Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. Psalm 25:18 (NKJV)

We want to teach our children to recognize when they have done something to hurt somebody else and to apologize.  That’s part of how we teach train them to be good citizens of this world and in preparation to be citizens of the kingdom of God.  We all should know and be regretful for hurtful behavior or actions.  But we can’t force anyone to feel regret and therefore should not force anyone to apologize.

According to Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Live, “Apologizing can be a great way to make things better between children, but forcing them to do it is teaching all the wrong lessons.”[i]  The main reason why it is not good is because forced apologies don’t really change behavior and only make them feel shameful and angry.

A better option, according to Markham, is to get the child to acknowledge what their wrong has done, and help them figure out how to make changes.  As she explains, “You want to empower your child to see himself as a generous person who can make things better when he’s done something hurtful.”

Don’t simply discard the words “I’m sorry.” But if you simply get your kids to just say the words, without understanding the meaning or how to help fix what they broke, you have not really taught them to solve the bigger problem in life.   Children learn from us how to repair relationships, so make sure that when you and your child have a relationship rupture, you apologize and reconnect.

When you teach your children to recognize their wrongdoing and apologize you’re teaching them a greater lesson.  “The lesson to be taught the children is that their errors and mistakes are to be brought to Jesus in their very childhood of life. Teach them to ask His forgiveness daily for any wrong that they have done, and that Jesus does hear the simple prayer of the penitent heart, and will pardon, and receive them, just as He received the children brought to Him when He was upon earth.”[ii]

Father, help me to teach my children by example how to apologize.

[i] http://www.today.com/parents/when-adele-says-hello-adorable-toddler-says-hi-right-back-t54311

[ii] White, E.G.  Child Guidance, p.494

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And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12 (NKJV)


Psychologist Geoff W. Sutton[i] writes about the barriers to forgiveness:

  1. We tried to forgive a person or an organization and missed the offense that really bothered us. In an sample of young adults, researchers have found that viewing an offender as evil was the second most powerful factor linked to unforgiveness. If we just focus on the obnoxious character of the supervisor or the generally disrespectful treatment by the organization we may have problems.  That’s why every time something reminds us of the person or the organization, we feel angry and recall many of the things we hated about the person and the job.

What’s important to remember is that forgiveness works best when we focus on a specific offense. Consider the event in light of the following: What happened? How did we suffer? How did we feel about what was done?  Sutton writes, “Let’s assume that the termination referred to above was truly unjust. Even so, the termination is the main offense that needs to be forgiven here – not the character of the supervisor or problems in the organization.”   What we need to do is to identify and forgive the specific offense.

  1. We confused an urge to repair a damaged relationship with forgiveness. Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. Forgiveness means letting go of the hurt feelings and the desire for revenge and instead give them to God who is omniscient, omnipotent, and just. On the other hand, reconciliation means repairing a damaged relationship.

Even when a person has chosen to forgive someone, there may be no sense of that longed-for closure. Keep in mind, however, that forgiveness requires only one person, while reconciliation involves at least two people, and we cannot control the person who offended us.   Victims of abuse need to forgive, but they don’t necessarily have to reconcile with their abuser.  Don’t confusing our Christian duty to forgive with an urge to reconcile with that person.

Father God, give me wisdom and grace as I forgive my offenders.

[i] https://vitalmagazine.com/Home/Article/I-Forgave,-But-It-Doesn-t-Feel-Like-It/

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“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 (NKJV)

Psychologist Geoff W. Sutton[i] writes about the barriers to forgiveness:

  1. We didn’t close the case. Some hurts are so painful that the memories will pop up again, and it can feel like the problem never goes away. Sutton writes that in situations where we have worked through a difficult forgiveness process, a final step, “holding on to forgiveness,” can be helpful. What that means is that we take some sort of meaningful action, as if to stamp “Case Closed” on the experience.  Some type of action may serve as a reminder that you have truly dealt with the past. For instance, nailing the offense to a wooden cross, writing it on a picture of the lamb and then symbolically “sacrificing” it, or burning it and watch the smoke ascend as you release the person who hurt you into God’s hands.  In addition, you may want to add your offender to your prayer life.  Of course this is hard to do – but the ability to pray for those who have hurt us serves as a powerful marker that the old hurts are behind us. We have moved on.
  2. We tried to find a meaning in the suffering, but it didn’t make sense. Sometimes we do know the source of our suffering, and it still doesn’t make sense. Even if we can figure out the cause of a problem, our memories can lead us into can also lead us into an endless review of pain and suffering that is unresolved. If you can find a meaning in the suffering, focus on how it will help you with your future. But if the tragedy seems to make no sense, grieve the loss and release the hurt. Find a creative way to move forward, or even give of your time and resources to help people in future disasters or similar tragedies.  Forgiveness is one way God helps us rebuild our lives after a loss. Rebuilding is never easy.

