They’re doing the best they can with what they have and end up spending the rest of their lives wondering if they made the right choices. So as a youth, why not cut them some slack? Why should you?
Because another truth about parents is that no one loves you like they do. When you suffer, they suffer. When you worry, they worry. They may not always show it, but your mistakes often feel like their failures. Nothing makes them happier than to see you safe, happy and successful. Just ask them.
Because your happiness is tied into theirs, parents have a vested interest in your success unlike anyone else in your life. Marriages fail. Close friends come and go. But your mother and father will always be your parents no matter what. Do they make you angry? No doubt. Love hurts.
But keep in mind if they warn you against something, it is only because they are afraid for you and love you, not because they want to hurt you or hold you back. All of their errors are committed out of love. Can you say that?
When I was a teenager I rebelled against my parents. I ran away from home, tried drugs, attempted suicide, engaged in premarital sex, stayed out late, skipped school and argued with my parents. I was dazed and confused. Sometimes I hated my life.
Still, there was one thing I always knew. My parents loved me. That made a difference. I later realized in my late teens that I needed help with my attitude. Would you agree that your attitude is sometimes over the top when dealing with your parents?
Do you think the Originator of families knows more about how to make children happy than anyone?
At Proverbs 1:8, 9 He says, “Listen, my son, to the discipline of your father and do not forsake the law of your mother. For they are a wreath of attractiveness to your head and a fine necklace to your throat.” — New World Translation.
Children who listen to their parents are often praised for their mature qualities and character, which makes them look even more attractive. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with a promise — ‘that it may be well with you and you may enjoy long life on the the earth.’” — New International Version.
Yes, I engaged in rebellious and destructive behavior as a teen, but thanks to my finally heeding my parents, I survived my teen angst. I worked while in high school, studied and graduated. I decided against abusing drugs or alcohol and settled down. I married and decided to apply the Bible’s counsel in my life.
It turns out, my parents were more right than wrong. I was more wrong than right. Why? They had the benefit of hindsight. They had already navigated through similar experiences, situations and people. Turns out, their advice helped me. Your parents’ advice can help you too.
Proverbs 23:22 says, “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” — New King James Version.
If you never receive counsel or discipline, might you wonder if your parents cared about you? Discipline is a part of life. We never get too old to be corrected. It is a sign of true love.
Hebrews 12:8-11 says, “If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
“For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” — New Living Translation.
The truth about parents is that they know they can be aggravating. They love you so much it hurts. They want the best for you. They do not want to see you hurt. Is that really so bad?
Do yourself and your parents a big favor. Give them an unexpected hug. Thank them for caring about you and tell them you love them! Then stand back and watch the whole wide world look a little brighter and life becomes a little easier.
Educator Ardeth Greene Kapp said, “It’s OK that your parents aren’t perfect; no one’s are. And it’s OK that they didn’t have any perfect children either; no one’s are. You see, our whole purpose is to strive together in righteousness, overcoming our weaknesses day by day. Don’t ever give up on each other.”
*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more than 100 Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.