by Jamie Steinhart
Raising a large family is not always an easy feat. And with four of our six kids squarely in the midst of their teenage years, the mistakes they make, followed by the lessons they learn, are often pretty monumental. We have experienced more speeding tickets than I can count, and fender benders, and parties when we were out of town, and alcohol missing from the pantry, and things said in angry moments that were meant to be hurtful. These years in particular, when kids are teetering between childhood and adulthood, are often filled with angst and pain, both for parents and children. The mistakes are bigger, so the forgiveness gets harder.
The way I see it we have two choices when our kids make mistakes; we can either hold it against them, or we can wipe the slate clean. We can either let the weight of their sins hang over them, or we can choose forgiveness. WE ALWAYS CHOOSE FORGIVENESS. That’s not to say that when they mess up there aren’t consequences, because there certainly are. They are subjected to lengthy conversations about broken trust and disappointment, followed by being grounded or having a cell phone taken away or losing driving privileges. But shortly after that we all move on, start fresh.
And this the most important gift we receive in the season of Lent, the powerful reminder of what Jesus did for our forgiveness. He suffered and died so that our debt would be paid, so that our sins, no matter how terrible, would never be held against us. That was God’s promise to His children, just as it has been our promise to our kids. No matter how many mistakes we make, no matter how many times we fail, God lets us start afresh. Each and every time, all the days of our lives, His love remains steadfast. His mercy is new every morning.