From Beth:Stephen recently went to the optometrist and came back with new glasses. His eyes are pretty bad and if it weren't for new technology he would totally have the "coke bottle" look. But even so, he ended up returning the new frames because he found they limited his peripheral vision.
Does that ever happen to you? I mean, you put on a pair of glasses through which you will view your children and find you cannot see accurately, or you realize your focus is "off"--yeah, I'm actually talking about me, but I figure you know that!
I am aware that sometimes I pick up unhelpful frames when I look at my children. If I pick put the frames of criticism, I see that which disappoints. But I have these grace frames that I prefer to wear. They are wonderful!
With my grace frames on, I can see accurately and move about freely without stubbing my toe on some offense or spraining my ankle in some area of lack.
In grace I see my child as God sees him. I see with lenses that focus on what God is doing and has done, rather than what still needs to be done. My eyes begin to catch the lines of definition in his spirit, enjoying what God enjoys about this treasured child.
And then I am able to say, "I see you!"--not to call out what is wrong or missing, but to define and declare what is true. I have the privilege to define my child, not by his current behavior, nor by his past, but by his identity and calling.
Our pastor, Greg Haswell, shared this wonderful truth in a sermon at Northlands Church recently:
It is the nature of the enemy to want to capture you in the worst and weakest moments of your life and then suspend you with that view of yourself, and to constantly remind you “This is who you are!”--that is why he is called the accuser.
It is the nature of God to capture you in the victory won by Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection and suspend you in that view of yourself, and to constantly remind you “This is who you are!”--that is why He is called the comforter.
You and I have the unique opportunity to be ones who speak into the identity and calling of our sons and daughters. That is, we get to constantly remind them who they are.
We pick out the frames of grace and start our own name-calling campaign! We refuse to wear the glasses that can only see best what is wrong, what is weak, what needs 'fixing.' Instead, we don those frames that catch each one in his or her identity in Christ, viewing them as their heavenly Father views them.
This is powerful parenting.
This is parenting in grace. This is what love looks like.