[This article is part of the ‘Honor Parents, Value Soulmate’ series. View other parts of this series here.]
Father and son: A journey to reunite
Jai grew up most of his life in India. He adds flavor his friends like sweet chutney adds flavor to a good curry meal. He has big heart, oozing life whenever you are around him. Between his jovial nature and his big Bollywood smile, it is difficult to be gloomy when you are around him.
Jai’s parents divorced when he was young and he was sent to live with his mom. He reminded his mom as the kid of her ex-husband and she sent Jai away to live with his dad. He was sent by his dad to boarding school at an early age.
Sitting in church one day when John Bevere was visiting, – preaching a powerful message on honor, Jai was immensely touched. God was working on his heart and he was challenged by the message to start honoring his dad.
Recently descibing his family to me, Jai summed it up in three main points: “There are lots of us, we are wealthy, but very dysfunctional.” His relationship with his dad has not been great. I knew that Jai had some sort of parent issues, but I didn’t realise how tense the situation was.
“My dad was flying back from Canada and I went to meet him at the airport”, he told me recently. Jai was apprehensive about meeting his dad. It was obvious that they had become quite estranged. Since God was working on his heart to start honoring his dad, Jai felt as if he needed to take the leap and show his dad love. The destined day arrived when Jai was to meet his dad at the airport. He ‘bit the bullet’ gave his dad a big hug. A simple show of love and value from Jai caused his dad to tear up.
Both Jai and his dad were touched that day. Only God knows the extent of the healing that began with that big hug, and that progressed as Jai and his father toured London together – truly as father and son. As if the reconciliation of father and son were not enough, God gave Jai a tangible sign that day… When his dad was due to leave for India, he stuffed £1000 into Jai’s pocket. “Nothing like that had ever happened before, even when he knew I was in need” Jai told me afterward.
The power of what seemed like small things – Jai initiating a hug and placing value on his dad – started the priceless journey of a miracle – the journey of father and son reunited.
Later I was speaking to Jai again. He told me that His dad was flying through London again. My advice to him? Show your dad lots of love!
To be a man, to be a woman, to be healed, to be able to love
Why do our friends have difficulty in committing to a seemingly ‘perfect’ match. Why do they search for love and significance in sex. Why do they leave behind them a string of sabotaged relationships. Why do some woman consider the man that God brings into their life an annoyance. Why do men have to be ‘bad boys’, fearful of committing to the opposite sex?
Whether we realise it or not, parents influence our lives drastically. In this series we will be exploring how our past and present relationship with our parents drastically affects our romantic relationships, for better or for worse: Dating, Courtship and even Marriage.
I truly believe that you are extremely precious and valuable to God. I also believe that God has been preparing to write this article – especially for you. This has culminated in the last year when God brought some of the most precious and special people across my path for me to learn from them and them to learn from me. I have been taught some very painful lessons. He has broken my heart for you. I know our Father God wants to heal your wounds – whether you realize they exist or not. He wants to know you personally and bless your future love life abundantly in every way because He values and loves you so, so, so much!
God wants you to find healing in Him – for the past, – and hope for the future. He wants you to find purposeful, strong and supernatural relationships in every area of your life.
This article touches on one of most important, yet least discussed issues of our time – how our relationship with our parents affects our future relationships. There are countless books written about relationships – finding the perfect mate, guides on how to love and have a great marriage, the list goes on. But these books often deal with the ‘fruit’ and not the ‘root’ of many of our relationship problems.
Did you know there is a lot more to true manhood than a dude with a penis and chest hair. There is a lot more to true womanhood than a chic with a vagina and beautiful breasts.
We are born ‘male’ or ‘female’, but in order to experience that God given ravishing and fulfilling relationship with the opposite sex, we need to learn how to truly be a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’. This article takes you on a journey to discover true ‘masculinity’ or ‘femininity’. It launches you on the discovery of becoming a ‘whole’ person as you start to value your parents and lose your ‘self’ in God.
I firmly believe most of the relationship problems experienced stems from the answers to two critical questions:
- How did I treat my parents?
- How did my parents affect me?
The answers to these questions are critical, because they determine how well our masculinity or femininity formed when growing up. The issue of manhood and womanhood has enormous implications to how much we ‘allow’ God to bless us in life, love and romance now… – or when that special somebody enters our world.
Who I am now – in Christ
When we come to the end of ourselves and give our life over to Jesus, we are set free from the past. Our sins are washed away with the precious blood of Jesus. God does not remember our past sins. But we often do. We remember our rebellion, our selfishness, our hurts, our crazy sexual past and our deep wounds. To Him our past is invisible – if we have given it to Jesus. It is the future that counts with God, but regardless of how different we are now, – our past thinking and habits can hold us back.
We remember what our parents or others did to harm or neglect us and we build a mindset, – mental walls that stop us from going forward in life to achieve and experience the great life and phenomenal relationships God has for us.
The saying is true: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. In order to truly start valuing our parents and experience the healing that God has for us in the life of love and romance, we need our minds made totally new to who we really are now in Christ.
If we have committed our life to Jesus, God sees as as a totally new creation. We may not realize it, but when we came to the end of ourselves and surrendered our lives into His loving care, – we died to our old life and he made us a totally new creation in Him. All that rebellion, selfishness, deception, sexual escapades, – everything is gone!
We are called to value and esteem our parents above ourselves (Phil 2:4) – as the new people. We cannot do this naturally in our own strength with our old messed up independent thinking, – we need to rid ourselves of our old thinking and actively take on the mind and thinking of Christ (Phil 2:5).
We do this to find out who we really are now in Jesus. Once we know who we are – dead to our own selfishness, – we are empowered to walk in God’s strength and attitude towards our parents, – instead of our own hurt and rebellion.
