these two words that we are taught to say.
Many times as mothers we say we’re sorry for almost everything we do if it’s not to our husbands, it’s to a friend, or a family member and even a stranger but what about our children? Should we as mothers apologize to our children? Is it a sign of weakness if we do? Will we lose authority if we do? Will our children no longer see us as authority?
Thought I loved my upbringing, one thing I learned (thank you Holy Spirit) is that children are humans who feel hurt just like we do. Simple right? You see in my culture we don’t apologize to our children. Children ought to be quiet and have no say, they are not allowed to be heard because they are a child and we are the parents. Why should we apologize? After all we know better and they don’t. The parent is ALWAYS right. Or so I thought. There’s not only ignorance in not apologizing to our children but we miss out on the beautiful lesson it teaches our children.
I wouldn’t say that we need to apologize for discipline but I do believe our children learn great character habits from us parents when we apologize for treating them unfairly. Maybe you flew off the handle and yelled, when you could have taken the time to speak softly. Maybe you did unfortunately out of frustration physically punish your child when it called for no such action. Maybe it’s as simple as your child listening to you express yourself in a terrible manner towards others and yourself.
I remember the first time I apologized to my daughter Evelyn. I had been having a crazy day and all I could hear is, “mom”, “mom”. Over and over again until I SNAPPED at her with words I’m not proud of. Though they were not “bad words” I did say she was being annoying and she is making me have a bad day with her annoyance. . . I know. I know. My heart sank and these words of frustration slipped out of my mouth like jello. The face my daughter made tore me apart. I felt God calling me to repentance and to apologize.
Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Gods word came to me and I realized that if I had said this to any other person in my life I would have apologize right away. But my child? Absolutely not!!!!
Wrong. They belong to Jesus friends. We are the example. This was an opportunity to show Jesus.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
I got on my knees and with tears in my eyes I apologized to my child. She looked at me and said, ” we’re all sinners mama, you need Jesus like me. I will always forgive you”. Friends, if I was sobbing like a baby prior to this apology, I ugly cried as her words stabbed my cold heart. Many people will read this and be confused or laugh but what a gift it was not only my daughter to see that parents STILL need Jesus. That parents are humans who sin and aren’t perfect. That I fall short, that parents aren’t the standard for them but Jesus. That we can’t even be like Jesus. But it was a lesson of humility and softness for me as a mother who thought children didn’t need an apology.
My relationship with my daughters has grown and so has the amounts of apologies given in our home. Truly apologizing when you’ve wronged your child is such a gift, don’t take it for granted. I choose to get off my “mom” throne and be a mother after God who raises her children by example and not command.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.