Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No Spanking Zone

A wooden plaque hangs on our front door:

Papa and Nana’s House
Hugs and Kisses
No spanking zone
Milk and Cookies
Kids spoiled while you wait

It’s what we want our home to be for our grandchildren and for everyone—a place of happy, playful, care–free affection, a refuge of unconditional love. 
“Spiritually, if not literally, we can (all) love as grandparents,” Margaret Guenther says, “Parental love is weighted with concerns: Will this child learn the multiplication tables and state capitals? Know how to tie his shoes? Maybe earn a living some day? By contrast, grandparental love asks for nothing: no conditions are attached.”[1]
Assuming that we’re growing in grace as we grow up, we should all be becoming more “grandparental” in our love for one another, fretting less over other folk’s sins and shortcomings and letting them grow in God’s time and way, not dismayed or disillusioned by occasional bad behavior. We can enjoy God’s children and let them be.
God’s children are just that—His children, not mine—and thus they are His responsibility. I can be “irresponsible” in the literal and best sense of that word. I can point others to righteousness in a non-judgmental way, but I’m free from the heavy burden of trying to correct or control them. I can love and pray with calm detachment. I can be forgiving, merciful, lenient and kind-hearted, knowing that it is not condemnation, but the kindness of God that draws men and women to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Papa and Nana’s house—no spanking zone; milk and cookies; hugs and kisses. God’s children are welcome here!


[1] Margaret Guenther, Toward Holy Ground, p.46

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