Raising Merciful Children
By Kim Butts
One of the most amazing attributes of our loving Father is His capacity to be merciful in forgiveness! Because this blessing is extended to us as we cry out to God from the depths of our repentant hearts, we are to extend the mercy of forgiveness to others. It is important to teach children how to pray for forgiveness. Once they understand the concept of a forgiving Father, it is important to teach them how to be merciful by forgiving others as God forgives them.
Parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, pastors, or others who desire to teach mercy through forgiveness, must themselves be godly examples to children of these godly attributes. You must first examine your own life. Do you harbor unforgiveness against someone else? Is there a situation in your life where you have not extended mercy to another? Do not accept the responsibility to teach children about forgiveness until these issues are resolved in your own life. They will learn more from your example than from your words. If your example is not a living demonstration of mercy and forgiveness, then your teaching will be ineffective and even damaging. One exciting thing about teaching our children is that it gives us an opportunity to deal with and clean up issues in our own lives that are keeping us from a fulfilling life in Christ!