The other day I said something stupid to my daughter that revealed my imperfection as a human being. Seconds after it came out of my mouth, I regretted it and recognized that it was probably hurtful to her. Even if it wasn’t, it was still a stupid thing to say and I was sorry I said it. I apologized a little later that same day and she graciously forgave me. Even so, for the rest of that day I felt bad.
I tried not to obsess about it because I couldn’t take it back. It was already out there. I had already apologized and she had already forgiven me.
Quite a few times, though, I wanted to apologize again and ask her to forgive me again. Yet, I realized that if I did that I would be teaching her by my behavior to obsessively worry about her own flaws and to not trust in the forgiveness offered to her by others. I certainly didn’t want to do that, so I kept my mouth shut.
As the day wore on, I realized that it is actually a good thing to mess up once in a while, particularly as a parent. If I was a perfect mom, she would never see an apology modeled – at least not by me. She would never know what it was like to have someone apologize to her. Neither would she know how it feels to be wounded by someone close to you, and to give them the gift of forgiveness and move on.
I realized, then, that there is beauty in imperfection. There is beauty in it, because it is through our own imperfections, and the imperfections of others, that we really learn how to love.
Ephesians 4:32 — Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.