As parents we don’t do everything right when we’re raising our kids.
Sometimes we lose our temper, or make knee-jerk decisions that are wrong, or lay down laws that are too harsh. There’s no end to the ways we can blow it, right?
But here’s the deal – there are no perfect parents (and by the way, no perfect kids either! If it was your goal to raise perfect kids, give that one up. Change it to ‘raising godly kids’).
The best thing we can do when we’re wrong is...
....admit it, and apologize.
That’s not easy for some parents. I think maybe we’re afraid that if we admit we’re wrong, our kids won’t respect or follow us.
But actually, the opposite is true. They’ll respect you more. And if you apologize, you train your kids to be good sorry-sayers as well. Then they learn that when they goof up, the best thing to do is say you’re sorry.
I can remember one time when my oldest son was about 10, I spanked him in anger. When it was over, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart that I had been wrong. I had been right to correct him, but I was wrong in being angry and saying things I shouldn’t have.
So I swallowed my pride and apologized to him. I was surprised and relieved by his reaction -- he hugged me, and said, “It’s okay. You’re a good mom.” Ha! There really is something to this forgiving thing.
Trying to be right all the time is exhausting. It’s not possible, and trying to keep up the façade makes us look dumber in the long run.
Ephesians 4:31, 32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
This is the way to have a peaceful, happy family. And when we apologize, we’re training our children to forgive. We training them to never hold a grudge. We’re teaching them to be kind and respectful of other people’s weaknesses. Isn’t that a life-lesson in being Christ-like?
(For more about raising kids according to God's Word, get Parenting With a Purpose on DVD or CD in the bookstore at www.karenjensen.org)