Forgiveness is a funny thing, isn’t it? We all know that we must forgive, so you would think that we would be rushing to forgive our persecutors as we are forgiven. But, for some reason, it is so easy for us to hold on to anger and resentment, as we count up to our magical exemption code: 77 x 7. That’s really a symbol for what we believe to be our threshold of forgiveness, when we allow ourselves to say ‘enough is enough. A saint could do more, but not I. I’m too hurt/damaged/vulnerable to forgive any more.’
A state of unforgiveness shows up in our homes. The children are stressed and so are the parents. The atmosphere is not peaceful and the home is not beautiful any more.
An ill-kept home may indicate a state of resentment among its inhabitants. There may be a subtle message of ingratitude, lack of appreciation or even willful neglect. Perhaps it says: ‘you have upset me so much that I will not clean up for you anymore.’ What would happen if there was a little more forgiveness in that home? Would it become a little more tidy, maybe a LOT cleaner?
What about an overclean home? It’s not really beautiful, is it? I find it sterile and unreal. Does it indicate a state of unforgiveness,as the housekeeper attempts to compensate for her negative feelings by presenting skills that are above reproach? Maybe it says: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong – see how clean my house is!’
A similar comparison could be made with home-education. A lax approach may show signs that the teacher is too pre-occupied with her own problems to bother about the schoolwork. A too-rigorous approach could indicate that the teacher wants everyone to suffer as much as she is suffering. Forgiveness could help in both of these situations.
It is said that a gentle answer turns away wrath, and while this is often the case, we have all experienced times when the anger shows no signs of abating. But, just think about how much more beautiful a home can be with only one angry person, instead of two. And the children will still have someone to go to for their little worries and bumps and cuddles.
So what is a home without forgiveness? It’s just a feature-wall, a throw-rug and a couple of lamps, and a lot of unhappy people.