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  • Slavic Christian relationships with parents

    Why do so many Slavic Christian adults struggle in their relationship with their parents?

    This is a problem that often comes into my office through the stories that my clients share. 

    Do you want to know the sad, simple, yet very unpleasant answer?

    Because Slavic Christian parents choose to hurt their children the way they were hurt.

    “How can that be,” you’re wondering. 

    “How dare you make such a sharp judgment against those that God calls us to honor,” you’re thinking. 

    Let me explain.

    Unprocessed trauma can’t hold responsibility over why one continues the pain that was done to them. One consciously chooses and acts on one’s behaviors because they serve a purpose. 

    If you want to learn more about what I mean, read “The Courage to be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga.

    Yes, our parents experienced significant trauma in the Communist USSR, and they are also Christians. That being said, knowing how badly one was treated while also knowing what Scripture says about parenting, forgiving, and letting one’s burdens go to Christ gives us as humans more responsibility than we want to claim, let alone live by.

    The truth is, many Slavic Christian parents have not experienced the love of God to give it to their children. They’ve known Him to be one of brimstone and wrath but not one of unconditional forgiveness and grace-thus, not being able to give their children the same mercy they should have experienced if they claim to be followers.

    Many parents continue to manipulate, coerce, oppress, emotionally repress, shame, abuse, and neglect their children the same way that was done to them.

    They know better because they hear about how to “love their neighbor as themselves” every Sunday, so why the double standard?

    Great question, because that’s what we were taught in our community. “Honor your father and mother, tolerate their treatment to receive their blessing or else they’ll curse you, and you’ll go to hell.”

    Dear one, you are not crazy for experiencing this pain in your family and wondering what you have done to deserve the rejection you received from your mom or dad.

    The hope that I can give you, having experienced this pain myself, is to seek and nurture your identity in Christ.

    Only then will you begin to understand the value you possess that your parents could not nurture in your soul out of their lack.

    When you do restore your identity in Christ, you will be able to forgive them for what they have done or didn’t do and will be able to have compassion on them in the context of their own trauma.

    This doesn’t excuse their behavior; it simply gives you the power not to repeat the mistakes that they did to you with your own family and move forward in being rooted in who Christ created you to be.

    If you need help in this journey, please reach out to me, and I am happy to help you in this healing journey.