When Our Stepchildren are Hurting
During my stepson's adolescent years, he often lashed out at me with hateful looks and angry words. I was caught up with feelings of injustice and couldn't see his emotional pain.
When a friend said to me, "Hurting people hurt people," it began to make sense. My stepson had situations in his life that he didn't like and couldn't control and therefore, took his feelings out on the nearest target: me.
I couldn't always offer forgiveness readily but I would find a way to get to that point. I knew our relationship would never develop if I couldn't act as the adult and do the right thing, regardless of his actions.
Our pastor offered some insightful thoughts on forgiveness today that I think are worth sharing. It doesn't make forgiveness any easier but it does remind us of our role.
1. Forgiveness is always the responsibility of the person who is injured. When my stepchild offends me, I can't wait until he offers an apology to forgive him. It is my responsibility to offer forgiveness, regardless of his actions.
2. Forgiveness is usually based on grace. I love this one! We don't forgive others only when we think they deserve it. They may never deserve our forgiveness. But I didn't deserve the forgiveness Christ offered me on the cross either.
3. Forgiveness might bring mutual peace. But then again, it might not. Offering our forgiveness doesn't guarantee it will be accepted. The relationship may not be reconciled through our amends. But we can find peace through our forgiving actions.
We often become so focused on our own problems that we don't recognize the loss and pain our stepchildren are suffering.
It isn't easy being a stepparent. But it isn't easy being a stepchild either.
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18
Do you need to offer forgiveness to someone today?