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My Breaking Heart
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My heart is breaking. My child is in a difficult and unhappy marriage. Like most parents, I wanted her to unite with a partner who would protect her and affirm her talents, gifts and beauty. Someone who would challenge her own personal growth, yet share her values. And mostly, a person who would listen to the Holy Spirit and tenderly draw her closer to an experience with Jesus Christ. I did not really expect a marriage made in heaven, yet I hoped for one that would prepare them both for an eternity in Heaven.

I listen to her messages and her phone calls and I wait for the tone of her voice. Have they been arguing again? Has he been unkind or threatened her in some way? I shudder at descriptions of mean-spirited, controlling and selfish behaviors. How much does she not tell me so I will not worry too much? Should we insist that she separate and return home? When will she know she has tried long enough?

I pray for both of them. I really do care about my son-in-law. He possesses positive attributes and much potential. Yet, I do not know if he is capable of providing a safe, loving home for my daughter. His is a lifetime of deficits in nurturing, and a lack of spiritual upbringing--arrested development. At the same time, I am aware of my own child’s shortcomings. In a healthy relationship, this would call for much patience, sacrifice and finesse.

Part of me sometimes thinks--this is what she wanted! She always valued friends who were different or exotic. She met him on the Internet. We were very careful about allowing her to meet him in person. He stayed in our home for many visits, and then actually lived with us before getting married. He splurged on her with gifts, meals, outings. He seemed to value her in his life. Then we talked about the warning signs in the relationship. Even the pastor and a counselor tried to warn her after their pre-marital sessions. Yet she stayed committed to something that seemed destined for a promise that she must have known was not in her best interest. What inherited or modeled flaw was she acting out? Did she think that there were no other choices in life? That no one else would love her? My precious child.

Now, like two very different horses harnessed for a lifetime pulling match, their timing is off, pulling at different times, in different directions. Straining against the traces, digging into the dirt, wild eyed with effort yet weighed down with an incredible burden. I cannot see how they will ever make it to the finish line without hurting themselves.

Painful parenting

Out of my sorrow and frustration, I pray and read God’s Word, and ask others to pray. I try to listen, and gently counsel. I know that I have made my own mistakes in marriage, so I am sometimes speechless. I know that unhappiness can result in moments of spiritual triumph.

We are human. We are God’s precious children. This painful parenting from the sidelines, reminds me of a huge earthly dilemma. Each day we create/choose marriages filled with disaster. Marriages that will make our time on earth more difficult, and possibly affect our eternity. Generations of wandering children, failed governments, feeble leaders, and broken promises are our heritage.

Dear God, now I understand another part of your broken heart, and I thank you for your grace toward all your children.

By Gracie Peters, pseudonym. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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