When my child tells me I’m evil

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By a Georgia Baptist minister

The following is offered privately (the author known to the editor) because I want my family to heal and I think there are many other families “out there” that need to heal as well.

I’m hurting.

I’m hurting a lot. And I don’t think I’m the only one who is hurting.

We raised our children to love the Lord and make Him the center of their lives. They made what I think were genuine professions of faith and are baptized believers. They went to VBS each year. They participated in the children’s ministry and the youth ministry at our church. They went on mission trips and went with their mom and I to serve in local ministry opportunities.

And after the last election, one of them thinks I’m an evil, misogynistic, homophobic bigot who will be partially responsible for all the terrible things that will now happen to gays, women, immigrant children, the downtrodden, and the weak. My child thinks I no longer care about the plight of the oppressed. My child thinks I no longer care about him/her.

It’s well beyond a difference of opinion; it’s well beyond a difference of political philosophy. I am evil and I am a part of all that is wrong with America today. The conversation that started with, “Tell me how you could vote for him?” ended with, “How could you do this to me?”

I love my child and I have since my child was in the womb. Nothing my child can do or say will ever change that. Everything I’ve ever done for my child and my grandchildren – I would do again. I will continue to love. My love for my child is not dependent upon my child’s love for me.

Still, it hurts. A lot. And I think there are more than a few parents out there experiencing this too.

I have a whole new appreciation for how God must feel when we turn our backs to Him, curse Him, and think the worst about Him. And yet, He never stops loving us.

With appreciation for those who interpret Luke 15 a little differently – what most people understand to be the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the Prodigal Son, I interpret to be the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost boy. The heroes are the shepherd, the woman, and the father. They each love deeply and search diligently – as long as it takes.

My hero is going to be the father as well. We don’t know how long it took for the younger son to “come to himself.” It could have been four weeks, or four months, or four years. In my mind’s eye, I can see his father coming out in front of the house, looking toward the horizon, every day for four weeks, four months, or four years – however long it took. That’s what I’m going to figuratively do as well.

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