Inspired by Parenting With Purpose & African Wisdom by Gladys K. Mwiti

Dear Mum and Dad,

I need you more than I like to let you know that I do. There is so much that I cannot conquer on my own, as independent as I may seem. The truth is, being independent is not in my nature. I had to become independent much earlier than I had expected because of life circumstances. I am so far out of my comfort zone and I don’t know what to do. I would ask you for advice, but I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I know you’re busy because you tell me quite often. Besides, our relationship isn’t like that. I don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable with you. I don’t know how to be vulnerable.

Everyone around me is concerned about me. In fact, I am concerned about me. I don’t know how to handle certain situations because no one ever taught me how. I was not ready for many of the things that have come my way because I was not expecting them. My friends’ families look different than ours. I like theirs better. They have dinner with their parents around the table together. They have fun family bonding days. They pray, worship, and have Bible studies as a family unit. I want what they have.

I never see you anymore. We never spend time together. You like to stay out late after work more than you enjoy spending time with me, and that hurts. When we do spend time together, you either push me away or criticize me for my struggles in school. The only attention you give me is condescending. I need your encouragement. I want to know that you love me and are proud of me. I have two or three friends that are kind, but their words do not mean nearly as much to me as yours do. People at school bully me. My teachers do not understand me. The way you treat me makes me want to act out wrongly. I have never had a good influence to look up to. I do not have a role model in you as a parent.

Your inconsistency confuses me. Even if you’re “there”, you are never truly present. I appreciate all the nice things that you buy for me, but I would much more appreciate quality time with you than to have the newest phone and coolest clothing. I am grateful that you are sending me to a good school to gain an education, but I lack the emotional intelligence that I need to be successful. No matter how good my education is, I am still set up for failure if our relationship continues as is. I know that you are being pulled in many different directions, but I would hope that I matter enough to you to make time for me as your child.

You have lost much of my respect. Frankly, I don’t want to obey you. I don’t want to obey any figure in authority because I assume that they are going to be just like you. I have a hard time trusting. The Bible says that I can trust God, but how can I trust God if I cannot trust my own parent? Both my friendship and dating relationships are skewed because our relationship has been so weak for so long. I am searching for the things that you never gave me in hopes that someone else will. I am not a good judge of character, though, so that has not worked out in my favour. It’s hard for me to understand and comprehend God’s love when I have never felt any kind of love that is even remotely close to what the Bible says he has for me.

I need you, Mum and Dad, even if I don’t say it. Please, be present. Don’t let me become a part of another statistic. I have goals in life that I want to reach, but I feel hopeless without you as a part of my story. Teach me how to pray. Show me how to act. Help me when problems arise. Direct me according to God’s Word. I am giving you a chance, Mum and Dad, please take it.

Parents, if God is the foundation of your household, it will not fall. Biblical characters such as David, Noah, and Abraham, put God first in all aspects of their lives, including parenting. Their stories are three of many that are worth recognition when it comes to gospel-centred parenting. Their love and dedication to God, his plan, and his people were evident in not only their lives, but in their children’s lives as well. If you want to make a difference in the world, start with your children. Let God in and let him lead you when it comes to parenting. Your children need you, and they need God.

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