I’ve been reflecting a lot on the dynamics of healthy relationships, and how you want your kids to grow up – who you want them to be as they watch and learn from you. We send our children messages whether we’re aware of it or not, messages of adults always being right, never having to admit making a mistake, or maybe even refusing to ever humble themselves enough to make an apology when one is crucially needed.
I think… the absolute worst thing for my son, would be for him to grow into a man who cannot admit when he’s wrong or apologize when he knows he’s offended or hurt someone. Paired with this, would be the inability for him to truly learn what forgiveness looks like – or to gain an unhealthy victim attitude of, “accept all trespassers back into your life, even if they make no effort to change or meet you half-way in reconciliation.” The effects of these two important life lessons on my son as he grows up and has his own family, will either make his own family stronger & healthier, or spiral into a darkness of devastation, anger, and destruction of relationships. I’ve seen both firsthand in my husband’s and my family trees… they are examples we will (and have) used to teach our son what apologizing, forgiveness, and reconciliation truly means.
In our family, in our home, we are working on a family mission statement – part of it includes being people who admit when we’re wrong, and are quick to apologize to one another when we know their feelings have been hurt. We also are teaching our son the importance of accepting an apology, and whole-heartedly forgiving someone.
I truly don’t undstand how people can go on living life without living out these basic principles. The only way to live in God’s beauty of joy and happiness (& definitely peace of mind), is to be this kind of person.