At some point we begin to notice that… our parents aren’t perfect! I always kind of knew this, of course, and Mommy was always the first to say so, but at one point I began really noticing it.
It is aggravating! I wished I could just to back to thinking my parents were perfect! I went through a time that I was really struggling with having a good attitude, because I thought that they should or should not be doing such-and-such. I am ashamed to even write that. Not to mention, how “perfect” am I, exactly?!
I am ever so very grateful to Jesus for helping me through this time, and opening my eyes! There is no way you can get out of that pit by yourself, and it is a miserable pit to be in.
I have several younger friends that I see struggling in a similar way that I did. I had always noticed a change in them when they began to pull away from their parents. I am not necessarily talking about open rebellion, just a pulling away. You could tell they didn’t esteem their parents in the way that they used to. And they changed from being a happy, cheerful young lady, into a very unhappy looking one. It makes me hurt every time I see it.
One day Proverbs 1:7-9 stood out to me in a new way:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
I always kind of skimmed over verse 9. An ornament of grace to grace my head? A chain (medal) around my neck? That did sound nice, but we don’t normally get a medal for obeying our parents, and wear it while doing the dishes!
Then it clicked. That ornament of grace is the sweet spirit, and cheerful sweetness that comes from being in respecting our authority. And let me tell you girls–you look beautiful, not just pretty, when you wear this ornament. I really mean that. I am not just talking about the fact that your attitude is beautiful (though of course that is the most important part!), but that your attitude comes out and physically makes you beautiful, too! You may have friends who seem to be prettier than you on the outside, but you shine!
Have you ever struggled with being “embarrassed” about something your parents do or say? I have come to the realization, through watching different friends, that in the first place, others hardly ever think of your parents as being strange for doing or saying it, and secondly, even if they do think your parents are strange, they will not blame the children for the parent’s behavior!!! Even more, I’d much rather see a girl laugh right along with her parents and every one else than roll her eyes. I respect her more. Not to mention she’s much more sweet and attractive 😉
When I was struggling, I did not entirely trust my parents. When you are a young girl at home and you cannot trust your parents, who can you trust? You may put your trust in your friends, but deep down you still cannot trust them the same way you can trust your parents. At least I can’t. And now that you are “on your own” and do not have those best of friends, your parents, you begin to become very self-focused. After all, you must take care of yourself now that you cannot trust them to do so anymore.
So how do we deal with our struggles? We might be struggling, but we don’t exactly want to stay here. We don’t enjoy it. Verse one of Proverbs 7 says that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”; when we struggle, don’t run away from Jesus, come closer to Him. You need Him more than ever right now. Ask Him, “will you help me?”
He will say yes, because we already know it is His desire that you honor your parents, and He will put the desire and the power in you to do it.
Psalm 27:10 says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up (take care of me).” For many of us our parents may not have physically left us, but we may feel that they have, or more common, our hearts have left them. But whatever way it is, Jesus will care for us, and He will help us. Hallelujah!
“My child, when you are tired, do not be disheartened. Most of your discouragement comes when you carry your own burden, forgetting to call upon Me for help. Give Me everything, and quickly; for as soon as any heaviness of spirit sets in, trust is crowded out. An atmosphere of anxiety or unhappiness is withering to faith.”
Trusting in the authority in our lives is something we should be preparing for our inward hope chest. If we can trust that the Father has given us the right parents, and that He can give us guidance through them, then hopefully someday we imperfect wives will still be able to rest in the freedom of trusting our imperfect husbands!
originally posted on Feelin’ Feminine for the “Chest of Hopes” column.