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You want to know a parenting superpower? One thing that will allow you to “leap family buildings in a single bound?” It’s called forgiveness and it will absolutely change your family relationships. Why? Because it’s God’s supernatural way to reset relationships.
Jesus talks so much about forgiveness. First about God’s forgiveness to us but then about how we should forgive others. He goes so far in Matthew 18 to tell Peter to forgive not seven times as Peter suggested but seventy times seven. In other words, make forgiveness an everyday part of your life.
How do you help your kids learn the superpower of forgiveness? It starts with you being an example of forgiveness. Seventy times seven starts with me.
For example, I tell my kids often, “Dad never has the right to be a harsh, angry parent. I can be firm but that does not give me the right to be harsh.” So when I am harsh, it is my job no matter what they have done to ask forgiveness from them. And it’s not a qualified forgiveness either. I don’t get to make excuses for my behavior by telling them I wouldn’t have been harsh if they had responded better to my direction. I ask forgiveness for what I have done. Period.
As we model forgiveness to them, we then have the relationship capital to ask them to seek forgiveness as well. Our children respond so much better to our instruction when they have first seen the behavior we are asking for modeled in our lives.
And what happens when we ask forgiveness? Forgiveness opens up the heart of the other person and opens a doorway to really talk about the issue without all the baggage of bitterness in the relationship.
Even better is what forgiveness does to our hearts. When I forgive someone and give them and the situation over to God, it releases the hold that person has on my life. I can approach that person with a new freedom knowing I am doing all I can to reconcile the relationship.
Forgiveness really is a superpower given to us by God to help all our relationships. Use it frequently in your own life and encourage your kids to do the same.