Resentment is defined as a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult or injury.
I was eight years old when my stepfather took me to a friends party at a roller skating rink. My friends picked up on my lack of skating ability and asked me why I didn’t ask my father for help. Instead of embracing that idea and the man who helped my mother raise me, words I now regret, words sharp as a sword shot out of my mouth as he placed his hand on my back, “Because he’s not even my father!” Resentment.
I was jealous of my friends whose mothers described them as daddy’s little girls, angry at my mom for taking away my ability to have that title by not making it work with my father. I was disappointed in my stepfather for trying to fill a role that just wasn’t for him and hurt because my father didn’t try to fulfill the role himself. Resentment.
Almost 2 decades later, with a family of my own, I’m relieved to say most of that resentment is gone. I find so much beauty in the bond my daughters have with my husband. I speak to my father, stepfather, mother and stepmother respectfully. And when resentment rears its ugly head I have the Word to guide me back to right path.
Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
My biological father did indeed give me life. Without him I really wouldn’t be here at all. There are certain things about me that without a doubt came from him, facial features, certain mannerisms, the texture of my hair. As we work on our bond now I’m learning we share other things like hobbies, facial expressions and temperament. I’m getting over the fact that he wasn’t here and am thankful that he is here now.
Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Resentment led to rebellion. I often did things simply because my stepfather said not to. Thank God for opening my eyes. While I did or didn’t do things out of spite, my stepfather had my best interests in mind. While I rejected his attempts at making us closer he continued to try. While I continuously built a wall between us he worked to break it down.
Those Proverbs don’t have an exception. There’s no line that says “Do this unless you came from a broken home, unless one of your parents was a deadbeat, unless you don’t agree with them, unless the world justifies your rebellion.
As my relationship with my heavenly Father progresses my willingness to let my father in does as well. Love and forgiveness are filling up the space once occupied by resentment. I am no longer bitter about a relationship I was denied but thankful for the relationships I was blessed with. Rather than seeking the title of daddy’s little girl I am learning to become the daughter God needs me to be.