Who we really are if we have given our life over to Christ:
I am accepted – when I choose to live in the power of Jesus:
- I died to self. Its gone! The old person is dead! I now am a totally new creation as I live by faith in Christ. (Gal 2:20; Cor 5:17)
- When I chose to receive Jesus, I became God’s child. (John 1:12)
- I am a friend of God and I learn to follow Him (John 15:15)
- I have been made right with God through accepting what Jesus did for us and I am at peace. (Romans 5:1)
- The price paid for me was enormous. I now belong to God and live to bring glory to Him. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
- God specially chose me! to be His child – wow! (Eph 1:3-8)
- I have been lifted up, given a fresh start and forgiven of my sins (Col 1:13-14)
- I am complete – full of supernatural life in as I stay in Him. (Col 2:9-10)
- Jesus has been tempted with all the things we have, and I can go to Him for mercy (Heb 4:14-16)
I am secure – when I choose to live in the power of Jesus:
- I live in Christ and no accusations about me that say ‘I am unfit to be used by God’ are true. I can’t be separated from Gods love. (Rom 8:12, Rom 8:31-39)
- As I choose to grow in God’s purpose, I know that everything will work together for the good, because I love Him. (Rom 8:28)
- God has set me apart and empowered me by His Spirit. (2 Cor 1:21-22)
- My old life is dead and I am alive – hidden with Christ. (Col 3:1-4)
- I am confident that God who began the good work in me will continue, developing, perfecting and bringing it to full completion. (Phil 1:6)
- I am a citizen of heaven and that is my culture. (Phil 3:20)
- I was not given a spirit of fear. I was given a Spirit of love, power and a disciplined, sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)
- I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18)
- If I am without a father, God is my father. (Psalm 68:5)
I am significant – when I choose to live in the power of Jesus:
- When I am connected to Jesus I can spread God’s abundant life to everyone around me including my parents. Apart from Him I can’t do anything. (John 15:5)
- Jesus chose me and set me with the task to bring life to my parents – and it will last. (John 15:16)
- The God who created the universe lives in me! (1 Cor 3:16)
- We are Gods ambassadors to our parents to give them the opportunity to know God. (2 Cor 5:17-21)
- I am seated up with Jesus, far above any problem that can be named. (Eph 2:6, Eph 1:20-21)
- We have been created by God born new in Christ. We now accomplish the honorable and good things that God had originally planned for us. (Eph 2:10)
- Because we have faith in God, we can approach our daddy father God in freedom with confidence, without fear. (Eph 3:12)
- I can do all things (including value my parents) – through Christ, who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
Regardless of whether we have just become a Christian, or been one for many years, – we need to think like God thinks (supernaturally) – not as ‘we’ think (naturally). If we keep our mind in the sewer, we expect to think poo. It is only when we renew and transform our thinking from our hurt, – to what God says about us that we can value our parents.
We just cannot in our own strength – (with that old dead ‘me’ that has been buried with Christ). But we can as new creations – through Christ who empowers us to be Supermen and Superwomen.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Why I write
This is not a preachy, academic article. It is pushed forward by a deep drive of compassion, care, love, a long, long trail of tears and emotion. I hurt for my fellow young people who go though life, – experiencing abuse, absent parents, loveless families or parents who have swapped roles. They place walls up in their life that they often don’t allow their soul mate (and God) to cross.
I hurt for the children that live in rebellion, – dishonoring and devaluing one or both of their parents because this follows them their whole life, – often causing many years of painful dating and marriage in future relationships. Christ can and will restore. He eagerly wants to, and He will perform a miracle in our lives – but only if we allow Him to.
I understand that the real enemy is not abusive parents or their rebellious children. The real enemy – satan – has been around thousands of years and is prowling around like a hungry lion to destroy the precious people God created and their relationships… The only ones that can allow satan to destroy is us.
We have the daunting opportunity to lose our lives so we can find them. Otherwise we will truly lose everything.
Getting free is our choice and it may hurt
Reading this series could open some old wounds we do not know exist. Deep hurts are often forgotten or glossed over as our hearts harden through the trials of life. This article may not be an easy article to cope with. It will shed light on the hidden issues in our lives – below the surface.
We may not even realise that there are issues. These problems lie deep down like sleeping monsters that wake up when we least expect them to. We may have learnt to cope with life as we know it. But we cannot deny seeing the results of those issues bubbling up time and time again. They descend like a wrecking ball, – destroying the precious relationships in our lives. It is time to be free!
Regardless of what happened to us, – lets be encouraged – we can overcome the past hurts and our current warped mindsets, with the help of Christ – if we are willing to take a stand.
Getting set free will require commitment: – to put our pride in our pocket and get real with ourselves, with God, those we love, and our parents.
If you prayerfully follow this advice it will help you to be:
- a happier and selfless person who is able to communicate and share love,
- valuing those whom you have relationships with and be at peace with them,
- a male or female that knows and demonstrates wholeness – true manhood or womanhood,
- and a child who respects, honors and loves their parents.
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (New Living Translation)
In this series we will explore how drastically the relationship of a child with both their parents affects future love relationships. Both parents are critical to the healthy development of mindsets that a child takes as luggage with them into their future relationships.
The evidence seems to suggest that a father plays a more critical role than a mother defining the ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ of a child. Although we may focus more on the role of the father as defining masculinity and femininity, the importance of valuing both mothers and fathers is critical and equally important to our future relationships.
As you take this journey, you’ll hear peoples true life stories, – but to protect their identities, certain names have been changed.
[This article is part of the ‘Honor Parents, Value Soul Mate’ series. View other parts of this series and references here.]
[Most names used in stories have been changed to protect identities]
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