“And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; Then went Esau unto Ishmael…”
Esau’s relationship with his parents soured because of his foolish actions as a young man. It is sad to see how this young man ruined many years he could have enjoyed with his father had he not allowed what he deemed as mistreatment from his parents to affect his relationship with them. The verse above shows that Esau chose to respond to his perception of his parent’s wrongdoings by spiting their wishes of what type of lady to marry. This action let to several countries being formed that eventually became the enemies of the Jews.
Many adults have found themselves in Esau’s position. I have talked to many adults who feel that their parents didn’t treat them right as children, and their response is to live a life to spite their parents. Sadly, the result of living a life of spite was reaped through their children responding the same way towards them. Let me give you several thoughts concerning living a life of spite because of a perception of mistreatment.
First, don’t forget to look at your own actions. The first place you need to look before blaming your parents is at your own life. Esau conveniently forgot that he was the one who chose to give up his birthright. It is amazing how many people love to place the blame on their parents instead of looking at their own actions. Before you start throwing the blame of your perceived mistreatment by your parents, you might look at how you acted and realize that maybe your actions contributed to your parent’s actions. It is always better to look at your own actions before blaming your parents.
Second, your parents are not as bad as you paint them to be. Esau had good parents, but his bitterness caused him to see them in a different light. You can become so bitter towards your parents that you see them as your enemy instead of your ally. I’m not saying that your parents are perfect, but I am saying they are probably not as bad as you say they are. There are many people who would love to have your parents. You should choose to look at the whole picture of your parents instead of looking through the eyeglass of your perceived mistreatment. I believe if you look at the whole picture, you will see that your parents are not as bad as you have painted them to be.
Third, you only have one set of parents; you better enjoy them while you have them. Esau wasted so many years that he could never take back because of bitterness. There may come a day when you will want to rekindle a relationship with your parents, but the missed years that bitterness wasted can’t be taken back. It is always better that you put your bitterness aside and enjoy your parents while you have them instead of making them live in the exile of your bitterness.
Fourth, no matter how bad your parents may have been, you are still commanded to honor them. God’s command to honor your parents doesn’t come with the stipulation that they treated you right. You are to honor your parents, if for no other reason because you wouldn’t have life if it wasn’t for them.
My friend, don’t live to spite your parents. How you treat your parents tends to train your children how to treat you. Let me encourage you to work out your differences with your parents so that you can enjoy them while you have them.