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Without Apology

Without Apology

I stood before my mini-version. Blonde hair curled at the shoulders, bright blue eyes sparkled, and a pleased smile lighted her face. Behind her on the wall splashed brilliant colors in what undoubtedly could hang as a Picasso in an art gallery, but instead it splashed all over my living room wall.

She was that daughter, the one who could make me tear my hair out one minute and laugh until tears ran the next. She brought out in me a lot of emotions I’d never encountered before, some shameful and ridiculous.

Her “Who? Me?” innocence radiated from wide eyes and poured into the silence like audible questions.

While I stared at my wall, a battle raged Inside. One side desired a mommy temper tantrum to dwarf all others, and another told me to calmly sit her down in front of her masterpiece and deliver an appropriate dose of discipline.

No one had to tell me which was right. I knew. No one needed to instruct me which side of my internal war was wrong. Inside my turmoil, one had the upper hand right then and although natural, it was not the better of the two. In that eye-to-eye split second I had a choice to make.

“You can always apologize later,” something inside said. “Everyone messes up. It’s healthy for them to see you are human and can ask forgiveness.”

Let me tell you, although I’m pretty sure you already know, In the middle of parenthood chaos, it’s difficult to remember that victory in Christ is possible.

We relate to Peter, the disciple as one who messed up big, aka, sinned. He had a temper, often said what was on his mind when he shouldn’t and in Christ’s last hours, denied Him.

But Peter, sinful as he tended to be when giving in to what came naturally, wrote some compelling words in 2 Peter 1:3.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (NIV)

In Christ, we already have what we need to do the right thing.

God understands the ever-changing set of situations, exhaustion, and taut nerves of moms and dads. He knows parenthood stretches, and he tries and tests us at times. Yet, no matter how much I would love to throw up my hands and give in to the easiest response, Peter reminds me, I don’t have to. God’s grace is sufficient to make right choices, not just mop up after bad ones.

That day with my daughter and her unwanted art piece on my wall, I recognized doing right the first time around is a whole lot simpler than apologizing later and its ripple effect is less hurtful. I needed that lesson every bit as much as my daughter needed it. I still do.

When my children see me admit wrong and ask forgiveness, it is a powerful example. When my children see me struggle, yet choose right, it is even better. It teaches them victory over sin is possible with Jesus’ strength.

Like Peter, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to allow God’s strength to overcome sinful responses. I’d hate to admit how often I’ve chosen badly. In fact, when it comes right down to it, the Picasso on the wall dims in comparison to the baseball driven hole in the school window, the cat with green painted fur, or the firecracker propelled Lego engine that burned a path through our yard.

It’s a process.

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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