Monday, November 5, 2007

Break the Cycle... Change

A prayer of David. Psalm 17:1-3

1 Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

Have you ever met someone that when they were young they lived in a family that was abusive? Maybe as a child they were verbally or even physically abused. Their self esteem is gone. All they heard growing up was that they were worthless and no good. There was no love or compassion from their parents and because of this environment they now as adults behave the same way. They don't show the love they should to their children. They don't hug on them or kiss them because they didn't experience this as they grew up. They also tend to be abusive to their own children just like they experienced when they were young. Basically they copy and imitate the life they lived and use their past as the excuse to do so today.

This happens all the time. Someone says, well I'm a product of my poor environment, my dysfunctional family, my abusive relationship etc. etc. etc. They may be, but the good news is that they can change, they can break the cycle.

As a child we imitate our parents. Good or bad, we imitate what we see them do, we imitate their actions and behaviors. We learn from watching and listening. We see how a husband treats his wife and we see how a wife either respects her husband or not. Whatever we see our parents do, we think is the right way as a child. They are our guide and our example of what it's like to be married and living as parents. The sad reality however is that sometimes the example parents give their children is not a good example in some areas.

So what if you are one of those kids that grew up in an unloving abusive family relationship? How do you break the cycle for your family now?

Here's the truth... As a child you had no control over the situation, you learned the hard way and the wrong way. As you have matured in age you know that the life you lived was not good for you and you realize that it shouldn't be that way in your own family. What do you do? You change it. You're accountable for your own actions now. You make the decisions in your own life and you have the ability to make it different for your children. If you use your past as an excuse to treat your children like you were treated as a child even when you know it wasn't good or even wrong, then you are not taking responsibility like you should for your own actions. Your parents are not in control of you now (if they are you got to stop it now.) Take charge of your own life, make up your own mind and treat your spouse and children with the respect you know they deserve not the way you were treated growing up. I'm not saying this is easy. After all you learned it this way. But that still doesn't make it right. As an adult, you have the responsibility to change the behavior that you learned and make it right.

Nothing irritates me more than a grown mature adult using their childhood abuse as their reason to treat their own children like dirt. Guess what! Your not a kid anymore. Your an adult, a parent, a husband or wife, do what you know is right and quit making excuses. Break the cycle now, and start a new family tradition, one of love and respect. Do not let your own children go through what you went through. It's your life... live it, change it!

I'm not sure why I'm writing this but as I was watching a TV show the other day I saw a man being interviewed and he was blaming his parents and the way he was treated as a child for the reason he's abusive to his own children today. My thought was... Goodness sakes, "Your 35 years old now, get over it!" Why in the world would you hang onto a past like that and then repeat it? People just will not take responsibility for their own actions sometimes. I don't understand it. Why do we think we should blame someone else for the way WE behave? It's silly, but we see it every day.

I just wanted to say... if you are reading this and you are one of those that had a terrible life growing up. You owe it to yourself to make it right through the next generations in your family. Stand up! Do the right thing, and change the cycle. Your children will love you for it. Seek out God's direction for your life now and do the right thing.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gee...sounds easy'd think more people would do it!