The account of the ever popular story of the prodigal son in the Bible is one of the greatest stories of forgiveness ever written. Jesus told the story to demonstrate the unconditional love of God for us mankind.
No matter how much we think we have erred against God, He will always forgive and accept us if we come back home to Him. As Jesus Himself assured us, “…he that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
As parents, can we learn and apply that principle in the way we treat our erring children? I will like to answer ‘yes’ to that question.
The prodigal son’s father forgave his betrayal, disloyalty, rebellion, foolishness, greed, recklessness, haughtiness, impatience and extravagance. There is no reason we should not extend same kind of forgiveness to our erring children – irrespective of the offences they have committed, or will ever commit against us.
We do not easily give up on those we love – whatever they do to us. And we love our children. So why shouldn’t we always forgive them when they err against us?
As humble parents, we will admit that our children constantly do things that annoy us. Blame it on the effect of hormones or peer pressure or whatever reasons that may be adduced, our children may not always be at their best behaviours towards us. That’s the reality of the life we live in as the earthly custodians of those precious souls.
A humble parent forgives his/her children all their wrongs because he/she too needs forgiveness from the Father above.
So when our children fall below our expectations (they will definitely do), should we continue to hold it against them? I think we should forgive them!
Should we ostracize them when their behaviours embarrass us? I think we shouldn’t!
First and foremost, we owe forgiveness to our children for whatever offences they have committed or will ever commit against us. Forgiveness is good for our overall mental and emotional well-being. Besides, God Himself does not expect any less from us.
Secondly, we should never cut-off from our children because they broke our hearts. Whether we like it or not, we are bound to them forever by our blood relationship. So as parent’s we
cannot should not disown our children when they err.
Just like the loving father forgave the biblical prodigal son, we should always forgive our erring children. No matter how grave the offences might be, let us find it in our hearts to forgive them. It is part of our calling as parents.
How do you think parents should handle their erring children?