How do we do this, when they have abandoned us? Maybe physically or emotionally they have not been there. We have just been written off as unwanted. Perhaps there is more to the story than we know. Maybe somewhere along the way they were small and innocent as everyone once is, and someone hurt them. Perhaps they did not have the tools they needed in order to heal. Perhaps it was their own choice not to heal because it allowed them to feel justified in their misery. There will always be unanswered questions that we may never know the answer to.
Ephesians 6 (NLV) says: Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” It is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on earth.”
What a tough pill to swallow at times. Why should I honor someone who hurt me so much? In a loving family, I surmise this is easy. In a loving family, our parents provide protection, discipline, guidance and teaching. They give us those things because they love us. When we take heed to their guidance, it indeed keeps us safer, longer, in exact accordance to this scripture verse.
I will tell you why we must swallow this pill regardless of how we have been treated or not treated.
I have known parents that have loved their children and have done their best to guide them the best they know how, yet the children still choose to go their own ways even if it is to their own detriment. They forget about their parents as they age and chose not take care of them when they need protection. These are the same parents who provided for and protected them when they were young, yet it does not matter. This is nothing less than sad to me.
Being a parent has opened my eyes to the fact that we are human. I’ve made mistakes, I have hurt and I have questioned if I am doing a good enough job with my children. I too, feel like maybe I did not have the tools to do the “perfect” job, but in the same sense, I know that God gave those children to me and I was chosen for them. It is my duty to do the best that I know how and somehow it has to be enough.
My mom hurt me, I admit this. I do not want to dishonor her by slandering her in any way. I could sit here and create a list of all the things she said or did which hurt me, but what good would it do?
Recently I decided to refinish two very old windows which were in pretty bad shape, but had good potential. I took the time to clean them up. Old glue was scraped off of the glass panes and holes were filled with wood putty. Fresh paint was applied. I dipped some old dresser knobs into crushed sea glass and added them as décor. Pictures were carefully chosen to put behind each pane.
I do not have much family, so I wanted pictures that had significance. I came across the sweetest picture of my mother at age three. It was in sepia and she had the sweetest expression on her face as she sat, with her hands in her lap, posed for the picture. Her dark hair was long with a section of it braided up around the crown of her head. How could I remain angry with her when looking at this?
I know that once she was a little girl and something went horribly wrong. Thinking of her as a child somehow lessons the pain for me. It creates empathy and grace. It allows me to honor her, even if it is from afar.
In honoring her, it allows me to love her and in the end, heals me.