By Skeet Savage
There were several times over the years when, as is true with all families, the devil reared his ugly head and our family was tested by personal or relational crises. We suffered (both individually and corporately) the most personal or relational damage during those times when busy bodies inserted themselves where they had no business and did great damage to the cohesive peace and tranquility of our home.
Gossip was rampant and everyone had an opinion — regardless of whether or not they had the facts. Those who secretly disagreed with our lifestyle choices rose up and attempted to seize the opportunity to manipulate the situation to their own personal advantage based on their counter-perspective and alternate world view. Some who had access to my children sought to draw them away and gain control over them. Some whom I fully believed to be my friends, positioned themselves otherwise and proved to be my worst enemies.
“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could’ve borne it. Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him. But it was you … my equal, my guide, and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together and walked to the House of God in company.” (Psalm 55:11-14)
Few things are more gut-wrenching than finding yourself at odds with the ones you love the most. And, I know from the letters I receive on a regular basis that some of you reading this can relate to similar situations. In fact, hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear from a Brother or Sister who is grieving over similar heart-rending circumstances.
In ministering to hurting people all over the world, one of the most common themes I deal with is the intense pain and grief experienced by loving parents who have been rejected by their own children.
I know many of these parents personally. They are not perfect people — but, neither are they evil. I may have disagreed with their parenting style or some of the patterns they established for their household but, in most cases, these parents were doing the best they knew how to raise their children to be healthy, responsible, functioning adults.
In no way were they guilty of heinous crimes against their children in terms of criminal level neglect or abuse. Despite the fact that they will readily admit that they are certainly imperfect, fallible humans, they definitely are not deserving of the violent manifestation of implacable resentment, vicious attacks and bitter rejection to which they have been subject.
While some among us come into parenting having been raised in good, stable homes, others have not been so blessed. Yet, regardless of the style and quality of our upbringing, all of us come into this parenting thing as novices.
I’ve also gained considerable insights from my extensive interaction with young people, both homeschooled and government educated. I find it interesting to note that while some were content with the way their parents had raise them, far too many were not. Those who expressed discontent with the way that they were raised, were quite vociferous about their intentional decision to raise their own children in ways that were quite opposite from the way they themselves had been raised.
I also find it interesting to note that this sentiment was voiced not only by the youth of this present generation, but also by their parents —and, intriguingly by their parents (now grandparents)! So, it seems to be a common response on the part of young people across generations to take issue with things they disliked about their home life during their formative years, and to believe that an opposite approach would yield a better outcome (i.e., a happier, more well-adjusted child/adult). However, a little investigation proves that generational history has not evidenced this theoretical outcome. And, the beat goes on…
This article does not appear in its entirety. It was printed in Volume 23, No. 2 of Home School Digest. Limited quantities of back issues are available for $5 each. Click here to order a back issue.