An open letter to my parents: The things you did wrong
As the world progresses, things get redefined. Roles get changed; goals get redirected; and standards fluctuate. What was expected of a young woman in 1916 differs greatly from what is expected of a young woman of 2016.
Marriage no longer means “man and wife;” love no longer means you wait for sex until marriage; parenthood no longer means discipline, coupled with compassion; and passion for Christ tends to no longer mean honesty and devotion.
As I have seen little more than “progress” in the world, I have begun to realize what the world typically expects of people. This has brought me to the realization that you raised me all wrong. Let me give a few examples…
First, on one hand, society has told me that I should do what feels right, what makes me happy. I should follow my dreams and run after what I want in life. On the other hand, you both have raised me to sacrifice. My desires should come second to God’s desires for my life. You taught me that my happiness is a worthy sacrifice to offer to the Lord in return for His will.
Second, society has told me that to be better I must be thinner, more athletic, smarter, and always dating. Again, you taught me wrong. You taught me that I am loved and preciously accepted, not only by both of you, but also by the King of the heavens and earth. You’ve told me since the day I was born that my life is worth something, all because of the One who knitted me together in the womb.
Lastly, the world has taught me this new thing called tolerance. Everyone tells me that there is no absolute truth and that what is true for one person may not be true for me. You taught this to me all wrong, I guess. You both taught me that the Holy Word of God is truth. Dad, you taught me to have standards for myself and to act graciously, but not compromise. Mom, you taught me to not tolerate a relationship with a man who is below my standards and to be a lady.
There are many other things you taught me that the world has called “wrong.” At some point in your parenting experience you decided to ignore the world and teach my four siblings and me what God truly desires for us. You took all the “right” teachings of society and traded them in for the Bible’s “wrongs.” I thank the Lord for your bravery and investment.
I hope as you get older and see all of your kids’ mistakes and victories that you can sit back and realize you did well. Despite fear, disappointment, and society’s prompting, God has blessed your work.
Mom and Dad, I love you. Thank you for all the things you did wrong.