‘Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother.’ Proverbs 23:22 NLT
You don’t learn how to be a parent in school or college, you learn it ‘on the job’. And you make lots of mistakes—ones you sometimes look back on and cringe. But through it all, you love your children and want only what’s best for them. What’s the point here? If your parents failed you, then you probably have wounds that need to be healed. And God says, ‘I am the Lord, your healer.’ (Exodus 15:26 ESV)
But don’t fall into the trap of self-pity by buying into the idea that you came from a ‘dysfunctional family’. Some families are better than others, but all of them have areas of dysfunction. Look back and consider your parents’ circumstances and some of the challenges they faced while raising you, and perhaps you’ll be able to view the mistakes they made with a little more compassion. They are human beings, just as you are; they make mistakes, just as you do. Nobody’s perfect. By showing compassion towards them you’ll be better able to show compassion towards yourself when you inevitably make mistakes with your own children. And—this is important—when your children see you extending grace towards your parents, they’ll be better able to extend it towards you.
So if you need to forgive your parents, do it today and move on. Don’t keep bringing it up. Would you like God to keep reminding you of the sins He’s forgiven you for? No? Then try to show that same grace and compassion. And pray for them. Why? Because when you pray for somebody it’s hard to complain about them!