Sunday favorites

Ephesians 4:32-5:2

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

  • Amtep

    I’ve never really understood the passages about God forgiving us. At least not in the context of God-the-creator as a parental figure. Parents need forgiveness from their children, not the other way around.

  • Ivkra

    I dunno, as kids we hurt our parents plenty. I definitely owed my parents a not-insignificant number of apologies in adolescence.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Unless you were really extreme — no, you didn’t. You were going through far more in being you than they were in raising you. Being a teenager is not something to feel guilty over. That we, as a society, frame it as such, shows how prone we are to take the side of the powerful against the powerless.

  • Fusina

    I think that the term forgive is used more in the overlooking things sense of the word–Yes, my kids have done things that have hurt my feelings, but I don’t try to get revenge on them for this. Because I am supposed to be the mature one. Like in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love does not take into account a wrong suffered.” It is something the powerful can do for the powerless. Or, at least, that is my take on it.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    One further problem is that I am not sure it is always just to mock such people.

    We don’t know their background and story, maybe they have been brainwashed to think like that.

    I think that mockery and ridicule should be reserved to folks who are ARROGANT in their fundamentalism.

    But we should not do that for kind fundies, for this is utterly counter-productive and will very seldom lead them to reconsider their view.

    I think that generally, blogging can be an excellent experience in order to learn unconditional love:

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/blogging-as-a-spiritual-experience/

    I hope you don’t mind telling my opinion on that and I would certainly not say you had bad intentions.

  • Susan_G1

    Lliira, I believe parents have *PLENTY* to apologize to their kids for. But so do kids to their parents. It is an unequal relationship, however, and the parents owe much more to the kids by nature, so we do owe them more apologies for our failures.

    I know this is long; please forgive me.

    There’s a beautiful song being used as a mother-son song at weddings, called “upward over the mountain”. To me, it captures so beautifully that mother/child struggle, the mistakes the mother makes (e.g. being stern with the girl who was with him; what is his prison? how did she fail him that he got to that place?) and the selfishness of children (Mother forgive me I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you). The relationship causes pain on both sides, but it’s natural, inevitable, as inevitable as the blink of an eye when the child breathed through her body, and forgivable, on both sides, and beautiful, and hopeful that as adults, it will all be good, and he can do some good for her.

    Mother don’t worry, I killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed
    Mother don’t worry, I’ve got some money I saved for the weekend
    Mother remember being so stern with that girl who was with me
    Mother remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body

    So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
    Sons are like birds flying upwards over the mountain

    Mother I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison
    Mother I lost it all of the fear of the Lord I was given
    Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
    Mother forgive me I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you

    So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
    Sons can be birds taken broken up to the mountain

    Mother don’t worry I’ve got a coat and some friends on the corner
    Mother don’t worry she’s got a garden we’re planting together
    Mother remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry
    Blood on the floor and the fleas in their paws
    And you cried ’til the morning

    So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
    Sons are like birds flying always over the mountain

  • Ivkra

    Perhaps we should agree to disagree. I would want my kids to understand that when they hurt someone, it is important to apologize, to try to make amends. Yes, that applies to parents too, but kids are not exempt.

    I would say it’s generally more siblings who kids hurt, though, which is where this verse is really applicable. We hurt each other, and that’s where we need to apologize. Praying for God’s forgiveness but not the person who we just decked is not particularly helpful.

  • Ursula L

    Kids do lots of things that annoy, upset and frighten parents. Tantrums that coincide with the parent having a headache. Wanting things the parents can’t afford. Running into the street when playing.

    Recognizing that parents forgive the children when these things happen seems to me a way of recognizing and respecting the parents’ feelings – that the parent is genuinely annoyed, upset, or frightened, and that they recognize their feelings, and the connection of those feelings to the child’s behavior.

    If, say, a three-year-old runs into the street when playing, the parent will be genuinely upset and frightened. And it will be because of what the child did.

    Now, on a rational level, we know that the child didn’t act with malice against the parent.

    But to say that the child did nothing for which the parent must forgive the child strikes me as de-legitimizing the parents’ real feelings, and the connection of those feelings to what the child did.

    So if the parent, in fright and shock, yells at the child, then the thing that needs to happen is to recognize the parents’ feelings, the child’s actions, the connection between the two, and the need for both to forgive.

    So it makes sense for the parent to tell the child, once everyone has calmed down:

    “When you ran into the street, you could have been hit by a car and hurt. I saw that, and I was frightened and upset, because it upsets me to think of you hurt. I was so upset that I yelled at you. I know you didn’t want to scare me, and I forgive you for scaring me by mistake. Please forgive me for yelling at you when I was upset.”

    Everyone’s feelings are real and acknowledged, the problems with everyone’s behavior is identified. The parent acknowledges their feelings, and the resulting problematic behavior, explains it in a way the child can understand, and asks for forgiveness. The parent also expresses forgiveness, so the child knows that a grudge will not be held for the behavior that (legitimately) upset the parent.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Don’t get the “fragrant offering” part. Yeah, I know it relates to the practice of burnt offerings of charred animals. At least, Christ allowed us to stop that practice–OTOH we are still offering the scents of BBQ. So guess we are still producing fragrances that please the Lord.


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