Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I've had a conflict with my oldest child tonite. He had done wrong to someone and I told him that he needed to apologize for it. He felt justified in his wrongdoing and does not want to apologize. "It would be lying to say I'm sorry." I suggested that he could honestly say, "I want to apologize for my behavior. It was wrong, and I will not do that again."

On and on the conversation went. I calmly expressed to him multiple times that feeling justified does not make our wrongdoings less wrong. He is a fine young man and I am not going to just let things like this slide by. I believe that by requiring him to make an apology it will make an impression on him, and hopefully in time he will appreciate something meaningful from the experience.

He was quick to tell me that by requiring him to apologize for this thing he has done, he would avoid telling me stuff in the future. I realize that he can certainly do that. Of course, I do not want to do anything to get him to talk to me less. But, I'm not going to let his threat intimidate me out of doing what I can to help him do right and be a good man.

At this age, nearly 16, I realize that the bulk of my ability to teach and guide him is done. I cannot control his thoughts or beliefs, nor would I truly want to. But there is something quite difficult on days like today when you see your child resisting doing right. Although you can require right behavior, you do not have the ability to make their heart or mind embrace it. These days are just a huge faith walk--I hope I've done enough. I hope he has a good enough foundation. I hope that his spirit is tender enough to be open to the humility required to be teachable and make changes.

The wild love I have for my children seems both amazing, and completely inadequate.

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