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3 Tips to Unraveled Grace

3 Tips to Unraveled Grace

I could sense my temperature rising as I stumbled in the bathroom to once again find my little guy unraveling his 18th roll of toilet paper in the course of a day.

Tempted to rise to the occasion of frustration that was presented to me, I instead allowed this to be a teachable moment with me and the Holy Spirit. (I could use some more of those in the middle of my messes, what about you?)

It was just the other day when a dear friend and I were sharing the world's best Chai in our small hometown. That expression of  unraveling came up as we talked about how sometimes our kids NEED to see us in those moments. Just like our parenting journey at times, the roll unravels, unwinds, and the more force or pressure it’s put under, the more it continues to unravel until there’s no more for it to give.

Unraveling as a mom can come in the form of frustrations laid bare and bad attitudes ruling the day, or as opportunities to bring our troubles to Jesus in front of our kids. Our children need to see us run to God, and they need to know when they unravel, they can come to us. Here’s how to respond with Christlike love in the moments that test you most...

Isn’t motherhood sometimes like that roll of toilet paper? It’s hard to stop in the midst of the lie we too often believe that WE have to hold everything together.

Be polished.

Don’t let them see you fail.  

But in our moments of unraveling is when we allow the deepest grace to cover us. Our kids need to see that it’s okay to unravel. To feel, to have the strength to rest in God when we are at our weakest, as we unravel in the arms of our Perfect Savior.

Our kids need those moments.

We NEED those moments.

Because just as the Bible says in this world we will have trials, as much as we wish it wasn’t true, so will our kids. Our kids have real feelings. A toddler, who is learning how to feel, or a teenager who is having hormones mixed with learning into their own independence need to know we are a safe place. We are vulnerable. We, like them, mess up, make mistakes, have doubts. When they see us unraveled + unpolished, they see it’s okay to be vulnerable with ourselves, others, and at the Feet of our Savior.

But what is our anointing as parents in guiding them through those moments of unraveling?

  1. Listening: undistracted, non-judgmental listening creates a safe space for our children to come to. It may not be always on our timing, but by following biblical principles of James 1:19 where it says be quick to listen, slow to speak. If We’re constantly demanding a response from our children, our actions are not being slow to listen. In the little years, and the teenage years we need to make sure our actions are aiding them to unravel in their safe space at home with us. They are free to feel in our presence, so that someday, when they have to unravel in the arms of someone else, they will still experience the peace and stability we established in the walls of our home and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

  2. Leading: by learning to be vulnerable, real, and honest about our moments of unraveling, they will follow our lead. The awesome thing about being a parent, or a believer is that we’ve never truly arrived (can I get an amen?!) There will always be time and space to grow, and learn until the day we are home with Jesus. How do you respond when you come unraveled? Are you angry? Closed off? Are you a closet crier, or too busy to take the time to address your feelings?

  3. Loving: even in their mess ups. Not creating a correcting or condemning culture, but one of connecting. This is HUGE when it come to creating a safe space in our home for our children. When we first choose love in the spaces they unravel, it then allows them to receive forgiveness and correction from the Holy Spirit.

Dayna Mager

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