[This article is part of the ‘Honor Parents, Value Soulmate’ series. View other parts of this series here.]
Ray and Elena’s story
Let me relay a true story to you about Ray and Elena, – a middle aged couple with two kids, – Kim and Susan:
Ray and Elena met at a youth group many years ago. Ray was ‘the bomb’, – handsome, outgoing and charismatic. He was the all round ‘nice guy’ and the girls were lined up for him. He had the choice of almost any girl because of his good looks and hearty character.
Elena’s childhood was not easy… She clashed a great deal with her father. Her dad was an alcoholic and she resented it and rebelled.
Perhaps when Elena left home she said what I have heard before: “Now that I have left home my dad and I get along much better.”
Ray and Elena decided to get married. They both loved God and wanted to serve Him with their life.
Even though Ray and Elena wanted to serve God with their lives, Elena did not deal with the deep issues of the heart she thought she had left back home. The issues began to bubble up… Once the romance had faded, Elena started to treat Ray badly. She had trained her mind to think badly about her father all those years. Ray now became ‘that’ man in her life. He wasn’t an alcoholic, but the pattern of thinking she had developed through her rebellious years about her father started to emerge… All this because she had not dealt with the deep issues of the heart. She had allowed the past to stunt the growth of her Godly womanhood, – her true femininity that God intended for her.
Current situation – Elena and Ray are still married… but only just… Elena gets annoyed with Ray and constantly wishes she could leave him. Her sour attitude towards her husband has now been ingrained into her kids, Kim and Susan – they despise him too. Instead of dealing with the hurts of the heart… Instead of disciplining herself to selflessly love her father, Elena has influenced another generation to dishonour and despise the men in their lives.
Dr James Dobson of Focus on the Family:
“I have also observed that a woman’s respect for her husband is significantly influenced by the way she perceived her father. If he was overbearing, uncaring or capricious during her developmental years, she may disrespect her husband and question his judgment. But if Dad blended love and leadership in a way that conveyed strength, she will be more likely to live harmoniously with him.” 
Leslie Ludy tells a story of her husband in their book, ‘Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation’:
“When Eric was growing up, his mom used to tell him, “Son, the way you treat me is the way you are going to treat your wife someday.” “I’m going to treat her better than that Eric countered confidently. Like many in the younger generation today, Eric didn’t see the correlation between the way he was treating his current family and the way he would treat his future family. He knew he was often insensitive and disrespectful toward his mom. But he reasoned that once he got married, those flaws would somehow melt away, and the tenderness and respect for his wife would come naturally. Anyone who is married knows that logic doesn’t stand! Marriage doesn’t naturally bring out our selfless servant hearted side. In fact it brings out our very worst! Today’s Christian marriages are often full of selfishness and pride rather than serving and giving.” 
Lets deal harshly with our attitudes. We cannot let our difficult past with parents, our rebellion, or invisible wounds to determine our future. Lets allow God teach us to love and cherish our parents, to revolutionize our mindsets, so that we can experience the fullness of relationships that God placed in our lives.
God wants to heal us now – before we get married, so that our children one day will love and cherish those soul mates that God will one day bring into their lives.
It was their fault… It was my fault… It hurt… I don’t know whose fault, but something was wrong…
In relaying our own experience with your past we may say:
“My mom or dad treated me really badly and I was a rebellious child.” …or perhaps I didn’t act rebellious, – I was just wounded deeply by somebody close to me and it affected me…
Maybe we grew up in a wonderful, loving and accepting family but just went through a rebellious, selfish stage in our lives which formed our mindsets.
… or maybe we didn’t even go through a rebellious stage but just grew distant from our parents… Perhaps we lost our parents at an early age and missed their love and direction in our life.
It doesn’t matter what exactly happened, only two things matter:
– Did you miss out on the parental input in your life that is critical to your development as a ‘whole’ man or woman?
– Were you a hurt, rebellious or selfish child – allowing you to develop wrong thinking and mindsets about those in authority and those that you were close to?
Satan will use whatever he can to ruin you – the beautiful, loving person God created. He will try to build up wrong thinking about love and life in your mind with every intention of destroying your future.
Whatever those people close to you did… you have a decision to make!
You can’t change the past… you can’t change them as a person… you can’t make them feel sorry for what they did… but you can change your thinking about them.
With God’s help you can choose to love them. You can choose to forgive. You can choose to selflessly give to them. This is one way you change your thinking, your mindsets, and attitudes. Making a choice to love and allowing the Holy Spirit work in you, – growing your ability to love, your patience and commitment.
What you did…
You can’t change your rebellious and selfish past if you had one, you cannot change yourself… but you can admit where you were wrong, and allow God to make the change in you, making some practical actions which we will go through later in this series.
[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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