Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ten Ways to Love: #9 & 10: Forgive and Promise

This is the fifth post in a series I'm writing, called Ten Ways to Love. To read the other parts of the series go HERE.

 Here we are, on the last two ways to love others.
 I haven't posted in several days because, as it has been much of the time, it is quite busy around here. (So forgive me, as this will be a bit of  a longer post.)
We had been preparing for several weeks to help our 20 year-old son move out on his own to a town 4 hours away from ours. It's not been easy. This isn't only because of the long drive down or the process of house and job hunting. There's much more at stake here. 
Our son is a decent and caring young man. That is how we raised him. But, as all of us have in our lives, he's made many unwise choices already. Some are due to inexperience in life, while others are because of selfishness and the many temptations of this life that we are all bombarded with. It truly is a big, mean world out there! Some of his choices have cut us deeply, as parents.

For most parents who have teen or young adult children, you know what I'm talking about.
I was having coffee with a friend the other day whose children are now in their 30s and 40s. I asked her if the worry and hurt we feel when our children make bad choices in their lives ever goes away or changes. Her answer was, "It doesn't go away, but it does change. When you aren't right there to see every choice they make or every action in their lives, it isn't as difficult."  
In one sense, I look forward to that change. 
In another sense, I am sad, as a phase of my life as a parent is soon to be over.

I look back over the list of "Ten Ways to Love" and realize that, as a parent, I am already struggling with many of them.  When your child has lied to you, how do you learn to trust again? When they try to convince you of something by arguing, how do you answer without arguing back? When you've given everything you have to make their life better, how do you keep giving, in hopes that they will make good choices with what they've been given? Then there is praying, without ceasing! Oh, my! That is one area that has been an ongoing battle for me. I've prayed so much! And yet, much of the time I've felt alone in my prayers for my son. 
 Now, as I read the verses listed by the last two "Ways to Love", my heart shrivels with guilt

 #9 - Forgive without punishing
 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."  Colossians 3:13

We probably all have heard the saying, "I can forgive, but I'll never forget." I've said that many times before, myself. But what does that really mean? When I think of forgiveness in the Bible, I think that forgiveness not only involves a choice of the mind, but also a choice of the heart.
Psalm 103:12 says,
" as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us."
Isaiah 43:25 says,
 "I--yes, I alone--will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.

If we say we forgive, but still keep in the back of our minds how that person hurt us, how can either one be healed? We need to do as Christ did, forgive, remove the transgression, and NEVER think of it again! Wow, this isn't easy!

Wilmington Divider Clip Art

#10- Promise without forgetting
  "Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12 (New Internation Version)
"The delay of what is anxiously hoped for, is very painful to the mind; obtaining it is very pleasant. But spiritual blessings are chiefly intended.
  Proverbs 13:12 (Common English Bible)

We've all made promises before, promises to our spouses and promises to the Lord. We've made promises about raising our children in a godly home, at baby dedications at church. But, what about when they are grown and on their own? What kind of promises do we make then? And when we do make promises, do we put requirements on those promises. Like, "I promise to be there to support you emotionally and if needed, financially, as long as you make good choices in your life." It's so difficult, as a parent to let our kids mess up, especially if we know it will most likely affect the rest of thier lives (and ours). 
That is when trusting that God has our children's and our best interest in mind is vital, as He allows everything to happen in our lives. We may not be happy with many of the choices our children make, but we can be assured that:
 "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
(Romans 8:28)

Continuing to add to my list of  'gifts', as I continue in the Joy Dare.

1,250 - So many reminders that the Lord has shown me that He cares and love me and those I love, too!

1,251 - As I go through different stages of my life I realize that He truly has been there all along.
1,252 - A son, who desires to do good and make wise choices in life.

1,253 - The love of a family.
1,254 - Time together, enjoying each other's company!

1,255 - Knowing in my heart that the Lord loves and continually watches over our children at every stage of life.

1,256 - Anticipating the adventures to come, as God lays out His blessings in our lives.
 The apartment building our son will be staying in.

1,257 -  The many changes in weather.(As I relate it to the many changes life brings.) We are having, yet, another snowstorm this week. 


  1. I love this list of ways to love. A good reminder!

    1. I agree, Stephani! Today was especially a great reminder for me! Blessings, friend.

  2. Christin,

    Nice to meet you. I'm hopping over from Ann's link up. Thanks for your thoughts here on the difficulties and yet need for forgiveness within our families. I agree :)

    have a lovely afternoon,

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. Hi, Janet! So glad you stopped by! Hope you have a blessed week!

  3. Hi Christin
    I am also the mom of two boys, a 21 and a 23 year old. They also have made many good and many bad choices in life, but I am glad for the bad ones too, for each time they have learned a valuable lesson! I know that whatever I leave in our Pappa God's hands, is safe for eternity and that is where I leave them every day! Thank you for this post. It touched my heart in a deep way. Over via Unite.
    Much love

    1. So true! Trusting the Father to take care for them is the best!


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