“God will not forgive until the person you have wronged forgives”: On Repentance, Faith, and Family Life
“God is sometimes easier to please than our fellow humans.”
This is Growing Faith, a column about parenting and faith coauthored by Saadia Faruqi and Shoshana Kordova.
heshbon nefeshWe don’t hit people even if we want them to stop singing! No calling names!Bite food, not people!
Maimonides says true penitents are those who resist committing the same sin even when they find themselves in the same situation. Of course a young child isn’t considered to have sinned in any meaningful sense, but I was bothered by the lesson I thought I would be imparting, intentionally or not. Once she did get concepts like “mine” and “yours” and “sorry,” wouldn’t she be learning that all you have to do to show contrition is say a couple of magic words you don’t mean, and then commit the same offense when the next shiny new toy catches your eye? I had no doubt that my daughter was not going to start loving her neighbor as herself by virtue of a coerced, halfhearted-at-best “sorry.”
Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American writer. She is the editor of Muslim literary journal Blue Minaret and author of the short story collection Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan. She lives in Houston with her husband and children. @saadiafaruqi
Shoshana Kordova is an Orthodox Jewish writer and editor raised in NJ and living in Israel. She has written for Smithsonian, Prevention, Quartz, NYT's Motherlode, and The Daily Beast. She has four daughters. @shoshanakordova
Shoshana and Saadia are co-founders of Have Faith, Will Parent, a meeting place for parents of all religions.
Enter your email address to receive notifications for author Saadia Faruqi and Shoshana Kordova
Confirmation link sent to your email to add you to notification list for author Saadia Faruqi and Shoshana Kordova
More by this author
People I hardly knew implied that without children, I was failing as a woman, a Muslim, and a human being.
More in this series
“God accepts more prayers on Fridays”: Marking God’s Time in Our Muslim and Orthodox Jewish Families
“How do I find the opportunity to celebrate the day as different?”
What I’d been looking for at the convent, I could find in reading and writing. If other writers could channel their desires, I could use it, too.