How do you feel when you make a mistake? Do you let it roll of your back or do you beat yourself up? Do you shrink and hide or maybe you quickly try to correct the mistake before anyone notices. Maybe it depends on the situation and how much you have invested in it. Or, maybe it depends on who is involved and whether that person is crucial in our lives. Many of us end up feeling stupid for making mistakes and for possibly causing extra work for another person that the mistake effects. As a staff at EBC, we recently answered the same question as a round-table and it was interesting to see how mistakes can change to course of our day especially if we don't handle it well.
If I'm walking closely with the Lord, having my personal time and prayer, I respond differently when I make mistakes. I can see the bigger picture better and I tend to realize that I don't have it all together! I'm going to make mistakes and it's ok. If I'm not walking with the Lord that day, my response is completely different! I feel worthless, incapable and unlovable! But that is NOT what is true about me. Psalm 139 says that God created just the way He wants me to be and He knit me together. Ephesians 3:16 says that the Holy Spirit will empower you with an inner strength with roots that grow deep so that you may understand how wide and long and deep His love is for us. God loves me unconditionally and the Holy Spirit is with me as the Comforter when I make mistakes!
As you teach your children how to respond to their mistakes, I pray that you will be able to demonstrate through your own situations that God's love is constant. My children are growing and changing and I am learning to unconditionally love them through their mistakes. It's not always easy and many times I want to throw in the towel. However, God doesn't throw in the towel on us...........for which I am extremely grateful. He loves us and then He gives us a second chance on top of that!
Here's a fun experiment that demonstrates God's unwavering love. For each child, you'll need a clear container with a secure lid, water, food coloring, mineral oil, and fine-tipped permanent markers. Have your kids fill their containers halfway with water and several drops of food coloring. Then have them finish filling their containers with mineral oil. Secure the lid on each container. The oil and water will separate. Have kids write, "One Sure Thing" on their containers.
Encourage your kids to shake their containers vigorously to mix the oil and water. Then have them set the containers on a counter and watch as the oil and water begin to separate. It takes about a minute for the oil and water to completely separate and return to their previous states.
Remind kids that god's love works in our lives the same way. When we feel upset, angry, mixed-up or unhappy, God's love is the one sure thing we can always count on. No matter what happens, his love is unchanging. His love for us is our guarantee that things will be okay. Encourage your kids to use their "One Sure Thing" containers the next time they feel turmoil as a reminder that God's love is the constant, calming force in our lives. Experiment taken from Children's Ministry Magazine July ,August 2003