With Mother’s Day around the corner, there has been a lot of talk in our group about parents. 90% of the 200 students I serve do not live with both biological parents. One young woman has a great step-Mom, however she grapples as her “other” Mom consistently disappoints and hurts her. Another lost his Dad a few years ago and shared, “I love my Mom honestly, because she is all I have left, but it still isn’t great.”
Through the years my students and I have talked about their families often. There have been parents who are prostitutes, addicts, in jail, absent, & neglectful. I have seen anger, divorce and perfectionism tear families apart. Each time the tears well up. My heart hurts. I have told kids to endure just a little longer and eventually they will “get out.”
There is a problem with this tactic. I have also witnessed many of these same parents are torn apart by a cycle of shame from which they believe there is no hope of escaping. Telling a twelve year old to “wait it out,” is a long time. It can worsen the “survival” mentality.
So when we hear the tales of the horrible home life how do we react?
There are situations we don’t know how to handle. As I listen to home lives wrecked, I feel helpless and angry at times. What I have is prayer. This reminds me the Lord is at work, even when I don’t see it with my eyes.
Am I claiming every home life is a mess? No not at all. However, each of us carries baggage that wounds the ones we love. Our students are often telling us ways their parents hurt them. Too often in ministry we hear the “horrors” over the “triumphs.” The steps above may not have been revolutionary, however, in our “line of work,” they are vital. Remember the Lord wants the family whole more than we do.
How do you handle it when you hear the stories of broken homes>