A few weeks ago my wife and I had an argument. At this moment I couldn’t even tell you the topic. I can tell you that both of us raised our voices perhaps just a little bit too much. Oh, and the kids were watching.

About a week later, my family is sitting around the diner table talking about our day. Somehow the topic came around to sin. In order for our kids to understand, we defined sin as the stuff we do to ourselves and others that makes God unhappy. My six year old, as plain as day, asks the obvious question: “Like when you and mommy were yelling at each other?”  We couldn’t help it; the entire table erupted in laughter. My wife and I took the moment then to apologize for our outburst and remind the kids that we were friends again.

I catch my children disobeying all of the time. This time, they caught me. And just like that I was reminded in an instant that grace is a very good thing and that perhaps I needed to show more of it to my kids.

Yes, discipline is a part of a parent’s job description, but grace is too.

Next time, and yes there will be a next time, stop, take a deep breath, pray for strength, and remember the times you needed an extra measure of grace when you’ve screwed up. Only then, engage in the difficult conversations that lay ahead.

You never know, this could be just what was needed in order for a breakthrough with your child.