Family: The Importance of Grace

 

Family life dance copy 2

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—FAMILY. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

FAMILY

Why do we let those we love the most see the ugliest versions of us?

Why is it we feel like we have the right to vent on those closest to us?

I’d never talk to my friends the way I talk to my boys. I never even talk to a telemarketer the way I talk with my boys sometimes.

And for that, I am ashamed.

I don’t speak disrespectfully to my friends, but I feel its okay, at least sometimes, to subject my husband, my boys, to that?

Especially with the males in my home, I must guard my words, and guide my tones of voice. They hear and understand love through RESPECT.

I need to be able to be real with my family. Let the guards down and share my fears, my hurts, my insecurities with them. But, I also need to love them well.

Boys n me 7-4

I can only do both well when I ‘m walking closely with Jesus. It’s when I allow Him to conform me to His image that I can love well, that I can speak truth with grace and still be real.

When I focus on being real without the love of Jesus guiding me? I will also be hurtful, at least sometimes.

When I seek to love my family without the freedom to speak truth, and share the real me? I squelch a part of myself, and that leads to me being unkind, disrespectful, and sometimes downright rude.

Loving well isn’t something I can do in my own strength, but it’s what I want to do with this amazing family God’s put around me.

One hubby who loves and leads us well. Who provides so much for us.

Two boys who I love to pieces and who love me with all of themselves. How can I love them less by withholding some of myself from them?

Mountain walk 2 copy

This family-life is a dance of grace and truth. It’s hard to walk in both constantly, but it’s what I want to do, because my guys are worth it.

And who knows, maybe my boys will see glimpses of Jesus in the loving and learn to love Him and others well as they grow older too. That’s my greatest hope.

What about you? What’s your favorite aspect of family? What’s your grace walk in your family life?

Be sure to visit Kate Motaung’s site for Five Minute Friday—Family

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30 thoughts on “Family: The Importance of Grace

  1. Family’s a hard topic for me. My ‘original’ family was dreadful. They are all dead, and I am glad. I hope that if I go to Heaven that it’s pretty big, and I never, ever see them again.

    One thing I have found useful is a Vietnamese adage, that one should treat one’s wife as one would treat an honoured guest.

    It’s hard. Family knows what buttons to push…and sometimes do it deliberately. Telemarketers don’t do that. Neither do most friends.

    Sorry if this is disjointed, Jeanne. Pushing hard to stay alert. Not easy right now.

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    • I love that Vietnamese adage. We should use it for all of those close to us. And you’re right that our family members know how to push buttons telemarketers and friends have no access to. 🙂 Going point.

      I’m praying for you, my friend. Praying hard.

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  2. THIS: “I can only do both well when I ‘m walking closely with Jesus. It’s when I allow Him to conform me to His image that I can love well, that I can speak truth with grace and still be real!” I’m parked in the 16 spot this week.

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    • Yeah, hard but hopeful truth, eh, Tara? We can only be all we are designed to be when we’re walking closely with Jesus. I find that frustrating at times, but the older I get, the more grateful I am that I have One to lean on. 🙂 Thanks, as always for stopping by. I appreciate your thoughts! Have a beautiful weekend.

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  3. Your line, “This family-life is a dance of grace and truth” rang out for me personally. We’re never going to be perfect Mamas, Jeanne, but I’ve definitely vowed to try my best every day. They deserve only my best. It certainly isn’t easy (why DOES he have to take sooooo long to get ready for school in the mornings??!!) but every time I feel an urge to be less than my best, I’ve been making a conscious effort, the last few weeks, to first breathe and then remember grace and then actively remember that he has his own ways of doing things and that I need to respect that. It’s sort of given me a space between the trigger and my response and in that space I’ve definitely found a form of patience that’s working for me (Mama me at least!)….Helen xx

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    • Helen, I love that we don’t have the burden of perfection laid upon us on this mothering journey. But that we can try our best every day and know that God fills in our lack? That’s hope right there. I need to remember to breathe before I speak out those nagging words more consistently. I need to remember that my guys have their own ways of doing things, and I need to give them the space to do that. You are one wise mama! Have a great weekend, my friend.

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  4. You are so right…family is a dance of grace and truth. I fear that my witness is most compromised within the confines of my own home. My family see me at my worst, and sometimes that worst doesn’t look a bit like Jesus. Oh, that would always, always bear evidence of Him in me. Lovely post, Jeanne.

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    • Leah, though I try hard to keep a calm, kind, courteous tone of voice in my home, I know I fall short. I’m so thankful, that when I ask forgiveness, my guys are usually pretty quick to extend it. And then I try again to be more like Jesus. Thank goodness He does fill in those areas where we lack as mamas and wives. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. I’m quite sure your boys see more than just “glimpses” of Jesus in you. You wear Him well, friend. I agree – home is where we let our guard down and sometimes the worst of us is offloaded. But we bear their worst too, don’t we. Family is a soft place to land where at the end of the day, we just love each other no matter what. That looks a whole lot like Jesus, doesn’t it? Love you, friend. xo

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    • Thanks for your kind words, Tiffany! I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right. We’re bear their worst as well. I loved your word picture. Family is a soft place to land and know we’re still loved, no matter what. Thanks so much for adding your insight, my friend!

