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May 15, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | May 15



Jesus said,  ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’   ––Matthew 22:37-39


Joe is from a first-generation Italian family from a small town in Calabria, the tip of the boot in Italy. His mom—the daughter of Italian immigrants—and dad met in college, raising their kids in a traditional Italian manner. The expectation was for Joe to get a “practical” degree such as business or engineering, while Joe dreamed of being a filmmaker. When he switched majors his freshman year, his parents were less than thrilled. Even though—some three decades later—Joe has done well for himself as a film editor, his parents never “got it.” 


Many of us grew up in homes where expectations were big. Go to this school. Take up this trade. Marry this “type” of person. And when we don’t go the route that our folks expected? Tension (usually). For God’s man, parents’ expectations (or the lack of them) can bring up some pretty spicy emotions. Resentment. Anger. Feelings of failure, even. But bitterness and a spirit of defense are tools for Satan to keep us stuck in past wounds. 


Here’s the deal: Your parents have a completely different frame of reference for life than you do. Even if you have great parents and had an idyllic childhood, the world they grew up in was vastly different than your own. Joe’s breakthrough came when he started to realize that for his dad, raised in a village in southern Italy in the 1970s, men got conservative jobs—banking, farming, etc.—and the women (mostly) stayed home and raised the kids. Once we can accept the fact that our parents’ frame of reference is—or was—very different from our own, we can begin to forgive them as Jesus forgave us for all the quirky expectations we’ve placed on others. 


When Joe began to see his parents’ viewpoint and understand their frame of reference, the script flipped: his anger slowly drained away—not all at once, but over time—and acceptance took hold. What is your parents’ frame of reference? Once you can process that, healing can begin. 


Father, help me to see my parents as you see them. Help me accept them as you accept me—warts and all. 

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