Loving Momma and Poppa
We experience any kind of emotion first from our parents. Positive or negative, while in the womb of the mother to its birth, the baby feels and perceives all of the parents’ (especially the mother’s) reactions, sentiments, and moods.
The environment we are born into and grow up in affects and shapes us whether we are aware of it or not. In a loving home, parents unconditionally nurture their children and exercise much wisdom, patience, and understanding in raising them. Children naturally love their parents who show them love and provide for their needs.
Back in the nest
I lived away from our family home for many years as I took on jobs and traveled to different places. Some time ago, I resigned from the training company I had worked for several years. I felt that I had already accomplished my purpose as a manager and it was time to move on. I did a lot of volunteer work and started freelancing as well. It was also during this time that I moved back into our family home. Interestingly, my younger sister who lived at home, moved out a little later as her job took her to another part of the country.
My parents are not the touchy-feely type and are not at all textbook-perfect, but they made sure we had everything we needed and experienced life as much as they can provide it for us.
Their generosity in helping relatives and friends made a mark in my life. To the best of their ability, they’ve helped those who came to our house for help. Both were the eldest in their families and have strong personalities having held leadership roles in their work life and now in church.
So here we were three people with strong personalities and leadership qualities living under the same roof of a small bungalow. I helped around the house doing the cooking and cleaning and took care of some of my parents’ pets. My parents had their own routine of doing church activities, going out for road trips, eating out, and shopping. At first, there were small disagreements about how one should cook, how things should be arranged in the house, why something is better than another other thing, etc. I also felt strange about being asked where I was going and what time I was coming home. Small disagreements began to pile up and soon there were raised voices, yelling, and major arguments. We all had our way of doing things and were doing it our way. My parents were getting used to me as a mature woman and not as a teenager anymore. I was stubborn and strong-willed as I insisted on my way. Thank God for His grace as apologies and forgiveness were given both ways. It’s been a few years now and I’m glad that tough days are fewer and far in between.
I’ve been struggling with how to show love to my parents and through this process learned that showing them respect, patience, and understanding was the way to do it. I don’t need to voice an opinion all the time, and this saying is truly wise:
Speech is silver; silence is golden.¹
Keeping my mouth shut is the key to having peace in our home. I haven’t totally gotten it down to a T because it requires much humility – which I need help with. Ugh. Lots of help. Just the other day, the Lord showed me that I should watch the tone of my voice as that hurts Mama especially. As I struggled with this, the Lord reminded me of this verse, Matthew 19:26 (NKJV) : "But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' ” What I find to be impossible is actually possible with God – whew!
Positive or negative, my parents feel and perceive all of my reactions, sentiments, and moods. The environment I create while with them affects and shapes our relationship whether we are aware of it or not. In a loving home, children unconditionally care for their aging parents and exercise much wisdom, patience, understanding, and humility toward them. It is in this atmosphere that love and tenderness between parents and children can be reciprocal and freely flow.²
Next week: Where Love Leads
¹Martin, G. (2019). 'Silence is golden' - the meaning and origin of this phrase. Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/silence-is-golden.html
² Greek Dictionary (Lexicon-Concordance). (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2019, from http://lexiconcordance.com/greek/5387.html "Storge" is the Greek word in the Bible used to describe love and affection between parents and children.