Whether we like it or not the behaviors of our parents (good or bad) have affected us in some form. We are, as much as we deny it, like our parents. Their makeup is what makes us their children.
As Jake gets older, his mannerisms, his laugh, his reactions, become more and more like his dad’s or mine with some of his unique personality mixed in. Sometimes it is great to see a mini me, but other times, it hurts me to see that a lot of my behaviors have influenced how he sees and reacts to this world.
In the midst of my most selfish days, I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have. Because of God’s grace, I have been forgiven and have repented of those sins, however, as much as I want to, I am not able to erase the consequences and the damage the exposure of those sins have had on Jake. So, instead of wallowing in regret, I pray for him, teach him the Truth and, probably the most difficult, apologize to him.
Intercessory prayer and the teaching of God’s Word is critical to guiding our children in their present and their future, but apologizing addresses the past. We, as parents, need to apologize for our behaviors and try to keep the influence of those behaviors away from our children. For example, Jake is at a difficult age; on the cusp of boy and manhood, the choices he makes are influenced by what he has seen and learned. However, by confessing my wrong behaviors and apologizing for exposing him to them, he can identify that what he has seen and learned from such behaviors should not be considered when making his own choices.
Apologizing to Jake was the most difficult thing I have done thus far. I almost didn’t even do it because I kept thinking it wouldn’t make a difference and what was the point if I already had forgiven myself and had received forgiveness from the Lord. But when I did, I felt such peace and another level of freedom from those sins. Jake, at first, had no idea why I needed to apologize, but when I explained that I didn’t want my bad choices to be an influence in his life, his expression changed. It was mainly a one-sided conversation because my son isn’t into conversing before fully processing what he has heard, so I am not sure what his thoughts are, but my prayer is that by confessing and apologizing, the sins of his mother don’t have as much power as they once did.