While he was in distress he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. He prayed to him, and God received his entreaty, heard his plea, and restored him again to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord indeed was God.
Today’s reading is about an ancient King who lost his way, made a lot of mistakes, and then got himself in trouble. Finding himself in a desperate situation he called upon God to ask for forgiveness and help. When God helped him, the King changed his ways and worked to make amends to those he had harmed.
Like this ancient King, we all make mistakes, and it can be easy to lose our way, especially when raising children on our own, when every day can fell like a new adventure.
I have learned that it is important to recognize when I have made a mistake, and to apologize when appropriate. On many occasions I have asked my daughter for forgiveness after I realized that I had been unfair, or made a bad decision. I would hope that my daughter learns from my example of owning up to my mistakes, but that is not why I have apologized…
I take responsibility for my mistakes, temper tantrums, and unreasonable demands because it is the right thing to do. Oh, I have tried to sticking to a bad decision in the past, but that usually just makes the results even worse! I have learned that it is best to apologize, do what I can to clean up the mess I made and move on.
We can learn a lot from our mistakes, like how to avoid making the same ones over and over again, and how to do things differently in the future. We can gain wisdom from our mistakes, and learn new ways to be a parent.
Admitting when we are wrong can also help us to forgive others (keeping in mind that forgiveness does not always mean what happened was okay), as it can help us to understand when someone in our lives deserves our forgiveness, as it reminds us that we are all human and all imperfect.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for your boundless love and forgiveness. Please help us to accept our own faults, while not dwelling on them, and to use our mistakes as learning opportunities to become better parents and better people. Please help us also to forgive others as we have been forgiven, and to remember that we are all your children.