I had never really struggled with forgiveness issues in my life. And I never knew how much I would need to practice forgiveness in my role as a mother.
Only a daily basis, there are times I feel hurt, offended, wronged by my children. These offenses are often unintentional. Many times, they are are product of the natural immaturity of children. And sometimes they say or do hurtful things on purpose. If I’m honest with myself, I do these same things. That sinful nature in all of us…
Amidst this role as mother, I have found myself parenting with the wrongs at the forefront of my mind. Well, you can imagine how great a mother I am when holding on to frustration, sadness, anger in regards to being hurt by their harsh words, disobedience, disrespect.
I don’t think what I’m describing is much different than what most parents experience. Children act from impulses. They hurt others both intentionally and without knowing it. All of us do this, but hopefully we learn over time to treat others with respect and kindness.
When we’re hurt by someone we deeply love, it aches even more. That’s why our children can cause such strong emotions in us. We love them so much and can’t imagine they could ever do anything to upset, hurt, emotionally damage us. But it happens, probably to all parents at one time or another. And even a small act of disrespect from our own child can feel like a big slap in the face.
Here’s where forgiveness comes in to play. Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said we’d have to forgive some people a whole lot…
Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. ~Luke 17:4
And with kids, they might not even know they need to ask forgiveness. But the forgiveness needs to come, more for my sake than theirs. It’s a way of releasing the hurt into the hands of the One who can carry it without any bitterness, only with grace and mercy.
My mind is all wrapped around this forgiveness thing because of Ted Dekker’s newest book, Water Walker.
I’m not sure I had ever read a Ted Dekker book before and suspense is not my normal choice for reading material, but the spiritual message and theme of forgiveness really drew me in.
Letting go is something you do, not just talk about. Talking about forgiving changes nothing. Doing it changes everything, not just in you, but somehow in those around you. We are not healed alone. Don’t ask me to explain. ~Ted Dekker, Water Walker
The main character of Water Walker, Alice, faces unimaginable trials and offenses from those who claim to love her. Honestly, her suffering was quite difficult for me to read. But that makes her walk towards Jesus and forgiveness even more amazing. A miracle.
I was really moved by the way Dekker used the imagery of stepping out of the boat onto the stormy water to illustrate forgiveness. Our eyes must always stay fixed on Jesus, not the waves and storm around us. And this is a huge act of faith, this forgiving and releasing the feelings we hold against someone. Truly forgiving is what makes us water walkers.
Since finishing Water Walker, I find myself recognizing the negative ways in which unforgiveness eats away at me. I am experiencing the freedom that comes in telling my child I forgive them for something they didn’t even know hurt me. And I forgive in my head, my heart, sometimes seventy times seven times a day because I know this is what Jesus would do.
I’m a better mom because of forgiveness. And I hope my kids learn to do the same forgiving for me.
What has been your experience with forgiveness and motherhood? Are you, like me, easily hurt by things your children do or say to you?
If you’re interested in reading Water Walker, you can get the first episode of the book for free here!
I received this book to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!