This past weekend was a memorial service for a beloved member of the church that I serve. Even though I haven’t been at the church any more than a year, it was nice to hear the stories of life served faithfully to the Lord. Not only faithfully, but with so much joy toward his friends and family.
It made me think of my memorial service someday and how my family will remember me when I am gone. Will they remember me as a person filled with joy and happiness or just a grump?
I say that because I know that I can be too hard on my children. I only know this to be true, because my wife lets me know and I am thankful for a spouse who isn’t afraid of honesty and letting me know that I am not fair with my boys.
The problem that I have with my children is that my expectation may be too high at times for their maturity level. It’s a mixture of my lack of patience with their mistakes and thinking too much into the future.
I came across a Bible story that I have read so much that sometimes I skim through it. But this time I looked a little closer.
It’s the story of the prodigal son. And I want to look more closely at verse 17-20.
But when he (the son) came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him (ESV)
Something that I didn’t notice is that the son isn’t sorry for what he did. The story doesn’t show or tell of the son’s remorse for his mistakes; it only says that he noticed he was hungry and his father’s servants eat better food than what he is currently eating. So he comes up with a sappy speech to give to his dad.
Have you ever practiced a speech? If you have, you know prepared statements are not typically sincere. A prepared statement usually is trying to convince someone to act on something. Maybe you wanted to sell something? Perhaps you seek to win an argument? Sometimes it could be to show honesty or love, but not always. I don’t practice good loving speeches to my wife because you feel the words.
The son was not giving a feeling speech; he was trying to convince his father to hire him as a servant.
But the father does something that I have a hard time doing with my children when they make stupid mistakes. The father doesn’t ask the son anything the why? The father embraces and loves.
If this were me, I would have asked some questions? Maybe would have the least waited for an honest apology. But the father just embraces and loves.
What I take from this story, is that maybe I need to love first my children when they make mistakes. Instead of waiting for remorse, I should embrace them before they can go into their practiced speech.