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  6. Ah, you’ve struck a nerve with this one, Jeanne! I too struggle with my tone when I’m spent and short on time at home. Of late, I’ve been working on it even more, because I want to be the example that I write about. What a challenge! That’s my grace walk, for sure. For some reason, I expect my family to read my mind and know that I expect them to do this or that when I just need to tell them nicely and get on with life! lol. Mind readers – pshhhh why would I ever think they would try to read my mind, anyway?!
    Thanks for the reminder to have grace with my family. Your two little boys are precious!

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    • I’ve been working on my tone too. As my oldest nears his thirteenth birthday, I’m getting push back from him, and disrespectful tones. And he’s the one who needs lots of reminders. So, I am getting lots of practice in keeping a kind, patient, CALM tone. I’m not always successful. I know I’ll continue to get practice as they grow older. Yeah, and not expecting them to be a mind-reader . . . I have to remember that too. 🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend!

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  7. Ah, it took me a long time to learn to do the mighty do-over. All too often I got grumpy with my kids and handled situations in un unloving way. When ever I asked for a do-over, they graciously let me start over again.

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    • Do-overs . . . I’ve both needed them and given them. It’s hard to love well ALL the time. My guys are usually pretty good about giving them to me when I need them. That’s part of being in a family, yes? 🙂
      Have a great weekend, friend!

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  8. You hit close to home for every mother out there. Why DO we let our guard down and let our family have it with both barrels? I pray daily for His grace in my words and actions. My favorite

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    • Yeah, I pray for grace daily . . . sometimes several times in a day! And for God’s perspective on what’s going on in my boys’ (and hubby’s) lives. Perspective often helps me keep a kinder tone. And thanks for your kind words. I thought about the family dance as I was pondering for this post. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. Well, I dont’ know how I did that. I hit return without meaning to, I guess. But I have to add that you hold the “favorite quote of the week” award for me. “This family-life is a dance of grace and truth” Thank you!

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  10. As always, so encouraging, Jeanne! I agree – I stop and wonder how I can be SO frustrated at Bea and speak in such tones that I would never use with anyone else. AND I’m supposed to model social behaviors for her?! Yikes… Thankful for grace and the ability to be imperfect within my family.

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    • Annie, one of the biggest mama lessons I’ve learned is that kids watch what we do after we blow it. Choosing humility and asking forgiveness models for them how to work through those times when we’re hurt or hurt others. Thank goodness God doesn’t hold us to a standard of perfection! He lets us learn through our mistakes and choose better next time. Yeah, that would be the voice of experience speaking. 🙂

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  11. Jeanne, try as I may I just cannot imagine you speaking disrespectful to anyone.
    But I guess there is something to be considered here, we have our guard down the most when we are with those who know us best. We don’t intend to hurt or disrespect them, but we feel free to cut to the chase because there is no hiding who we are from them. I guess that holds true in our relationship with God. We can’t hide what He already knows about us and because of that we are free to experience a more honest and meaningful relationship with Him. We are free to come as we are and in that we truly experience the depth of His grace.
    Telemarketers are another story. I think they may just be God’s gift to us so that we can unleash some of that built up frustration on faceless stand-ins. 😉

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    • Gene, I do try hard to speak respectfully to others. My husband has shown me what disrespectful speech looks like to him. Yes, I’ve learned some of that that hard way. As I am in the process of raising two men, I’m having to learn what speaks disrespect to them as well, and try to remember respect speaks so much more than the mere words; it speaks love to them, just like to my husband. So, with that in mind, I do try. But, I do fail too. 🙂 As we all do. And yes, I rarely intend the disrespect, but sometimes it’s there nonetheless.

      As you so often do, you put things in such a clear light. We do cut to the chase because there’s no hiding who we are from those closest to us. And again, yes. We can’t hide who we are from God. The honesty with Him can be the doorway to experiencing His grace in our moments.

      I’m laughing out loud about telemarketers. I were one . . . once. For about a month in college. I’d never go back to that. 😉

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  12. This is so true! I let my guard down with my family and sometimes wound them with my words! I am finding that I must continually surround my tongue to speak words of life and not death! To shower grace upon those I love the most and build instead of tear down!
    Thanks for these words! And I finally got over here! 🙂 Happy Monday to you!

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  13. Oh, Jeanne … I can so relate. It is strange how we can hold in our emotions with others but can’t seem to restrain ourselves when it comes to those closest to us. You aren’t alone … trust me on that. 🙂 But they also see our happiest moments that others don’t see, too. And what a reminder to extend grace to our family members … an outburst of fear, anger doesn’t mean they don’t love us … they can just be their real self, raw emotional self, with us … that they can’t be with others. That’s almost a positive! 🙂 A compliment. 🙂 I love you.

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    • I love that you pointed out our children see our happiest moments, as well as the ugly ones. They see a more complete picture of who we are, of our essence, don’t they? I’m glad my guys are themselves with me, even when it hurts. There is beauty in knowing we are that safe place for them, isn’t there?

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