When we make mistakes
There was a morning this week where I got really stressed out. For me, one of the hardest things about this season is that my feelings swing wildly between extremes.
One moment I feel like some kind of super-hero, effortlessly flying around my family and watching sparkles of joy, learning, and domesticity abound through the home. The next I’ve burned dinner, I can’t do year 6 fractions, someone’s done a wee under the table and I’m late for a work call. There’s a tiny but terrible tipping point in my brain which loves to swing into action in moments like this, and on this particular morning, I tipped.
Over-reacting is easily done, but it’s also easily remedied. Here’s my question: Why is it so hard to say sorry to those we love the most?! Honestly, when I’m feeling stressed out, I’d rather do anything than say sorry!
This is a great season to practice. There are more simultaneous demands on my time, and my children are seeing a lot more of me than they usually do. It’s ripe for opportunities to say sorry, which shows them that I’m not perfect and that God loves me even when I make mistakes. When I’ve apologised I can ask my family to forgive me, and this demonstrates what God does for all of us.
These are fundamentals of our faith, and when I choose pride over vulnerability I’m missing a wonderful opportunity to reflect for my little ones the character of God. But, as I think about how this can help me to build their faith, it’s really helping me to get better at saying sorry.
I’m finding that our children are natural forgivers. They love to give me a hug and show care and empathy, and it gives us a chance to talk about what went wrong and how we can avoid it happening again. More than that, I can seize the opportunity to speak about the heart of God, to tell them what he’s done and what he’s doing in my life, and to give them a peek into my ongoing adventure journey of faith with him.
Deuteronomy 4: 5-14 reminds us that when we’re parenting we must “take care to watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children…”
It’s easy to let a little thing like saying sorry get brushed under the carpet, but God has designed the everyday moments of parenting as the way in which his message is passed from generation to generation.
So I’m going to watch myself closely. I don’t want to mess up, of course I don’t, but I will. And when I do, I’ll try to deal with it in a way that points to his glory.
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