Easter week – a reminder of the forgiveness offered to us.
Forgiveness that we do not deserve, but is granted because of deep love and deep desire for a restored relationship.
This theme was echoed and lived out in front of me by a teenage girl recently in a profound way.
She has a large heart, deep love, and a desire for a restored relationship with someone she loves in her life. In her life it is her father. A man she has always loved but has rarely reciprocated that love. Her heart has been broken by his hurtful words in the past, yet she still wanted a relationship with him. Sound familiar? How often have we broken the heart of God and yet He still wants a relationship with us?
We can accept the forgiveness offered by God and yet at the same time, we can withhold it from others. This young friend taught me a lesson recently as I watched her forgiveness come easily and freely.
What prompted her to forgive so quickly? Her father said he loved her. He admitted he had made some mistakes. He told her he was proud of her and the person she was becoming. She knew that the words were not empty. Teenagers are very perceptive! They can smell “fake” from a mile away.
God is perfect in His forgiveness – He forgives and remembers our sins no more. We are imperfect and may forgive, but the forgetting and moving on can be more difficult. For this teenage girl – she has been complete in her forgiveness and I think much of that is because of her strong desire for a restored relationship with the father figure in her life. She wants to move on, she wants desperately to live in the context of a better relationship with her dad.
This doesn’t give us license to mess up time after time in our lives. This shouldn’t give you the freedom to waiver in your commitment and love to your kids. This hopefully doesn’t give permission to act now and ask for forgiveness later.
BUT – hopefully this encourages you as it encourages me.
Let’s be willing to admit our shortcomings, offer forgiveness and ask for it, and understand how important restored relationships are to our kids and to others.
Let’s be the mature ones and be the first to ask for forgiveness for our part and not wait for the kids to begin that conversation.
Dads – your kids need you in their lives and they are probably more willing than you think to get your relationship in better shape! You may be surprised at how far an honest and heartfelt discussion may go with your daughter. Lean in!
Blessings in your journey as a parent,
PS – Alan Smyth and Kristy Fox will be hosting a seminar on June 15th based on the topic of Dad and Daughter relationships and a realistic look at raising a daughter in today’s culture. Check out www.myfatherdaughter.com for more information and to register for the seminar.