While it’s true that a fading memory may lessen the pain to some losses. But…when it comes to relationships, time seems to have little to no effect.
Carol Kornacki, a guest speaker at my church, recounted the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother. Even after Carol was saved, she bristled at her sister’s comment, “You hate mom.” Carol admitted it was true. It wasn’t until her mother became born again and finally apologized that their relationship restored.
As parents we are all imperfect and for all our good intentions we can lead our children imperfectly, causing hurt which can lead to resentment.
As a father of two boys who grew up in sports I am guilty as charged. I can’t remember a specific moment but generally I’m sure I made the mistake of pushing too hard. I know I did that during the times when Wes wanted to quit.
While it is true that this led to great victories and life lessons which have helped him as a man, there is now an emotional gap between us.
I always said I never wanted to be like my father. He abandoned me as a child. He has passed away (without an apology for the past hurt) and I must rely on God’s grace to forgive and I still find it difficult to reconcile.
Now I look at my relationship with my oldest son and see a similar resentment.
But unlike my father, my mouth still works.
Recently it occurred to me that I have never said “I’m sorry.” Why should I have? I never felt guilty of any offense (which is always the problem).
The two simple words, “I’m sorry” have unbelievable power.
My wife is happy. Wes knows I am aware of the offense and am remorseful. While the apology is not an instant salve, with time (like the old saying) there may now be a pathway to forgiveness and restoration.
Without the apology, time only allows us to dig a deeper trench, hold tight to our offenses and lob more bombs.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
So…Whadaya say dads?
Since we have all made mistakes, let’s sit down with our sons or daughters and utter the words, “I’m sorry.”
Like surgery it’s not comfortable, but will lead to great healing.
PS – When you’re done, try saying it to your wife… Couldn’t hurt.
By David Murray
Husband to MaryEllen
Dad of 2 boys and 1 girl
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Author of the Majesty series and RETROSHOCK
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