I recently read a commentary by a dear colleague about Mother’s Day titled “All mothers ain’t Clair Huxtable.”. They didn’t hold back on their disdain of their mother and while I appreciate the candid and real flavor of the commentary, it made me sad. What I say from this point on is not aimed at my colleague for what they stated in their commentary but just some food for thought in general when it comes to our relationships with our parents.
“Honor thy Father and Mother” that’s one of the Ten Commandments the Lord gives us “so that our days may be long upon the Earth”… our parents brought us into the world, after that, it really is up to them how they treat their children. Some people have been great parents others have left much to be desired. If a child survives long enough to be able to take care of themselves, at that point, that child is responsible for the quality of their own life.
I read a quote on social media along the lines that there is an expiration date on how long you can blame your parents for the outcome of your life—I agree. First, let me say, I don’t know everybody’s story and everyone has a story. Your mother/father may have been awful, unfair, biased, mean, difficult, etc. If you have survived into adulthood, thank the Lord for seeing you through and become the builder of your own life now. They did the best they could with what they knew. Now it’s up to you to forge your life.
Our parents are people too… who have been abused, used, lied to, mistreated or may even have an undiagnosed mental illness. How can a parent give what they probably never had themselves? Or maybe they are an awful person… say a prayer for them, that the Lord would deliver them from their issues and forgive them how they treated you.
A lot of the times, especially when children get older, parents don’t know how to see their kids as adults and conflicts arise. Some parents refuse to acknowledge their children as adults and stay in “parent mode” when it may be more appropriate to switch to “friend mode” and give advice. Of course, being a mother/father is always first but I think parents miss those moments when it’s time to talk to their adult children instead of talking at them.
Bottom line—honor your parents… you honor them with how you live your lives and by giving them respect, acknowledging that they brought you into the world. Parents and children don’t have to agree but be respectful and live your life as upright as possible.
Brian W. Carter is a creative writer and Staff Writer for the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.