All Christian living, including the part of Christian living that we call parenting, is supposed to be based on this reality -- being before doing. The perennial temptation is to try to scrap our way into being by doing. That is the death trap that the Bible calls "works." If the Holy Spirit of God reverses the order, that is what we call "grace." Note that when grace is given, the doing doesn't go away. Gracious saints work hard; indeed, they work harder than anybody. But they do not trust in their works at all -- they trust in the grace that God has given.
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13).
God works it in, and we work it out. The gracious Christian does not refuse to work. He works all right. He just doesn't try to work it in.
All our covenant duties need to be approached this way. We don't earn the salvation of our kids, for example. God gives our children to us. One of the great tasks of our sanctification is to seek God's aid in finding that works-generator in the basement of our hearts, and disconnecting it.
I know that for those in the grip of a works trap, this seems like gibberish. They want to know what to do to get out of the works trap, and because they want to escape that way, the trap stays shut.
So ask the Lord, knowing that if the request is granted, it was granted by giving you the ability to ask aright. That too is grace. Fear the Lord and ask Him for what is most needful. This appears elusive. It seems like a great mystery -- but it is a mystery that God offers to solve in your life. "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant" (Ps. 25:14). The secret is grace. Not grace words, but grace. The covenant is grace. Not grace talk, but grace. And all is given, truly given, through the death, burial, resurrection, and enthronement of Jesus Christ.
The secret of the Lord is before you, on an open palm. What do you do to take it? You believe, and to do that, you have to be one who believes. And to be that, God has to give it to you through the gospel of Christ.