I have noticed that my son Joshua never seems worried about telling me when he does things he knows I won’t be too pleased about. As soon as he breaks a toy, he comes to me and says “Mummy, I broke the toy” or when he pees on his bed (He is 2 and we are mostly done with potty training, YAYYY), he is quick to say “I peed on the bed”. There is no shame, no real fear, no guilt. He just tells me as it is and he doesn’t hide from me in fear at all.
It is almost like he subconsciously knows that the person who can get him another toy or clean up after him is me (or his Dad). At first my reaction used to be mostly angry and disappointed because I may have warned him over and over again not to do the exact thing he is telling me he did. However with time, my reaction is often one that is focused on correction and not condemnation.
Of course there will be consequences like no new toys for some time or even naughty corner if its really bad but I never want him to feel too afraid or too ashamed to tell me about his mistakes the same way I am excited to hear about his achievements (like counting 1 to 30. lol). The more I think about it, the more I am filled with gratitude that my son knows he can trust me with his mistakes and he can trust me not to hurt him for them. As a result, I am learning to be more deliberate about the way I respond to him and I encourage him to know he can be as open and free with me as possible. I want my son to know he can respect me and I don’t want our relationship to be dominated by fear.
I once watched my sister correct her daughter for being naughty, it made her daughter cry but right after that, my sister gave her a warm hug. The message was quite clear, “I still love you, even when I have to put you in the naughty corner”
How much more loving is God’s heart towards us? The Father who loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us and set us free from our sins even before we even thought about committing them? “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8). The truth is that the devil wants us to think God is always angry and ready to punish us and always quick to accuse us. I once heard someone scolding my son for peeing on himself and threatening to spank him if he did it again and that immediately upset me because there was so much fear in the way she spoke and my son was visibly shaken. Even I as his mother never scolded him for making a mistake in that way. Sometimes we allow the devil to use his spirit of condemnation to distract us from God’s love and his desire to correct us.
The absolute truth of the matter is this: “nothing can ever separate us from the love of God and there is no condemnation’ (Romans 8:31-39), even when we believe we don’t deserve it. God has completed that matter with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Don’t let anything you have done hold you back from experiencing that unfailing love. The bible says “perfect loves casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18) and it is true. If we truly understand and accept God’s deep love for us, we won’t allow our mistakes and errors to hold us back from being in his presence. If anything, the goal is to run to him and tell him exactly how you messed up just like Joshua does with me so that he can help you fix it, the way I do with my son.
I know you think what you did was REALLY REALLY REALLY bad and you don’t see how God can possibly forgive you but just give God a try. Take a few minutes and open your heart to God completely and ask him to not only forgive but fill your heart with his love to the point where you can truly believe it.
Let me know how it goes because I know I would have a few testimonies.