A Heart That Forgives
I believe that things happen in our lives for a reason. Whether it be good, bad or down right heartbreaking.
Nothing comes to a surprise to God.
He knows exactly what is going to happen in our lives, when it is going to happen and how we are going to deal with it before we even know.
And it was because of heartache in my very own marriage that I was able to teach my children a few things about ... forgiveness.
I love that God can use anything.
. . .
Cooper came home from school a few weeks ago, dropped his book bag on the floor, sat down on the couch and said "guess what, Mom? Someone stole my sucker right out of my hand today." I, of course, started asking questions and when he got finished explaining what happened he said those four little words . . . "I'm not forgiving him."
A part of me wanted to grab his sweet little face and say "Coop Coop, forgive him." But I think we can all agree, that's easier said than done. I knew what I needed to do and that was to sit him down and explain the importance of forgiveness to him and why we should have forgiving hearts.
What better way to explain it to him than by using Christ?!?
We sat down and I explained to him that God is a God of forgiveness. He died on the cross to save us from our sins . . . we sin daily and when we ask for His forgiveness, He forgives and never looks back. Unlike us, God is perfect so He has no problem not looking back. And as hard is that is for us, we should try not to. We should never hold the past over someone's head. People change. Does that mean we as human beings will forget? Absolutely not. Does that mean we have to continue being friends with someone who has wronged us? Not at all. Does that mean we should be ugly to the person who wronged us? Or talk bad about that person to others and encourage them not to be friends with that person? No. We are suppose to forgive as Christ has forgiven us.
As Cooper sat there listening to me, he says "yea mom, but what if he doesn't say sorry to me?" I looked into those big blue eyes of his and said "Forgive him anyway, Coop. There are going to be times when someone does something to you and isn't sorry but it's our job to forgive them anyway. We have to forgive so our heart can be happy."
Forgiveness is something that can happen right away or it could take years but I made sure that my precious little boy knew that I was praying that he could forgive his classmate sooner rather than later.
Not being able to forgive only affects one person . . . yourself. Having a unforgiving heart will make you so bitter. That's something I never want any of my children to experience.
Later on, I asked him if the roles had been reversed and he was the one who took the sucker, would he had been able to sincerely apologize. He said yes . . . and knowing Cooper, he could. I felt like it was the perfect time though for him to see how he felt being wronged & the importance it is to be able to sincerely apologize when he wrongs someone. Apologizing and admitting your wrong doing is extremely tough. I mean, who wants to admit they were wrong??
We all make mistakes. We've all done something to someone that wasn't nice at some point in our lives ... and if you haven't, I'd love to know.
My prayer is that my children always have a heart that forgives. And that if they wrong someone, they can apologize ... sincerely. The peace it brings is incredible. I want them to know that peace.
And a few weeks ago I blogged about teaching your children to be grateful. You can read it here.