Isn’t it interesting how those we love the most have the power to hurt us the most? For those of us with children, we may find they know exactly how to push our buttons. That was the case for Marcy, a mother whose adopted son had hurt her deeply by his defiant, disrespectful behavior. One day, after he had thrown yet another tantrum, Marcy asked God to help her let go of the unforgiveness she felt.
She began reading Paul’s letter to a slave owner by the name of Philemon. Paul was begging Philemon to welcome back a runaway slave named Onesimus, who had stolen from his master. While he was with Paul, Onesimus had become a believer.
Words Paul spoke to Philemon jumped out at her: “If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. . . . I will repay it. And I won’t mention that you owe me your very soul!”
Marcy felt as though Jesus was using the lips of Paul to speak directly to her. With tears running down her cheeks, she forgave her son on the spot, deciding that forgiveness would characterize her dealings with him from now on. Each time he offended, she would forgive again, silently praying, Jesus, I charge it to you. Because she was able to forgive her son, he didn’t suffer from her judgments anymore. Eventually he gave his life to Christ.1
If you have been hurt by your children or someone close to you, take a moment now to take your disappointment to God, asking him for the grace to forgive. Then ask for the strength to keep on forgiving.
Lord I forgive ______________________. Help me to keep forgiving, trusting the results to you.
1. Quin Sherrer, A Mother’s Guide to Praying for Your Children (Ventura, CA: Regal, 2011), 109.