Forgiving Parents When They Don’t Deserve It

Parents are people. They make mistakes and it typically isn’t until a child is grown that the ways of parents are  truly revealed for what they are. Forgiving parents when they don’t necessarily deserve it is hard.  I know first hand exactly how difficult it is. Forgiveness of parents who don’t do right by their children is not an easy task. With this said; it is a requirement if one wants to live a life in freedom and obedience to Christ.

The latest situation of the impact of unforgiveness is that of bride to be Alexis who univited her parents to her wedding. The issue isn’t the uninviting someone to a wedding as I’m sure it happens on occasions more than we know. It isn’t about what occurred in the past that led up to it. It isn’t about judgment of the parents or even Alexis. No. This is much bigger than this. It is about a heart condition that kills many more than AIDS, Cancer; or any other  disease combined that goes undetected or talked about. This is about unforgiveness that lays its foundation in a child that never leaves until dealt with. And this is where many adult children are today; living in and with the disease of unforgiveness.

How do I know? I was much like Alexis who suffered physical abuse and ran away several times as a youth. I suffered things as a child that no child should. I was abandoned by my biological mother left to a foster home; and my adoptive parents put me in a homeless shelter before I could drive. I know the pain of what parents can do to a child and I know the results of living with unforgiveness. I too know the outcome of living in forgiveness.

You see; we all have a choice. I held much anger toward the actions of my adoptive parents. I held them accountable in my adult years for the love that I so wanted as a child but never  received. I carried it all with me along with the impact. I did it until I forgave. And that was decades later.

When I forgave my adoptive parents I learned something that most children never seem to learn. Parents are people. They make mistakes. They can only do what they know how to do. This does not mean it’s correct nor does it even mean that it is what the child even needs. But it is what they do. I learned this ‘after’ I forgave.

Many in the blogosphere are calling Alexis a hero among other accolades. Whatever you deem her is your business but what she is most is a child of parents who made mistakes. When we harbor bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness toward our parents for those mistakes; we are the ones who miss out on living our real futures.  Our actions simply reveal it.

If you have been ever been hurt by your parents you are not alone. If you parents are narcissistic; don’t think they are the only ones. If your parents abused you physically, emotionally or sexually; you my dear friend are not alone. It happens much more than any of us realize but get this: until your heart changes nothing changes.

Forgiveness will change your life. Your future is not about what your parents did to you; unless you want to continue to live that lifestyle. Take it from me you don’t. It sucks the life out of you. Building a future on hate from what others have done is no way to build a life, a future; or marriage with future children involved.

On this day; forgive. Forgive your parents for not being what you expected them to be. Forgive your parents for the rejection, abandonment, neglect, badgering, bullying; hurting you physically, emotionally and sexually and all the other things that they did to you. Simply forgive them. It doesn’t matter if they knew what they were doing as it’s not about them. Not anymore; that is unless you wish to live as an unforgiver.  It is about you and your future.

When you forgive you will live in a different way. When I forgave my adoptive mother it was the first time I ever heard an apology. She wrote that she never knew the impact of the pain she caused me. Many may question how one cannot think physical abuse hurts but that is irrelevant. She apologized and my only requirement was to forgive her. The rest is between her and God. That is it. And through that I see that parents are just parents. And they; like you I-need forgiveness.