Seth & Mary Elizabeth are like most siblings. Occasionally they let loose. SWACK! Even hit the other. Seth, being the boy, being 7, is often the aggressor. And Mary Elizabeth, being the girl, being 4, is often deeply offended. Bit-part drama princess. Bless her heart.
The pattern: SWACK; gasp; silence; one crying; other denying; one accusing; parent intervening; one wailing; other denying; etc.
Getting the kids ready for bed the other night. SWACK! Seth hits Mary Elizabeth.
Melanie: Seth, that was mean. You ask Mary to forgive you.
Seth: Mary will you forgive m... heh-heh-heh-heh. Laughing at what he's done as he dives into bed.
Parental time out. Whistle in my head. Self-conversation. What now? This forgiveness thing is being mocked. Agh. God, help me out here. Sorry is just, "I got busted. My heart's not changed," but we desire brokeness, humility, & repentance for our kids, God. Thats real forgiveness, right?
Wish I could report the wise words I spoke. How I conquered the parental conundrum, brought righteous fear to my son, instilled loving hope into my daughter, & looked like I have it all together for my wife in one stirring fatherial oration. Nope. Can't say that I did.
Can say forgive me with a laugh isn't right.
Can say I'm convicted.
"Father, forgive me. Forgive me for the times I've laughed at You. Break my heart over my sin. Make me humble. Allow me to love others as You love me. I'm not laughing now."