Are you angry with your parents? Taking care of a longtime resentment toward what they did in the past?
What’s stopping you from letting it go?
Forgiveness isn’t easy, especially when the pain is just too deep, and it came from the people who were meant to protect you.
However, God wants you to forgive and honor your father and mother (Ephesians 6:2), that you may live a good life – with a heart free from any burden.
Here are 3 steps to help you begin healing and forgiving, from CBN Asia Holy Week special Suklob:
Step 1: Acknowledge the pain
“If you’ve already forgiven someone, you won’t remember the offense.”
Have you heard this phrase before? Forgiveness is not a denial. You shouldn’t pretend that the offense did not happen. You don’t have to forget it completely.
The first step toward your healing is recognizing the fault and accepting that it really happened.
Nett Gochuico, played by actor Kristoffer Martin, suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his own father and felt neglected by his mother. He grew up harboring hate for both of his parents. He only started to forgive them when he acknowledged the pain they caused him.
Think of the offenses your parents may have committed against you and surrender them to God. Ask Him to heal each and every offense that keeps you from forgiving.
Step 2: Choose forgiveness.
In Suklob, Nett has decided to forgive his father after realizing that it is the will of God and that his anger does nothing but harm his family. Despite being treated badly, he took the courageous step of breaking free from his cruel past and choosing forgiveness.
If you keep on waiting for the feeling of forgiveness to come, it might not come. Forgiveness is not a feeling but a decision to make. It might not be easy, but the Lord can help you along the process. Ask Him to bless you with a forgiving heart and acknowledge that you cannot do it on your own.
What wounded you doesn’t have to hold you forever. Choosing forgiveness is choosing peace.
Step 3: Initiate forgiveness.
When you’re hurt by your parents, you want them to own up to all their wrongs and apologize to you. But what if they don’t? Healing then would be difficult.
As Nett chose to spend time with his father, it gave him an opportunity to know him more, and understand that his father was hurt too. He recognized his father’s goodness that was pushed aside by pain. Nett put an effort to sit down with him, talk about his childhood wounds, and wholeheartedly initiate forgiveness to his father. He even brought his father to the saving love of God!
Remember, to forgive is not to tolerate the bad habits or hurtful actions, rather, it’s freeing yourself from its bondage. Don’t be afraid, God has planted the good seed of forgiveness in your heart and He will help you through.
You can’t change your past. But here’s the good news: the tale of the past pain doesn’t have to be in your future. Have faith that God has the power to heal you from any emotional trauma, free you from your emotional prison and turn your painful past into good!
As Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Are you struggling to forgive your parents right now? We’d love to pray for you. Send us your prayer requests and visit The 700 Club Asia YouTube channel for inspiring stories of forgiveness and reconciliation.