New Warhorn Media post by Lucas Weeks:
I had a thought about this episode this morning as I listened to it again. As we grow through our teenage years and into adulthood, we all go through the phase of judging our parents. You’ve probably seen the Oscar Wilde quote:
“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
That period of time where we are inclined to judge our parents can feel like a battle. Maybe it IS a battle! But at some point in my life, I had an epiphany. As a young adult with a growing family, I realized that I held all the cards. I had the keys to the kingdom. I had my parent’s grandchildren! It’s exactly what we talk about at the end of this episode: our parents are very vulnerable to us, their children, because they love us! Their hopes and dreams and their very selves are bound up with us.
I’m almost embarressed to talk about these things, for two reasons. First, because it’s so obvious that I should have realized it a long time ago. But second, because I think there should be a kind of modesty panel protecting how our own parents, who are above us and who we are commanded to honor, are vulnerable and weak toward us.
But that leads me to realize how utterly selfish and evil I am. To think that I would even consider using that position to harm them or “get back” at them in in any way! Yikes. Brothers, we must not do that to our parents. Even in their sin and their own weaknesses. We can’t do that. We should love them tenderly.
After all, we will have children giving us the side eye one day. And they, just like we did once, will have the keys to the kingdom.
Having kids that span the whole gamut of early teens to late adulthood, I definitely thank you for putting this on. I actually I got beat up by part 1, and picked up and comforted for part 2. This was definitely a sweet finish. I definitely can relate to Tim wanting to distant himself from his teen kids for fear that they will take his guts to an emotional roller coaster (an excellent imagery).
I also appreciate this not only because I am like all of you a father, but also because of my uniqueness of straddling two cultures. I find many times I found myself deciding which hat I should wear: the Asian-honor-your-family-above-all-else or the western-give-your-kids-freedom. I really appreciate the whole talk on individuation. People have been denigrating western culture for ages, but this concept of individualism/ individuation has done wonders for society. It has saved many Chinese families.
But it’s actually really interesting that I notice my kids have all picked up the whole family and individuation tension. They do appreciate the family. And Lucas, what you wrote up there reminded me something that happened years ago. I remember I was meeting my with my dad in Taiwan, and he told me he was planning on moving to the US after retirement. I asked him why, and he told me that he was going to move in with me. That totally caught me off guard. And the surprise on my face told him everything he needed to know. He never broached the subject again. But I remember the look of sadness on his face, and to this day when I see Chinese/ Taiwanese adult children taking care of their parents in their old age, I am ashamed of myself.
Thanks for the episodes, and Lucas, you’re an excellent host. Sometimes when one of the pastors said something that I think it’s off the wall, you asked the question that I was thinking at that moment. Thanks!