FORGIVING PEOPLE RAISE FORGIVING PEOPLE by Rhonda Stoppe
What do you do when you learn your child is in conflict with someone? Do you badger him until he tells you every detail of the altercation? Or do you try to figure out who has wronged your child so you can set things straight?
Helping your children learn to resolve conflict with others properly is a valuable lesson for them to learn. The earlier the better, because your children are developing habits of responding to discord that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Have you ever considered that training your children to manage conflict well will help them be a better friend, and to one day be a better spouse, and parent?
Let’s walk through the process…
CONFLICT IS A PART OF LIFE
If your child is upset with a specific person, prayerfully consider how you can help him see his own contribution to the struggle. (There are always two sides to a problem.)
Don’t be the mom who constantly blames others for your child’s conflicts. We have all met the mother who goes rushing into the classroom claiming her kid is the victim of everyone else’s wrongdoing.
Even if the conflict appears to be one-sided, teach your child how to forgive the person who has wronged him–whether the other person asks forgiveness or not.
In my own personal story, I was molested by a family friend when I was six years old. When a youth pastor showed me, from the Bible, how I could be free of this man by forgiving him–and trusting God to either judge him, or save him–the root of bitterness that was developing in my own heart was uprooted forever!
And God did judge him–for those of you who are cringing at the seemingly injustice of forgiving one whose offense seems unpardonable. And, I can honestly say that the Lord has given me His heart of mercy toward this man who wronged me, so that I can pray for the Lord to mercy him with His grace–and free gift of salvation.*
DON’T HOLD ONTO BITTERNESS
When you teach your child how to pardon another person’s offense, you will train him to be a person who is free from the bondage of bitterness.
You would be wise to explain to him that holding onto resentment will certainly quench the Holy Spirit in his life–and hinder his walk with Christ.
When someone offends your child, no matter how tempting it is to do so, you must not allow your own heart to grow bitter toward the offender.
If you become resentful, your sin will quench the Holy Spirit within you, and that, in turn, may keep you from discerning God’s wisdom in the trial.
If you constantly intervene when others do wrong to your children, you will waste valuable opportunities to train them how to deal with conflict honorably. As a rule:
Resentful people sow seeds of resentment in their children.
And forgiving people raise forgiving people.
Focus on living as a godly example before your children, and you will teach them how to handle discord properly.
By your own example you must teach your children how to live at peace with others. The Bible gives this advice about relationships:
Pursue peace with all people and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled.(Hebrews 12:14-15)
Hebrews 12:14-15 instructs believers to strive for peace and pursue holiness so the watching world–and your children, will see the Lord.
Adversely, if Christians only aggravate their conflicts with people, they will end up distorting the character of Christ to anyone observing their testimony.
ASPIRE TO LIVE A QUIET LIFE
The Bible teaches us to “aspire to live a quiet life – this refers to one who does not present social problems or generate conflict among people in his life, but whose sole rests easy even when in the midst of difficulty.”
The way people interact with others is a good metric for how they are doing in their walk with Christ.
One of my favorite verses, Psalm 119:165, says, Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them.
When I am not living peacefully, or when I observe my children offended, I can usually trace the reason to a lack of personal fellowship with the Lord.
This principle holds true for all believers. So teach your child to evaluate his spiritual health when he finds himself unable to get over an offense. (This does not mean it is sinful to have hurt feelings. The wrong is in holding onto resentment.)
YOUR HOME SHOULD NOT BE CHARACTERIZED BY CONFLICT
Your home should not be characterized by conflict. If your child is exposed to fighting and arguing within the home, this will become the way in which he will relate to others. The habits your child sees on display in his relationships at home will spill over into his friendships, his marriage, and one day, his parenting.*
Has it ever occurred to you that–by your example–you are training your kids how to one day respond when their is conflict in their own marriages–and as a parent?
You have the unique privilege of training your kids how to react when they find themselves in a conflict. Teaching them how to:
- Resolve conflict without anger
- Overlook an offense
- Forgive when they are wronged
- Dwell in peace with others**
- Refuse to allow bitterness to take root in their hearts
Will not only make the environment in your home more enjoyable, but you will be training your kids to one day be kind and loving to–oh yea–your grandchildren! And take it from this grandmother, there is nothing more precious than to watch your own children teach their kids how to resolve conflict in a Christ-honoring manner.
*If you–or your child, has been abused sexually, please seek out biblical counsel. Here is a link to find a biblical counselor in your area: ASSOCIATION OF BIBLICAL COUNSELORS http://www.biblicalcounseling.com/counselors
**Excerpt Moms Raising Sons to Be Men
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN.
With more than 20 years experience, Rhonda is an enthusiastic communicator who is genuine and transparent. Through humor, and honest communication, she helps women build NO REGRETS LIVES by applying to life sound teaching from Scripture.
Rhonda appears on radio programs, speaks at women’s events, MOPs, and homeschool conventions throughout the nation. Rhonda Stoppe’s book MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY-And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House Publishers) helps women build no-regrets marriages and will release August, 2015.