I am guessing I am not the only mom on the planet who has kids that argue with her….It seems to go in phases at our house. I suppose we are “lucky” because our kids seem to take turns being the “argumentative kid”! Well, recently one of my kiddos (who shall remain nameless) was on a real run for most argumentative kid of the year at our house. She was willing to argue me to death over things that were important to her. I was fed up, I was burned out and I was ready to nip this streak in the bud! So I let her know that her arguing days were over. I spelled out clearly the consequences that would be handed out if she argued with me again.
I know this is shocking to moms everywhere, but…..SHE ARGUED AGAIN! Crazy, I know….she knew I meant business….but I guess she didn't care. So I gave her the punishment that I had promised. I mean…hey…I had promised her! I can't go back on a promise! Well, later that night she came to me and apologized for arguing. I was thrilled with her response! I was thinking….wow, I really am a great parent! I have gotten through to this child. I patted myself on the back until the next day….when the cycle started all over again…..Arguing–Punishment–She Apologizes. The next day….same cycle. I think you can see where this is going.
Finally one evening when my child comes to me and apologizes… I look at her and tell her that I really don't think she is sorry. She was surprised by my statement. She insisted that she was sorry. I told her that if she was really sorry then she would change her behavior and start doing a better job of not arguing with me. She agreed to try harder and seemed to be starting to realize what sincere apologies really are.
Later that night I was thinking back on her sweet apology. I hoped she was starting to see what being sorry really meant. Suddenly I was hit with a revelation….this same scenario has played out between myself and God so many times over the course of my life. I sin…I am convicted of my sin and repent….but later I commit the same sin again. The cycle repeats itself over and over until I realize that this sin I am committing is just futile! When I truly repent and turn away from the sin, then God knows that I really was sorry. That really is what sincere apologies are all about!
I learned a lesson about my own spiritual walk while trying to teach my daughter a lesson on sincere apologies. I love when God reveals a simple truth to me through parenting. What has He revealed to you lately? I would love to hear about it!