Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

boundariesDo you find it hard to say no to your son or daughter? You know you should, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it? You give in too many times. I have. You want to be strong. You say you’re going to say no the next time, but . . .

I’m not speaking of a mature, responsible teen or adult child. Of course you help them if you can when they need it. I’m referring to the son or daughter who’s irresponsible, has addictions, or other patterns of destructive and dangerous behavior.

When you say yes to the latter, you think you’re being loving and helping but really – you’re not. Love needs to be tough. Helping only keeps them dependent on you, and it prevents (more…)


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132Today’s post is from guest blogger, Dr. Vanessa Rojas, a Christian counselor in Orlando, Florida. She is the founder of The Vida Center (thevidacenter.com). She will address a question often asked, “What makes Christian counseling different?”

If you are a Christian parent and you or your child needs counseling help, you may have asked yourself this question. Does it really matter? How different is it? Dr. Rojas will shed some insight on this issue for you with 7 points.
Dr. Rojas says, “I’m often asked that question when I tell people I do Christian counseling. Here are just a few factors that I think make Christian counseling different:

1) A Christian counselor understands your Christian values and worldview.
You want to work with someone who “gets you” and understands why you want to live your life according to God’s principles. You do not want to have to spend time explaining why you do not engage in certain behaviors or activities or why you want to stop engaging in certain behaviors or activities that many secular therapists may see as totally acceptable. (more…)

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She said “NO.” But you didn’t listen. water of life

You selfish, egotistical punk.

You took advantage of an intoxicated girl.

Like a lion in wait for its prey.

Evil personified, a ravenous beast.


 She couldn’t fight you off.

Couldn’t get away

 You overpowered her weakness,

Took what you wanted, used her up,

Then threw her away.

You thief, you predator.

Destroyer of life.

You’re a MURDERER.

A helpless victim

When you ravaged her body, you killed her soul.

Your treachery stole her from those who loved her most.

She was never the same again.


Invisible wounds –unseen to naked eyes.

“Damaged goods”, she believed the lie

Said to herself, “Who will want me now?”

I wanted you to suffer

Agony like you caused her.

What if you were raped, you vile fiend?


And yet, it would never be enough,

Never satisfy, because the truth is —

I wanted you to DIE.

Wouldn’t that make it better — your death, a just reward?

I dreamed it night after night. My private agony.

The raping of my soul.

Then I realized


This need for you to hurt and bleed

But how?

There would be no justice. None in this world.

No, not here, but definitely there – in heaven it would come.

Christ’s example showed the way.

I would follow His lead.

It didn’t come easy. It was a lot of hard work,

But today I can finally say,



For the sake of my own soul.

For my heart’s release.

Now my comfort is this — on the Day when Christ returns — or when you leave this world —


God in heaven will decree it. And we will finally see it.

And I– I will be at rest with that.

I’ll live in peace until that day

When He who sees all things will make them right,

In His time and in His way.

But now, O Lord, ’til that Day comes, please heal her heart and mine.

Convince her she’s still pure and holy – perfect in Your eyes.

That you’ve never loved her more

Than you do right now tonight.


***From the mother of a rape victim.

These Bible verses really helped me:

  • “Forgive as the Lord forgave you”  Colossians 3:13.
  • “. . . He does not leave the guilty unpunished”  Exodus 34: 7.
  • “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”  1 Corinthians 15:57.

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loveAs a parent whose heart has been broken by their son or daughter it’s easy to end up in emotional bondage. I discovered I could be set free through the power of forgiveness.

How do you define “forgiveness”? Do we have to feel forgiving in order to offer it to our child? Do they need to deserve it or ask for it first?

Forgiveness is not just for the person who needs forgiving. It’s also for us, the “forgiver”.

Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free. (Al-Anon)

Forgiveness isn’t condoning or excusing the actions or behaviors of others. It’s releasing that person to their Maker to let him deal with them, so that we can be set free. For parents whose children are abusing alcohol or drugs, involved in a same-sex relationship, in jail or prison, engaged in self harm, involved with pornography, have had a child out of wed-lock, and the list goes on and on, forgiveness is part of the process of gaining back their lives.

Some are not likely to even know they need forgiving, or remember the offense. Therefore one reason to forgive is for our own sake and for our own health. “If we hold on to our anger, we stop growing and our souls begin to shrivel.”  – M. Scott Peck

Our child may have made decisions and choices that inflicted deep wounds in our hearts and cost us a lot: Loss of health, sleep, time at work, finances spent trying to help them or ourselves; loss of or damaged relationships – with them, our spouse, other children, other family members and even friends; loss of our mental and emotional well-being. Our faith can be weakened or we may even walk away from our faith in disappointment and confusion. There is a way to be free. It’s found in the four steps below.

We need to:

1)       Forgive our child – for hurting us. We may feel very angry and resentful over how we’ve been treated. We don’t trust them, can’t believe them, don’t even know them anymore. We also feel angry at what they’re doing to themselves. We must forgive even if they don’t ask us to. Jesus said, “forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

2)       Forgive ourselves – for not being the perfect parent. Oh wait, there isn’t one. Even though we did our best, we still tend to feel a lot of guilt over any part we may have played. If we don’t forgive ourselves we’ll end up living under the weight of guilt, blame, shame and a host of other feelings that God never intended. He gave our children a free will to make their own choices. Don’t forget what happened in the Garden of Eden to the only Perfect Parent (Genesis 2).

