The Bible’s full of advice for parents and children – ‘Train up a child in the way he should go…’ (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV); ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’ (Ephesians 6:4 NIV); ‘Honour your father and your mother…’ (Exodus 20:12 NIV); ‘Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.’ (Proverbs 23:22 NIV). If we were brought up in Sunday school classes, we’ll have been told to honour our parents quite a few times. But something that we don’t often take time to acknowledge, is that honouring them is a whole lot harder if they didn’t hold up their end of God’s instructions. Parents are just as human as their children, so sometimes they do things that go against God’s heart for family relationships. Whether we’ve experienced that in big ways, or on a small scale, we’ll know that it can cause varying degrees of hurt. As painful as dealing with these things can be, we need to take some time to ask God to help us understand the circumstances surrounding the way our family learned to function. If we need to work through some healing and forgiveness, let’s make today the day we start that process, for the sake of our futures. Whether that means prayer over last week’s argument, or a bigger action like seeking the help of a professional counsellor, God will be with us, ready to restore our hearts.
Wherever they are, and wherever you’re at in your relationship with them, pray for your parents. If you feel like you need some extra help in dealing with bigger family hurt, talk to someone safe about that today, too.