“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
“Never, never, never give up.” Winston Churchill
- Remember to call your prayer partner today! Keep it quick, and keep praying for each other throughout the week.
- Good morning, sweet mama! This week we begin our Bible studies on the topic of Forgiveness. What an important topic. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read and to prompt you of any unforgiveness you may be holding in your heart. Ask the Lord to help you obey what He is telling you to do in response to today’s Bible reading.
- Read Ephesians 4:29-31 and 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. Let the truths of these Scriptures penetrate your heart. Write these powerful verses in your journal.
Love Always Hopes
My childhood was filled with sadness.
I lost my mom when I was 20 years old, which meant I had no mom to help me plan a wedding, come to my house after the birth of our babies, or call for advice about issues with the children. Thankfully, the Lord gave me my precious mother-in-love, Joan Weakly, to help me in every area of my life that my mom would have usually been there for. She has been one of my greatest role-models. I have learned much from her.
Had my mom lived, it would have been challenging to say the least. She was an alcoholic and had bouts with depression and attempts at suicide. At the time of her death, she was married to an awful man, also an alcoholic who abused her physically. Yes, our family had many problems. But, you know what? I still wish I had my mom here on this earth. I miss her greatly. She would have been 73 years old this year.
Since I am in ministry, I have the honor of counseling many different types of women—some, like me, have difficult backgrounds, and some do not. Maybe your story is like mine, and you have a mom who has big issues that make it harder for the two of you to have a close relationship. Or, maybe you had a wonderful, but not perfect, Christian mom who has been overbearing or controlling. Perhaps, you have had to put “boundaries” up to keep your mom or mother-in-law from behaving a certain way or doing something you don’t like.
When I prayerfully talk to the younger women in my life, I always encourage them to do their best to love and honor their parents. The apostle Paul says it quite beautifully in Ephesians 6:2-3, which is the first commandment with a promise, “Honor your father and mother…so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
In this verse, I do not see the added words: “If your parents are godly,” or, “Unless they drink,” or, “As long as they are not controlling or critical.” When I read this verse, I see the heart of the apostle who is encouraging us as human beings to show honor to our parents, no matter what.
Before I go any further, I realize there are many of my dear readers who have deep wounds in their hearts caused by parents. Yes, we must be wise when dealing with parents who may be addicts or abusive people. But I also know, first-hand, the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and extending grace and forgiveness to our loved ones even though they don’t deserve it. Isn’t that what Jesus did for us? As Romans 5:8 (KJV) says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
My asking you to do your best to love and honor your parents may feel like a tall order, but I will tell you that when you do things God’s way, you will be blessed. I love the rest of this verse and how it talks about the fact that when we honor our mother’s and father’s, all will go well with us, and we will live a long time on this earth. This is what we all want—for life to go well and to live for a long time.
What I am prayerfully proposing is for you to ask Jesus for help in the power of the Holy Spirit to love and forgive your parents for any wounds in your heart. We all need forgiveness, and God is pretty specific about what He thinks about it. Ephesians 4:32 says to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
I am also asking you to prayerfully and lovingly include them in your life. In situations with my parents and in-laws, I have always tried to put myself in their shoes. How hurt would I be if my children didn’t share their kids with me or were mean and controlling? I would be devastated!
I frequently visit Matthew 7:12 (NLT), “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
I have known many people who struggle with harboring unforgiveness in their hearts towards their parents or in-laws. It is never a good situation. When there is hurt or unforgiveness in your heart, it causes a rift in your heart towards the other person, but it also can affect your other relationships as well. Give your hurts to God and ask for His help to love your parents or in-laws with His love. There is a reason God tells us to forgive, keep hoping and never give up on our family. Jesus knows best and modeled this perfectly. Even though His disciples deserted Him, he still came back to them after He was resurrected and forgave them!
Pray, pray, pray!! Ask the Lord to help you to share the love of Jesus with your parents and to forgive. Ask Him to give you wisdom and help know how to cultivate a loving relationship with them and to “Do unto others as you would have do unto you.”
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Are you harboring any bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart towards anyone?
- If so, what is one thing you can do today to move toward forgiveness? Ask God for wisdom and help.
Is it awkward since you’ve moved away? Is it stressful when you visit their house because they are not used to your children? Keep trying. Try to keep the grandchildren connected when you go back home. It is worth it! Someday, you are going to be in their situation, and you are going to want your grandchildren to be close to you. Modeling a good relationship now with your family will help your children to do the same when they are grown.
Author’s Note: There are great resources available at many churches across the country to help bring healing from the pain of abuse from your parents or anyone else. The books Captivating by Stasi Eldredge, Freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson are excellent. Restoration Ministries and Healing Journey offer excellent resources as well.
I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Deb is married to her soulmate of 28 years, Randy. They have two grown children, Christie and Jack, and one precious, answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex.