So I just got back from a Student Ministry conference in Tennessee. This is either our 10th or 11th year going to Conclave. It is always a great time of refreshing and learning for me. My mom usually comes down to Alabama from South Carolina and hangs out with the boys while my wife and I are living it up and learning with thousands of student pastors.
However, when I get home it is always interesting. The boys have been living in the Grandma ecosystem while we were away. The Grandma ecosystem isn’t bad, but it is slightly different from what is normal in the Mom/Dad ecosystem. There is always a time retraining and readjusting when we get home. My mom has had no problem getting the little one dressed in the mornings while I was gone, but that isn’t the case with me. The oldest has been ok with not playing on the iPad in the mornings, but, yet again, that isn’t the case with me (mainly because I had the iPad with me in Tennessee). I lost my cool with the boys this morning. I had to apologize for losing my temper.
As parents, I know that you’ve been there too. It may not have been about iPads and getting dressed, but I know you’ve lost your cool, made mistakes, and sinned against your offspring. We, as parents, make tons of mistakes. We mess up with our kids. We need to learn how to say we are sorry and ask our kids for forgiveness when we do this.
Here are three principles for asking your kids for forgiveness…
You Aren’t Jesus (but should desire to be like Him)– So often when we sin either in sight of our kids or against our kids we are ashamed. That shame isn’t a bad thing. That shames lets us know that our hearts aren’t made of stone and that we haven’t quenched that still, small voice in our minds and hearts. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:21-
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
We need to recognize that we are sinful broken people. The only person that has walked this earth that was perfect was Jesus. We are called to live like Jesus, but we can’t be holy and acceptable aside from Him. We need to seek his forgiveness when we sin so that we can become an acceptable vessel for honorable use.
The Bible teaches giving and accepting forgiveness- If you read the Bible, you will know that as people who believe in Jesus, we are called to both to forgive those that sin against us and to ask for forgiveness when we sin against others. There isn’t any qualifying statement in the Bible about the age of the person that this applies to. Age isn’t a limiting factor when it comes to forgiveness. They could be your 3 year old or your 80 year old neighbor. When we sin against others or they sin against us we
“The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion.” Numbers 14:18
We need to use our Lord as our example. We love your kids, but they definitely know how to push our buttons. We need to be ready to ask them for forgiveness and to forgive them when they are out of bounds.
Model the first 2 things daily for your kids- If you have ever wondered why your kids have trouble understanding that they are sinful people that are saved by the grace of God and have trouble understanding forgiveness it may be because we don’t do a good job of modeling these things for our kids. Make sure your kids know that your aren’t perfect. Show them that you are a sinner saved by grace that is growing more like Jesus everyday. Let them see you deal with your own sin in a way that honors Christ. Forgive others and ask for forgiveness from others. Do that with them. If they see an adult who is walking in a way that honors Christ, even though we deal with sin, they will be more likely to see your example and learn to walk that way as well.