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Don’t Jump to Conclusions!

Just yesterday, I went out to the washing line and saw our young puppy, Lucy, standing beside a dead hen. I was horrified, furious! I knew I had to teach her a lesson before she became a confirmed chicken-killer, so I gave Lucy the punishment she deserved.

Only then did I notice the hen had her eyes open. I looked again and realised that there was no blood on her anywhere. Seconds later, she got up and began walking around. I felt terrible. For all I know, poor Lucy may have just seen the hen out on the lawn and been sniffing her.

It made me remember other times when I’ve jumped to conclusions, and in my anger dealt out unjust punishment to one of my children. I am slowly learning not to make hasty judgements; learning to wait until I’ve heard both sides of the story. But I still make mistakes. It’s at times like these, I can model forgiveness. If I sincerely and promptly admit my mistake and ask my child to forgive me, it will be a meaningful example of forgiveness that he can learn by.

In her book, Easing the Pain of Parenthood, Mary Rae Deatrick says, “I beseech you not to think of failure as final. If you have previously blown it with your child by speaking heart damaging words, express your grief to him or her and ask his forgiveness. Turn the tables on failure by walking in words of forgiveness and love. There are hundreds of words to choose from. Take your pick. For myself, I am particularly fond of forgive and love and care and appreciate and respect and need. They team especially well with I and you.”

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