I just made it half way to 50 the other day, and spent much time meditation on aging and my life thus far. The hugest chunk of that has been being raised by my parents. I have strived to avoid the selfish, egotistic, proud, self involved psychology that wants to blame all my sins and heart struggles on my folks, and by God’s grace I have more or less succeeded. Did my parents cause me to struggle with certain sins? No, James 1v13 onwards is clear that my heart wanted to do those things. Did they make my circumstances more conducive to certain sins? Yes, perhaps to some degree, and yet God allowed me to be in the family I was, and He promised never to tempt me beyond what I am able (1 Cor 10:12). However when I look back, I can only be grateful, grateful that:
1) My parents never allowed me to be given to self-worship and self-reliance. Sins which would be hard to see since they appear and feel so good. My house was one always filled with looking to the Lord, whether it was His return (even under an unhealthy type of imminence), or His help, God was who was to be called upon.
2) My upbringing never allowed me to boast in my class or status, we were never as rich as to forget God and be consumed with materialism, nor were we ever so poor as to have to steal.
3) My father has never murmured against the providence of God. Even when my mother is suffering from terminal cancer and the German mechanic must now become a nurse. Yet my father has always trusted in the Lord’s faithfulness, and as time goes by speaks more and more about our Savior.
4) Honor your wife. My father has always honored and loved my mother. Like Christ loves the Church with all her failings and short comings. My father has sacrificially given to and for my mother since I can remember.
5) My mother taught me to care for the lost, and that faith in Jesus Christ is the message all need to hear. However one might question the motivations she had for her passion, the truth is, she taught people to care that the gospel be spread, even if it means giving up sentimental things like an engagement ring… souls are that important.
6) My parents taught me to love unconditionally. I am not saying the love of my parents was a perfect love, but they loved no matter what grades were achieved, or what successes were made or failed.
7) My mother ingrained in me one aspect of God holiness, in that we must decide what is not good and abstain from it. So I was never subjected to the horror of growing up in a liberal home where anything goes, and thus thinking I am good in God’s eyes, all the while sinning against Him.
8) My father taught me what it was to work hard, without complaining or moaning, under almost slave like hours. An inspiration to strive and live with all my might while I do live
9) I grew up with the security of a strong marriage; I was never a victim of a shaky marriage in my parents. By God’s grace I had a living demonstration of how sinners with God’s help and live long and happy together
10) My father taught me faithfulness. Faithfulness to his wife, my brothers, and my sisters-in-law, all my life he has been a steady rock and I never knew what it was to grow up with a violent, untrustworthy, or uncaring dad. He is but a small example of the fullness of my heavenly Father.
11) When I was sick I always knew my mother’s care. So I have never experienced the loneliness of suffering without help. I know similarly God will always be there is so much more of a real way than she was.
I may be able to go on, but in short I was spared having to deal with the issues that someone raised as a secularist/ liberal/ physically abused/ educationally deprived/ ignored/ hated/ not provided for and a myriad of other situations that I can’t think of, they are so far removed from my situation. I am not saying that I had perfect parents, or that I was raised perfectly, what I am saying is that no matter who you are and how you were brought up, though your situation may make certain sins more enticing, praise God for the myriad of other situations and sins which you were kept from.
May God help me to always acknowledge my own sin before Him, and look to Christ for refugee, and never falsely accuse God for causing my sin, because of the circumstances He put me in, by His own Holy and infallible, wise providence and rule.
To God be all the glory for the wonderful parents He gave me, sinners saved by grace.