Parents are very quick to see the need for our children to ask for forgiveness when they do something wrong – we teach them that Jesus commanded to forgive 70×7 times (in one day!) The flipside of this is though – that his command applies to us as well.  

 

What does it look like to forgive your child?

 

According to Character First Education the definition of Forgiveness is: clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.

 

What does it look like to forgive your child?

As I pondered this question this verse came to mind:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

 

When we forgive our children we will

  • get rid of bitterness
  • get rid of anger
  • watch our tongue

 

It is medically proven unforgiveness can cause sicknesses such as heart disease, cancer and strokes. When we have these diseases in our physical body our body doesn’t function as it was designed to. The same happens to our relationships when we have unforgiveness in our heart – our family won’t function as it was designed to.

 

  • Do you get annoyed at the repetitive nature of your children’s misdeeds?
  • Do you get snarky at having to tell them over and over and over?
  • Do you remind them that you’ve already been here and they should have got it by now?
  • Do you react to a situation, because you have expected them to have done the wrong thing again – even without really knowing? 

 

When we forgive our children we will

  • be kind
  • be compassionate
  • remember that Christ forgave us (me the parent)

 

Quote: Christ loved me and forgave me; so I can love and forgive my child (daily).

When our children do wrong, one aspect of their actions is that it is against us, our relationship is affected (even if that isn’t their conscious decision/desire). We need to recognize this and truly be ready to forgive. 

 

In fact the Bible doesn’t tell us to forgive only when the person asks for it – Jesus prayed “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”. The people nailing him to the cross didn’t ask to be forgiven and yet it was offered. We need to work through our attitude of forgiveness, even before we address our children’s actions – is our heart so turned towards our child that we can forgive regardless of their response to me?

 

When I get to a place of forgiveness, and where I am not holding their actions against them, my heart changes.  I am able to get to a place where I am not angry or out to get them; it is from this place that I can then help my child address their heart issues and behaviour.

 

Actually I can take my response even further, beyond just clearing my heart from the anger (annoyance) towards them, I can turn my actions to being kind, compassionate and full of empathy.

 

When I deal with my child who has done wrong (maybe multiple times in the last few moments) do I remember:

  • that I too am a sinner?  That I do the wrong thing?  Often!
  • that Jesus has had to work in my life, in my heart?

 

Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you:
Love, Prayer and Forgiveness. 
Jackson Brown Jr, quotes  (American best selling writer, author of Life’s Little Instruction Book)

 

One of the most important directives to parents when disciplining their children is to not do it in anger.  Therefore getting to this place of forgiveness before we take any steps towards teaching them how to do the right thing is really important.  

 

Forgiving a person doesn’t not remove the need for them to change – so as we talk about this with the parent/child relationship in mind – I am not saying that you need to forgive and move on and not deal with their inappropriate choices.  That is abdicating your responsibility to help your child grow and mature in knowledge, character and lifeskills.  

 

Getting to the place where your heart is calm and loving is you being responsible for you in the situation your child’s behaviour has put you in.  It is the first step and then you can turn towards your child and what they need to learn or do.

 

Quote: Parents it is important to get your heart to a place of forgiveness

Do you need help in your Family?

Hi! I’m Belinda

About Me

Belinda and her husband, Peter, live in the far north-west of Australia on a small farm. They have four adult children whom they homeschooled from prep-year 12. Over this time Belinda has taught and supported women both face to face and online. Her heart is to encourage families to be intentional, relational and heart focused in all areas of family living. She continues to do this in her new season of life – as her kids leave home one by one leaving her with more time.

Certified Life Coach

Further Reading:

3 Resources to Help us Use God’s Word in our Instructions:   We may need to learn the word of God before we can use it in our instruction to our children.

Giving Instructions to the Easily Distracted Child:  When giving instructions to the easily distracted we need to focus on how to help them, instead of being frustrated with them.

The Alert Parent Gives Instructions to the Heart: The Alert parent is aware of the situations that will challenge their child’s heart – their beliefs, character, passions and emotions.

Remember these 4 Training Stages to be an Effective Parent: These 4 training stages helps us to teach our children rather than just tell them. Without these 4 stages we are likely to frustrate our children.

 

Blog title: Parents, do you need to forgive your child?
Blog quote: Parents it is important to get your heart to a place of forgiveness

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