When you have children, you often sit and think about all the things you’ll teach them. How you’ll raise them. The manners, morals and lessons you’ll instill within them as they grow. What you don’t think about (or at least I didn’t) is what THEY teach YOU! One of my greatest life lessons was taught to me by my precious daughter.
There was a time when I was “as stubborn as a bull”. When I was right, I was right. When I was wrong, I was still right. If someone wronged me, I remembered and if I wronged them, well that just wasn’t the case. I. Was. Right. (Here is where I must admit, for the sake of being honest, that I die a little inside when I have to admit I’m wrong. The struggle is real.)
One evening, my tiny little girl had somehow managed to push me to the limit. I couldn’t take it anymore! For whatever reason, I lost my temper and found myself literally screaming at her. Sadly, this wasn’t abnormal for me but as I blew up at her, her innocent little face deflated. Tears welled up in her eyes though they didn’t fall. She stood. Listening.
This is when my life changed; I had an epiphany! Was that what I wanted to teach my child? Was that what I wanted her to view as acceptable behavior? And then I was faced with this question: What do I do about it? I knew the answer but that meant doing something I never did. Not only did I need to apologize, I had to ask for forgiveness. I had to humble myself.
So there I was feeling like a puppy with my tail between my legs. “Madelyn, honey, Mommy needs to talk to you.” I sat with her and explained that what I had done was wrong. Yelling at her had always been wrong. I told her how very sorry I was for making her feel the way she did and THEN (seriously, it felt like I was in elementary school and was being shamed in front of the entire class) I asked her to forgive me. Like most young children, she offered me insight into God’s ways. It didn’t take her any time to reply with a sweet, simple “yes” and all was forgiven.
Do I still stumble? Absolutely! There are days I find myself right where I started. I then have to knock my pride down a notch, suck it up and seek forgiveness again.
I understand that this was such a minor incident compared to what you might have done. You might have cheated or stolen, you might have done something that you felt was justified at the time but you now know you were wrong. I encourage you, not only for yourself but for those who are looking at you for guidance, humble yourself and ask for forgiveness. The person you wronged may not forgive you so easily but I can promise you this: God will!