‘Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother.’ Proverbs 23:22 NLT
You don’t learn how to be a parent in school or at uni, you learn it ‘on the job’. Which means the average parent makes lots of mistakes—ones they sometimes look back on and cringe.
If your parents have failed you, then you probably have wounds that need to be healed. And God says, ‘I am the Lord, your healer.’ (Exodus 15:26 ESV) But don’t fall into the trap of self-pity by buying into the idea that you came from a ‘dysfunctional family’. Some families are definitely better than others, but all of them have areas of dysfunction.
Look back at your parents’ circumstances and some of the challenges they faced while raising you. Perhaps you’ll be able to view the mistakes they made with a little more understanding. They are human beings, just as you are; they make mistakes, just as you do. Nobody’s perfect. By showing compassion towards them you’ll be better able to show compassion towards yourself when you inevitably make mistakes—perhaps even the same mistakes—when you eventually have your own children.
And—this is important—when your future children see that you’ve extended grace towards your parents, they’ll be better able to extend it towards you. And others as well.
So if you need to forgive your parents, do it today and move on. Don’t keep bringing it up. Would you like God to keep reminding you of the sins He’s forgiven you for? No? Then try to show that same grace and compassion. And don’t forget: God promises that, as we forgive others, He will in turn forgive us. So do a 180 on complaining and start forgiving instead.
SoulFood: Exo 1–3, Luke 11:29–44, Ps 40:9–17, Pro 6:6–8
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019