Honor thy Father and thy Mother
A teenager learns about unconditional love from her parents.
Categories: Jesus (Parables), Loving and Forgiving
There was a time when I didn't really want to be close to my parents. I thought they were very strict and wouldn't give me the freedom I thought I wanted. This continued until I went to boarding school in the seventh grade. The first year I was there, I found that I actually missed them, and our bond grew closer every day! But when I began eighth grade, I started having more of a social life, and things changed.
My situation was like the younger son in Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) who "took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living" (15:13). While I wasn't really being "riotous," I found that I would rather shop with friends, hang out in their room, text them, or do really anything than talk to my parents. They were lucky if they heard from me every other week. My grades began to slip, my phone bill ran up, and I ran out of money. My parents and I were further apart than ever. You could say we were in two different worlds.
But then they came to visit. We didn't really talk much at first, and when we did talk, it wasn't a long conversation. But on the last day of their visit, we had breakfast, and I had a "come to Jesus moment." They explained to me everything I was doing wrong and how they felt abandoned. I realized later that I wasn't happy either.
That meeting meant a lot to me. It opened my eyes to what was really going on -- just like the Prodigal Son: "And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" (15:17). Like the son, I had a revelation. I had completely been in my own little world and too afraid to admit it. I could either waste my time and get bad grades or get back on top of everything, get good grades, and maintain a social life.
At that point, I was ready to turn everything around. Inch by inch, I learned how to maintain a social life, earn good grades, and keep my parents happy. I love how the Prodigal Son's father is totally forgiving when the son comes back home: "And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him" (15:20). In the end, my parents were completely open and forgiving, too.
This past Christmas break was so much fun! I've never felt closer to my parents or enjoyed my time with them more. I learned that my parents only want to be close with me. They want what's best for me and are willing to sacrifice anything for me. In the end, they'll always be waiting with open arms.