Monday, January 25, 2010

Teaching our Children

I hadn't been to church in quite some time and my husband happened to be off work this last Sunday, so we loaded the kids up and went.I had no idea until the sermon was beginning, that there were guest speakers there to preach the sermon, Harry and Cheryl Salem (Salem Family Ministries) .This couple is adorable to watch and always deliver an amazing sermon. I've seen them once before when they had visited our church and fell in love with them.

Cheryl was crowned Miss America in 1980 and has an amazing back story. I was very excited to see that they were there Sunday. They talked about many different things, your relationship with God needing to stay strong, just like you would try to keep your marriage strong, etc, etc.......What stuck with me the most was what Cheryl had to say at the very end. She was talking about repentance and she said when her children were small, everyday was a battle for her. She said she remembered having to ask, not just God, but her children for forgiveness almost every night when she would kneel with them at night to say their prayers. She said she would ask them to forgive her for losing her temper that day or for whatever it was that she felt she had done wrong. She said she always felt weak for doing this, for telling her children she was sorry. She said she never realized what a strength it was until now. Now that her children are grown, they are quick to acknowledge when they've done wrong and they are quick to come to her and ask her to pray with them or for them. All along, she was teaching her children how to be humble and how to ask God and others for forgiveness.

She was in tears, as was I, when she talked about this. I can certainly relate. I have many days where I feel like a complete failure as a parent. Days when I just don't meet even my own standards. As parents we want our children to be "perfect". We try so hard everyday to teach them the right way, yet don't always succeed. It's hard as a parent to let your children see all of your flaws. And it's hard to let them see you apologize for being wrong, because sometimes we are. It is not our job as a parent to be "perfect" and I don't think we should try to let our kids think that we are. I think it's better for them to see us vulnerable and with flaws, because otherwise they are bound to be disappointed. We are only human just like everyone else. We aren't always right when we overreact and lose our tempers and it's OK to say that we're sorry. It's not just OK, but it's a lesson in itself. How else do we teach our children to be compassionate, forgiving and humble people...not by our words, but by our actions.


1 comment:

  1. You're right. It's so hard, and so necessary. I've seen my children go fram bad mood to good mood instantly when I apologize to THEM.