He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. Acts 16:33
We make A LOT of mistakes in our house. Consequently, we’re always apologizing for something. My kids are so quick to accept apologies. I’m just realizing I’m not.
When I mess up, calm down, and then apologize, my kids ALWAYS say: “That’s okay.” In an instant, they’re ready for their apology hug, and want to move on.
I, on the other hand, NEVER just say: “It’s okay.” It’s not that I don’t forgive my kids; it’s just me being me and wanting to capitalize, yet again, on every single teaching moment possible. When all they’re yearning for is their apology hug, I’m waxing and waning about the bad choices they made. Then, in painstaking detail, I review the plethora of good choices they could have made instead. Talk about kicking the dead horse of their mistakes over, and over, and over again!
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were captured, beaten and thrown into jail for expelling an evil spirit from a slave girl. Despite the cell doors opening after an earthquake, they stayed put. The jailer was so grateful he wouldn’t be killed for letting them escape, he took them into his home, bathed their wounds, and asked to be baptized.
You have to imagine that, as the jailer, this guy was pretty rough. He may even have been one of the people who’d beaten Paul and Silas with rods. Yet not once does it say that Paul and Silas beat the jailer over the head with his mistakes. Instead, they baptized him and all his family “at once.” In a sense, Paul and Silas’ actions said the quick “It’s okay.” Then they moved on.
It’s time for me to do the same. I’ve taught enough. My kids know when they make mistakes, why they made them, and what they should have done instead. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be apologizing in the first place! I need to let the dead horse be, follow my kids’ lead, just say: “That’s okay,” and move on.
Questions for Reflection:
* How do my kids accept my apologies?
* How do I accept theirs?