Asking for an apology is a tough one.
It becomes tougher when it’s someone younger we are talking about – particularly a son or a daughter.
Coming from a Bible study (Victory small group), I was on a spiritual high that particular morning.
But right when I pulled in our garage, I get a text message from my wife, Jenn:
“Paolo, your son, accidentally spilled water on the laptop.”
When your wife tells you “your son” and not “our son”, you know there’s trouble.
You parents know what I mean.
I then rushed in the house, picked up the laptop, rushed back out to the car to bring it to the repair shop while my 8 year old son profusely apologizes for the accident.
What did I do next? I ignored him and drove off.
Coming from the computer shop, I sit on the couch. Ryan, my 8 year old comes and in tears profusely asks for forgiveness once again.
I didn’t want to say anything, scared that I might say something dumb. At the same time, tension was so thick you can slice it with a butter knife.
Ryan walks away dejected because I wasn’t responding to his expression of regret.
After a few minutes and finding the strength to calm down, I call my son and tells him that he is more valuable to me than the laptop.
I asked him, “You know that, don’t you?”
To my horror, he shakes his head and responds with a ‘no’.
Right at that moment, I get a bonk on my head (of course not literally) from God, telling me what a jerk of a dad I was.
“You jerk of a dad, making your son feel that a piece of gadget is more valuable than him.”
In that instant, I had a choice, I could ignore it and hope that my son forgets about the incident. Or I could swallow my pride, apologize and ask for his forgiveness for the way I reacted.
In and of myself, I probably would’ve ignored the prodding and just went on with life hoping he’d just forget it.
But thank God for His grace, I gulped and talked to my bruised boy that his dad is a jerk for making him feel that the laptop was more important than his feelings.
This was one of the toughest lessons I’ve learned. I still cringe thinking about it, much less, blogging about it.
We think that our kids will lose respect when we go down our knees and acknowledge our mistakes. It’s actually the other way around. Number 1, they already know we’re not perfect. Number 2, they are so forgiving, we will will actually be surprised.
A tough lesson but a good one though.
God help us parent the next generation well.