'You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book' – Psalm 56, verse 8.
My Own Brokenness
I come from a broken home. My father left when I was five years old, and my mother had to work four jobs to sustain us and bring us all up. She sacrificed her entire life, dedicating it to my three siblings and me. My mother was not perfect, however. Despite everything she did to make sure we could live our lives securely and happily, there were moments of failing as a parent. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, there were many times I felt alone and unloved. I tried to find love in many self-destructive ways. But deep down I knew I needed someone, a higher calling and a belief in something bigger than my family and myself.
It was only when I turned 20 that I truly found a calling towards Christ, and through Jesus I have learned to forgive a lot of things my parents did or did not do. Even when we put our parents on a pedestal, they are imperfect human beings—just as I am an imperfect parent. I can try my very best to provide everything I can to my beautiful daughter, and sacrifice all for her as well, but I am not helping her or myself by doing this. Instead, I want to rely on God fully to bring us together as a family. I for sure, cannot do it on my own and I do not want to repeat the mistakes of my parents.
God and His Authority
The Bible teaches us to give authority to our parents, our spouses and so on. But what if when, your family and spouse isn't exactly one whom you can give authority to? I heard a story recently that broke my heart. A woman found out that her husband had cheated on her on two different occasions, and they have ten-month old and three-year old twins. My heart immediately went out to her, and especially to her children.
The sad part is that damaged families and broken homes we see today is nothing new. We see it everyday in almost every home. In Australia alone, 5% of children come from abusive homes, 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce. 1 in 6 women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner and 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse.
How can we then give authority to our spouse or parents when we ourselves are so hurt and broken? This is where God comes in. God is the perfect being; all authority and glory is to God and God alone. In Romans chapter 13, verse 1: 'Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God'. Hence, when a home or marriage does not establish authority under God, it results in sin and falling short of His glory.
Everything on earth is temporary, including our earthly family. God has a plan for us, especially for those who come from broken homes and families. God did not cast us into a broken family to break us, but he cast us into a broken family to build us; to lead us into knowing and submitting to Him. I do not need to carry the burdens of my old family into my new family. I can carry God's love and my submission to Him and His glory to my family.
Clarissa Yates is from Singapore but moved to live in Perth, Western Australia, in 2008. Clarissa completed a BSc. in Molecular Biology at the University of Western Australia and works part-time as a Research Assistant. She also owns a cake business, Lollicakes.
Clarissa Yates' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/clarissa-yates.html