My story, my truth

Recently I started a devotional. I read the introduction and felt angry at what I was reading. The author was trying to describe the reason people have walls up and why some people find it hard to receive God’s love. Her opinion was that people simply blame their parents for their own behaviour and do not take responsibility for their own actions. She went on to say that no parent ever intentionally sets out to hurt his or her own child and the parent did the best they could in the circumstances of life. Her last thought was that we judge our parents when we believe it’s their fault for our shortcomings in life.

Judgement verses the truth.

Therefore you are inexcusable, o man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1

The above verse was quoted for the scriptural reference of our judgment on our parents and I wanted to unpack it a little. The chapter before this verse (Romans 1:18-32) describes the unrighteous ways of the Romans and goes into great detail of their sinful acts. After describing the person that Paul is talking to, he gives THEM a warning (the above verse) and you will notice that he says “for you who judge practice the same things”. Paul is talking to the hypocrites of Rome; the people who freely sin and then judge another for doing the same sin they are doing. Although I do think there is a good biblical principle here about judgment; I do not believe it applies to parent/child relationships.

Judgement – the result of trying, or judging, or condemning. (Bible dictionary and concordance, by Charles F. Pfeiffer, P.263)

There is a difference between judgement and the truth of your story. Judgment is condemnation and the belief that someone is bad based on your opinion, not the truth. Previously I talked about how our forgiveness releases a person into God’s judgement because judging them is not our job, its God’s Read More Here. Knowing the truth of your story is not about blame, or not taking responsibility for your adult life, it’s not even about your parents! It is about acknowledgment of the truth of your story. It is allowing the pain to be heard; giving it a voice, sometimes for the first time in your life. It is about taking the power of your life back off your parents. If you don’t allow the truth of your story to penetrate your heart; you will remain broken.

Christian culture too often romanticizes family life; we often get the impression from the pulpit that if we are hurt by one or both of our parents then we are sinning or not honouring our parents. I’ve heard a lot of talk about reconciliation within families and how it is the most important thing to God. But what happens if your parent or parent’s are abusive? Then what? Do we sit in church feeling condemnation because we don’t have a relationship with our parents?

We must honour the good AND the bad of our parents.  For this reason God asked us to leave our parents and become a new family unit, separate to them. When we honour the bad; we not only heal the hurt we can break the generational cycle of that behaviour. We can choose to do life differently. We can break co-dependent relationships that are detrimental to our emotional health and well being. Sometimes I feel that Christian culture creates co-dependent children; children that never really grow up without checking in with Mum first! The cold hard truth is most abusive families are co-dependent to hide the abuse within their home. There can be spiritual abuse when the parents use the bible to control their children; this creates a never ending cycle of control. This is not a representation of the freedom Jesus bought for us.

Perpetrators do intentionally set out to hurt their children; they plan, they manipulate, and they destroy a child’s identity. This is so many people’s truth. Too many to count. Let’s be sensitive to this truth; let’s stop giving unsolicited Christian advice to victims of abuse, and let’s support their healthy decision to work through the hurt that their parents caused them in their childhood. Let’s cheer them on as they face those horrible memories of sexual abuse and allow them to forgive and let go of the pain in their own timing. Let’s allow them NOT to reconcile with their abusive parents without judgement of that decision.

Let’s love them in a way like they have never been loved before; with the love of Daddy God.

Much Love,

For information on co-dependency I recommend reading – Love Is A Choice, the definitive book on letting go of unhealthy relationships by Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Frank Minirth & Dr. Paul Meifer.

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