It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when you look at all the things you lack in life. For a long time, I blamed my insecurities, failures, and lack of having on my upbringing. I felt that growing up in a single parent home worked against me. As a child, it didn’t faze me at all. However, in my late teens I began to see the differences between myself and other kids who had two parents in the home. Kids with two parents received more, got to do more and achieved more. How could they have self-esteem issues, when they had two parents to build them up? Even if one parent didn’t get it right, they had a backup.
Kid’s from two parent homes went to college. It wasn’t an issue for their parents to fund their higher education. Kid’s with two parents were confident in who they were. They didn’t question their path in life or purpose. They were secure about who they were. When coming from a single parent home, you doubt and miss out on understanding who you are, because there’s another half which created you, that you don’t have the opportunity to know. Kid’s from homes with two parents grow up to get happily married. After all, they have an example of what marriage looks like.
I thought all these and a few more when comparing my lack of an in-home father to those who had a father in the house. Hugging them, encouraging them, teaching them how to build, cook, be successful. Then reality hit me right in the heart.
I have several friends whose parents did not help them with college. One was told either you go to the service or you get a scholarship. I know another who grew up in a household where the parents were “married,” but they weren’t together. I remember coming across a gentleman who changed my whole perspective on what I thought I “lacked” in not growing up in a two-parent home.
When I would compliment this gentleman, he would respond with a small smile but never said, “thank you” or reacted much. He would question my compliments and encouragement as if I only did so because I “wanted” something. Once when talking about his family, he mentioned that his parents catered to his brother more than him. With tears in his eyes he said that he was the hard worker, he was the one that triumphed, but no one noticed him. I saw insecurities in him, but I couldn’t understand why. He grew up in a supportive household with two parents. He even said he grew up around computers his whole life which to me translated that he never wanted for anything. When I asked him how his relationship was with his parents were, he said okay.
One day after complimenting him and getting no reaction, I asked him why? He said he wasn’t used to someone complimenting him. I mentioned the encouragement I’m sure he got growing up. He said that his parents were the opposite. They were discouraging. They neither complimented or encouraged him. They told him they didn’t think he’d amount to much. He told me that although he played sports in high school, his parents barely attended any of his games. I reminded him that he said he had an “okay” relationship with his parents. He mentioned that they don’t argue, which to him, translated into an “okay” relationship. As I looked at him with a sunken face to the ground, my heart grew heavy. I had no idea someone could feel that way, after being set up, for what I thought was a success.
God created marriage between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:4-6). Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Marriage is a beautiful thing and created with the importance of family in mind. It is disappointing to know that there are broken families out there lacking a mother or father because a parent simply doesn’t believe it is their responsibility to support their family. The scripture says in 1 Timothy 5:8,” But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Even still, Ephesians 1:5 tells us, “he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Maybe you had two parents, and perhaps you didn’t, but it’s clear that as a Believer you are adopted into the Body of Christ. You do not lack because God supplies you with all you need (Philippians 4:19).
All these years I thought that because a person came from a two-parent home that their life was set up somewhat fail proof. I felt that it was unlikely to have insecurities about self-worth, purpose or life. I thought a person from a two-person home lacked for nothing. I was wrong. I was very wrong. Here I was thinking I didn’t get a fair shake. My Mom did show up to my events and my Dad to major accomplishments. Here I was taking for granted my life, my relationships, my memories. Here I was taking for granted the great relationship I have with my mother. I can call my Mom up and talk to her about anything and everything, and she’d give me sound advice that I know comes from a place of love and not judgment.
It’s silly some of the things we allow ourselves to believe at times. Thinking my life is held back by my upbringing was naive. It’s not what we lacked that holds us back it’s dwelling in a place of unappreciation of what we have that holds us back. I should not have judged a person assuming that because they had two parents in the home, they had everything they ever wanted and needed. I should have never thought that my heart ached more than another due to our different circumstances. Everyone feels pain. It’s not always due to the same situations or at the same time. I’m #DyingDaily in my assumptions about others. I can’t compare my life to others believing I can only accomplish so much because of my head start. It’s how I use what I’ve been given as I go through the process until the day I receive my crown (James 1:12) that matters.