“Parents Are People”
Mother’s Day came around.
Then came Father’s Day.
And, you might not have known how to feel.
You who grew up not being cared for, unloved, or not celebrated by your parents, a day of celebration might’ve instead looked like a day of grief.
After all, how do you celebrate someone who never celebrated you? How do you care for someone who never cared for you?
And, how do you grow up getting your childhood needs met when your parents weren’t able to meet them? How do you learn how to live a healthy life if your parents weren’t there to teach you?
How do you know how to trust a man when you couldn’t even trust your father? How do you know how to cultivate a healthy relationship with a woman when you didn’t have a healthy one with your mother?
What do you do? What do you say? How in the world can you move forward?
If any of these questions are roaming around in your head, know this:
I’m writing this blog post for you.
I want today’s post to serve as a space for you to do what you oughta do when it comes to pain, especially pain brought on by your parents:
Grieve the childhood you never had, the unconditional love you never received, the protection you always lacked, the relationship you never cultivated.
You grieve. You let yourself feel. You nurture the little kid in you by showing yourself grace as you do so.
Because that’s what you need the most in the process of grieving the pain brought on by your parents.
You need grace.
What they did to you wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. Some of the things done to you might have been pure evil. And, you shouldn’t shame yourself for feeling the pain you’re feeling. You shouldn’t shame yourself for asking the hard questions of, “How could they?” You were their son. You were their daughter. How could they not be there for you when you needed them most? How could they only love you when you brought home straight A’s, trophies from spelling bees, and graduated at the top of your class, but not love you when you fail and make the biggest mess of your life?
These questions are okay to ask. It’s okay to wonder. You shouldn’t shame yourself for having a difficult time processing deep pain. Show yourself grace instead.
And, as uncomfortable as it might feel to show yourself grace as you process, I would imagine it being difficult showing another set of people grace too.
Who that set of people is? you may be asking.
Hear me out.
When I was a little girl, I thought my parents were perfect. I thought they had no bad days, no difficult thoughts, no moments where they wanted to quit. I assumed that their role as a parent meant that they did everything right, knew exactly what they were doing, and didn’t need help from anybody. After all, they’re mom and dad! They’re heroes! They don’t make mistakes, and therefore, don’t need forgiveness.
Or, could it be that parents are people too? That the same grace I need stepping into adulthood is the same kind of grace they needed to parent me growing up?
Could it be that parents also make mistakes? They also have fears, pain points, and triggers. Could it be that they also have insecurities and regrets? They also fall into temptation and have moments where they want to quit.
Could it be that parents are people?
Just like you. Just like me.
And, just like their parents and their parents’ parents, tracing all the way back to humanity’s first set of parents in the beginning—Adam and Eve?
After all, Genesis 3:20 says that Eve was the mother of all who lived. She was the first mother to wound us. And, Adam? Was he not the one to protect Eve from the serpent? Is he not the father who wounded us first?
We can blame our parents, our grandparents, or even their grandparents, if we wanted to, for the long history of broken mother-daughter relationships and hostility between the father and son.
But, it all started with Adam.
It started with Eve.
Until the curse was broken.
For those of you still wounded by the pain of your parents, I’m here to tell you there’s Someone who loved you so much that He died for you—that the perfect parent you’ve conjured up in your mind as a little kid really does exist.
The kind of parent that would give their life for you just so you could be saved, the parent that attends all of your dance recitals, makes all of your baseball games, keeps their promises, and gives you exactly what you need.
A Perfect Parent does exist.
He’s not your mom.
He’s not your dad.
He is God.
And, He is completely and totally good.
And, perhaps it’s hard for some of you to see Him that way because it’s not what you grew up with. Perhaps God’s goodness might be difficult for you to believe because your definition of father is the one you had growing up.
If your father was absent, you may believe God is absent too.
If your father was abusive, chances are you believe the Lord is abusive too.
If your father was strict, so is God to you.
If your father was quick to get angry, the God in your kid-brian has a short fuse Himself.
The way you view your father is the way you view God.
But, I’m here to tell you that there is no one like God.
Not your mom, your dad, your grandparent.
I’ll say it again—
GOD IS GOOD.
And, there is no one like Him.
He can parent you the right way if you let Him. He’s not going to lose His cool with you. He’s not impatient. He’s not too busy for you.
He is not a deadbeat father. He’s not emotionally abusive. He has no desire to hurt you. If He makes you a promise, He’s going to keep it.
And, He really does love you.
So, while your parents are imperfect people, God isn’t. While your parents missed the standard of perfection, God doesn’t. He is flawless—perfect in all of His ways, not a man that He should lie.
You can trust Him to parent you rightly. Parents are people, but God is perfect.