Galatians 4:22-23 – For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.
In Genesis 16, referenced by Paul in Galatians 4, Abraham takes things into his own hands, many years after God had promised him a son, and gets their Egyptian maidservant Hagar pregnant. Needless to say, this is not what God had in mind, and this sets up a conflict between people groups and nations that still lasts to this day.
Hagar has a son, Ishmael, who is born of the flesh, has no inheritance, and is cast out with his mom, Hagar, once Sarah finds out she’s pregnant (even though this entire crazy scheme was Sarah’s idea to begin with). On the other hand, Sarah’s son, Isaac, is born again of the Spirit, and is the child of the promise and inheritance.
As parents, we have three options – to be more law-based (represented by Hagar), to be more grace-based (represented by Sarah), or to be both law and grace (with each parent showing a different quality, which creates a divided and confusing household). The following lists will help you determine which type of household you grew up in and are leading today.
Hagar: Law-Based Homes
Rules are the priority
Motivated by fear
No distinction between sins and mistakes
Parents add to God’s laws
Focus is external
Pressure to work for love
I work for God
Little laughter (Ishmael)
Sarah: Grace-Based Homes
Relationship is the priority
Motivated by faith
Distinguish sins and mistakes
God has laws, parents have rules
Focus is internal
Pleasure to work from love
God works for, in, and through me
Lots of laughter (Isaac)
Whether or not you grew up in a grace-based household, there’s still hope for you and your house. You can either turn into your parents, be the opposite of your parents, or learn from your parents in a healthy way. My prayer for you and your house is to have a grace-based household so that your family and your kids can grow up in a peaceful, loving, healthy, and fun environment, knowing that their parents and Jesus love them.
What kind of home did you grow up in? What kind of home do you have now, or do you want to have in your future home? Pray for God to help you have a more grace-based home now and going forward.
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