JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 26)
More Than Just "I’m Sorry"
I wasn’t thinking, I was reacting. That was the first problem. It always is when you get caught up in the moment and let your emotions derail you. I had glanced out the kitchen window while rinsing off some vegetables for dinner and witnessed my sweet son dragging buckets of water out from the garage. He was dumping the water under the swings of our playset, creating an enormous mud puddle that two of the neighborhood kids were gleefully kicking and splattering all over my white garage every time they swung through it. I mean, are you kidding? I don’t even remember putting down the vegetables. All I knew was that it took me all of seven steps to get from the sink to the back door and start berating my son in front of his friends. Oh, and then I demanded that my son go inside and sent his friends home. Ugh.
We have already discussed the dangers of provoking or exasperating our children. We have also discussed in Colossians 3:5-15 the things that Paul was asking the Colossians to “put on”. I was not wearing any of those things when I went out to chide my son in front of his friends. The only thing I was wearing was anger. Do you know who else was angry? He was, and he told me why he felt angry too. He told me that I had embarrassed him in front of his friends, and it hurt, and he was mad. He was right. Embarrassing a child can be a gateway into feelings of shame. I never want him to feel shame because of me. Cue regret. So I got down on my knees in front of him. He is still a little guy and I wanted him to see my eyes on his level. I gave him a real apology, and I asked in all humility for his forgiveness.
What does more than just an “I’m sorry” apology look like? First, I acknowledged how he felt. I explained what I did that was wrong and caused him to feel that way. Then, I apologized. I explained what I was going to do differently from now on. Finally, I asked for his forgiveness.
If we are ever going to hope that our children will live a life of humility instead of pride we need to model what that looks like. Especially when it comes to wrongs that we ourselves commit. With the grace of God we need to search our hearts for deep-rooted pride, we need to be honest and surrender that to God. Then we can ask His Spirit to grow His fruit in its place.
My son did forgive me that day. We hugged it out with a new plan of action in place. Now, if I happen to see him doing something inadvisable in our yard, I casually call him inside. Then we talk it out, just the two of us. What I want is to grow is his heart, and I can’t build him up if I’m tearing him down.
Can you think of a time when you humbled yourself and apologized to your child?
Can you think back on a time when you should have apologized, but didn’t? What might God be prompting you to do?
Thank You, Jesus, for coming to earth and showing us by Your words and actions what true humility looks like. Thank You for your grace and your love for me even when I stumble and act in contradiction to what You desire for my heart, that You love me still. I submit my heart to Your Spirit. Let the Spirit grow within me the fruit that will allow me to reflect the love that You have for me into the hearts of my children and those around me. Let me encounter You today, and let others encounter You through me. Amen.