[quote="Soldier_Of_God, post:4, topic:237439"]
Unfortunately, my mother has a long history of committing verbal and physical abuse against me and my siblings. She even served jail time after a child abuse conviction. My sister is currently not on speaking terms with my parents. I've forgiven them for what happened because they were abused as children and they didn't know any better.
Now, at age 43 they are still "concerned" that I'm not married and with children. It's an issue because they desire grandchildren, both to interact with and to keep the relatives from speaking about my marital state. Many family members have speculated that I'm homosexual and this upsets my parents.
As for therapy, I have been in sessions for 5 years now (and on medication) trying to cope with depression. Despite the depression, I've maintained a wonderful career, have a great network of friends, interesting hobbies and accomplished most of the things I wanted to do in my life. Nonetheless, her statement today was particularly wounding to me. I want to honour my parents but I'm having great difficulty doing so at this point.
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. :)
I doubt your parents understand what forgiveness is. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and making excuses for bad behavior are three entirely different things. It is possible to forgive someone and yet to not have contact with them. It is possible to forgive them without making excuses for them, too. Forgiving involves letting go of bad feelings, a desire for vengeance, and so on, not mental gymnastics that turn a sin into an accident, a bad break that was no one's fault.
It only takes one to forgive; it is a personal work for each person involved. Forgiveness is a freeing from sin, a freeing from attachment to the offense, as much a freeing of the victim as a freeing of the perpetrator. Reconciliation, on the other hand, is the rebuilding of trust. That is another work altogether. It takes two. Since one of those people is not in your control, reconciliation isn't something you can accomplish alone.
If you consider your mother's attitude towards life, I would make a wild guess that nothing she actually has (as opposed to people, things, or situations she imagines she would like to have) ever rates much better than 60/40, at least not in the long term. In real life, 60/40 is, from those looking through the glass of self-interest, a pretty favorable split to get from another human being. Some do better, yes, but with relatives, it is not the way to bet. We were made to please God, and that doesn't always mean pleasing the whims and self-interested presumptions of everyone else. The reason we don't say "you're 60/40" or "you're 20/80" or "you're 80/20" isn't because those we love can't disappoint us. It is because we have no right to believe they were put on to this earth to meet our selfish expectations in the first place. If our expectations were God's, we'd say "you're 100"...not because they can't fall short in actions, but because actions can't bring them short of unconditional love. Your mom's "60/40" speaks of her, not you.
I would not predict that you would free yourself of your mother's criticism by marrying and having children. You'd only shift the criticism to a different topic. You could easily go from the frying pan of being thought homosexual to the fire of being "known" as an incompetent parent who, while we're on the subject, could have done a little better in choosing a spouse, as well. I say that because a mother that would think of her children as people put on this earth to satisfy her is, generally speaking, the kind that lives in a fantasy world. Realistic moms realize that their children's lives are not about them. When their children have children, mothers who live in a fantasy world become grandmothers who live in a fantasy world. That is almost never an improvement.
Honor never requires lying. Jesus showed no disrespect of Pilate's authority, given by God, when he said Pilate was guilty of a sin, albeit a sin less than that of Judas. Pilate was given a place of honor and authority, yet he failed the God-given duty that came with the office. Jesus only spoke the truth. If your mother is abusive, it breaks no commandment to take note and act accordingly. It is only required that you be as respectful of her dignity as you can while you do so.
The type of relationship you have with your parents and whether or not you forgive and give them the respect due to parents are two different issues. You can cut off contact and the likelihood of future attacks without being disrespectful of them. You can choose to have contact without accepting the attacks as having any truth to them. The only thing you cannot do is change your mother or effect a reconcilation without her consent and cooperation. Because God chose to give us free will, even God cannot do that.