Forgiveness is fascinating. Volumes of books have been written and we still do not fully understand the depth of it’s power nor breadth of it’s reach. Never underestimate the power of Forgiveness within a family.
Biblically speaking, here are the basics:
- Forgiveness is a free gift purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ and available to any who wish to receive it by faith. Our forgiveness toward others should also be free. Romans 3:22-25
- We receive God’s gift of forgiveness when we likewise choose to forgive others. We cannot waltz through life enjoying God’s forgiveness while exacting revenge on everyone else. Mathew 6:12-15, Mark 11:25
- Our forgiveness has the power to set someone free to receive God’s forgiveness. Our unforgiveness blinds them to God’s gift and hinders their ability to receive it. John 20:23
- Unforgiveness can cause a person to drown in overwhelming heaviness. We would label this as depression/suicide. 2 Corinthians 2:7
- We are called to forgive from our heart repeatedly without keeping a record. Matthew 18:21-35, 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
Forgiveness is a Kingdom law meaning it governs both spiritual and physical realms. Simply put, it either makes or breaks a family. It is so important we teach our children to forgive and be forgiven. These are not easy lessons. Teaching it can be just as hard.
Forgiveness is best learned through modeling. Verbally walk children and grandchildren through the process of forgiveness and reconciliation. Be the living example. When that moment comes:
- Act fast. Be there in the moment with them.
- Humble yourself. Get on their level, eye to eye. All distractions set aside.
- Honor them by saying their name.
- Keep it simple: I am sorry.
- Explain not excuse.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Gage the answer. We do not want a response like: “It’s okay.” Because it’s not.
- Empower them: “I forgive you. Please do not do that again.” They learn to forgive while also setting a new standard. Empower them to forgive and be strong by setting a new course for that relationship.
- Make it right. Take that first step toward the new relationship. This isn’t a price, its a product of true repentance. A desire to restore what was broken.
Example: “Ruth, come here. Can you set the pony down? Look at me. Ruth, I am sorry. I lost my temper. I was frustrated at something and I took it out on you. That was not right. You did nothing wrong. I am sorry. Will you forgive me? How can I make this right? Can we spend time together?”
Read John 3:16, Matthew 18:21-35 and pray 2 Corinthians 2:7, Matthew 18:22.
2 Corinthians 2:7, Matthew 18:22
Jesus, help me to teach my family in word and action how to forgive, “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” I pray your Spirit would lead our family to, “forgive and comfort [each other], so that… [no one would be] overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.”
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