I recently had one of my most humbling moments as a mother. After receiving a not-so-lovely report about our almost 4-year old son’s behavior in Bible class, I encouraged him to ask God for forgiveness in his bedtime prayer. He recanted by saying, “Yelling is a mistake too, Mommy. You need to ask God for forgiveness for yelling at me earlier today.”
Ouch. Knife to the heart.
As much as I’m ashamed to admit it, he was right. I had yelled at him earlier in the day and had yet to ask him (or God) for forgiveness. I’m not a “yeller” by nature, but lately the urge has been much more prevalent than ever before. I have been extremely prayerful about this issue of mine and am continually reciting Proverbs 15:1.
What this important lesson reminded me, though, is that my children are constantly measuring my words against my actions. Am I just talking the talk? Or am I actually practicing what I preach? As much as I don’t realize it sometimes…there are 4 little eyes constantly upon me, watching my every move.
The responsibility of being a parent who strives to raise your children to love the Lord is completely and utterly exhausting at times. We know we must set a good example for our children, yet we fail time and again in our own humanness.
God knows we are incapable of perfection. And our children know this as well (or will know soon). Although we need to try with all our might to live a holy and righteous life for our sake and the sake of our children, sometimes what we do after we mess up can mean even more.
Admitting our mistakes and asking for forgiveness (from both the person whom we hurt AND from our Heavenly Father) are two ways we can set the example for our children.
As they grow, they will fail and they will make mistakes (just as we do on a daily basis). But having the lifelong example of humble parent, who recognizes the mistakes she makes and takes the necessary steps to “right” her wrongs, might just turn those failures and mistakes into the ingredients needed for a blossoming relationship with our God!