Monday, August 8, 2011

FORGIVENESS or I've told you a thousand times....

Here's a picture of one of our NY mornings.  Pretty and peaceful!
When I think of FORGIVENESS, and my issues with it, I usually think of my marriage or adult relationships.  So, it came as a bit of shock to hear several parenting applications yesterday morning.

"Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him" 
Luke 17:3

My working definition of forgiveness is "choosing to forget the offense as Christ forgave (completely, as far as east is from west)" But, do I treat my kids that way?  When they misbehave and are disciplined...The next time they do it (and we all know there's a next time)...do I say, "I've told you 15 times to STOP doing that..!"  Or...is it really forgiven and do I handle it with love and full forgiveness AGAIN...and again...

Honestly, my husband and I chewed on this a bit after church...and I'm not saying that punishment shouldn't increase or there isn't a point where you say, "Dearest Child, you seem to be having a problem with X behavior and continue to do it repeatedly...I want you to understand that being truly sorry means that you will try to correct your behavior in this area.  If you can't, your consequences will increase!"

I guess, this touched my heart because I'm feeling tender to it.  I know the potential I have towards a critical spirit...to be an impatient and unkind MomE.  So, this is good for me to think about and focus on...It'll hopefully balance me out a bit.  I'm working towards a kinder, gentler MomE.  Don't worry, there's no real worries that I'll turn into one of those spineless mothers that "reasons" with her children instead of disciplining/parenting them.  I simply see the need for a bit of balance in my own heart.

We also heard a neat quote/definition of forgiveness that a couple was using...I looked it up and found out David Augsburger wrote these three really goodies...

-"forgiveness is not holy amnesia that erases the past---instead, it is the experience of healing that draws the poison out.  You may recall that hurt, but you will not relive the hurt."
-"the hornet of memory may fly again, but forgiveness has drawn out the sting."
-"the grease of forgiving love can reduce the friction and salve the irritation."

Obviously, I need to get my hands on his two books... The Freedom of Forgiveness and Caring Enough to Forgive/ Caring Enough Not to Forgive.

God loved us when we were SINNERS...not after he saved and cleansed us.

"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:6-8






13 comments:

Joyce said...

I especially like the bit..."recall that hurt, but you won't relive the hurt.' Really good!

Pamela said...

This is the best definition of forgiveness that I have heard. It's not always easy but I've found it's the only way that works.

I am weary of spineless mommas reasoning with their children. Thank God for those who know what true discipline is. I never fail to be blessed by reading of those who lovingly discipline. I'm praying for your sweet family today.

I hope your Monday will be full of blessings.

Pamela

Lisa notes... said...

Ouch. I don't know that I've considered forgiveness as much for young children. Now as my children aged, I DID have to consider it more. ha. But little ones need it too! We all do. Thanks for the quote and thoughts.

Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

I think this is a really good reminder--sometimes the work of parenting that requires us to be correctors of behavior can get us keeping score and reacting as much out of frustrated emotion as a real desire to mold their character. Surely a forgiving spirit would temper some of that emotion and keep us focused on their good rather than our comfort.

Patti Hanan said...

Being a parent is the most difficult and the most important job in the world. Loving discipline helps shape a child. God bless you.

Barbara H. said...

I really love this one: "forgiveness is not holy amnesia that erases the past---instead, it is the experience of healing that draws the poison out."

So true that while we require our children to obey, we need to extend grace and forgiveness to them, too.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

These are great thoughts-- ones that really step in my toes! Thanks for sharing them!

Laura said...

Hi, Bobbi!
This is very timely for me. Both of my boys are teens now (well, one is 12) and it is quite the transition for me. Treating them with respect looks different at this age than it did when they were two. You have me thinking even more about this this morning. Wondering what my mommying looks like in this area of forgiveness. Hmmm. Pondering.

I'm so glad you linked up to Playdates this week! Enjoyed my visit.

Amy said...

Such an important topic and heart need. I can't say I've thought of the need in parenting--but you are so right. Also, love the idea from David Augsburger that forgiveness is healing that draws the poison out.

Manda said...

A message we all need to be reminded of... thank you!

Jen said...

This must be the week where God points out all the good books that I could read! There was another good parenting book that Cheryl talked about this week, too.

I can be impatient and am one that probably errs on the "strict" side more than the "kind" side. Praying for both of us as we seek balance and love in this area.

Loved the forgiveness quotes!

Graceful said...

This is a particularly good post for me, too -- as I am of the strict and sometimes impatient mom variety. You have given me much to think about and pray about.

Beverly said...

Hi Bobbi! I just added your other blog to my google reader account so am catching up a bit. I love the definition of forgiveness. My working definition through the years has been to "remember without malice." I don't know where that came from...a sermon I think. Lots to think about, thanks!