As Simon continues to get older and is able to receive more training we have been teaching him about forgiveness. When someone offends us we say "I forgive you" instead of "That's ok". Simon has gotten really good at this. If a friend of his hits him or takes something from him, he typically has learned to respond with forgiveness and a hug. One of the best parts about training our children, I am convinced, is that if we do it well we are sure to find training for ourselves. In recent months I realized that I hold onto the offenses of others, including the offenses of Simon. One day I had a clear conviction telling me that I must forgive Simon immediately and LET IT GO. It is hard to do when the offenses come frequently from a toddler. As soon as he asks forgiveness for yelling at me he often turns around and immediately disobeys again. As I have been practicing forgiveness towards him it has been surprisingly freeing and feels much better than wallowing. I also don't want to offer my children conditional love or to ever make them feel that they have to earn my love back after an offense. The Lord's Love speaks nothing of conditions.
One day I said or did
something I was truly not proud of. While I can't remember the specifics
of what I did, said, or what tone of voice I used I hope I will never
forget the words out of Simon's sweet Spirit filled mouth. I asked his
forgiveness for what I said and how I said it. He easily and quickly
responded "I forgive you Mom". A few minutes later as we are driving in
the car I'm still feeling disgusted at myself and ask for forgiveness
again. He said, "But Mom I already forgave you!" WOAH!
Silenced and thankful! Lord, give me that childlike faith. The kind that involves immediate forgiveness, grace and love.