fifth grade in Germany with my family, my Oma on my dad’s side wanted me to eat a certain lunchmeat from the “kids’” table. Yeah, they had a table with food for the kids and a separate table with food for adults.
I wanted the food from the adult table. The food on the adult table was better, higher quality. You see, my mom and dad brought me up well, to know good food!
My Oma there in Germany saw that I didn’t want to eat the meat from the kids’ table, and she said to my mom, “Cornelia has to learn to eat the meat from the kids’ table.”
Frankly, from a very young age, I was very picky about food and could just as well have gone without meat altogether. Bottom line, I’d rather have a little bit of the high quality meat or no meat rather than a lot of the lower-quality meat.
My mom smiled and listened to her mother-in-law –my Oma–but didn’t say anything. Then, a little while later, my mom gave me a little bit of the expensive meat from the adult table that she had on her plate. To this day, I can still picture the kitchen we were in when my mom showed mercy toward me in this very small thing, but it was huge tome. It mattered.
I was listening to a radio program featuring a famous parenting book author and he spoke of how his then-middle-school daughter told him she needed supplies for a project in school that was due the next day.
But when the author found out that his daughter had known about the project for a couple of weeks but was only then telling him about it, he told her he would not take her to the store, and she would have no project to turn in the next day. He was trying to teach his daughter a lesson.
I would have taken my kid to the store or tried to help her make do with the supplies available at the house.
Sure, the daughter should have mentioned it earlier, but she still wanted to do the project. I would have shown mercy.
There are times we need to put our foot down and teach lessons about responsibilities, but we need to weigh those times carefully. Yes, the kid should have planned better, but wasn’t willfully doing anything wrong; she just forgot. She needed mercy. And grace.
In the end, what is the lesson our kids will take from the situation?
To me, having mercy and grace towards others matters, and in parenting just the same.
It is how the Lord is to us.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145: 8-9
This is post number 29 in my How I Mom 30 Days of November #howimom30 series (which I am a couple of days behind in ;O) Thanks for your grace and mercy.
How about you? Have you been shown mercy and grace by someone? By your parents when you were young? How do you show your kids mercy and grace. How do you mom? #howyoumom30