If there is one message I want my daughters to take with them when they’re grown, it’s not “Pay your rent on time” or “If some guy tries something fresh, remember ‘Gift of Destruction’ from your karate class and take him out’” (though I hope they remember those, too). But really, the number one thing I want them to remember is that they can always come home. Not just home to us, their parents, but to God: his grace is abundant and free and he will always welcome them back—whatever drew them away, whatever they got wrong while they were in the wilderness. I want them to know that they don’t need to hide their sin or work hard to make up for it, but that they can come to God trusting that he will smile as he looks upon them and that he will cover them with his grace and forgiveness.
That’s it. That’s the one thing I hope all our parenting distills down to.
And so I’m grateful for Melissa Kruger’s book, His Grace is Enough, which distills that truth down further for the youngest readers and lays a gospel foundation for children. The refrain that runs throughout this book reads:
His grace is enough
It’s so big and so free . . .
There’s no need to hide,
And no need to run
Now you can serve him with
Gladness and fun
Now, when I said Kruger has distilled the message of the gospel down for the littlest readers, I didn’t mean only for the littlest readers. I read this book to my daughters over lunch and we all said, in effect, “Aw, that’s sweet,” before moving on with our day. But a few hours later, one daughter was distraught over something she got wrong (intentionally or unintentionally? It wasn’t clear). And this refrain bubbled to the surface: His grace is enough, so big and so free. Those words helped anchor my own thoughts as I gathered her in my arms and said, “Hey, what do we do now? Do you have to work hard so we’ll love you again?”
She nodded. Uh oh.
“Oh, sweetie,” I said. “But you don’t—we love you always, no matter what, even before you say you’re sorry. And God does, too! You don’t have to hide from him or from us—we’ll keep loving you forever, whatever happens, and so will he. Okay?”
Apologies and snuggles ensued.
Clearly, my daughter needed to hear this again. But so did I: reading the gospel written so plainly helped me see that maybe I need to simplify it a bit when I share it with my kids—maybe talk less about substitutionary atonement and more about grace. So, there you have it: a parenting lesson in a picture book! (A brilliantly written, beautifully illustrated picture book.)
His Grace is Enough: How God Makes it Right When We’ve Got it Wrong
Melissa Kruger; Isobel Lundie (2022)
This article first appeared with many other great resources on http://littlebookbigstory.com/