I had to speak with my five year old about forgiveness. He is upset with two of his friends or now former friends in his class. Both reasons why he is upset with them would produce hurt feelings in anyone. I know though, I would have no one in my life if I didn’t learn to forgive. I want to teach my children early on no one is perfect and people hurt each other sometimes.
My Luke is a black and white thinker, so when I speak to him it works best if I am gentle, of course, but blunt. He is a get to the point and move on kind of person. Our conversation went like this:
Me: Luke, I really want you to think about forgiving A & B. You don’t have to be friends with anyone you don’t want to be but you should try to forgive them.
Luke: I don’t want to. They made me mad.
Me: I understand that, but haven’t I made you mad before? You still love me.
Me: I’m not perfect, am I?
Me: No. I am far from perfect and I know I have hurt your feelings before. No one is perfect.
Luke: Jesus is perfect. God is perfect.
Me: (very proud) Yes! You are absolutely right. We will never be perfect like Him, but we need to try to forgive people just as He forgives us for not being perfect.
Luke: I’ll think about it Mommy.
I know forgiveness is easier said than done but it has to start with trying. From personal experience, I know how freeing it is to forgive others. You cannot grow in life holding grudges. Encouraging my children to forgive others will hopefully give them more peace when life and relationships really get complicated.
I planted the seed…it is now up to Luke.