I do not know if there is a more humbling topic for me to teach our girls than forgiveness. This all came about tonight when Makayla and Hannah were taking a bath, somehow Hannah was splashed in the eyes with soapy water.
In no time came the tears, accusations, whining on both sides....drama drama drama!!! I hear Makayla say "I'm sorry!" and Hannah "aauuuahhhaaahhhhhhhhh," followed by Makayla's long, loud whine....."IsaidI'msorryandwhatkindofsisterdoesntsayitsokaywhenIsayI'msoooorrrrry!!!" Yes, it sounded like this!
Since I am a sucker for teachable moments I was thrilled to have a topic for the night time bible study. It was also encouraging that forgiveness has been a topic at MOPs the last 2 meetings. I initially thought about grabbing a study bible and looking up verses that talk about forgiveness. Instead, I tried the easy way out and googled something like "teaching forgiveness to children" and have a whole lesson plan ready for me to read to them. I had pages of psychological studies pop up about whether forgiveness is natural, whether we need to teach it to our children or if it was inborn and my favorite....teach your child to punch a pillow and take their aggression out there. I am not saying a good pillow boxing session isn't therapeutic but I have no interest in teaching them to be violent (anywhere) and I do not care whether it is inborn or natural. Forgiveness is biblical, it is commanded of us and absolutely necessary to obtain happiness on this earth.
I decided to close my computer and open up my bible. What a concept, I knew I should have done that in the first place. I looked up forgiveness verses and read a couple that I thought were most relevant for their situation and easily explained to a 4 and 5 year old. One of the moms at MOPs (shout out to Martha!) talked about teaching your kids to say "I forgive you." After we talked about the verses and why forgiveness is so important, Hannah asked if she could tell Makayla that she forgives her. They just melt my heart and I was humbled at how ready Hannah was to show forgiveness to her sister.
I am grateful for these teachable moments, I know how important of a role I have in shaping the hearts of my children. I love that through teaching them, I can be reminded of these things for myself. Most of all, I love that we have a God that is so willing to forgive our sins, no matter how big or small. I pray that I will be as willing as my children to forgive those who have asked for my forgiveness and not let my human nature bring it back to the surface over and over again.