Parents Just Don’t Understand

March 5, 2021  •   LPi

Father trying to talk to his teen age son

Anybody remember the old rap song by the Fresh Prince, aka Will Smith, “Parents Just Don’t Understand?” As we grow up, it is sometimes a struggle for us to imagine that our parents understand us. It can seem impossible that Mom and Dad remember the stress of exam week or peer pressure. We never saw them as children; we never saw their disappointed faces when they weren’t invited to a party, or their dashed hopes at a bad test grade. We never saw them homesick their first week of college or nervous to ask their crush to Homecoming.

We’re often the same way about God. We gripe about what He asks of us. “He doesn’t understand sin — he’s all-good,” we think. “He doesn’t understand temptation — He is perfect.”

In Scripture, God can be very much a father, telling us what we can and cannot do. And yet, in His divine genius, He is sometimes simply a man at a well, asking for a drink.

For me, it turns out I didn’t need to tell my parents anything about what I was going through as a kid — they knew already. What I needed was for them to tell me what to do, and how to do it.

Similarly, we don’t need to tell God about human nature. We need God to tell us about His nature. He’s good enough to ask us for a drink, to enter into our humanity. But we have to remember, for our own sakes, to have the humility to ask Him for something, too — the water that will quench our eternal thirst.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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