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What does “grace” mean?

Proverbs 1:8-9

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.

I’ve decided to take this just one step at a time, and for a while one verse at a time.  This is the first verse God sent me to.  I know, it isn’t anything that would normally come to mind when thinking about becoming a graceful person, but I had to stop and reread it–twice.

A garland to grace your head…to grace your head.  I hadn’t really thought about this meaning of grace when I started, but what a beautiful meaning to begin with.  To adorn or to make more beautiful.  What a lovely goal.  Will my interactions with others make them more beautiful?  Will I only treat them with grace? Or will I become a person who graces others?

Dear Lord, what does it take to learn to love that way?

What about your children, your family?  Do you treat them with grace…or grace them?

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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