Terrell and I love our children and they love us; we actually like each other a lot, too. But, over the years we haven’t seen eye to eye on all things – like nap times, meal choices, clothing and hair preferences, who sits where in the car, whose turn it is for anything, house rules and responsibilities.
Inadvertently and sometimes intentionally, we hurt one another. We don’t include someone, tease, call names, or make comments that tear down rather than build up. In addition, we all have issues in our lives that affect how we relate with each other – fatigue, the condition of our self-esteem, or working through relationships and circumstances outside the home.
Yet for all the conflict, hurt, and individual issues we’ve had, we’re a close family. A key reason for this is the power of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is an opportunity to restore relationship and to build healthy relationship.
“The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead – whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give (italics added) repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.” (Acts 5.30-31)
God gives forgiveness that we might have restored relationship with Him. He forgives us for disobeying Him, for offending others, for the grudges we hold.
He sets tone and direction for us.
Because He loves us, He forgives. Not because we deserve it or have earned it.
As disciples, we’re to follow His lead. Forgiven, we forgive.
When we practice forgiveness, we demonstrate love to God and to the person. Showing we value healthy relationship and restoration.
Our gift may be to forgive, or it may be the gift of humbly seeking someone’s (even our child’s) forgiveness. When we forgive, we give the person release from the offense we received. Asking someone to forgive us, we give acknowledgement that we offended and our regret and the opportunity to respond.
In our home, the opportunity to practice is often right around every corner!
We want restored and strong relationships in our family. Please show us where we may need to give You offenses we’re holding on to, and help us to release these to You and help us forgive our child. Please show us where we may need to ask our child’s forgiveness and help us to follow through. Heal our hearts. Heal our relationships. Thank you for Jesus, for the cross, for Your awesome love. Amen.