Friday, August 8, 2003
I've got to tell you, it was a nostalgic time when we drove away the last time from our home of 24 years. We left behind a lot of memories in the walls - and a couple in the tree in the far corner of the backyard. See, when the kids were little, my wife and I decided we wanted to build the kids a tree house there. So we made a plan, got some lumber, and started our little project. We laid down a couple of boards between two branches - it was the beginning of a floor for the tree house. Then we took a break. And we never went back. Oh yeah, we intended to finish that house - but right up until the day we moved out, those boards were all that ever happened.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The House We Didn't Finish."
That's not the only house a parent intended to build and never got done. In fact, many of us Moms and Dads knew how we wanted our family to be - how we still want it to be - but somehow the home, the family we intended to build never got finished, did it? Even as our children were leaving for college, we talked about how quickly the years had melted away and how we were feeling there was so much unfinished business in our kids' lives.
Maybe you're a Mom or Dad, and you can see in your relationship with your children a lot of things you wish you had done, or a lot of things you wish you hadn't done. Like us with our tree house...the intentions were good, but something happened along the way. Your children may still be fairly young, still at home, but already you have regrets about what has or hasn't happened in your relationship - in their lives.
But it isn't over yet. In fact, our word for today from the Word of God offers a blueprint for hope and for healing. If you can find the courage to activate this powerful step, you may still be able to take care of some of that unfinished business. God says in James 5:16, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
Now, let's apply this to a broken or strained or a hurting family relationship - a part of your home that never got finished. God is calling you to fervent prayer for that person that's on your heart. And He's calling us to "confess our sins to each other," too. In the case of your son or daughter, that probably means saying some of the hardest words in the English language for a parent to say - "I was wrong...please forgive me."
For someone you love, just your recognition that you were wrong, that you missed it could start a healing process in both of you. Tell them you're sorry for any way you feel you have failed them; that you want the future to be different from the past; give them the "I love you" that they may have been waiting for for a long time. Give them your blessing, your approval, your praise. They may have been starved for it for years. It's never too late to say, "I love you." It's never too late to say, "I'm sorry." It's never too late to say, "Let's make a new beginning."
Oh, it'll take some humility, because it's pride that keeps walls from coming down. It will take God's courage, but it could heal so much in you, so much in that person you love. But the home, the family, the relationship you never finished can still be built if you can say three life-changing, life-giving words -- "I was wrong."