A Jagged Contention: A Gracious Father

“First, a dad is a model of grace in the home. The fact that we believe that the Gospel is true and that we have a Father who sent His own Son so that we could be His children necessarily affects our view of father and the other way around as well. There is a misconception out there that if children grow up to be “bad,” it is because there was not enough law in their lives. Maybe, we think, if their parents had just been harder on them, stricter disciplinarians, the would have turned out better. I think the real misunderstanding is that we are blind as to how much law is present in our everyday lives. The world gives us plenty of law—law in abundance! What everyone, especially families and children, really need is grace. Fathers need to remember that we will never be able to give enough grace to offset the amount of law that our children receive in their everyday lives. It is just not possible. You may not even be able to hit the fifty-fifty mark; you’ll constantly be in a deficit. We need more grace and more Gospel desperately. The is why the father in the prodigal son is such a striking figure. He does the unexpected; he hands out grace when our inclination is that more law is needed.”

– Scott Keith, Being Dad: Father as a Picture of God’s Grace, pg. 46


Why are we so reticent to show kids grace? Though it is obvious that discipline is necessary, why do we shy away from showing mercy? Do you have an example of how your father showed you grace and the impact it made on you?