When I think of forgiving other people, I think of, “But what they did was wrong! They don’t deserve to be forgiven.” Well, guess what? I’m wrong in thinking that. It is not our place to decide who deserves our forgiveness, our love, our compassion, or our help.
For instance, I feel like my mom, my daughter, and I have been wronged by a family we know from my daughter’s school. My daughter was being mistreated, repeatedly, by her so called friend. My mother, because I am at work while she facilitates play dates and such, chose to speak to the parents about it. They seemed understanding until I saw them at a birthday party, and they didn’t speak to me or my husband. My daughter sometimes fights to go to school, because she is afraid of how her “friend” will treat her. We are constantly talking to her about not worrying what this friend will say and to play with someone else. She also has nightmares about this friend. Well, another occurrence, and my mom spoke to the little girl in front of the teacher.
I then received a text message from the mother, asking to set aside a time the next night to discuss the situation about my mother. I thought for a minute, “Why my mother and why not tonight?” The next morning, the father of the child approached my mother in a very aggressive and threatening manner. Insisting my mother explain the situation. My mother attempted to explain, and he attacked my daughter stating she needed to speak up for herself. He continued to sound gruff and prod my mother for more details.
My mother had to then quickly end the ”conversation” by walking away. In that time, however, the father accused my mother of pointing at his child and speaking to her in a gruff tone. Meanwhile, the entire conversation between he and my mother, his tone was gruff, and he was pointing his finger. The parents met with the principal and teacher that afternoon. I met with the principal the following morning. I expressed to the principal that I just want to make sure that my daughter does not begin to accept that it is normal to be mistreated by her supposed friends. Having been in abusive relationships before, I can see that it would be easy for her to just go along with it.
Long story short, though my daughter has been instructed to not play with this little girl, my poor mother feels friction when she takes my little one to school. It seems nobody really talks to her. The once introverted mother now walks up to my mother’s friend and occupies her time, so my mother does not even approach anyone. I never want to see that family again, and I would love to move my daughter away so she won’t have to see them ever again either. But, it is not my place to not forgive them.
We are trying to keep our distance, and it is hard, because I don’t want to keep my daughter from playing with her friends, but at the same time, I don’t believe it is acceptable for her to be bullied and mistreated by someone that supposedly cared so much about her. I’ve already been through two failed relationships because I continued to allow my first two husbands to mistreat me.
Our job here on earth is to forgive and to forget. In Third Nephi 13:14-15 it reads:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
When you carry around all of your hurt and resentment, seeking revenge, etc, it weighs you down. It prevents you from blessings that you are entitled to. It keeps the Spirit away. It keeps you from enjoying life! I for one can tell I am struggling a bit since this situation. Work has been stressful. Though I have paid my tithing, money has been extremely tight. I’m going to have to pray for help in forgiving this family. Even if I think what is happening here, is actually happening (a potential controlling and abusive situation), it is a shortcoming that they need to work on. Yes it is not healthy, but I do not see anything physically that would call for reporting it to the authorities.
I know they love their child, it shows. But, the fact they allow this type of behavior, and then actually deny something is wrong, does their child no good. Just as we are to humble ourselves before the Lord to be reproved, parents should be able to humble themselves and accept that their child is not perfect. Do not correct their behavior in front of people, do it at home, but do not deny the fact that your child may have made a mistake, or made a wrong choice. We are to forgive that as well. And just as when a stranger decides to stick their nose in your business and offer advice about your child that they know nothing about, you can take from their statement what you want, and discard the rest.
If you do not agree with any of their advice, well then, discard it, but be sure to forgive them. Do not hold a grudge and think to yourself, “They know nothing about my child! How dare they offer me advice!” Some people are merely trying to be helpful. Parenting is hard! And I think that is why so many different people offer their own advice.
Forgiveness is just as hard. Imagine being beyond sorry for a mistake you made, and you have repented, and even seen your Bishop about it, but the person that was involved in your mistake, refuses to forgive you. When you discuss it, they say they forgive you, but their actions show otherwise. It’s very difficult to swallow. Pray for that person to forgive, and to have a softened heart. Discuss your struggle with our Heavenly Father, and he will surely help you.
Remember He loves us and wants us to be happy!
I'm a Supermom and wife who works full time. I love cooking for my family and friends. But most of all, I love the Gospel and my journey back to it!