We’re good at speaking our minds. Talking straight. Keepin’ it real. Telling it like it is. We’re bad at doing it with any sort of decorum. I blame social media. And I blame reality TV, which finds the more outspoken, outlandish characters, builds a show around them and presents us the new norm on how we are to talk and interact with people.
We just say what’s on our minds—the “truth” as we see it—and even worse, we do it with little regard for being loving and graceful. And why should we? After all, what does the old cliché say? Truth hurts. But should it?
Should truth hurt?
Whatever happened to love and grace? Consider what John said about Jesus:
“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
I appreciate John’s personal experience with Jesus. He was not just writing theologically about Jesus; he knew from personal experiences that Jesus is full of grace and truth.
- Full of truth. In my life as a follower of Jesus and as a dad, I am thoroughly convinced that the truth lies in Jesus. No other worldview, philosophy or religious system holds water compared to seeing life through the truth of Jesus. Can you say this dad? Can you say this in your personal life? Is this the truth you are teaching your family? Your son should learn biblical truth from you.
- Full of grace. I am also convinced that Jesus is full of grace. His Spirit confirms in my spirit that I am free from sin, guilt, condemnation and everything else I fully deserve. I am totally a product of His grace. Knowing this should change how we father our children. Would your child say you are full of grace? Even when your child is disobedient, is there grace and love in your discipline?
Since Jesus is full of grace and truth, then I should be too.
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1).
My life as a husband and dad is to be full of grace and truth as well. Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and He is the full embodiment of grace, so, as an imitator, I want to increasingly display the grace and truth of Jesus. Biblical fatherhood understands grace and truth. What does grace and truth look like as a dad?
Well, here are a few ideas:
- I want to live with truth, in full integrity. My word should be my bond.
- I want to be honest about who I am, including my failures and weaknesses, with my wife and kids. I can turn my weaknesses and point to God.
- I want to stand on the truth of who Jesus is, what He’s done and what He is doing in my life. This presumes we are looking daily for His work in our lives.
- I want to communicate these truths with my wife and kids with intention.
- I want to show grace to my wife and kids even as Christ has shown grace to me. Don't skip this point. What does this look like in an argument?
- I want to to be an example to my wife and kids in that I show grace and truth to those around me—at work, at church and in the community. What do your kids see in your interactions with others outside of the house?
I’ve come a long way in my journey as a Christian, but I’ve still got a long way to go. Yet even in my struggles to fully impart grace to others, Jesus is gracious to me! Jesus' grace is there for you as well.
This post originally appeared on Lynn's blog at LynnHPryor.com.
This is a guest post from Lynn H. Pryor, D. Min. Lynn spends most days developing adult Bible study resources for LifeWay Christian Resources. He serves a Nashville church as pastor and earned his doctorate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He enjoys woodworking, and his favorite projects are when his sons show up to help. He has been married to Mary for 36 years. Learn more about Lynn at LynnHPryor.com.
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