All of us have grown up with some sort of dysfunction. No one has had the perfect parents. For sure, some have had it worse than others having to face some huge hurdles. In many ways, the influence of a parent will play a major role in how you live out your life. But at what point does your life become your responsibility? At what point, can you no longer point the finger back at your mom or dad?
Anyone who is a parent understands the unique responsibilities that go along with raising children. Of course, when parents don’t get this, there is often pain and hurt within a home. We all know there are hundreds of books written on parenting, yet it seems that all parents will essentially write their own book with each child because of how unique they can be.
Once the children grow up and enter their twenties there is often a reminiscing that begins, assessing the positives and negatives of their childhood experience. This can be very beneficial and can even help correct any damaging parenting behaviors from continuing into the future. The older you get, the clearer your perspective will become when you reflect back on your parents. This is often how growth and maturity take place.
The only time this reflection can become a problem is when you continue to blame your parents for your current behavior. Yes, your parents have had a huge impact on the way you process, respond to, and approach life, but that doesn’t mean you can continue to use them as a scapegoat for your behavior. It is a slippery slope when you avoid taking responsibility by pointing the finger at your parents because they could point the finger at their parents who could then point the finger at their parents until we run out of parents and end up in Genesis 1.
The Bible is very clear that this approach in life won’t work.
Romans 14:10b-12 – …For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
One day, you and I will stand before God and have to give an account for our lives. Your parents won’t be there! Even though God created both you and your parents, you will stand alone before God and give an account. This means that you will have to take personal responsibility for your life and you can’t blame others. This also means that the quicker you realize this truth, the better that day will be for you (see my blog post, Hell No).
Yes, there is a benefit in understanding how influence works but not when it results in avoiding responsibility. Yes, there is a benefit in the impact of a parent but not when it results in making excuses. When you say, “I can’t help it because I was raised that way”, you are essentially saying your parents have the final say in your life and nothing will ever change. This, of course, is not true. Yes, your parents leave a legacy, but so do you! You will make choices that will be good and bad. You will have success and failures. This is what life is all about.
Just make sure you don’t blame your parents for your failures and take credit for your successes. This is what children do when they haven’t grown up. Unfortunately, I’ve seen fifty-year-olds try to play this game and it never works. Ultimately, it prevents growth and isn’t productive at any level. So you can’t keep blaming your parents because it won’t change anything, including you.
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