WHEN A CHILD BECOMES A PARENT’S FRIEND
And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a young brother, the child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ Genesis 44:20
Oh, the painful journey that a child must travel to finally become his parent’s friend. For a child, youth is complicated. Their parents are god-like, by divine intention. It takes a good chunk of adulthood for that child to see a parent’s humanity, forgive the imperfections, and come back to embrace friendship.
And oh, the painful journey that a parent must travel to finally become their child’s friend. Without a willingness to adapt from a parent to a peer, true friendship will be impossible. Parents will always see their child as a child, even in their 60’s and 70’s. What is needed for a parent to see their child as a mature adult? Humility. Parents can learn a lot from grown children if we’re willing to be taught by them.
Look how long it took for Judah to talk respectfully of his father and his father’s affections. Nearly two decades. When he was a young man, he despised his father, and Joseph, for the love they shared. The scripture today is a tender display of admiration, respect, and acceptance of who his father is and whom he loves.
Jaime, my daughter, and I work together in this ministry. She is in her mid-thirties and our relationship has evolved over the years. Mother/daughter relationships are wonderful and also complicated. We will be the first to admit that. But it can become a work of glory when both are committed to grow amidst the challenges of getting older together. When people learn that we work together, most will show a measure of surprise. “Really? And you get along?” We laugh but we understand. We think of all the family businesses that operate in an environment of family strife.
Just this week, Jaime made an observation about my pace of life and my health. Instead of objecting and continuing to go about my day, I listened. God confirmed to me that very day that she was right. Yesterday, I called to thank her for it. I affirmed, again, her as my friend. How precious it is to walk together with God!
What is the secret of true fellowship in a relationship, whether friend or familial? Both have to love God first. Seek God first. Then ask God for His eyes for the other person. Discoveries will be wonderful and, at times, painful. But with God’s eyes, grace will prevail. Under God’s wings, relationships thrive.
Looking back, Your work of grace is a masterpiece and all glory goes to You. Amen