Are you a mom whose childhood is filled with heartache and disappointment due to your parents’ choices? Maybe your childhood was plagued with abuse, neglect, legalism, divorce, abandonment, a dysfunctional home or anger etc. Do you desire a different family environment for your own children than the one you grew up in? Is there a deep longing in your heart to break the generational sins and strongholds of your family?
I know all too well that coming from a background immersed in pain and brokenness can leave you feeling less than qualified to be able to parent your children well. How are you supposed to know how to be a good mom and point your children to Christ when it was never modeled to you? Hear me when I say this–your parents’ mistakes, bad choices, lack of love–their story does not have to be yours. Let Him redeem your story. Let Him use you to break the cycle.
If you want real change in your home and in your families the change needs to start with you.
Does God reign in your heart? You cannot make these changes on your own strength and wisdom. You must be a follower of Jesus Christ. You must be a woman who studies his word, who communes with Him through prayer, and who seeks His kingdom first.
Seek first His kingdom and all these things will be added unto you. (Matt. 6:33)
If you are a follower of Christ as I stated above your parents’ mistakes, your pain filled childhood and even your own mistakes do not define you. You are new creation in Christ. Since you are a new creation press forward and don’t dwell on the past.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s so easy to tether ourselves to past hurts and pain. It’s easy to drop anchor there and harbor grudges and resentment. Some of us may feel if we forgive, the pain is somehow no longer real or maybe we feel that by not forgiving we are punishing those that hurt us. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. The enemy doesn’t want you to forgive, but God tells us to forgive as Christ forgave you. Refusing to offer forgiveness is destructive and can cause bitterness. Bitterness in your heart then spills over into your parenting.
Christ is your model
When you have only seen something done one way it is hard to imagine it being done a different way. Although you may not have had an earthly parent that modeled God’s design for families, God himself modeled it to you. This is why it is so important that you have a viable prayer life and that you draw from the living well of His word. You can’t read His word and not be changed. It breathes life to the soul and softens the hardest of hearts. Press into the one who can give peace and teach you how to love. He demonstrates love, patience, self-control, grace, compassion, discipline and is slow to anger with all of His children.
Parenting choices need to be rooted in Godly wisdom, not fear
Those of us who have this type of past, who so desperately desire to parent differently can have a bent towards making choices for our family that are rooted in fear or even legalism. The moment you begin make parenting choices rooted in fear is the moment you say you trust yourself more than you trust the Lord. You are saying He is not enough. But God says He will give us wisdom if we only ask. (James 1:5)
Heart to heart
There is not enough allotted space to be able to write everything I want to write. If you are a woman whose heart is still tender from the pain you experienced growing up. I wish I could say this to you while looking you in the eyes. Sister, I’ve been there. I know the longing of wanting to hear your parent say “I love you” only to be met with silence. I grew up with abuse, lack of love, a home filled with anger, divorce, and watched one of my parents abandon our family for their own selfish venture.
Our parents are sinners. Forgive them anyways. Our parents are also not our savior, nor can our joy be rooted in their choices and love. Plant your feet on firm foundation, which can only be found in your Savior, the one who is a father to the fatherless. He loves you with an unconditional love that we cannot possibly comprehend.
Give us the wisdom to parent our children well. Break the cycles of generational sins and strongholds. Give us patience. Fill our homes with peace. Let love be overflowing in our homes. Lord reign in our hearts. Thank you for the love you demonstrate to us. Amen
Parenting resource- Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick
How to study the bible – Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin