Forgiveness: You Go First

I’ve been ridiculously busy with my day job as an investigator at our local coroner’s office, however, I wanted to be sure to post this amazing guest post from first-time author Lee Nienhuis…

I wasn’t very far into motherhood when I began to realize that some of the misbehavior and attitude problems in my kids were caused in part by the actions and attitudes of their mother. While each of them proved at a young age that they were wicked in their own right, I can’t deny that I’ve snapped when I felt as though they were being disrespectful or taking advantage of me. I’ve been known to be selfish when they’ve interrupted my sleep, to raise my voice when it wasn’t necessary or helpful, and to fail to listen when I hurt their feelings. I’m not perfect, and I’m pretty sure you aren’t either.

Occasionally, I feel like telling the kids that the quarters I find in our laundry machines will be used to fund their counseling as adults. I can wake up to a peaceful house, make a cup of coffee, spend an hour with the Lord, and even pray for the day that lies ahead of us all…and then walk five feet into my “not a morning person” daughter’s room and need to hit my knees in repentance again.

Our job as mothers is to help our children know and experience the love of their heavenly Father. Yes, this is done when we read Scripture to them and talk to them about the Lord, but we also have the privilege and responsibility of modeling the love, discipline, forgiveness, and grace of God as well.

This is no small task. We must somehow learn to create an environment that resembles the spiritual truths at work in the gospel story. Of course, we need to teach our children there are consequences for sinful choices, but we also need to show them through the actions of our love that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

The best way to teach children forgiveness is to go first. I want my kids to say, “Yes, my mom taught me how to ask for and give forgiveness, but the way she modeled it is what stands out in my mind. She gave me a safe opportunity to learn how to forgive by asking me often for forgiveness when she fell short.” That practice looks like God and paints the picture of the gospel story in real time.

Isn’t that what we are looking to instill in our children? Humility says, “I’ve done something wrong and I need forgiveness.” We can race to Jesus, and the offer there is an unlimited well of forgiveness for ourselves and stronger relationships with our kids.

What have you done to show God’s forgiveness to your children? What are sometimes when you’ve had to seek forgiveness for not being the best example to them? How did they respond?

If you would like the opportunity to win a copy of this book simply leave a comment! That’s all. 

The giveaway will end on February 4th, 2018 at midnight central time. Winner will be contacted via email.


Lee is the author of Brave Moms, Brave Kids, a new book that is an equipping tool to help you…

  • identify the qualities present in true greatness
  • reject “mommy fears” and replace them with immovable truth
  • learn strategies for praying for and training your children more effectively
  • develop seven key lessons we must teach our children to live for Jesus

Courage starts with you, Mama. If you’re going to raise a hero, you must become a hero—because brave kids need brave moms. Let’s do this, together.

Find out more or pre-order here: Brave Moms, Brave Kids


  1. Jeanene Brown says:

    This sounds like a great book! I’m also thinking a book to do as a small group, with other moms!

  2. That sounds like a very interesting read!

  3. I would love to lift my babies up in Christ and teach them the best ways of life!

  4. this advise doesn’t just apply to our young children, but to our adult children as well. If a divorced parent can’t forgive their ex, how can they expect their children (regardless of age) to let go of the past and move towards the future? I have an adult step daughter, who is angry with her dad and “hates” him, (but sometimes, I see her approach him, give him a hug, call him “daddy”, tell him “I love you” and other positive things and other times she could care less if he was even alive) I know this is because her mother has never forgiven him and continues (at age 55) to do immature things (block phone call, etc.). Even as adults, children continue to model their behavior in the way their parents show them. It’s important to continue to show them how you want them to be.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Margarita Santos says:

    Sounds great. I would like to own this book.

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