I went running down the stairs and saw the storm door glass cracked from top to bottom and found the baseball down the entry hall underneath a table. I heard Josh crying "I'm so sorry" over and over again. Bobby was busy trying to keep the glass from shattering out of the door frame. I went to work cleaning up the glass the came in through the hole where the ball entered.
Neither Bobby or I said one scolding word to Josh, but he couldn't stop crying. He said "I'm so sorry, it was an accident". He was afraid we'd be angry, but he also was legitimitely contrite. We both said "it's okay, that's what is called an accident". After a little more coaxing, he began to settle down. Bobby explained that he had certainly broken his fair share of things as a boy.
A funny thing happened as soon as Josh figured out he wasn't in trouble. He started talking about how fast he threw the ball. He explained that he'd thrown a "fast picth" that was too much for his Dad to handle. He was also pretty proud of the fact that it went straight through a "storm door" with extra sturdy glass.
I thought to myself, how does someone go from crying his eyes out, scared of punishment, to bragging about the same incident?
It's very important for our children to know that they WILL make mistakes in life. Not only that, they should understand that we love them in spite of these mistakes. After all, our Heavenly Father loves us even when we fall sometimes. And just like Bobby & I came down to help clean up the broken glass, God helps us pick up the pieces. While I won't go so far as to say that we should "brag" about our failures, the Bible says:
2 Cor. 12:9 - "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."So even though I'm not proud of my faults, I am glad that God can turn the negative things into something positive.