Learning to Honour

After some thought, I have decided against writing a lengthly post about my relationship with my Dad, the way I did about my relationship with my Mom.

My relationship with my Dad is very different. It followed a different timeline. In the years that my Mom failed me my Dad was there. My relationship with my Dad has actually been heading steadily downhill over the last decade. And it’s still not getting any better. What’s worse is that every time I take action to try and become closer to him again, to make up, to take back some of the increasing distance between us, my words and actions are always misconstrued, and end up somehow doing more damage. It’s frustrating as hell.

Maybe I don’t want to write about it because we don’t have a happy ending yet.

Maybe it’s because I know he would hate my writing about it. My Mom would be fine with my last post. We’re very honest with one another and with our feelings and with the world. My Dad would certainly not approve. So maybe by choosing not to flesh out this struggle in type, I can honour my father by my restraint, because that is what I want to do.

Honour. Respect. Your parents.

That’s what the Bible says to do. And that’s what I feel God tugging my heart toward lately. So far, I’m in the thinking phase. I’m examining my own attitudes and letting God, with his gentle way, shed some light on some of my own dark places, my own maliciousness, my own selfishness. I still don’t know the how. The practical, words and actions, concrete how. But it’s in my prayers and my hopes. And I know that God will open up some opportunities and give me the right idea at the right time.

Is it reasonable? Do they deserve it? That’s a question I asked myself all through my 20’s. With a lot of healing and growing still ahead of me, my own answer to that was no. Of course not.

Now, I think, maybe. Maybe yes, or maybe no.

An argument could be made either way. But the argument is moot because I feel God calling me to it, and sometimes when you’re going to follow God you have to leave reason behind you.

Deserve? The kind of love God showed me was undeserved. So if I’m going to follow God with my life ‘deserve’ can’t be a qualifier.

Besides, in many ways they were great parents and they definitely deserve credit for the many things they did right. Credit I have often been slow to give for fear that I would say that my hurts didn’t matter. Because they did matter. Sliding scales of good and bad can be very tricky. Which is why I choose the way of overwhelming love. Of forgiveness and honour and respect. I can do all things through God, who strengthens me. I just pray he shows me the way.

 

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