Everybody knows that people aren’t perfect. We can agree quickly on this truth until the imperfections of others affect us. One of the most painful life lessons for me was getting over the shortcomings of my parents.
What I wanted from my parents collided with who they were as fallen individuals. I did not understand that my parents would not change just because I wanted them to do so. They also had no mentors to guide them. Ironically, they were as hopeless as I was. The irony is that I expected them to be good people when I was not one myself.
I should have pitied them rather than giving them my anger. Self-absorbed, entitled, and demanding individuals rarely have compassion toward others. It wasn’t until my early twenties before I slowed down long enough to think about why I was so angry with them. There were four primary reasons.
Life was happening too fast for an angry, immature teen to process. I could not handle all that was going on in my life.
My parents were faithful to their Adamic natures. They were not Christians. Thus, they were living consistently with who they were.
The noise inside my head was too loud for me to think clearly. My mind was a busy intersection where too much was colliding.
My goal was not about changing but leaving home. Rather than trying to change, I wanted to escape, which is an awful pattern.
Leaving home did not leave my problems behind. You take who you are wherever you go. A friend told me that “my attitude would affect my altitude.” Though it was bumper sticker-ish and too cliche-y, he was right. If you keep looking outward as though your problems are because of others, you will incarcerate yourself to a life of bitterness. Don’t play that victim card.
Time to Reflect
Are you asking your parents to be something you refuse to be?
How is your example presenting Christ to your parents?
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).