by The Kids & Me Contributor Jeri Johnson “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:7 NKJV Recently, my pastor preached about the image that we show to other people. Our lives may be shattered, and we may be indulging in behavior that does not correspond with our Christian testimony; but we feel that we have to present a certain image to our friends, our co-workers, and especially to the church. After all, what would our acquaintances think if they discovered that we were not the perfect Christians that we appear to be? Pastor answered that those acquaintances would not be surprised, and would probably be relieved, because they are just like us. We all fall short of the mark. God knew that we would fall short when He made us. That is why He sent Jesus to die on the cross. This is the essence of the Gospel.
There is a more important group that we need to show this to: our children. We need to teach our children that God has a standard of behavior. And they, just like us, will fall short of that standard. We need to show them that we are struggling and learning, just as they are. When they need support, they don't need a Scripture-quoting, rule-enforcing authoritarian. They need someone that they can relate to. We need to show them that we have standards, but we are understanding and merciful. These are the attributes that we appreciate most in God. If our children can't see this in their earthly parents, how can we expect them to see it in their heavenly Father? As we grow spiritually, let us not only walk in front of our children as examples, but also beside them as recipients of the grace and mercy of God.