3)       Forgive others – for hurting our child. This includes those who influenced them negatively, encouraged their destructive choices, took advantage of them, or didn’t help them when they could have.

               4)       Forgive God – reconciling his power and Sovereignty with free-will; for allowing our child to go astray; for not answering our prayers to keep this from happening or protecting them. He doesn’t need to be forgiven. He didn’t do anything to them. In reality,WE need to be forgiven if we’ve begun to blame him, allowing resentment to build up in our hearts – maybe without even realizing it.

Forgiveness. We need to offer it. If we don’t, it will only lead to bitterness. It’s the only way to lance our wounds before they begin to fester.

Jesus is my role model. I forgive out of obedience to him because he forgave me.

He is the How and the Why of forgiving.

It’s a long, slow process, but if you choose to do it, you can be set free.

This is a great Scripture verse on forgiveness:

“Be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:32)

Dear God,

Help us forgive because of your example. Holding onto anger, resentment, guilt and bitterness are wearing us out. On our own we can’t do this, but we’re willing, so please show us how.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.



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Have you been dreading Father’s Day this year? Do you wish it would just go away? If your child is in rebellion, making destructive choices, estranged fromDSCN2313 you, or is suffering with a mental illness, then this is not a day you look forward to. It only elevates the pain and sadness you already feel. I posted a similar message to moms for Mother’s Day.This is for dad’s.

Dad, are you expecting to not hear from your child, much less get a card? They’re too self-focused and oblivious for that. They might not even know what day it is. They’re clueless. 

Where does that leave you? Set up for a lot of hurt and pain, anger and resentment. (more…)

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Forgiveness.  For parents walking the path of having a difficult child this is part of the journey.  If your child is causing you a lot of heartache and pain forgiveness doesn’t come easy.  When alcohol or drugs are being abused, when they are cutting or burning themselves, have an eating disorder, are confused about their sexual orientation or have been in and out of trouble with the law there has been a lot that needs forgiving.

Our beloved children have made choices that have cost us a lot:   Loss of health.  Loss of sleep.  Loss of time at work.   Loss of finances – money spent trying to help them.   Loss of or damage to our realtionships – with them, with our spouse, with our other children, maybe even with our friends.  Loss of our emotional and mental well-being.  Our faith can be weakened.  We may even have walked away from God.  How dare he let this happen to us?

We need to experience forgiveness on several levels.

1)  We need to forgive our child for how they hurt us.  And they have hurt us deeply.  It is an open gaping wound for some of us.  A mortal blow for others.  Broken hearts.  Shattered dreams.  Surgery of the soul will be required for our healing.  The pain of rejection and watching them destroy themselves.  A death has occured.  We are thrown into a period of grieving the unthinkable loss of all we hoped and dreamed of for our precious son or daughter.

2)  We need to forgive ourselves for not being the perfect parent (there isn’t one — only God!)  Be easy on yourself.  Refuse to believe the lie that it is all your fault.  You didn’t make them choose what they have.  You did the best you could.  No matter how badly you may have blown it, it doesn’t excuse their choices.

3)  We need to forgive othersthose who hurt our child.  Those who encouraged their behavior, sold them drugs, took advantage of them or hurt them in some way.  This is a biggie. This was very difficult for me.  My daughter has been raped by men who took advantage of her when she was drunk.  I had so much unforgiveness in my heart toward them.  It wasn’t hurting them at all – only me.  Forgiving them has been a long slow process for me.  Your friends may walk away, too.  They can’t handle your pain.  Your suitcase is too heavy for them.  They want to, but they can’t carry it.  It’s not their fault.  They just can’t do it.  It’s too hard.  They can’t understand.

Louise Smedes said it so well: “The first and only person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiveness….When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us.”

4)  We may even need to forgive God.  Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  It can be very difficult to accept that while he is all-powerful and could have prevented them from going astray, he gave them free will to choose for themselves what they will do with their lives.  We blame him for not protecting them from the bad things that happened to them as a result, even though they were the natural consequences of their choices.  God doesn’t need to be forgiven because he didn’t do this TO them.  WE need to forgive him, if we are blaming him and resentment is building up in us.

The Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness.  These are two of my favorite verses on the subject:

“Be kind and compassionate to each other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:32)

“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23: 34)

Why should I forgive?  Because Jesus has forgiven me and it is for my well-being.  If he forgave those who brutally crucified him then I can forgive.   He  is my example.  This is what motivated the Amish parents in West Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, to forgive the young men who murdered their children in the school shooting several years ago.  He is the how and the why of forgiving.

Forgiveness.  We need to offer it.  If we don’t it will only lead to bitterness.  It is the only way to lance our wounds before they fester and make us sick.  I encourage you to make this journey of forgiveness. It is not easy.  It is not quick.  It is a long, slow process.  It takes a lot of hard work.  But if you choose to forgive, you will be set you free.

You can read more about how the Amish community forgave in the book Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy available from Amazon. 

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