Once you understand that parents aren’t always capable of giving their kids what they didn’t get themselves—namely love, nurturing, acceptance, and physical affection—it becomes easier to forgive them.
Stormie Omartian says: ‘Sometimes what one parent didn’t do hurts as bad as what the abusing one did. A parent’s uninvolvement or unwillingness to step in and rescue you feels like a betrayal. Unforgiveness for that uninvolved parent is more difficult to recognise but is more common than we think. Ask God to show you any unforgiveness towards a parent who didn’t come to your rescue. If it’s there, you have to deal honestly with your feelings… We can’t go back in time and get someone to hold and nurture us, and we mustn’t demand it from a spouse or friends because they can’t do it. It [must] come from our heavenly Father… The first step… is to receive [His] forgiveness and let its reality penetrate the deepest part of our being. When we realise how much we have been forgiven… we have no right to pass judgment on… another. Being forgiven and released from everything we’ve ever done is such a miraculous gift, how could we refuse to obey God when He asks us to forgive others? Forgiveness is a two-way street. God forgives you, and you forgive others… We base our decision not on what we feel like doing but on what we know is right.’
Jesus said, ‘Do not judge… and you will not be judged… Forgive… and you will be forgiven.’ (Luke 6:37 NLT) Choosing to forgive and not let somebody else’s sin dictate what you feel or do frees you to live in peace.