Forgive And Forget
I remember the first time my oldest kid had a disagreement with a friend. And I am not talking about stealing toys from each other, or hitting each other as toddlers tend to do. I mean he was old enough to get really hurt feelings by his friend and it was changing the way he viewed that person. I told him, “It’s okay. Nobody is a perfect person. He isn’t a perfect friend and you aren’t a perfect friend either. Everybody makes poor choices now and then. Let’s forgive him and move on. You make bad choices sometimes too and you will want your friends to forgive you too.” We also talked about that even when people don’t say sorry or ask for forgiveness we should forgive anyway. It is healthier for our hearts and souls not to hold grudges our let resentment take root.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Forgiveness: Make Things Right
That wasn’t the only time we have had lessons on giving and receving forgiveness. Moms and Dads are imperfect and make poor choices sometimes too. Something that I have to work on is my temper with my kids. Sometimes I bottle up all my frustration with their behavior and then they do ONE MORE naughty thing and I snap. I really, really don’t like raising my voice at my kids. So I make sure, whenever I do that, to make things right. I always cool off, apologize, then ask for forgiveness. My kids know how important it is to give and receive grace and give and receive forgiveness. They also know that when someone is brave enough and humble enough to ask for forgiveness we should always accept it.
Of course, there are always those moments when this backfires. Like the time I raised my voice at my son and later asked for forgiveness. Only, he raised his voice back and yelled, “I DO NOT FORGIVE YOU!” Then we had to have a talk about how angry is a healthy emotion but sometimes it is better not to run our mouth while we are angry. Especially at mom. And of course, I had to get over my guilt of seeing my son yell because he was engaging in the behavior he saw me modeling. Oof! No one said this parenting thing was easy! Don’t I know it. There are so many opportunities to speak life, spread love, and offer grace and forgiveness to others. It is so much harder to harbor hate. Start with your kids, they will teach you as much as you teach them.
Luke 6:37 says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
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