Have you ever just blown it with your kids? I know I have.
I have a loud child. To preserve her dignity I will avoid telling you which one of my daughters I am talking about. At any rate, I came home after an exhilarating day in ministry. I had a head ache and I was tired of the “noise” I had been listening to all day long. To be honest I was kind of disturbed and stressed about several issues that I was dealing with at work. I was on edge when I walked in the door.
The girls were just playing. The volume got louder and louder as I was trying to listen to Angela catching me up on her day. One of my children got louder and louder. I asked her 3 times nicely to tone it down so I could hear her mother. Eventually, I lost it. As she was in mid screech I yelled, “SHUT IT!” It seemed like time stood still. The whole house froze and my daughter was crushed. Instantly I knew I had blown it. Several thoughts went through my mind. “She was disobedient and disrespectful so I am justified.” Then, “I can’t believe I yelled at her that way.” I knew what I had to do. I had to ask forgiveness from a wee little girl.
What you may not know is that when parents cause hurts or wounds that go unreconciled, the wounds fester. If enough of these kinds of wounds are inflicted, a kid becomes exasperated, hurt, and well… angry. Wounds that fester eventually callous. When parents and children live with unreconcilable differences, we get a whole generation of calloused teenagers. Maybe that’s where we are now.
When you and I wound our kids emotionally we must deal with it appropriately. There is a hebrew word I love. “T’Shuva!” It means “to return.” Often we translate this word “to repent.” When we sin against our children we must repent or better yet, return. We return to a right way of thinking, a right relationship with the Lord, and a right relationship with the offended child. This brings HEALING!
So I swallowed my pride and walked up the stairs to my daughter’s room. I got down on one knee and I said, “Baby, daddy was wrong to yell at you. You don’t deserve that, especially from your daddy. I prayed and asked God to forgive me. Will you please forgive me for treating you poorly?” Then I waited. In a few short seconds she smiled, hugged me and said, “Daddy I forgive you, let’s read a book.” In that moment, a wound that might have festered was healed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do the Hard Things. Ask for forgiveness. You will be teaching the next generation the value of humility and forgiveness in the process.
4 thoughts on “Do The Hard Things: Part 2 Learn to Ask Forgiveness”
Oh boy…can I identify w/you on that one. Only more so when you have a “teen” in the house. It’s humbling to ask forgiveness from your child-teen but God restores the relationship quickly & blesses you so much when you’re obedient. And I wouldn’t trade anything for the way it makes my heart feel.
You are a young parent – there will be plenty more times like this one – these little ones prepare you for the “bigger” ones ahead……but again, God is good.
Thanks for being “real” with us Brian
Does this work on old hurts? What if your daughter is no longer 5? What if she is 30! Can you still go to her and ask for forgiveness? Will there still be healing? Does it work the other way? From a child to a parent? How do you do this – I have started a thousand times – and just never followed through. It is not like the moment is still here. The hurt was years ago! It is just so hard now.
Forgiveness is a timeless principle. You should go to her and ask forgiveness even if this is a very old hurt or wound. I talk to younger adults all the time that so want to reconcile with their parents. When a dad takes the first step and asks his adult daughter to forgive he opens the door for healing to begin. If you never take that step you will not find reconciliation. Of course, depending on the situation, it may take her some time to be able to forgive. Your responsibility is to start the process. I will be praying that God grants you the courage and wisdom to have a face to face with your daughter.