Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Power of An Apology
I blew it the other day. BLEW it! It was bad. I reverted into that mother that I have tried so hard to change. I was ashamed, and felt guilty. I hate yelling at my kids. And here I was back to where I didn't want to be.
So what did I do? I apologized almost immediately. Before, it would have taken me awhile. But this time I didn't just apologize to the child I yelled at, I apologized to all my other children for losing control and acting like a two-year old. They heard the whole thing. How could they not?
There is such power in an apology. Kids are so forgiving. They need to see that we are human. They need to see how to restore relationships when they get broken. Even though my child wasn't ready to forgive me yet, I knew that she couldn't lay there and demonize me. She knew I had to swallow my pride to get those two simple words out, "I'm sorry". The next day, on her own, she apologized to me. It wasn't forced or coerced. Ahh, SWEET RESTORATION!
In the book Love Dare for Parents, "Time reveals our humanity. Our children start feeling the aftershocks of our sinfulness and inconsistency...They wholeheartedly speak, but we're only half-listening. Sometimes we forget or we are lazy. Self-centered or angry. Ungrateful. Sinful."
"That's when love reminds us that there are no perfect parents-just the prideful, self-righteous ones who live in denial, and humble, honest ones who take responsibility for their mistakes. Love soberly invites us to look our children in the eye and tell the truth about our brokenness. To embrace the benefits of repentance, owning up to what we've done and adjusting our course."
"All parents need to be aware that a list of their crimes is probably being compiled over time in the hearts of their children. Wrongs they perceive that you have done. Hurtful words. Broken promises. Angry outbursts. Times when you have not practiced what you preached."
A simple way of correcting this is to go to each child and ask them, "Is there anything that I have done wrong that I haven't apologized for?" Listen and don't be defensive. You might be surprised at what is in your child's heart. Reduce that list NOW, not when they are 30 and still remember all the "bad things" their parents did to them.
It takes humility, but God has called us to walk in a humble way. A loving way.
I am going to take the way of love. I need forgiveness as much as my kids do. And more than anything right now as they are in the thick of growing up, I want a solid, godly, respectful relationship with each of my children.