Transparency

Posted: February 21, 2013 in Personal Moment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Have you ever had to apologize to your kids? I have; and to be honest, the words “Mommy is sorry” can sometimes taste like a mouthful of salt water. After all, I have lots of good reasons for why I lose my temper. Not only do I say the same thing 10 times, in 5 different ways and still no one listens to me, but I also have a headache and have needed to pee for over an hour.

But somewhere in my soul The Spirit reminds me of how often my relationship with God looks very much like my relationship with my children, only His reactions to my childish behavior are always full of mercy and grace. Now I am not saying that children should not be disciplined or rebuked for bad behavior. However, there are more times than I care to admit when my reaction to their poor behavior is harsh and born out of frustration instead of love. (see Proverbs 15:1)

So in the wake of my bad response to their bad behavior I have two choices; I can brush past the whole situation and act like the wrongdoing doesn’t exist or swallow my pride, apologize for my bad reaction and thus demonstrate to them what it means to be transparent.

Transparency is defined as being free from pretense or deceit. It means to be real. As parents, whether consciously or unconsciously, we strive to be seen as inerrant by our children because we fear that if we are seen otherwise we will lose their respect. I believe this to be false. When I was a child, one of the things I admired most about my dad was his ability to say he was sorry. When he lost his temper or made a poor decision, he would always come to me and my brother and not only say he was wrong but he would ask for our forgiveness. In doing this he solidified in my mind that he was always honest and transparent in whatever he did. The truth is, kids eventually figure out that their parents aren’t perfect and because my dad never pretended to be, he won a respect that has lasted on into my adult years.

So, does knowing this make apologizing to my children any easier? Not really. The words still taste bitter coming out of my mouth, because like a true human, I still want to be seen as justified in my fits of aggravation. However, I take comfort in knowing that God is using even my short comings to teach them something about saying sorry when you’re wrong no matter what the circumstance. After all, no one is perfect and if we set a precedence of pretending to be, then how do we ever expect our kids to learn transparency towards us?

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Comments
  1. Amen beautiful, I am with you. I have even told my kids that “mommy needs a time out”. When I am too angry to talk, I go into another room and calm down before I say anything. We can laugh about it now!

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