weekly devotional

4-13-22

Mom & Dad

Relationships are hard. There are so many times when we just want to throw our hands up in the air and quit. We get frustrated, upset, we even get hurt from the emotional tension. Yet, relationships are so valuable. The good times make the bad times worth having the relationship. It’s when we learn how to get through the hard times well that we actually have great increase in the strength of our relationship. Your relationship with God is absolutely the most important relationship in your life. In this relationship, God is perfect and we are the ones that cause it to be messy. But God gives you other people; other relationships that are valuable and important to your well-being. The next most important relationship is between you and your parents. The Bible has a great deal to say about how to parent and let’s be honest, none of our parents measure up. They make mistakes and sometimes we think they make a lot of mistakes. When we perceive this, we can quickly become critical of our parents in really unfair and inappropriate ways. We start to openly challenge their judgement; we start doing things we know they will not approve. We can actually become totally rebellious. In the process, we start living and acting like we know more. But the reality is this, your parents are older, more experienced, smarter, and wiser than you. They have made mistakes and will make mistakes……so will you. Your parents need to show you grace in your faults, and you need to show them grace in theirs.


 

When our relationship with our parents is not going well, it can make life really hard. When we don’t feel trusted or respected, it can drive us crazy! What if I told you, “You have the ability to make your relationship better!” What if I told you, “You can strengthen and grow the relationship!” What if I told you “This could become the most valuable relationship you will experience in this life!” A friend of mine wrote down some thoughts on this very topic. In her story, she and her parents battled. There were some really tough times. But now, everything has changed. Check out how she reflects on her own actions in those tough times. 


Ephesians 6:1 - "Honor your Father and mother, so that it will go well with you" If I could go back and tell myself one thing, it would likely be this. I didn't take this promise            seriously because I didn't know what a promise was. I didn’t believe God would fulfill this promise as He said He would. I also didn't know that the purpose of this command     was teaching me how to honor God. I didn't know there was a deeper reason behind the command. I didn’t know God uses the home as a training ground for the future - it’s meant to prepare us for great things He has for us later! It all starts in the home. Rather, I thought my parents didn't deserve honor if I thought they were wrong. If I had honored them by faith, believing in God’s word, even when they were wrong, I believe my life would have been SO different and I wouldn't have caused suffering in my own life and the lives of my parents & brothers - (wouldn't have been asked to leave home, wouldn't have had memories from broken/hidden relationships, wouldn't have hurt so many people).  Even if it meant I was wronged by my parents, if I really believed God would allow life to go well for me, I would have honored them by faith rather than taking vengeance/correction into my own hands. The result of taking things into my own hands was just me causing problems for me and my family. 


It's pretty amazing to see this reflection from a young adult. If I am being honest, there are so many ways that I could have responded better to my parents as well. In fact, almost everyone I have talked says the same thing. With that in mind, what if we considered this, your mom and dad are not perfect. They make mistakes and they fall short of your expectations some times. But the reality is they love you and they are likely trying to do their best. What if we were honest enough to say, “maybe some of the tension is my fault?” Let’s consider what could happen if we tried something new. What if you intentionally did something for them without being asked. What if you did all your chores and then some? What if you shared something you are struggling with at school or with your friends and asked them for advice? – Trusting them and inviting them into your life. What if you asked them to spend time together or to go do something together? These are all good ways to build trust and your relationship with your parents. 


Action Steps: 


a. Read Ephesians 6:1-4

      i. Take some time to consider what it means to honor your parents? 

      ii. What is one thing you could do today, to help them see you appreciate them?