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Forgive Your Parents

I’m writing this article with full awareness that it may not be for everyone but only a selected few. And because I am led to write this at this very time, that’s what I’ll do.

Since it’s also concerning the family unit, it makes it more important to be addressed.

You would have noticed from my posts that I am an advocate for taking responsibility for everything that comes your way because, at the end of the day, it is your life, not anybody else’s. People can only help you carry your cross to a certain extent. There are things you can only do for yourself.

There are key and fundamental areas that lead to our shaping as people or are the foundations we have as we head out into life. One of these key areas is family! Before you got the chance to understand the world for what it was, as a child, your family was the first point of call.

Many of us till today still hold on tightly to the training and upbringing that we received from home. Some of the training has been unquestioned and our experiences have been shaped by them. There’s nothing bad about this as long as they are good training and applicable in the world today.

It is worthy to mention that not everyone had the ideal kind of family environment to live in. Some people were raised in single homes, others were raised in homes were arguments and beatings between parents were the order of the day.

Some kids learnt curse words and wickedness right there within their families. They learnt to do evil to their family members right from when they were kids, or due to the fact that they lived in polygamous homes.

Others got to hear only about their parents from other members of their family or social groups. Some children were abandoned by their parents very early in life as well. A number of kids would only learn about a proper family system outside of their own homes. Many marriages have been damaged simply because the couples never had the right kind of family growing up and they took the same mindsets to their own families.

There are men who learnt how to hit women by seeing their fathers do so to their mothers. There are women who learnt to speak rudely and show disrespect to men because they saw their mothers do so to their dads. It goes on and on and on like that.

Now, many of you have experienced firsthand how the kinds of families you grew up in has affected you whether positively or negatively.

You probably started noticing the differences when you met new friends or went to school. The disparity you noticed made you ask the question “Why can’t my parents be like this?”

For some of you, you have seen these shortcomings and accepted them, you are working towards learning the right way proper things should be done. I say well done to you.

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Yet, you still find that somewhere in your heart, you feel hurt when you think of why your parents put you through this tough journey in the first place. They are to blame for the most part of it, and you haven’t gotten over it.

You may not have fully understood why your dad left your mum. It may have been a very selfish reason for that to have happened, but you saw how it affected your growing up. Probably you and your siblings had to live off scraps and begging to survive until things got better. Still, there’s a huge lump in your throat any time you think of your parent that ran away!

It could happen that it was a different kind of leaving that you experienced with a parent. Maybe death took a parent from you earlier than expected, or maybe both of them. This on its own is really tragic, to be honest. But you still find yourself that somehow you expected that this parent was meant to be there for you and maybe if they lived more carefully with their lives they would have been alive today. Who knows, maybe you will not have had those horrible experiences with your extended family and guardians.

Trust me, people have faced terrible situations from the hands of people that were enough to break and scar them for life because of the lack of protection from the family. Folks have been raped and abused by family members that were meant to guide them. Some were thrown into the streets to do all sort of things to survive and they learnt negative vices. So to a certain extent, the anger they feel towards their parents is actually justified.

There are also those ones, who by virtue of wisdom and maturity are able to look at their lives in retrospect and find out that the decisions their parents made for them were the worst, even though they had the resources to do better.

If their parents had the means to get them into quality schools on time, why did they allow them to spend a long time in a substandard school? Now in the future, they are playing catch up to their mates. Because of their parents love for wealthy display, the children’s quality of life was dropped, so the parents could have more to spend.

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We can go on and on trying to give examples, but the most important thing you’ll have figured out by now is that you may have a unique hurt. A different point of pain that may not have been mentioned, and as you read this post, you know what it is already.

I know my last article was about the fact that we all have our flaws, our parents included. Some of them have made terrible mistakes they are also not proud of. Maybe they have tried reconciling with you and you hate them still. You don’t want to ever have anything to do with them at all. You may have told yourself it’s best for you to live as an orphan, because you never felt the love or effect of a parent.

The little admonition I have for you at this time is: “Forgive Your Parents”. I know these words are the easiest to say but the most difficult to execute. Going down this route in your mind is not one thing you ever want to do and you may have learnt to structure your life in a way that it never has to come up.

You have buried the pain, hurt, unforgiveness, and hatred in a nice looking box and sprayed perfume on it to make it look less bad than it is. But the content of that box is eating you up internally and you know it. You know that now is the time to reach out again, to express your thoughts and to try to find peace. Just in case you haven’t realized this yet, this post is proof that now is the time.

We don’t want you going down imagination lane on what could have been when you are asked to throw in some sand on their coffins. It is best you reunite with them and let them know that you have forgiven them.

No one is advocating for things to immediately get back to how they were meant to be, it may not happen. But at least, the peace of mind you need will come.

I know you’ve been hurt, but still, forgive, I know you’ve had many negative experiences, but forgive still. I know you still feel that cold shudder running down your spine when you think of the things you’ve had to face, but still forgive. There’s no better time than today!

You may have even lost a parent and you wonder how you can forgive someone who has passed on, you still can. Forgiveness is all about letting go of the hurt trapped in on your inside. LET IT GO!

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At the end of the day, you can’t experience true happiness without forgiveness. That you forgive them doesn’t mean you condone their actions or that the wrong they did you has suddenly become right or that they had the right to hurt you.

Forgiveness sets you free and begins the process of healing that you have been avoiding. You say you are good, but you know you’ve been broken inside! Now is the time to start the healing process. True forgiveness gives you peace of mind, and makes you able to release the offender forever.

I once read something so profound, it said:

“Forgiveness says I do not have to hear you say I am sorry in order for me to move forward with my life.”

To top it up, we are all recipients of forgiveness. We also haven’t lived perfect lives, and our imperfections have put others in positions of anger and hurt. Many times we’ve hurt God and He forgave us still! And because we are recipients of his forgiveness, we are to do the same to others. Hence the deep words of Jesus:

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12)

It’s a long chain of supply, and we can give forgiveness because we have been given forgiveness as well.

I’ll drop a couple of scriptures to help you:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

Remember that when Jesus was beaten, tortured and crucified, He said: “father forgive them, they know not what they do”.

I pray God helps you on your journey of forgiveness and healing. I know it’s tough, but God’s grace is sufficient to help you forgive your parents and do much better than they did. I hope to hear your testimony soon ❤

Thanks for reading
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Victory Odunjo

I'm a people person that simply wants to add value, and inspire others..

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