Repairing Relationships w/ Parents

Christina - posted on 08/05/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I'd like to get some advice, feedback, thoughts, etc on parental relationships. I come from a very abusive household where I was verbally, emotionally, and physically abused. I have forgiven my parents (let go of the bitterness), but our relationship is very strained. I do not see or talk to my parents, nor have I allowed my children to have significant relationships with them. The reason I do not allow my children to have a relationship with them is because I feel like my parents and I do not share the same values and I don't want my children to be influenced by them. However, my teenaged daughter wants to have a relationship with them and since she lives with my ex-husband she has a relationship my parents.

I feel very uncomfortable with this and it has contributed to my negative relationship with my parents. However, I feel very conflicted about the entire situation because the Bible states that we must honor our parents. I don't know exactly what this means. For a long time I have felt that I have honored my parents by not seeing them because I do not have very nice feelings toward them (not hate, just dislike them as people). I feel like I would get in arguments with them because of the situation with my daughter, so it would be best to not see them. Additionally, they are very controlling, so I also don't want to argue with them about my decisions. In essence, I feel like being out of their lives is honoring them because being in their lives means arguing, confronting, reliving bitterness, and open myself up for more abuse.

What do others think about parental relationships? Are we required to spend time with our parents and repair relationships that are broken because of abuse? If we are continually abused are we to go back?

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Crystal - posted on 08/24/2010

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The Bible also says for Fathers not to provoke your childern to wrath.
I know my Daddy was a very abusive man. He would cuss us, beat us, everyday. I do not let my child around him or his new wife becuase as a mother I feel that God put me in charge of raising my daughter and that means protecting her. Also protecting her mind from wicked things of this world. Good Luck!

Linda - posted on 08/24/2010

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I did not have your deep issues with my parents; however, I do know from experience that forgiveness is very very hard. I think it is one of the hardest things God asks us to do. I was very hurt by a close family member. It took a looonnnnggg time to truly forgive her. I would make a decision to forgive, but the next day the same feelings would emerge. I really had to choose to forgive every day...for over a year. So keep checking your heart to see if you've really completely forgiven them. This being said, you do NOT have to open yourself up to abuse from your parents. I'm so glad that your father seems to show remorse. God can heal all! However, if there is any sign of abuse recurring, just leave. I think it wise not to subject your children to the abuse that you received. However, if your teenaged daughter wants a relationship with them, I would not stand in her way. If they have changed, it could be beneficial; if they have not, she'll figure it out pretty soon.

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Jill - posted on 08/25/2010

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Amen Christina.... God loves you and is proud of you ... and forgiveness will become 2nd nature to you where nothing will make you angry anymore... it will just make you laugh.....i wish you all the best as God does

Christina - posted on 08/25/2010

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I do not think I have truly forgiven them, as you mentioned, it is a continual process with training my mind and reminding myself of what I must do. I don't think that I mentioned that as soon as I get to the point of forgiveness, something else occurs that I must forgive them for.

But, I think that extending my hand to try to repair the relationship may help to pave the path to forgiveness, and I think that is what God intends us to do - to try our best to constantly wipe our slates and forgive, until it becomes our second nature.

Christina - posted on 08/21/2010

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Thank you for the messages of encouragement. I have been praying about this issue since i wrote this post. I have decided because of my father's advanced age that since he wanted to try to repair the relatinship, that I would do my part and see how it goes, slowly. I have been in contact with him and it has been going well. I did go to see him without my youngest child. He actually apologized for a lot that happened and wants to build a new relationship with me and my family. With this in mind, I feel that it wouldn't be right for me not to extend my hand to him.

As far as my mother is concerned, I haven't figured that part out. but, I will continue praying about that part.

Carla - posted on 08/11/2010

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This is very difficult, Christine. When you get this figured out, let me know. I am praying for you, pray for me.

Rachael - posted on 08/05/2010

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I would talk to my daughter about why she wants to know them and tell her how it hurts you, let her know that you dont want her to get "hurt" by them and you only have her best interest in heart.
She is a teenager and will push her will but you can at least know that she was well informed.
When she gets older she will understand better where you are coming from.

Anne - posted on 08/05/2010

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Not having gone through what you have gone through, any advice I would give you would not be of much help, However I do promise to keep you in my Prayers.

Stephanie Jo - posted on 08/05/2010

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Pray about it as I am sure that you do,talk to your pastor or someone in your church that can help you with this. If you decide to see them,have a church memember go with you so you will have support and hopefully no abuse can start again.Just do what the Lord leads you to do.

Jill - posted on 08/05/2010

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my mother who says she is a christian ... is very negative ,does not walk the talk, is a do as i say not as i do kinda person, plays the victim, loves to fight, all the things that don;t go with christianity .... do i want to spend time with her.... ? its sad to say but i find it to be toxic to my life...we get together a couple times a yr and everytime she ends up mad at someone and we don;t talk for months... she barely sees her grandkids... i finally am at a point in my walk with God that i can forgive her everytime... we just can't spend alot of time together... she is too negative for me.... instead of getting mad i can finally laugh and say to my sisters " can you believe what mom said or did" if you have ever read any Joyce meyers books ... she was sexually abused for yrs by her father and she had to forgive him and when her parents were elderly actually take care of them... that is true forgiveness.... ask God to soften your heart toward your parents and help you to truly forgive them...He will be faithful to do so...

Heather - posted on 08/05/2010

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I think that if we have forgiven them, than we should offer them another chance. I am going through this with my dad right now. He wasn't abusive, but neither was he there... at all. If they truly haven't changed and continue abusing you, then no, you have to protect your family. But you can't know unless you offer that chance. Maybe opening old wounds will bring healing and a restored relationship? The road I am going down with my dad is a rocky one, it's so tempting to look at all of his imperfections and throw in the towel saying it is just never going to work. But I think that it's important for not only me, but also for him, for me to pray for God to help me see him the way that Jesus does. Maybe through me and my family, my dad can come to know our Lord and Savior. My dad is most certainly searching for something right now, I would be crushed if because of my behavior I turned him off to Christianity forever.

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