Exodus 20:12 ESV : Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses
I can not speak for men but I have learned that as a woman, it is very important to refrain from judging your mother and your father. Often times, when we make judgements about our parents, we are judging them from a very limited perspective. As our perspective broadens, we learn that what we thought we knew was not the whole story and that we can never really know the whole story and that is okay. The truth is no one can ever know the whole story about another person.
I have been a mother for seven years and as I have learned what it takes to be a mother, I began to see my mother differently. I have come to appreciate her more and I have come to love and respect her in a deeper way. I have also learned to appreciate my father so much more than I could have ever imagined. So many people hurt, today, because they did not have their fathers in their lives and I am blessed to have had mine.
When I look at the many women who have to raise children by themselves because the fathers of those children are no longer around, it deepens my love and appreciation for my parents because they decided that they would weather every storm and do whatever it took to make their marriage work so that I, as well as my siblings, could have the benefit of growing up in a secure and stable home, with a mother and father who honored and respected each other.
I realize that many people have many different experiences in their lives and some are drastically different from mine but the truth is that we all have a choice about what we will focus on. Even if your mother or father abandoned you or was not a responsible parent, remember that they did one very important thing; they participated in your creation and that is a good thing. Be grateful that they participated in your creation.
There are some people who have decided to have a life separate from one or both of their parents and that is obviously their choice and their right but I still encourage them not to hold on to the hurt. Forgiving is free and it is free-ing and even if you never see a person again, forgiving them will make the difference.
If most of your hurt and pain in life came from either one (or both) of your parents, remember that loving them and forgiving them is not about what they did; it is about you and your healing. Love them, honor them and forgive them.
Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana.