From Hurt to Anger to Mercy to Freedom
Thoughts on Parents…. From Hurt to Anger to Mercy to Freedom
So I wrote this on an airplane from Manila to Detroit and after I re-read it I realize that there are about a billion sub categorical posts that could be written on the subject. I’m not sure where this fit’s in my blog… I just know that it’s something that I have dealt with in my life and I have a special perspective on. Please forgive me if it seems short, but the truth is … this could be a book easily. Here Goes:
We’ve all got them… some of us have the greatest parents in the world…. some of us have absentee parents, and some have parents that they just don’t like. It doesn’t matter which one of those subcategories you fit in, we’re all marked by our parents. Many of us use our parents decisions to justify our own. Many of us believe what we believe about the bible simply because I parents told us what to believe. Our families are under attack from every direction these days, and the one thing that I hear the most when the topic comes up is the state of the world today could largely be blamed on bad parenting in the formative years. I daresay you would have a hard time finding anyone who would dispute the fact that when one parent steps out of the house the future of that house comes into question very quickly. Today it seems that the Disney channel is raising most of the children in the US… and if you haven’t noticed the characters on the Disney channel all share similar characteristics.
1) they are all rock star/ divas in the making
2) they are all rich
3) they don’t really do anything to earn the money they spend
4) they are all smarter than their parents
5) Most are at least condescending to adults in general
6) The adults are all bumbling buffoons and idiots that merely provide comedic relief.
Does that sound like anyone you know under the age of 18? Hint: Go to your local high school or middle school and listen in the halls for 30 seconds when the bell rings.
Wow… how did I get on that rabbit trail??? I’m not sure but I need to get back on point..
Yes bad parenting is running rapid in the US… and the world at large… and yes a lot can be blamed on that… but there’s something else at play as well.
We get a choice on who we will be don’t we??
So your mom was a strung out druggie, and your dad was overly critical and crushed your dreams…. I’m so sorry you had to endure that… but YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW THEM! The bible says that you are to honor them and respect them… (which can be hard at times) but you are your own person. If you choose to let your parents define you then it’s largely YOUR FAULT when your life is characterized by similar chaos. Why?? Because you have a choice. You also have a built in moral compass that leads guides and directs you… for the believers reading this writing… you have the Holy spirit guiding you… but even for non believers, we do have a similar knowledge of wrong and right. Let me break that down for you:
Yeah we all agree on these things…. and yet we do them why?? Because I had a messed up childhood? Yeah THAT’S STUPID.
I agree that a distressed childhood could lead one to have a greater proclivity to falling into such things, but we still have a CHOICE.
But I’m just bringing that up for you to think about… there is a greater choice that brings freedom like you’ve never known before that I want to discuss.
Did you know that you literally have a choice in the way that you choose to view your parents. Yeah you do. You can hate them for what they never were, and what they never gave, and what they didn’t do… and you can let that be your excuse for being an idiot… or you can love them for who they are… and stop making excuses for your ridiculous behavior. Let me say that again.
You can choose to love your parents for who they are, instead of hating them for who they can never be.
Let me focus in here…. our parents are not God… we know that, but we still give them the seat of God… which sets them up for the most massive failure in the history of mankind. You know what I’m talking about… what is it for you? The moment when your parents broke your heart? It happens to everyone… take a second and think about it…………
They broke your heart because they are JUST LIKE YOU…. HUMAN. Freedom only comes when we put God in His rightful place…. the throne… (all knowing, all seeing, all powerful, and beyond imperfection) and allow our parents to be human and love them through it.
You may be saying “Jason, you just don’t know my parents and how awful they’ve treated me” and I’ll say you’re right I don’t. I’ve been wounded by my parents just like you have… wounds that I thought would never heal, but how is it fair for me to expect my parents to be GOD. To have all the answers, and say all the right things at the right times, to put up with me pushing their limits without ever losing their cool??? THEY WERE HUMAN and they did the best they could.
Maybe they didn’t understand that they had a choice to be or not to be a replication of their own parents. BUT YOU DO!!!
Here’s the truth as I see it:
When you finally start respecting and honoring your parents for who they are and stop hating them for who they are not, you will finally be free to decide if you’re going to repeat their parenting process. If you cannot bring yourself to accept that GOD is GOD and they were/are not, then you will repeat the process of chaos for the family that surrounds you now.
Sometimes life isn’t fair… I don’t want to diminish the hurt of those who have faced horrible things in their childhood and are completely scarred.. but I do want you to understand… that you do have the power… to repeat the offense and continue the chaos or to decide that you had the perfect example of who you will NEVER BE. Your hurt may be something far worse than I can even imagine, but remember the foundation of our faith is that Jesus took the penalty for all of humanity so that by grace we could be saved. He understands how bad it hurts… because you and I have hurt him just as badly…. His response was amazing and it brought freedom to the whole world. He had a choice and He chose to have mercy on us. We should remember this when we are looking at those who have hurt us so badly. Mercy is the only way to find freedom. The choice is yours… and when you begin to realize that your parents might have been a product of the hurt that they felt too, you will begin to find the strength to love the unloveable again.