Someone said that resentment is something like drinking a bottle of poison and expect that the person that hurt us will die.  On the other hand, Max Lucado stated that “Forgiveness is opening the prison door to let the captive free only to find out the prisoner was you.”

Father God, help me to release myself from the prison of resentment.

[i] https://vitalmagazine.com/Home/Article/I-Forgave,-But-It-Doesn-t-Feel-Like-It/

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Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. Psalm 25:18 (NKJV)

Maybe we have had the confusing experience of thinking we had forgiven someone only to be reminded of the painful experience all over again. It’s already challenging to follow Jesus’ command to forgive others as God has forgiven us (Matt. 6:14-15).  So why is it that when we have forgiven the offense we still remember it and continue to feeling the pain?

It’s natural to feel hurt and angry when someone hurts us. We naturally believe that justice demands punishment and secretly, or outwardly, desire revenge.  Some avoid memories of the offense and even avoid the offender. But as time goes on, the hurt feelings become like a smoldering fire consuming us from the inside out.

As Christians we recognize the need to forgive the offense.  But there are still many barriers to achieving forgiveness. Geoff W. Sutton wrote an article in VITAL[i] for those of us who “have already forgiven an offense and/or the offender, but find themselves lured back into the struggle, wrestling with bad feelings that won’t go away.” He lists five barriers to forgiveness:

  1. We forgave out of duty before we realized how much we were hurt. Everett Worthington, of Virginia Commonwealth University, talks about the difference between decisional and emotional forgiveness, that is, forgiveness involves our thoughts and our feelings. We can and should decide to forgive out of obedience. In addition, forgiveness produces many benefits for our health and our community. We can recover from emotional hurts, but the process takes time.  So while we can make the decision to forgive, as we are commanded, we also need to pray for emotional healing and recognize that healing is not always instantaneous. Forgiveness is a part of overall spiritual growth – and spiritual growth takes time. Forgiveness, then, can be an event, but it is often a process.  Think of forgiveness more like a journey that may take some time, depending on the severity of the hurt, before we can reach complete healing.


Father God, help me to forgive and to heal, not just because you command it, but because it is best for me and my relationships.

[i] https://vitalmagazine.com/Home/Article/I-Forgave,-But-It-Doesn-t-Feel-Like-It/

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God Covers

Scripture: For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Jonah 2:3 (NKJV)


Observation: Salvation is of the Lord. The core of this prayer celebrates God’s miraculous intervention to rescue Jonah by a fish. At the end of Jonah’s prayer God spoke to the fish, which saved Jonah from drowning and vomited him up. Creatures obey the voice of God. Humans are uniquely endowed with the prerogative to say no. [Andrews Study Bible Notes. 2010 (J. L. Dybdahl, Ed.) (1179). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.]


Application:  Jonah’s story is more interesting than any novel, TV show, or movie ever made.  It has all the drama, adventure, passion, and excitement of a modern blockbuster.  Within just a few chapters, a couple of pages, we read the life-or-death struggle of a very reluctant ministry worker and how God resolved his personal, spiritual struggle and at the same time provided the only lifeline to a people doomed to die.

Our passage for consideration is part of Jonah’s prayer which he uttered inside the fish God provided to save him from drowning in the stormy sea. That experience must have been frightening, and a little sickening.  First he is thrown out into the raging waters, at his own suggestion.  I can imagine what it must have been like, plunging into the dark, angry ocean, gasping for fresh air and instead feeling his mouth and lungs begin to fill with salty sea water, and then to feel suddenly swallowed by a large fish.  We don’t know whether the fish was just big enough for Jonah to fit inside his digestive track or even larger, as portrayed in children’s movies, for him to move around.  Either way, the stench of gastric juices, the smell, the darkness, the pressure on the ears as the fish dove into deeper, calmer waters, the sounds of a large beating heart. . . all strange, frightening sounds and a foreign environment for any person.

