As a parent of two dragon-slaying, mountain-climbing boys (and a feisty little girl that tries to keep up with them), I naively assumed that hubbie and I would be the teachers and spiritual guides in our home. Fours years into this parenting thing, however, and I’m realizing that God has also given us some pretty awesome teachers in the form of our kids.
First, I have to come clean and tell you that saying I’m sorry has never been easy for me. I completely recognize that it’s a pride issue. Even still, forming my mouth to say those two simple words is about as hard as getting my boys to stop drinking the bath water (gross, I know!). But, just like I can’t let the bath water drinking go and am constantly trying to get them to stop, God continues to work on the rough around the edges areas in my life. This time, I think I’ve finally met my match in the form of a four-year old professor he sent my way called Samuel. Even without directly knowing he is teaching me, my son has opened my eyes to what it really means to earnestly say, “I’m sorry.”
1. He’s sincere.
I came across a few articles on the internet indicating that the words we speak account for only 7% of the communication equation. The other 93%–all nonverbal clues. Professor Samuel seems to instinctively know this because whenever he apologizes, he comes up quietly, not rushed with a look that tells me he knows he’s done something wrong. Because his approach is so genuine, even when I’m at my wits end, I find it hard to withhold my forgiveness.
2. He’s timely.
Most times, Professor Samuel doesn’t have to be told to apologize. He’ll come over and say it right after he’s been disciplined or made aware of an offense. Even if he doesn’t do it right away, he’s pretty good about saying I’m sorry before the day is over. There have been many times when I’ve moved on with the day, long forgetting his offense, when he’ll come over and apologize. Through him I’m learning how easier it is to accept an apology when it’s initiated by the offender, rather than instigated by the offended. And, I really like it too because it shows me he cares.
3. He’s specific.
I tell you Professor Samuel knows how to apologize. Unlike his mama, he doesn’t just say, “Sorry” begrudgingly and move on. He’s very specific with his apologies making me all the more willing to extend grace to him.
“Mama, I’m sorry for kicking your leg.”
“Mama, I’m sorry for jumping on the sofa.”
Even when I think he’s clueless as to why he’s in trouble, he’ll surprise me by explaining what he’s done wrong.
4. He accepts responsibility.
Professor Samuel doesn’t resort to my blame game trick. There’s no I’m sorry for hitting Gabriel but he hit me first (ok, at least not all of the time). He accepts responsibility for his actions without laying blame on others.
I really wish I could take credit for my son’s ability to apologize so gracefully but I’d be fooling myself. What I do know is that my four-year old son’s actions are inspiring me to do better and be better. Because of that, I’m pretty sure it’s a God-thing. How awesome to know that our Father doesn’t let our issues go and continuously works to draw out the best in us. Even if that means using our boys to get us there.
What about you…are your boys teaching you lessons, too? Do they help you see areas in your life that need to be changed?
Kacey (shown here with Professor Samuel) is a wife, mom and June Cleaver wannabe. Her days are spent enjoying life, chasing God and wrangling 3 kids. After the work day is over and the kids are in bed, she spends her nights blogging about her homemaking adventures at wellroundedhome.com. She’d love to have you stop by for a visit.
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