So in my book, I discussed the “Not Quite SuperMom,” Rebekah. She was the kind of mother that we can’t relate to. In fact, when we hear about Rebekah, we might breathe a sigh of relief because she did some pretty shameful things as a mom–things we would NEVER do. The Bible tells us that she played favorites: she actually favored one of her twin boys over the other. (See? Who does that?) But she ended up helping her favorite son, Jacob, in deceiving her husband, Isaac, so that Jacob would receive the financial and spiritual blessing. Yup. She was not exactly the “Bible Mom of the Year.”
But our failures just look a little different than hers, maybe. In fact, in the devotion about Rebekah in the book, we explore the ideas about how we can become aware of our blind spots in motherhood. (Spoiler alert: we all have them… But the Holy Spirit is really amazing and gentle and He can reveal them to us!) But that’s not really what this blog post is about.
Rebekah’s life didn’t have a happy ending. In fact, in her story, she lost her connection to BOTH of her sons, and–just a wild guess–her marriage wasn’t exactly thriving after all of her shenanigans.
But our stories aren’t finished yet.
So how do we make a happy ending to our stories?
I believe with all my heart that if Rebekah had said 2 words, her story might have had a completely different ending.
“I’m sorry.” Two Words. Eternal implications.
Because even though our “mom failures” might look different from Rebekah’s, we all have days we fall short, right? And it may not seem like a big deal… A yelling match, a harsh word, an unkind response–I am guilty of all of that and more! And… Momma? I’m definitely not trying to add to the mom guilt. That’s not the point. The point is… We can still make a happy ending to our stories!
Here are 4 things a sincere apology to our children can accomplish:
1. It models humility. No one enjoys a plate of old-fashioned humble pie. And as parents, sometimes we feel like we have to keep up the charade that we have it all together. We can’t let our kids see the crack in our armor! But if we don’t model humility sometimes, how can we expect our kids to be humble and apologize?
2. It models repentance. Here’s what I felt like God showed me about my son, Asher, a couple of years ago: I know for a fact that I need Jesus every day of my life. But if Asher never sees that I need to ask for God’s help, how will HE see HIS need for God? I knew that in order to truly show my children that I need Jesus, I needed to admit my mom-mistakes to them.
3. It opens a dialogue. Sometimes, whether our kids think we have it all together or we were born yesterday, communicating can be difficult. When we’re willing to open up about our shortcomings, we extend the offer to communicate in situations we (and they) might otherwise withdraw from.
4. It can change the “ending.” Unresolved hurts and grudges can eat away at our kids more than anything else. In fact, in many cases, the lack of transparency and openness with our children can actually push them away. They find it hard to relate to a parent who acts as if they are never wrong.
Just imagine how different Rebekah’s story might have been if she had admitted to God, herself, her sons, and her husband that she had messed up…that she was wrong. That she was SORRY. Just 2 words have the power to change the course of our lives…. And make a happy ending!