Jonah was obviously not unconscious during this entire ordeal.  He might have slept some of the time from sheer exhaustion, but while he was awake he had plenty of time to consider his situation, his life, and his failures.  When he finally realized what he had done, his rebellion and disobedience, he also came to recognize his love and dependence on God, and that if God had rejected him he would not just be inside the fish’s belly, he would have already been digested by it.  So he prays, a prayer of adoration, a prayer of Thanksgiving, and a prayer of surrender.  God’s grace, His billows and waves, passed over Jonah. . . God baptized him, if you please, and now God brings him out of the belly, not of his mother but of the fish, so he can enjoy a new life and a new chance at fulfilling the mission God called to.

We don’t have to go through all that drama to experience God’s love and forgiveness.  Right now, wherever we are, we can stop and allow the billows and waves of God’s love and forgiveness to cover us and our families and to renew in us His call to mission, as individual and as a family.  He is the God of a second chance. . . ask for it right now.


A Prayer You May Say: Father God, may Your love and forgiveness wash our me and over my family so that we may be renewed by Your spirit and go on to fulfill Your mission for us.

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No Condemnation

Scripture:  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

Observation:  No condemnation. The good news of the gospel is that Christ came to condemn sin, not sinners (John 3:17; Rom. 8:3). To those who believe and accept the generous provisions of the gospel and who in faith commit themselves to lives of loving obedience, Christ offers justification and freedom. There may yet be deficiencies in the believer’s character, but “when it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit” (EGW ST June 16, 1890). For such there is no condemnation (John 3:18). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (559–560). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application:  One of the most moving stories from the life of Jesus is found in John 8.  It’s worth reviewing it today:

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.  Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,  they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”  This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:1-11 (NKJV)

The Jewish law made it clear that both the man and the woman who were caught in the act of committing adultery were to be stoned.  In this case, only the woman was brought to Jesus.  It’s clear that it was a set up on their part so they could trap Jesus with His own words.  Regardless, when they could not, with a clear conscience, stone her, Jesus pronounced those precious words, “Neither do I condemn you.”  Since then, those words still bring us comfort and hope.  The apostle Paul also echoed the same sentiment with the words of our Scriptural passage for today (Romans 8:1), so that we could live with the assurance that it is not just the woman caught in the act of committing adultery whom Jesus did not condemn but also every one of us, while sinners to the core, but in Jesus forgiven and not condemned.

If Jesus, in His purity, does not condemn us, how can we, fallible humans that we are, pretend to be more righteous than our spouse or children or parents and condemn them when they have failed, or even failed us?  May the words that come from our lips be:  “Neither do I condemn you.”

A Prayer You May Say:  father God, thank You because in Your love You do not condemn us but instead shower Your love to each of us, forgive us, and asks us to share the same forgiveness to those around us.  Help us to be more gracious, to condemn less, and love more.

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Scripture: Love. . thinks no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV

Observation: Thinketh no evil. Literally, “does not reckon the evil.” The Greek here conveys the idea of not taking into account the wrong that has been done; not reckoning, imputing, or charging the wrong to any man’s account. This is another beautiful, Christlike attribute of love. It shows that love puts the best possible construction on the behavior of others. [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (782). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application: The New King James version of the Bible does not convey completely what the words of this verse really say or what Paul evidently intended to say. Here’s a sample of several other versions or translations:
English Standard Version: Love. . . is not resentful (does not count up wrongdoing).
New American Standard Bible (1995 update): Does not take into account a wrong suffered.
New International Version (1984): It keeps no record of wrongs.
The Message: Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.
God’s Word Translation: It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.

The apostle Peter must have thought he would impress Jesus with his piety by asking Him, “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’” (Matthew 18:21, NKJV). He must have been taken back when Jesus responded, “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” (vs.22). Simple math will tells us that seventy times seven equals 490. Some may point aout that the original Greek language is somewhat ambiguous so that it could be translated as seventy-seven times, which is a lot better than 490. Even then, however, that is a lot of times. Did Jesus really mean we should forgive the same person that many times after they have hurt us? Who can possibly continue to forgive that many times without being taken advantage of, or even abused?

