My Kids Are Training ME
When my kids fight, we often know the ‘instigator’ – the one kid who started it, is at fault, and needs to apologize. Once we know who is at fault, they have to say “I’m sorry.” But this is the hard part—they have to say it like they mean it. Not in a short tone. Not in a have-to type voice. Sometimes, we ask them to ask their siblings for forgiveness. “Will you forgive me?” is a hard line to swallow.
I can’t say this process often goes well, but it’s a constant rehearsal for so many things in life coming their way.
What amazes me is that the other sibling 99% of the time is quick to express forgiveness with an, “I forgive you,” response. Sometimes they aren’t ready, but almost always the conflict is over as soon as it began and everyone moves on.
I wish adult conflicts were just as easy. I suspect they are, but our hard-headed minds and hearts don’t have a lingering parent on the scene to intervene and stop a spat before it goes too far.
One of the hardest things I’m learning to do as a parent is to ask my kids for forgiveness. When we’re running late for school (again) and I lose my cool (again), I inevitably have to humble down in my position as mom and ask my kids for forgiveness. For not being the type of parent I desire to be, for getting too frustrated with them and letting it out by yelling waaaay too much. THIS IS HARD. I don’t want to humble myself either. But I’m telling you—this is one of the coolest and safest places to practice walking in forgiveness. I’m learning the quicker I can jump to asking for it, the easier it is.
If asking for forgiveness is a foreign concept, practice it with those nearest to you. Kids are a great training zone. I’m hoping in modeling my need for a Savior, they too will learn to run quickly to the other side of anger and pride and be bearers of forgiveness well into their later years
Director of Worship & Media