Sunday mornings and saying sorry

Sunday morning Rebekah is the worst.

Just ask my family. I’ve given them permission to speak freely.

What is it about Sunday mornings?

WHY HAVEN’T YOU BRUSHED YOUR TEETH YET?

THIS DRESS FIT FINE WHEN I TRIED IT ON LAST NIGHT!

WHY IS THE BABY WEARING THAT?

WHY IS THERE NO MORE COFFEE? [Weeping and gnashing of teeth]

WE’RE LATE FOR CHURCH AGAIN! I HATE BEING LATE AND WE’RE ALWAYS LATE. 

On Sunday mornings, I turn into the worst version of myself, Mom Who Yells A Lot. And then in the car (at 9:52, still a good 20 minutes from church, which starts at 10), after I’ve sat and stewed in frustration for a few minutes and tried to work out how it’s everyone else’s fault I didn’t get up when my alarm went off and couldn’t find the right shoes and let my giant mug of delicious, perfectly blended coffee go cold on the kitchen counter… I apologize.

I apologize to my husband—not in a whisper so the kids can’t hear, but loudly enough that they can hear, because they should.

“I was wrong. I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?”

And then I do something even wilder. I turn to the backseat and look into the eyes of my daughter who is pretending not to listen to the grown-up talk up front. (Oh they are always listening. Just count on it.)

“I was wrong. I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?”

Yes, I am my children’s mother, but they need to know that I am also a sinner.

I am an authority figure in their lives whom they should respect, yes. But even in my role as Mama, I am not some pillar of unattainable perfection. I am a sinner, I fall short, I make mistakes—just like they do. I’m not exempt from having to say sorry just because I am big and they are small. They are humans. Little humans, but still. God made them in His image. And sometimes they deserve an apology too.

I'm not exempt from having to say sorry just because I am big and they are small.

We all mess up sometimes, even Mom and Dad.

This wonderful thing happens when I get on my daughter’s level and earnestly seek her forgiveness. Her response is usually quiet but certain: “I forgive you, Mama.” And then it’s the good stuff—hugging and talking to my kid about how we all need Jesus and how He uses us even when we think we’ve messed everything up. It’s truth she needs to hear with her little ears and witness with her own eyes. It’s truth I need to hear and see from those I admire as well.

Parents, your littles admire you. They do. They love you and want to be just like you. How incredible an opportunity we’ve been given to model grace in imperfection. Let’s show our kids that this is how we live: We make mistakes, we are grieved by them, and we make it right. We extend apologies, we ask for forgiveness, we offer forgiveness, we live out reconciliation in front of them. We hug it out.

Next Sunday, I will call upon the name of Jesus for help and try not to yell at the people I love.

But if I do, I will say I’m sorry.

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5 thoughts on “Sunday mornings and saying sorry

  1. Such a good word! I was reminded very recently of how valuable it is when we live authentic lives of faith in front of others.

  2. So good, Rebekah! I was just talking about this with some friends after we heard Glennon Melton speak. She talked about this same thing. For all the wonderful things my parents did, saying sorry was not one of them. That’s something I’d like to do differently with my own kids, for sure. Even though it’s hard for the perfectionist in me!

  3. I have no idea what your talking about. Sunday was the day of perfect harmony… wait maybe that was Saturday! Thank you for writing about something we can all relate to. You do it so well. love you to the moon and back. Aunt J

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