The SDA Bible Commentary explains: “Of course, the number itself is not important, being only symbolic. Either number is in harmony with the truth here taught, that forgiveness is not a matter of mathematics or legal regulations, but an attitude. He who harbors within himself the idea that at some future time he will not forgive, is far from extending true forgiveness even though he may go through the form of forgiving. If the spirit of forgiveness actuates the heart, a person will be as ready to forgive a repentant soul the eighth time as the first time, or the 491st time as the eighth. True forgiveness is not limited by numbers; furthermore, it is not the act that counts, but the spirit that prompts the act. “Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit” (COL 251). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (449). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Paul and Jesus agree: Love does not keep record of wrongs, it does not hold on to resentment, it does not count up to 77 or 490 times to forgive. Love forgives and removes the desire to punish or hurt the other and accounts them as if they had never harm them before, the same way God forgives us and does not hold our past sin against us ever again. Love and forgiveness are sure a much better option to resentment and hatred in our marriages.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, bless us that we may have a loving, forgiving spirit toward one another so that harmony, peace, and love may reign in our home.

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Scripture: Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14, NKJV)

Observation: forgetting those things … behind—Looking back is sure to end in going back (Lu 9:62): So Lot’s wife (Lu 17:32). If in stemming a current we cease pulling the oar against it, we are carried back. God’s word to us is as it was to Israel, “Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward” (Ex 14:15). The Bible is our landmark to show us whether we are progressing or retrograding.
reaching forth—with hand and foot, like a runner in a race, and the body bent forward. The Christian is always humbled by the contrast between what he is and what he desires to be. The eye reaches before and draws on the hand, the hand reaches before and draws on the foot [Bengel].
[Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application: Looking back at what has happened in your relationship, at the hurts, and at the wounds, will only keep you stuck in the sink hole of resentment. The very word, resentment, comes from two Latin words which together mean “to feel again.” Looking back at the hurts makes you feel the pain all over again. What would be a better option to deal with resentment? I suggest five steps to deal with it:
1. Make the decision that you’re going to stay married, no matter what. Repeat it to yourself often. Say it out loud and figure out what you need to do so both of you can make that commitment.

2. Put time into your marriage. Unless you are intentional about changing the future, you may repeat the mistakes of the past. This is particularly important if you have children. It is possible that, like a lot of parents, once your children were born you devoted a lot of time to caring for them and neglected taking time for your relationship. Don’t continue to make the same mistake and instead devote time to cultivating a close, strong relationship with your spouse. Make him/her feel special, that he/she is the most important person in your life.

3. Figure out what you’re getting out of getting from being resentful. Do you feel better? Maybe you do feel better for a brief moment. Maybe you have given your spouse a bit of his/her own medicine. Maybe you have had your moment of “vengeance.” And then what? What does staying stuck in that resentment really accomplish, anyway? Besides driving another wedge between you and your spouse, what real benefit have you derived for yourself or for your relationship? Nelson Mandela is said to have made this statement: “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

4. Figure out what specifically hurt you and what you need to do to forgive. Sometimes we have a big challenge trying to forgive because we think about everything that has happened or that has been done to us. Just like eating a complete meal, it is easier if we do it one bite at a time. In the case of forgiveness, you may need to forgive one offense at a time.

5. If you’re still feeling resentful, try renegotiating with your spouse. Sit down and calmly tell your spouse how you’re feeling and why, without pointing an accusing finger but rather speaking of your feelings. Use “I statements” rather than “you statements.” Ask him/her for their help and support to stop doing what has caused you pain in the past. It’s important to forgive, but it is also important to protect yourself and ensure that the same painful events will not happen again.

Today’s text reminds us that we need to stop looking back and instead keep looking forward. Any relationship that stays in the past will not be able to move forward. Leave the past behind (forgive), and look forward to a better future.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, help us to forgive the past, stop looking back with resentment to what we cannot change, but rather look forward to the future by making the necessary changes in the present.

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Scripture: Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. Jonah 3:10 (NKJV)

Observation: The prophet’s message may have included conditions whereby the threats of God could be rescinded. As an evidence of His mercy to the Ninevites God sent Jonah to them, told him what to proclaim to them, and opened the hearts of a vast population. Also, seeing their repentant actions, God relented of His threat of destruction. He had spared Jonah (chap. 2); now He spared Nineveh. God’s mercies are always unmerited; His grace is never earned. [Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.]

