“Be kind and compassionate…forgiving each other…as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32 NIV
Here’s a story every parent needs to read and remember. “One day my husband and I got into an argument and ended up yelling at each other. I retreated to the porch and sat with my head in my hands, crying. Our two-year-old overheard the argument. ‘I love you, Mom,’ she said, as she sat beside me and put her arms around me. ‘I love you, too,’ I said. She rested her head on my shoulder, hugging me hard. ‘I wish you could love my daddy too,’ she said. Talk about ripping your heart out! ‘But I do love your daddy. We just had a disagreement.’ At that, my daughter smiled, got up, and walked away. ‘Where are you going?’ I asked her. She replied, ‘I’m going to tell Daddy you love him!’” If you expose your children to your anger, make sure that they’re around when you extend grace and forgiveness to each other. Teach them how to deal with the issue, without attacking the person. Let them know that a difference of opinion can lead to a decision that makes things better for everyone. And that you can be wrong on an issue and still be respected and loved. Often that means teaching them what you yourself were never taught. If that’s the case, learn from the mistakes your parents made and pass that knowledge on to your children. Forgive when you’re hurt, and don’t take your resentments to bed (See Eph 4:26). Jesus said you must forgive so “that your Father…in heaven may forgive you” (Mk 11:25). Remember, parent, your children are watching you!