My husband talks about the pressure being off in another post that you might be interested in. Check it out here.
I'm talking about a different kind of pressure. The pressure to be good. I've been reading a little bit about it in a wonderful book that my sister got for me called Give Them Grace by Elyse M Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. In the words of my husband, "If you only read one book in your life, read this one." *picks up Bible* "If you read two..." you might want to try this one. The book talks about how important it is that we teach our kids the truth about who we are and, more importantly, the truth about who God really is.
We are all sinful. "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23. And no matter how hard we try we are never gonna get it right all the time. This is the lesson that the Israelites learned over and over again in the Old Testament and the lesson that Paul was trying to teach early Christians who thought that if they only tried hard enough to obey God's laws that that would be enough to get them into heaven. "Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for 'The righteous shall live by faith.'" Galatians 3:11 and "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:8
But, from the beginning, God has this wonderful rescue plan! He made us and he knows better than we know ourselves. He loves us anyway and sent his son to exchange our sinfulness for his righteousness! He took our sins and has offered us his righteousness instead! Now that's a bargain if I ever heard one! "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 and "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man," Romans 8:3.
That's right. We aren't good. On our own, we never will be. But God's FREE gift of grace is this: That we may become like Jesus, a righteous son of God! With this information in our hearts, we (Sean and Emily) are beginning to pass this message along to our children. We are praying for the day when it will make sense to them. We teach them to obey so that they can learn that they will never get it right all the time, because quiet frankly we don't get it right all the time either! But we also teach them about God's wonderful grace. That we can exchange our inability to be good for his everlasting goodness. The wonderful thing that this book, Give Them Grace, has taught me is that this knowledge turns both obedience and disobedience into a reason to give THANKS! We thank God when we do whats right because we know that apart from his work in our lives we couldn't have done good on our own. AND when we do wrong we thank God for his free gift of grace that we know we so desperately need.