Grace is one of the Christian values I feel deeply about, having experienced God’s grace in my life. Knowing that God loves me for who I am and not what I did or didn’t do. Knowing that nothing I do (or did) will shock Him into not loving me has lifted and freed me beyond words.
Therefore I strive to impart this to my kids. I try to reinforce as much as possible that I love them even when they are naughty or disobedient.
“When I am naughty, mommy doesn’t love me,” Hubby-jr said one day.
“No, I love you even when you are naughty. I’ll always love you. When you are naughty you make me angry but I still love you. I love you because you are my son; you are God’s gift to me.”
The first time I told him, he seemed a little confused. How can mommy be angry (scolding and punishing) and still love him? After reassuring him a few more times, he took me at my word and repeated what I said verbatim, “mommy loves me even when I’m naughty.”
He asked me several more times (when I had to punish him), “do you love me when I am naughty?” And I’d reassure him. At times I’d also add, “I have to punish you when you are naughty because I have to teach you and I want you to learn to be a good boy.”
The question stopped after a while (a month or so ago?) and I almost forgot all about it until last night.
I lost my cool when they fought over a toy. Yes one out of tons that they have! As I was tucking them into bed I saw their dejected faces and felt sorry. So I said, “Hey, its okay, mommy’s not angry anymore. I won’t stay angry with both of you for long.”
And before I could say anything more Hubby-jr face lit up and he piped “but mommy will stay love you.”
“Yes, I will love you always. Both of you.”
My five year old got it. Sniff.