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Mommy and the Joyful Three

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Erin James is the author of a mom blog on whattoexpect.com. She is a mother of three whose passion is helping other moms and dads with positive parenting.

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Teaching Kids How to Accept Forgiveness


Yesterday morning, my husband and I took our three children to the beach. My seven-year-old Sage and I were digging a moat for a castle.

Each time we dug more sand out of the hole it would collapse a little and fill back up. It seemed like we were getting nowhere. We dug and dug feverishly to no avail. The sand was too wet and it seemed useless.

Soon the waves were reaching the castle and our moat. One big wave came along and flattened it. You could not see where we had dug at all any more.

In that moment, I thought to myself, this is exactly how sin is in our lives. It is a loosing battle until we surrender ourselves to God who will erase any remnants of our past mistakes.

Sin is a battle we all face as humans. It is impossible to not sin; however much we try we cannot escape sinning some how in some way. Whether it be gossip, hatred or more obvious sins such as excessive drinking or living a careless lifestyle. No sin is greater than the other. The word sin applies to actions God warns us about, actions that are ultimately harmful to us.

One of the greatest problems with sin is when we try to dig ourselves out of the hole instead of relying on the grace and forgiveness we find in Jesus Christ.

Think about lying. Once you tell one lie, you more than likely will have to tell another until lying becomes more natural to you. As you lie, people’s trust in you and your own morals are collapsing around you just like that moat.

Without Jesus, sin can take over your life. Sometimes we feel we have already made one mistake so why not make more? We even continue sinning because we feel worthless and do not value ourselves because of our past errors. Yet, sin will never make us feel better. The only peace we will know is that which Jesus as our Savior offers.

I struggle with this daily. This year my husband and I have had a rough time with our marriage. It was hard for me to turn to Jesus; instead I tried to find solace in the wrong people. It was only when I realized I needed to forgive myself and that Jesus was able to wipe my slate clean that I could finally begin to heal.

Trying to solve my problems without Jesus is a loosing battle. My life collapsing was around me and I was losing respect for myself. My children’s mother was becoming a mess of depression and confusion.

God offers us forgiveness. That forgiveness is unconditional. It does not mean that our sins should linger in our lives. It simply means we are clean from our past, no matter the offense.

If I could not accept Jesus and His forgiveness, I am teaching my children to ignore the mercy of the Lord. I’m teaching them to allow mistakes to overwhelm and control them.

It’s so hard sometimes to let go and allow Jesus to work in us. It’s natural to want control even when we see we are incapable of handling it. The only way to be the person you are intended to be is to release that control to Jesus, to watch the wave of His grace wipe your sins away, flatten them and give you solid ground to stand on. I want my children to see that when I am in a dark place I turn only towards Jesus to guide me with His light.

Have you ever struggled with forgiving yourself? Have you ever had a hard time of letting go and falling into the loving arms of Jesus?

Don’t keep digging your own hole; it is never going to work. Allow Jesus to build you up and help you create the life you are intended to have. And teach your kids to do the same.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:37 AM

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