Friday, February 26, 2010

Forgiving Our Children

Forgiving Our Children

Dear Mothers,

Do you ever find yourself taking what your children say to you personally? I find that sometimes I have a really hard time forgiving my children over particular offenses. The book, “Good and Angry” addresses this very issue.

Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller say this, “Forgiving children doesn’t mean we ignore offenses. Rather, forgiveness opens the door for significant confrontation to take place. Instead of taking the offense personally, you release the emotional intensity so that you can help a child develop character. The fact of the matter is that most kids don’t appreciate the correction and amazing patience we have as parents. But the lack of gratefulness we receive in this job of parenting doesn’t lessen our task. We must continually correct our kids while looking for ways to do it that they can accept. Plan your comments and present the critique in constructive and gracious ways. Forgiveness frees you from harshness and allows for controlled, consistent training to take place. Tolerance is easier when you don’t have accumulated frustration. Forgiveness allows you to release offenses instead of saving them up.”

I love that! If I’m not emotional about every situation because I’ve taken it personally, I will be less likely to “blow my top” when misbehavior does happen. Instead of trying to control my children with my anger, I will instead be purposeful in my training techniques.

I want to develop this lifestyle of forgiveness. The only way I can do that is through intentional prayer and walking in The Spirit.

Remember that dealing with annoying behavior in children requires a huge amount of patience and forgiveness. They are still on the “assembly line”, they are not adults and yet we expect them to display adult-like maturity at all times. Children will make mistakes and they will NOT always respond well to correction. Mostly, change comes slowly. This gives us many opportunities to practice forgiveness over and over and over again!

From One Mom to Another,


Cat said...

Looks like we are both up early today! I love this devotion, especially with my kids and grandkids coming for a visit. Although my kids are grown, there are rough spots in our relationships when we don't measure up to expectations. It is good to let stuff go, forgive, and move on. Wallowing in the self-righteousness of being right...or having been wronged is bad stuff!

Amy said...

It is hard to deal with things that kids do over and over. That is when I get upset.

I have noticed since I "break and question" it is so much more peaceful around here. But there has been a very unruly child at Bri's school and she comes home wound up and mouthy. We have been talking about being a good example. Thankfully, she goes to a Christian school and they deal with it well.

I am looking into another school for next year. It is a K-12 Christian School. They do devotionals every morning. They are also in the top 5 schools in the state. Bri is highly intelligent and very active, and very social. So homeschooling isn't an option for me. But I use some of the projects and stuff I find online. Please pray for us to listen for God's voice in this matter. Thank you.

Have a blessed day.

Camille said...

Isn't this just a picture of our own hearts? We fail and ask God to forgive us, don't we? What an amazing example HE has given us in our children. Don't you find that on the flip side of the coin, that children are SO forgiving of us?? I LOVE that they are!! How precious these little ones are...God is so gracious with us ALL.

Thanks for sharing Stacie ~ the Lord is using you to be a blessing to others. Hang in there and continue to look to Him together with your children. Living out our faith before them is the most powerful thing to do ~ and sometimes the most difficult.

Have you read "Shepherding a Child's Heart" and "Age of Opportunity"? They are two books written by brothers ~ last name Tripp...SO worth it to have them in your library...full of godly wisdom and practical advice.

Have a lovely day my friend!

Confessions said...

i think i can go ahead and start practicing this perspective even though Little One can't talk yet!! How often I feel frustrated because I'm trying to control her. I've not considered the need to forgive her for blatant disobedience. Wowza. What confronting words this morning!!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Great reminder, Stace! Can't wait to see you. I'm counting the hours! I feel a twin fix coming on ;)

Mich said...

From one mom to another I so understood and appreciated this post. I heard the words "I hate you." the other day and it broke my heart even though I knew my child didn't really mean them. Not forgiving is NEVER an option as a parent. Afterall, God dishes out a daily dose of grace to me, everyday!!!

Connie said...

My children are in their thirties and forties, and I still have to forgive them. We are all humans.

J said...

1 Peter 4:8 "Love covers a multitude of sins." Thanks for this encouragement! And always, for keepin it real.

RaD said...

Amen to this one! I'm learning this lesson well. Recently my daughter was so mad at me she told me she would not miss me if I went to heaven. It hurt a little even though I knew she did not mean a bit of it. Thankfully I did not over re-act and she came to me just minutes later and apologized for the mean words. We were able to have a long conversation about what we had both done wrong (if I use my "yelling voice" she just shuts down) and had an amazingly great evening together.

kathy said...

Wow I really needed to hear that today. There are some days I simply do not know what to do and fear that I have failed as a mum :( I never really thought about the forgiveness part. Is that the same book that takes about the break and questions? Atm I am really struggling with the boys fighting and just not sure how to handle it all. Thanks Stacie

Anonymous said...

I know this is old, but timely for me.

I love and appreciate your wisdom.

I had teenagers who were rebellious prodigals, and I have to admit, years later, it still can be hard to walk in daily forgiveness, especially since the consequences of their sins still affect me.

Am thankful for believers who are walking the path with me.

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