Application: Several years ago I read a story about marriage that illustrates the great value of forgiveness to both spouses. It goes like this:
In the village of Falken in innermost Freisland there lived a long, thin baker named Fouke; a righteous man, with a long thin nose and a long thin chin. Fouke was so upright that he seemed to spray righteousness from his thin lips over everyone who came to him. So, everyone preferred to stay away. His wife, Hilda, was short and round. Her bosom was round and so was her rump. She did not keep people at bay with her righteousness; her soft roundness seemed to invite them in to be close with her and share her warmth. She respected her husband and loved him very much, as much as he would allow her; but her heart ached for something more from him. And there in the bed of her need lay her sadness.
One morning Fouke came home and found a stranger lying on Hilda’s bosom. Hilda’s adultery became the talk of the town. Fouke surprised everyone by keeping Hilda as his wife, saying he forgave her as the good book said he should. But, in his heart of hearts, he could not forgive her for bringing shame to his name. Whenever he thought about her, his feelings towards her were angry and hard; he despised her as if she were a whore. When it came right down to it, he hated her for betraying him after he had been such a faithful and good husband to her. He only pretended to forgive her so that he could punish her with his righteous mercy.
His fakery did not sit well in heaven. So each time he would feel his secret hate, an angel came to him and dropped a small pebble, hardly the size of a small button into his heart. Each time a pebble dropped into his heart, he would feel a stab of pain like the pain he felt the moment he came on Hilda feeding her hungry heart from a stranger’s larder. Thus he hated her the more; his hate brought him pain and his pain made him hate. The pebbles multiplied and his heart grew heavy with the weight of them, so heavy that the top half of his body bent forward so that he had to strain his neck upward in order to see ahead. Weary and hurt, he began to wish he were dead.
The angel who dropped the pebbles into his heart came to him one night and told him how he could be healed of his hurt. There is only one remedy for the hurt of the wounded heart. He would need the miracle of the magic eyes. He would need eyes that could look back and see a wife not who betrayed him but as a weak woman who needed him. He protested and said that nothing could change the past. She is guilty and an angel cannot change that. The angel said, “You cannot change the past. You can only heal the hurt that comes to you from the past. And you can only heal it with the vision of the magic eyes.” He asked how to get the magic eyes. “Ask, and they will be given. Each time you see Hilda through your new eyes, a pebble will be lifted from your heart.”
He could not ask at once, for he had grown to love his hatred. Finally, his pain drove him to ask and the angel gave him the magic eyes. Hilda began to change and he saw her as a needy woman who loved him. The angel kept her promise and lifted the pebbles one by one, though it took a long time. He invited Hilda into his heart again and she came. And together they began their second season of humble joy.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, please give us the Magic Eyes we need in our marriage that we may see in our spouse someone lovely and someone we must love for their well-being, for ours, for the sake of our marriage and for the sake of our children who suffer more than anyone else when we don’t get along, and even more so if we choose to separate or divorce.

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The Father’s Heart

Scripture: So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him; he ran and hugged his son and kissed him. Luke 15:20 (NET)

Observation: The parable of the Prodigal Son is probably one of the best known, best loved stories of all times. It is much more than a fable, such as those written by Aesop, or a bedtime story, like the ones written by the brothers Grimm. Many of these stories have a moral or practical lesson to teach children, and some of them have become part of life and culture and even common parlance. The difference in Jesus’ parable is that it is not simply a nice bedtime story but a beautiful allegory of the love and forgiveness that God extends to us.
While we tend to look at the father’s forgiveness for the wayward son, who wasted his inheritance, we often overlook the father’s love and forgiveness for the other son. In reality, the father loves both of his children – the one who left and the one who stayed – because in their heart both failed to love their father. The younger son, by asking for his portion of his inheritance, was basically expressing his wish that the father were dead. The older son, with his anger and unforgiving spirit, did not reflect how generous the father had been with him all his life. The younger son, selfish though he was, accepted the father’s generous offer of love and forgiveness. The older son, self-righteous as he was, rejected the same father’s love and forgiveness.

Application: As much as we as parents would love to see our children be obedient, loving, and to listen and follow our word and advice, as they grow and gain their independence often they do things that are contrary to anything, and sometimes everything, we have taught them. Nothing breaks the heart of a parent more than to see their children turn their backs on their faith and beliefs, and to watch them live a life contrary to the principles they were told from childhood. At the same time, nothing brings parents more joy than to see they wayward children come full circle back.
In order for children to be able to come back home, they need to have grown with the knowledge that their parents’ love for them is unconditional. We may not like the decisions they take or agree with the choices they make, but we can still extend to them our love and the assurance that as much as nothing we do can separate us from the love of God so nothing they do can separate them from our love for them. How we relate to our children will show them how they view God and can determine how they will relate to us and to Him.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your generous love and forgiveness toward us. Help us, as parents, to be as generous with our love and forgiveness toward our children.

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