A 15-year old in a Christian home says that her parents are constantly judging her for her behavior. “I don’t understand how God could love me if my own parents don’t.”
SUBMITTED QUESTION: A 15-year old lives in a “Christian” home. Her parents are “very religious” and always try to make her live a good Christian life. However, she says, they are “not very patient” and are “almost constantly getting on me and judging me for my behavior.” She concludes: “I don’t understand how God could love me if my own parents don’t even.”
SOME RESPONSES FROM ALISON DELONG:
I’m so glad you reached out to us. I’m so sorry that you are feeling judged and not loved at home. It sounds like you feel like you can’t ever measure up to your parents’ standards or that your behavior never seems good enough to them. Your parents, like everyone else, are broken, imperfect people. And as imperfect people, they will love imperfectly. A lot of how we perceive and understand God is based on our own experience with our parents, especially our father. Therefore, it is understandable to think of God the same way we see our parents. So if your parents seem unloving, then it seems like God is unloving as well.
However, we must remember that God is absolutely perfect, and our parents are not. Even if your imperfect parents are angry and judgmental or impatient and unforgiving, this is in no way indicative of God’s love toward you! Continually, throughout the Bible, we are told that God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18; Psalm 86:5; Joel 2:13).
I don’t know the whole situation, but based on what you shared, it appears that your parents are trying to express their love by trying to raise you to become a godly woman of good character. In the midst of this, however, you have not experienced them showing grace toward you, as well. God loves us by calling us to be better people, but his love is also demonstrated in forgiveness, grace, understanding, and compassion. God has proven his love and grace for you in that he had his own Son take the punishment of your wrongs. God’s perfect love far surpasses that which your parents could ever give to you, and because of Jesus, you are enough!
When you’re not feeling good enough, and when you are questioning God’s love for you, I would encourage you to read, write down, and take to heart the following verses that tell you the truth of how God sees you and thinks about you:
- “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4a).
- “The Lord your God … will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
- “You are altogether beautiful, my love; [because of Christ] there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7).
You are so so loved! Please hold onto that truth, even when your feelings deceive you. At the same time, it’s always important to consider how you can grow in your Christian character. Thank you for reaching out!
–Alison DeLong teaches at Covenant Christian School in Conroe, Texas. She has a B.A. in Philosophy from Lincoln Christian University and an M.A. in Christian Cultural Apologetics from Houston Baptist University.