Blessings and Curses: Parent-Child Relationships

Mother With Grown Up Daughter And SonScaredy-cat! Chicken! I don’t tend to be a fearful person, other than a perfectly rational fear of snakes, but one of my greatest fears is I will not have a close parent-child relationship after my children transition to adulthood.

My relationship with my parents is surface at best. I have friends who are close to their parents. Talk all the time. Every day. Visit regularly.

Not our family. Phone calls? Once or twice a month. Visits—usually holidays or birthdays.

And it scares me to death.

I don’t want this kind of relationship with my adult children. Yet, even now, I’m walking the fine line of giving them space and keeping the relationship healthy and strong.

God recently showed me a factor at the heart of our parent-child relational issues. I was attending a conference focused on healing and hearing from God. The focus for that particular session was generational curses. I listed several: divorce, alcoholism. What God revealed was a history of poor parent-child relationships on both sides of my family.

The root: A lack of respect.

We’re familiar with the verse, “ ‘Honor your father and your mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise—’that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life in the earth.’ ”(Ephesians 6: 2-3 NIV)

A command with a promise and a blessing.

The next morning, God showed me the flip side. “ ‘Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or mother.’” (Deuteronomy 27:17a NIV)

My thoughts ran back to the countless times I had vented frustration over a parent to a sibling, recounted their faults or mistakes, or went into a visit defensive and expecting the worst. I left the conference committed to breaking the curse and its pattern. Today finds me praying before a visit, not engaging in the “rag on Mom” conversation, and keeping my mouth shut more. I want to model the grace I want my kids to have with me. I’m trying to make grandparent visits positive so my kids don’t roll their eyes and sigh when it’s my turn to visit them. My parents made lots of mistakes, but so have I.

Change starts with me.

Questions:

Is having respect for your parents an issue?

If not, what was done well in your home to create healthy relationships?

If so, what was done poorly and what can you learn from it?

Kids, do your friends show respect to their parents? Why or why not?

Tweetables:

What God revealed was a history of poor relationships between parents and children on both sides of my family. The root: A lack of respect. Click to tweet.

“ ‘Cursed is the man who dishonors his father or mother.’” (Deuteronomy 27:17a NIV) Click to tweet.

Change starts with me. Click to tweet.

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