One the greatest gifts given to us is also one of the hardest gifts for us to give: forgiveness. We respond with amazement and gratitude to God when we understand the love, security and genuineness of God’s forgiveness towards us. It is only because God chose to forgive us of our sins that we can embark in an intimate relationship with Him. Scripture says that while we were still enemies to God, Jesus died for all so that we could be forgiven. This was the incredible truth we taught this Sunday at Children’s Church.
Scripture is full of stories and explanations teaching us about God’s forgiveness. We focused on the story of the prodigal son. Despite the way the son disrespected and dishonoured his father, the father patiently waited every day for the son’s return. When his hope was made a reality and his son returned, the father didn’t say, “I told you so” or, “I will think about taking you back”. The father accepted his son as his son and chose to love him completely despite what he did. This is our God to us. Our children heard about how God wants to forgive us of sins and will if we ask him.
We taught how we cannot remove our sins despite any of our best efforts. No good works can remove our sins and the consequences of our sins. Only Jesus can remove our sins from us. We used a creative analogy using a mirror to teach this (view the curriculum if interested).
We also taught that we too are to forgive others for things they have done to us. Jesus teaches us to forgive because we have been forgiven. How can we be so graciously forgiven by God and then not forgive others?
Living in a family dynamic, we are sure that you are aware that the need to practice forgiveness can be on a daily basis. One of the best ways to teach forgiveness is to practice forgiveness. So, when your children misbehaves in whatever manner, address their behaviour, but then forgive them and let them know it. After that, don’t remind them of their wrongs and expose their errors, but allow them to move forward in the forgiveness you have given.
Help your children to practice forgiveness too. They may need to even forgive you. Don’t force your children to forgive (that isn’t real) but teach them the freedom that comes in forgiving others. Forgiveness can be difficult but God graciously forgives us and also teaches us how to forgive.
We pray that your family will experience freedom living in God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness you display to others.
– The Children’s Church team