I’ll finish with this: You’ve got one life… you’ve got one chance to know your parents, to love them, to cry with them, to learn from them and ultimately to be at peace with them. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET TO YOUR PARENTS LAST BREATH AND LEAVE THINGS UNSAID. Don’t miss it. Don’t spend 20 years mad about something that you can’t change. Decide to be different and love the unlovable as Christ did. That’s how we turn our lives around… that’s how we turn this country around…. we stop making excuses and start loving the way we know we should…. but please… life is too short. DON’T MISS THE BLESSING THAT YOUR PARENTS COULD BE NOW BECAUSE YOU’RE SO MAD ABOUT WHO THEY NEVER WERE.
Choose now to break the cycle.. and freedom will come. I promise. It did for me!
I really like this line “You can choose to love your parents for who they are, instead of hating them for who they can never be.” I definitely have struggled with that when I found out my dad was getting married back when I was in 11th grade, I kind of didn’t know how to react, so I was just angry at him. Being older now, I realized that the only way for me to have a better relationship with my dad is for me to accept him as he is and, accept his wife and show them respect. I regret actually not going to my dads wedding but, I am going to his birthday this year on the 20th i will be flying out to CA.
Hey Sam… yeah that one phrase is what is a huge part of the freedom that I live my life in today… if you can wrap your mind around that one you’ll be doing great!!
I really like this post. I love the idea of breaking the cycle. I feel like I’m the only Christian in my family who really is going after Jesus, and i hated my family for it. I sooned realized its all on there own pace, and God in Control. Thanks Jason for a good post. You are a mentor to me and i really appreciate it. Keep it up. TG 😉
Give them time and lots of grace. Chasing Jesus is something that everyone tends to do at their own pace, but being impatient with them will only drive them away. The more you live the love of Christ the more they will want the Christ that you profess. Here’s a challenge…. Try to share the love of Jesus with them in any fashion other than words. Try it… it might just change your life!
AMEN, WOW….you go bro…
I read that whole entire post and now that I read that I need to except my parents and grandparents for who they are and not for what they’ve done. I have to love the life I live because everyone only have one family and one life to live with their family. We don’t want to wait to long to say things because you might not get that chance if you wait.
Another great post! 🙂 I agree that it is the choice of each person to break the cycle. For instance, my husband Mark was pretty much abandoned by his mom at age 13. His parents divorced when he was born in 1978. His mom tried to raise him and his brothers alone, but she dealt with many, many struggles, which she pretty much chose over her kids. She was in a very bad place then. Mark got into many bad things. He and his 2 older brothers were pretty much to fend for themselves. His maternal grandparents took him and one of his brothers in and raised them from about 13 on. His oldest brother was and still is in prison and will be for a long time. Anyway, neither Mark nor Robert never heard from or seen either mom or dad after that. It is almost like they vanished from the earth. Mark and his brother Robert both went on and lived their lives. Their grandparents got them into church and they both finished high school. Mark and I met in 1996 and have be together every since. I never really asked about his parents because I figured it was a touchy subject…Fast forward to 2002…Mark and I had just got married and out of the blue his father called my cell phone. We were both freaked out because we didn’t know how he got the number. Anyway, he told Mark he was in town and would like to meet up with him. Mark called his brother Rob and Rob, said I don’t have anything to say to him, so mark chose NOT to meet his dad that day.
OK, fast forward again, now to 2006. It was just after father’s day and we were in church and our wonderful pastor spoke on honoring your parents and how we need to stay in touch with them etc…In short form, that hit Mark like a ton of bricks and we began the search for his parents. First we found his father and Mark called him. Both were open to seeing each other and we have been close since that phone call. Hallelujah! Mark finally found his mom about a month later and we arranged a meeting. Again, we have been close since that day, Hallelujah! At each meeting Mark told his mom/dad that he didn’t care what happened back then and that he forgave them and he wanted to just live for now and have a relationship with his parents. Both were receptive to that and again we are very close with both sides. Both parents remarried and are in much much better places in their lives. Glory to God! Now his other brother, Robert, now very successful and married with 2 children, refuses to have anything to do with either parent. He has NOT let go of the hurt he lived while with and without his parents growing up. We often pray for Robert to come around and try to have a relationship with his parents. Robert and his family are not really in church, but attend ehh once or twice a year. I don’t know if Robert will ever come around, but we can only pray that he will. He did however, choose to break the cycle and not follow the same path that his parents did. Mark did the same thing, broke that cycle and path, stomped on it and flushed it down the toilet. I am very proud of the godly man that Mark has become over the years. Have we had our struggles, DUH, we are human, but with God’s help we can overcome anything!
