Unmet expectations can lead to disappointment. When we feel like we have been let down by a parent, sibling or a friend, we can develop a root of bitterness and hold on to it for too long. This root of bitterness can become unhealthy and damage close relationships whenever we don’t have a grace-filled heart. Teaching our children about extending grace and forgiveness for one another might just turn anger into love and may help them avoid feelings of disappointment.
What does being let down mean?
The answers might be generic at first but just get them talking and prepare them for a deeper dive of understanding. Ask them specifically who has let them down and how it made them feel. Being disappointed can not be avoided altogether. They may even share a time when they felt you let them down. Allowing these discussions to be open and transparent will encourage your children to be honest and will help them deal with their emotions in a healthy way.
What is bitterness?
Help them begin to see how a disappointment can lead to a hardened heart as bitterness rules their thoughts. Having grace and forgiveness for others actually releases them to live a more healthy and happy life.
Who has given you grace?
Grace is an extension of love for others knowing that they have or possibly will disappoint you. Because no one is perfect and because we all have flaws, extending grace to others shows love that can actually build better and deeper relationships.
Most of us would agree that we have been extended grace many times. It really means that what we received undeserved or unmerited favor even though we messed up. Instead of punishment or anger, we got a measure of love through forgiveness.