A Lesson On Forgiveness From A ONE Year Old

It’s crazy how much you can learn from your children. Their innocence, authentic love, and genuine curiosity for life are all lessons in themselves. But somtimes the lessons they teach us are far deeper.

Most times we get so caught up in them being children that we minimize the fact that God can use them as teachers on what life is really all about.

My son is a very active, loving and smart one year old, he amazes me every day. I feel like I have learned so much about myself and about life in the 15 months that I’ve been his mother than at any other point in my life!

Last month my son taught me a valuable lesson. A lesson that can be very difficult to understand at times, but a lesson that happens to be an essential factor in our walk with Christ. 

We have made it a tradition in our family to come together on Christmas Eve and sleep over someone’s house until Christmas day. On Christians Eve we cook, play games, dance and just enjoy each other’s company. Did I mention that this is a FAMILY event? We ALL stick together, and when I say ALL, I mean even the dogs from each household join us! 

This year we had the privilege of hosting Christmas in our NEW house. Our dog, Bella was a bit tense being that we had just moved into our new home and especially since she had just gotten a haircut a week prior. But to top it off, her younger dog-cousin Princess was around and those who have dogs know that younger dogs have much more energy than older dogs and so needless to say, Princess was driving Bella crazy.

So the story goes that Lucas happened to be playing with one of Bella’s toys and because Bella was already uptight about Princess, she must have thought that Princess was messing around with her and she snapped at my poor little baby’s hand. You can imagine how angry everyone was at Bella as Lucas burst out in a cry of shock that lasted about 5 minutes. His chunky little hand was a red with her teeth marks subtly noticeable where she bit him. Thankfully she didn’t break through his skin and there was no blood!

I washed his hand off, hugged him and reassured him that it was okay, and a little while later he fell asleep.

The next day we continued with the festivities as scheduled. My husband and his father prepared breakfast and we all ate at the table together. Later on, Lucas went to play with his new Christmas toys and when he encountered Bella he yelled out. with his sweet little raspy voice,  ‘Bellllllaaaaa.’ Surprisingly, this little yell was filled with such love, as if he hadn’t seen her in ages! He was so happy to see her and it was as if the incident from the night before had never occurred. 

That right there taught me something so profound. 

Lucas had every right to be upset at Bella. She bit him! Even I was mad at her! But Lucas wasn’t. 

I started to think about how we, adults, tend to be so quick to get angry and hold grudges about the smallest things.

Sometimes we don’t even realize that part of our daily stress is the weight of excess baggage that we shouldn’t even be carrying.

Because of Lucas’ innocence and pure heart, he doesn’t know what it is to be angry. He doesn’t know resentment, nor does he know what a grudge is. 

I found this to be so beautiful and I couldn’t help but relate it to God’s relationship with us is.

We are constantly making mistakes. Sometimes we even hurt Him with our actions! YET, He continues to love us and opens His arms to us as if NOTHING happened. He continues to bless us and direct us in the path of the perfect destiny He has created for us. He continues to be our loving, heavenly father despite us being imperfect.

If God is so loving and forgiving and if a child can demonstrate the same level of forgiveness that God demonstrates to us, then WHY IS IT SUCH A STRUGGLE FOR US ADULTS TO DO THE SAME?

I thought back to the scenario with Lucas and wondered what could have happened if he had remained upset at Bella.

The first thing that came to mind was FEAR.

Because Bella bit him, he could have developed a fear of her or of other dogs and animals. Then that fear could have turned into lack of confidence which would have meant extra clinginess to us. He could have possibly started being mean to Bella by hitting her because of fear that she would bite him again. All these different things kept coming to my mind.

And then I thought, the same thing happens to us!

Someone does something to us, whether purposely or unintentionally and we are quick to get angry and put up a wall based on fear of it happening again.

We sometimes struggle with other relationships because of the fear of things that happened in the past. 

We become bitter and treat those around us with contempt because of something that was done to us in the past. 

All of these things turn us into toxic people all because we couldn’t forgive.

But if we put aside our fears and took the other person into consideration?

What if we stopped to think about why they may have acted that way towards us? Sometimes we are not even at fault for the situation.

Lucas didn’t know that Bella was already uptight about all the new changes around her. He didn’t know that she was tense because she had another little dog driving her crazy every 5 minutes. He was simply enjoying the life around him and unfortunately got snapped at which probably wasn’t even Bella’s intentions since she has never bit him before.

What if we were just quick to FORGIVE?

Then we wouldn’t have to endure so much pain, so much heartache, and so much unnecessary baggage!

What I’m trying to say is that there is more to life than the wrongs that people do to us. 

If God is constantly FORGIVING US, we should be able to do the same with others.

I am grateful for these lessons because they allow me to self reflect.

I am grateful that God was able to use my tiny little human’s life to teach me something so profound. 

And I am grateful to have this platform to share this with you guys. 

I pray that you find the healing you need to forgive and the courage you need to move forward.