Re-dos: Fostering Repentance and Forgiveness

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

If you have followed Jesus and studied his life you know he is the prime example of love and grace. When I read Jesus’ interactions with people in the Bible, I see that he forgave people and their hearts were forever changed.

But, he also upheld boundaries for those who were hard-hearted and not willing to receive the truth. Jesus instructed his disciples to “shake the dust off their feet” when not received by a town. Jesus set a boundary.

In my own parenting, I am seeking the balance, the dance, the perfect marriage between forgiveness and boundaries.

One way in which I am doing this is with “re-dos”. This is not a new concept, but it sure is effective.

Here is how I use the “re-do”.

Child walks right through an adult conversation, immediately jumps into what they want to say. I make eye contact with the child and then gesture to the adults around me, drawing the child’s attention to the others. Then I say, “Let’s try that again.” The child then goes around the group, comes back by my side, placing her hand on my arm while she waits her turn.

Or a child snaps at her sister in a loud, rude tone and I say, “Can we try that again?” She then has the chance to use the tone she would have liked to have used the first time around.

In these examples, I am setting the boundary of what behavior I am willing to accept and what behavior needs correcting. And, I am also able to see the child’s heart and grant forgiveness.

Another way I use “re-dos” is for myself! When I am having a mindful moment, I might hear myself say something in a tone I’d rather not use. So, I will say to my child, “Can I have a “re-do”? And, then I proceed to take a deep breath and try it again. This allows the child the chance to forgive me and our relationship can be restored.

These “re-dos” foster learning, repentance, and forgiveness. My impulsive response, lacking self-control, can be reframed in my mind, draw me closer to God for change, and give my child the chance to forgive me. And, my child’s impulsive interrupting can physically be changed by realizing what went wrong and how she can improve it. I, then, see how she intended to behave and I can forgive and move on.

These “re-dos” remind me of the Lord’s new mercies which are new every morning. Every morning I wake up, I have received a “re-do” from the Lord! What a gift! What a gift I can also give to my children.

 Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

forgiveness

 

2 thoughts on “Re-dos: Fostering Repentance and Forgiveness

  1. Love this! Thank you.

    “In my own parenting, I am seeking the balance, the dance, the perfect marriage between forgiveness and boundaries.” This is such an important point that I am stunned more do not realize it. Boundaries are so key to growing into maturity. It is not surprising that the world is full of people who don’t have boundaries and won’t accept the boundaries of others. I suspect the root is that they have not matured; they haven’t been taught properly. Boundaries are critical.

    God the Father lays down boundaries and teaches us how to lay down and respect boundaries as we mature. The whole of the Bible is clear about this very foundation. The whole concept of sin is seen as trespassing. God makes it very clear just how serious it is; so much so that Jesus died for our trespasses. But being able to forgive is something we grow into as we understand boundaries and trespassing. When we grasp that fully then forgiveness becomes much more dynamic, effective and real.

    You are blessing yourself and your children by teaching them these wonderful truths.These are crucial lessons and as you teach your children at the micro level they will quickly begin to see how it works on a much larger scale. These lessons will have a profound, and lasting, impact on their spiritual growth. Kudos to you for teaching them.

    Blessings,
    Homer Les
    http://www.uncompromisingfaith.ca

    Like

Leave a Reply to Homer Les Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s