“Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” – Exodus 20:12
Honoring our parents is one of the most important commandments in the Bible, yet most people fail to live up to it.
For 28 years, I’ve counseled men and women (of all nationalities), and most don’t love their parents – especially their mothers. They call in to my radio show, I counsel with them at my office and I work with them in prisons. They have a false sense of love and compassion for Mama that feels like love, but it comes from hate. As a result, they have guilt, anxiety and fear, and they can’t speak up.
Despite the popular myth, most people don’t have daddy issues. Not all, not all, not all, but most have issues with their mothers. Children resent the pressure that comes from impatient, controlling and cruel mothers. This resentment (judgment) displaces their real identity, and they become like what they hate.
In my books, talks and media appearances, I talk about the order to life: God in Christ, Christ in man, man over woman and woman over children. Today, most men are weak, and this order is broken. Intact, loving, two-parent homes are rare, and hell is being passed down to children.
Recently, a woman named Melissa from Brisbane, Australia, called my radio show wanting to know how to uplift her husband who is under pressure from working extra hours at night. She was stressed and dealing with health issues. First, I told her not to pressure him to spend time with her or their 3-year-old son. I told her to back off, and he’ll naturally spend time with the boy. It’s not natural for him to do it based on pressure from her. Then she admitted to sometimes getting annoyed with her mother, but she tries to push anger away. She said her mother puts herself first and refuses to acknowledge her daughter’s health problems. Her father has given up, and he goes along to not make the mother angry.
I urged Melissa to pray, then to go and forgive her mother. I asked her if she realizes she treats her husband the way her mother treated her father. She said she doesn’t want to be like her mother, so she’s very close to her son. I warned her to be careful, not to compensate and smother her young son. She said her mother comes over and takes care of her son. Big mistake. I advised her to immediately stop it and to keep the grandmother away from her son – she’s a vampire!
Melissa said she lived a bad life, used to be a stripper and was into drugs and alcohol. If you know your mother messed you up, why sacrifice your child to her? With anger, you can’t speak in the right way and try to make peace, and you’re willing to sacrifice your son’s soul. And now she’s impacting the life of her 3-year-old grandson. I encouraged Melissa to draw closer to her father and talk to him about his life so she can understand why he gave up and didn’t protect her. She felt better, and she said she was going to face her mother and forgive.
Then there was Laura, 73, who called in to share her amazing story. Laura said she was physically, emotionally and verbally abused by her mother, and she spent most of her life trying to build a mother-daughter relationship. She blamed herself and lived in fear. When her mother died, she felt a sense of sadness, but she also had a sense of relief that she was no longer under a “spell.” Then, she had a revelation: How can I forgive others if I haven’t forgiven my mother?
Laura thought she had forgiven, but she hadn’t. She turned her anger inward and was blaming herself. Since forgiving her mother, Laura no longer has fear or anger. She no longer has the “burning” angry feeling on the inside.
I used to be insecure and fearful, and I couldn’t speak up. The conflict didn’t leave until God allowed me to see that I had anger and I needed to forgive. Despite the fear, I faced my mother and apologized for hating her. It’s been 29 years, and I’ve been free and have perfect peace within.
God wants us to love our parents with real love that comes when you forgive. Then you can speak up to your parents in the right way. This type of love is not based on emotions or feelings of guilt. This Mother’s Day, forgive so you can love and deal with your mother honestly – this is the love that leads to eternal life instead of death.
BOND offers family and individual counseling to help men and women overcome anger, addiction and family strife. Call us for appointments at 1-800-411-BOND (2663), or visit Rebuildingtheman.com.
Article posted with permission from Jesse Lee Peterson