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The Power to Crush a Spirit

We all have the power to crush another's spirit with our words. Whether out of carelessness in not holding our tongue (I've been guilty of that) or out of deliberate and calculated maliciousness (yep, I've done that too), we have great power to inflict damage on others.

James 1:26, says If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

Proverbs 13:3 says, "He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

"Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." (Psalm 34:13)

Today my father vented his frustration and disappointment in my deficiencies as his daughter. "We took care of you when you were little, why can't you take care of us better now?" "I told everyone how you leave all the time to go on trips and aren't there when we need you. It's terrible. You work all the time too. You aren't taking care of us at all." "You are taking care of us worse now then when you ignored us when we lived in NM". And the words went on and on and on. It hurt so much, especially because I worry that there may be truth to it. I have been traveling a lot. And I am busy with work. But we see them every week, we take them to the doctors and shopping and we spend time with them. I don't know what to do to fix the situation.

I don't know what to do to make my father glad he had me.

I don't know what to do to prove to him I am good enough.

I don't know what to do not to be such a disappointment.

Same old story.


michaelmichael said…
prayers coming your way sister
Rho said…
Is there something your dad always wanted to do with you that you both have never had a chance to do? Maybe you can do something special together like that. You are doing the best you can taking them to appointments and such but you can't be there for them 24/7 since you guys have your own lives too. I have noticed that you do travel quite often - most weekends lately it seems? Maybe you can limit your travel to one weekend a month or something so you can spend more time with them? Or pick certain days each month/week and devote them to spending time with your parents so that they know those days are just for them. I wouldn't beat yourself up over it though, just pray about what to do.
Anonymous said…
I sympathize with your desire to please your father in more ways than I wish I did. However, as fundamentally difficult as it is to come to, you've GOT to realize that you cannot please everyone all of the time. And I really hate to say it, but Jenni? You will NEVER be able to do enough for them to validate that you are the good daughter that you are. They are determined to be unhappy and you are the closest person for them to vent on. Your other siblings do nothing for them but are lauded by your parents. You bend over backwards EVERY. SINGLE. TIME for them and they tell you that you're an awful daughter. Does this sound like logical statements to you? I hope you're able to realize in your heart that you're being the good daughter you've been commanded to be, though your actions aren't appreciated by the recipients. You are a good person and well loved by many people, many who tell you this. Don't let the negative words of two people outdo the good things said by all the other people who know you.

And I don't think you should curb your travel plans at all. You deserve to be able to live your life as you like it, and you are NOT commanded to sacrifice every part of your life to take care of your parents. As long as they are not being neglected (by YOUR observation, not theirs), then you should travel as much as you like. As long as they have all of the things they need (notice the operative word here: "need"), then anything else you do for them is a bonus. You sacrifice enough of your time to them in what are apparently stressful times--I really don't think it's selfish of you to take breaks from it where you can enjoy your life with your husband free from worries.

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