Then there is my struggle of having a mom that was an addict, but raised us to the best of her ability and we all turned out just fine. I never knew she was on drugs until I was older and put all the pieces together. I have forgiven her for that. She too has turned her life completely around and is an amazing woman and I love her very much. Thank God for our parents, whether we had the “perfect” childhood or the “not so perfect” childhood.
Jason, I have to be honest your post has sparked many, many emotions for me, but in a good way. Our lives could have been completely different if we had chose to NOT forgive and break the cycles we grew up in. It also reminds me that we are not all perfect or come from perfect backgrounds and that without God, nothing is possible. He gave us the ability to forgive and love the unlovable. Thank you! 🙂
Much love and blessings,
P.S.-Check out Matthew West’s new song “Forgiveness” I think it fits with your post! And sorry for such a long reply! 🙂
I have to say I couldn’t have said it better myself. My parents raised me well, but even so, while there are many, many things I could complain about them… I don’t. Not anymore. I never complained about my dad, but my mother was a different story.
I confess that if I hadn’t made the decision to fully commit to God in the middle of one of my biggest crisis, things would have gone terribly awry, and frankly, I don’t think I’d be here if it weren’t for Him. A lot of bad things happened in the past but I chose not to follow them but to learn from them and move on.
I don’t know if I should reveal the details here, but if you have time (and it’s OK if you don’t! I understand how busy you get), what’s the best way to contact you?
Thank you. Your words are encouraging to me.
Hey Jason thank you so much for this. I know I’m young to think about jobs and such, but I’m going to pursue myself to work at M-Fuge when I get older. My parents don’t belive that there is a way to do it. And that I might as well get it out of my head. And all of my dreams… They tell me no way. To see a band that I met at M-Fuge, They Came Running, they are aggervated when they hear me mention the name. I loved it when you mentioned the your parents AREN’T God. God is God. And that you choose your path, and you don’t have to make the same choices that your parents did. I’m not really the “blog” type but I can’t stop reading your. It truly is the truth… From God. You are a true blessing, even if we don’t know eachother. Keep rockin! God bless…
hi Jason, nice post! I agree.so inspiring and encouraging,it teaches me to do the right thing. God’s way is always the best.may God bless you more! may you continue to do the things that God wants you to do. be an inspiration to all people wherever you go specially in your music. may God be glorified and magnified in all that your going to do. i see you live at COP manila 3 day concert.God is so amazing and you really inspire us through your music.God bless you more!
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I appreciate that you are enjoying my writings and I hope that I will continue to write material that is relevant to you and your group!! Blessings,
What a beautiful testimony to the power of forgiveness in our lives. This is such an important topic to address and one that I have seen so many youth get hung up on today; all too often they are content to go through life blaming their parents or other family members for every problem they encounter and refusing to see the “humanness” in the mistakes parents or others have made. AND parents absolutely do make mistakes; however, what is done imperfectly by parents is still often done with a perfect love for their children. On the flip side, as parents, it is also important to recognize the incredible lessons we can learn from our children. The lessons we learn from a 5 year old or a 9 year old (and there are many if we are humble enough to recognize them!) will make us better parents as they grow into teenagers and young adults. Often it is our own children who teach us the most valuable lessons concerning the ability to forgive and be forgiven.
In choosing to forgive and love your parents for who they are, instead of being angry at them for their mistakes and failures, you have done a beautiful thing for your children as well; you have shown them that even when we don’t understand the actions of another we can still love them completely and unconditionally.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic, I know it is a difficult topic for many but one that is incredibly important to address!
Thank you so much for writing what I found myself saying often to my adopted teenager! As a former group home social worker, I heard that excuse almost every day. Drove me crazy! Another thing about the Disney generation – no personal responsibility or real consequences for actions. My kids got so mad at me a year or so ago when I cancelled Netflix. All they wanted to watch were shows like that and their attitudes towards me and each other reflected that negative behavior. No, our home is certainly not perfect and I am far from the best mom in the world, but talking down to others, wasting time and money is not a Christ-like quality! Anyway, thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts with us and I totally agree with this post (especially the rabbit trail!)
I’m a late comer to this blog. But, WOW, you’re message was exactly what God has been telling me. Well, maybe I should amend that to, trying to tell me!
This hit home. I’m angry with my maternal grandmother and my older sister. My grandmother passed away years ago and my sister doesn’t know I’m angry.
I need to let go of past issues and hurts and continue making my own decisions based on God’s plan for me. Even when it doesn’t match her plans for me.
One request to anyone reading this response, PRAY for me to listen to God and release my anger and hurt and finally forgive and move on.
Your music is a blessing and so is your blog. God bless you.