Kids, especially teens, make lots of mistakes. You know what people who make lots of mistakes need most? Yep, forgiveness. Unfortunately, most parents do far too much lecturing, threatening, yelling and fuming… and not nearly enough forgiving. I’m challenging you today to change that.
Bill White, a retired pastor in California, tells of having one of those evenings when everything goes wrong. His kids were cranky while he was fixing dinner, so he gave them some hot chocolate to tide them over. Then his five-year-old started to throw marshmallows at his little sister, causing her to spill her hot chocolate on herself. As she began screaming, the phone and doorbell rang simultaneously. He answered both, despite the screaming toddler in the background. In his own words, “Not the best choice.”
After dealing with both calls, he returned to the kitchen, hollered at his son, and promptly had two crying kids on his hands. Exasperated, he put his daughter in the bathtub and loudly announced that he was so angry he needed a time out. He slammed the bedroom door and tried his best to cool off. Then everything changed about ten minutes later when he caught sight of a yellow piece of construction paper sliding under the door. In the unsteady hand of a kindergartner was scrawled a message of grace that pierced his heart and turned him around: “From Timothy. To Daddy. I still love you. Even when you’re angry.”
Mom and Dad, if kids can do that, so can we. Do it often. Do it lavishly. It’s a choice, not a feeling, this thing called forgiveness… and it leads to a wonderful place called grace.
You may have had an earthly parent who didn’t even come close to forgiving you, pardoning you, parenting, or protecting you. Dear one, please don’t repeat the cycle; break it. You do know, don’t you, that your Heavenly Father yearns to be what your earthly parent wasn’t. Don’t box Him out. Invite Him in daily, then imitate Him forever.