I Can’t Forgive My Parents!

I was visiting with a sick, elderly friend. I never knew her to be a follower of Jesus,  yet she expected to go to heaven someday.  She told me the two people she did not look forward to seeing in heaven were her parents!  “They were abusive and unloving.  I hated them when they were alive. I can’t forgive them!”

Wow! What strong language!  I asked if she knew how they were raised.  She didn’t.  I suggested that perhaps they both grew up in difficult circumstances and then raised their children the only way they knew.  I reminded her that Jesus once said we must forgive others, if we want God to forgive us.

She held firm—she would not forgive them.

I asked, “How long do you think heaven will last?”                                                                       “Forever.”                                                                                                                                              “And how long do you think this life will last?”                                                                               “Not much longer now.”                                                                                                                      “Then your parents must be very important to you.”                                                                   “No they’re not!”                                                                                                                                     “I think they are.  If you are willing to risk giving up eternity in heaven because of them, then they are VERY important to you.”

She teared up,  “What should I do?”

“Jesus loves you.  He died for you. He wants you to be with Him in heaven someday.  He knows all the hurts and heartaches of your past. He knows it all. He also knows how difficult this is for you.  First you need to ask Him to forgive you for all your sins and to be your Savior. When you do that, you will receive God’s Holy Spirit and forgiving your parents will become easier.

“If you still have trouble forgiving them,  ask God to help you.  He will help you do it.  Once you forgive your parents you will then experience God’s peace, joy and love.  Would you like me to pray with you?”   She nodded.

[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become an empty shell, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:    http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/
[Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT or PRAYER REQUEST?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.]

About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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15 Responses to I Can’t Forgive My Parents!

  1. Bisi says:

    Unforgiveness is not worth it. She will pay a heavy price if she refuses to forgive. Not worth it.

  2. Helene says:

    I can identify with that situation. My father was a harsh man and disciplined us with the rod, according to Proverbs – he didn’t spare it. Before he passed away I talked to him about it and forgave him. He did the best he knew how and was sorry.

  3. Roy says:

    This story reminds me of my own situation: I felt unloved and heavily burdened by my mother which resulted in resentment, glad to get out of house and choose the Marine Corp during the Korean War.
    My father died during the Great Depression and I was five years old. I had to work to bring in money, sell papers on a street corner, set pins in a bowling alley and work for Walgreens at the age of 13. There was no time for sports or hanging out with friends.
    At the time of my mother’s funeral, I sat up, pounded the bed at night. I yelled, “Why did you have to leave, I’m not through with you yet!”
    I learned later that my mother was proud of me, but she never told me.
    A counselor told me after I shared this tale with him, “She loved you the best she knew how.” This consoled me and relieved me of my guilt for not loving my mother.

    • Kathleen says:

      Thank you for sharing your story, Roy. I tend to agree with your counselor. I’m sure your mother loved you. I also believe that during that era, many people did not know how to show love.

  4. Julie says:

    Kathleen – Thank you for this great post! This is a great testimony – so glad you were able to touch the heart of your friend. Sometimes people want to forgive, but don’t know how; or they think it will be too hard. What a blessing for you to have been that bridge for her!
    🙂 Julie from Mountmom.com

  5. chris says:

    My mother made my childhood hell on earth..I grew up hating her , even into the years of being a mom myself. I wanted to forgive her but couldn’t..maybe I didn’t want it bad enough.? One Mother’s day, while sitting in church, listening to Leonard, I had the feeling that I had to get out of church, go home and call her. I always detested Mother’s day because of the history I had with her.. I collected my kids and drove home as fast as possible..dialed her number and when she answered, I said..”I love you Mom.” It was the last thing I expected to come out of my mouth, and it was the first time those words had ever done so…I heard my words and couldn’t believe they were coming from my hard, unforgiving heart. The miracle that day was that….I meant those words!! God helped me do what I couldn’t do on my own…In the years to follow, I came to see that she was what she was because of the rotten life she had lived as a kid. She didn’t know better…She did the best she could with what she had to work with…which was very little. God softened my very hard heart..and let me see things I’d never realized before that day. From experience I can say that God can bring any of us to a place of not only forgiving, but of actually arriving at the place where we are givers of mercy and grace…just as He has been to us…It can happen…believe it !

    • Kathleen says:

      Chris, thank you for sharing your story! I believe there are countless others who share your experience, but have not received the blessing of forgiving another. It’s true! God DOES help us do what we cannot do on our own and then He fills us with joy and peace when we are obedient.

  6. Amy Hagerup says:

    This is very poignant. Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Unforgiveness is poison in our bodies. I pray she will come to forgive her parents. Blessings, Amy

  7. Frank King says:

    Nice share, Kathleen. Some people harbor such deep-hearted pain because of the hurt they have experienced at the hands of others, they feel justified in feeling the way they do toward the one who hurt them. But we ALWAYS lose when we choose to not forgive. Thank God, He was able to use you to help your friend think more soberly about this serious matter.

  8. Kristi Ann says:

    Jesus-Yeshua Christ Died on the Cross for all our sins, HE Forgave us all by HIS Love!!

    Children are supposed to forgive their parents the way Jesus-Yeshua Christ did for everyone!!

    Jesus-Yeshua Christ is KING of kings and LORD of lords, HE is the ALPHA and OMEGA, the FIRST and the LAST!! Praise Jesus-Yeshua Christ for Today and Everyday!!

    God Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    Love Always and Shalom ( Peace ) Everyone, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

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