I have been struggling this week. I have been working through some things that I should have mastered by now, but a bit of Should-itis has snuck up on me. I never really finished explaining to you what Should-itis is and the story of how I discovered it in my life and how I beat it. I’ll get back to that in another post, but for now I will tell you a bit about the recent developments and what came of them. What I want to dwell on a bit more is forgiveness.
You see, Should-itis was kickin’ me in the rear this week and I was not handling it well. It being a certain time of the month didn’t really help much either. I didn’t really want to be in my own skin. Unfortunately, I was taking it out on my children with my words and actions. For some reason or another one particular child could not do anything right in my eyes and she received the brunt of my frustration. When I took a step back and saw what a fool I was being–that’s when the tide began to turn.
I knew what I needed to do, but often times taking this step is not the easiest thing in the world–especially for an adult. I humbled myself and went to my daughter, apologized and asked her to forgive me for the way I was treating her. We talked through what had happened and I held her while we both had a good cry. Doing this was such a pivitol thing. Instead of continuing on in our negative feelings toward one another and thus, creating a wall between us, our relationship was restored. We were able to continue on in that day in a way different way than it had started. Am I ever thankful that kids are so willing to give that forgiveness freely.
What are you teaching your children about forgiveness? That it has to be earned? That a grudge must be carried around for awhile first? That forgiveness does not reside in your home? Or do you freely and readily offer it? Here’s the tough question: If you give it, are you able to ask for it and receive it from your children?
When it comes to forgiveness, what do your children see modeled in your home between child to child, child to adult and here’s another biggie–what do they see modeled about forgiveness between you and your spouse?
I should probably wrap these thoughts about forgiveness up, but I would be remiss if I did not address one more thing that had to be dealt with in the situation with my daughter. My other children were also home and I am sad to admit that in the days that followed, I watched my oldest daughter replicate my unfortunate attitude. She began to treat her sister poorly. That is when I had to step in and make things right. You know how I did that? I had to humble myself AGAIN and go before this daughter and admit what I had done wrong and apologize for what I had mistakenly taught her. I had to ask her to forgive me for being a bad example and ask that she and I work together on changing our attitude and actions.
Man, it really stinks when you screw up as a Mom because whether we like it or not…our actions, words, attitudes, behaviors, etc are all being watched by a lot more than one set of eyes. But we can handle our imperfection by admitting it to our children and seeking their forgiveness. It is from you that they learn the model of forgiveness. Christ has given us a great example of forgiveness and now it’s up to us to be the “in your face” example to our children. I beg you to not think that forgiveness is kid stuff. Giving and receiving forgiveness is not for sissies. It is not for the faint of heart, but I think you have what it takes Mama. I believe in you. Go and do what is right.