Teaching Grace and Truth Participants Guide

Join the Conversation:

Record thoughts and questions here that come up as you watch the episode.  Explore them later with the group.








Discuss the Episode


  1. John states that we all need grace and truth over time to grow.  He describes it another way when he says parents need to provide relationship and structure for their children.  How do you connect in an accepting way with your kids?  How do you provide structure?

  2. John and Don discuss how our children are resistant to relationship and structure so we have require them to participate at times, as in John’s example of making his sons walk around the block with him.  How do you handle this kind of resistance as a parent?  How can you push through your child’s resistance if it is for their greater good? 

  3. John makes the observation that we have grow as parents as our children go through different developmental stages.  How have you seen your children’s needs for an accepting relationship with you and for structure in their life change over time?  How did you know when to adjust?

  4. What did you find helpful about John’s four components of dealing with behavior problems (love, truth, freedom, and reality)?


Reflect on What Others Have to Say

Underline and mark ideas you would like to discuss.


Truth provides a path for life…. Without truth’s guidance, growth would not happen.  Think about how a child requires instruction in all pars of life: relationships, tasks, emotions, and faith.  A child who has not been exposed to and instructed in truth is often a child who is out of control or is allowing others to control him.

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, How People Grow


Making children feel bad does not motivate them to do better. Nor does making them feel good guard them from all of life’s pitfalls. The answer to the self-esteem problem is this: Give them a combination of grace and truth, and they will feel safe enough to be real. The cure to the problem of self-image, self-concept and self-esteem is to have enough grace to be who one really is.  Your children need, above all, to develop a “real” self. They need enough grace to face and bring into relationship who they really are at any given moment. They need to know that it is okay to fail, to hurt, or to be less than perfect. They need to feel secure in bringing their bad parts to relationship.  If they can be real, their pains and problems can be cured. There is no problem that the grace and guidance of a loving parent cannot get them through. But if they do not feel that they can be who they really are, then their problems never get solved. They just get hidden away to grow into bigger cancers.

‪Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Raising Great Kids

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