Eye Spy: What We Learn About Relationships From Our Parents

Last night, my husband and I attended a 1 year Anniversary Celebration for a group called Truth Parties. Truth Parties are a group of singles that meet once a month to discuss different topics surrounding healthy relationships. Mrs. Nneka Owens, the founder of the group, is my supervisor for my counseling licence. Nneka is a licensed counselor, an awesome woman, wife, mother and Christian who lives according to the word of God. The celebration included dinner, comedy, poetry reading and dancing. The special guest was Horace H.B. Sanders, a Christian comedian who was seriously hilarious!!

Nneka said something at the party last night that stuck with me. She encouraged the parents in the room to make sure they were demonstrating healthy relationships in front of their children. She reminded them that their children are watching and what they see will affect them as they grow up. Nneka asked the crowd what they remember seeing in their homes regarding their parents interaction as children. She had a friend of her’s read a poem that she wrote about relationships and how people are affected by the negative and positive messages that they see and hear growing up. In the poem, Nneka talked about messages people receive about unforgiveness, divorce, low self esteem, rejection etc. The end of the poem spoke of the truth that the women in the poem later embraced after learning to see herself how God sees her, after she received her healing from the past and made a conscious decision to do better and live better for her children. It was a powerful message.

Now I ask the same questions to you. What messages did your parents teach or show you growing up? Were they positive or negative? Maybe you observed a lot of arguing, domestic violence or grew up with an angry struggling single parent. Maybe you grew up in a two parent home but they were distant and rarely appeared to be happy together. Maybe your mom told you “Don’t trust men. They only want one thing and if they get you pregnant, they will leave you all alone,” or your dad told you “women just want your money. Never give your heart to a woman, just play the field.”  Whatever those negative messages may have been, you have to FIGHT to renew your mind and DETERMINE in your heart that you will not accept those thoughts and live in that mindset anymore.

My dad is the best dad in the world but his father was far from that to him and their family. My grandpa was not an active parent. He went to work each day, helped pay the bills and to my knowledge, that was pretty much it. He cheated on my grandma, he didn’t go to any of my dad’s sports events, he wasn’t loving, affectionate or encouraging must of the time. He was a nice man and he loved his family but maybe he was only doing what his father taught him about what it means to be a man, father and husband.

We must break the generational curses in each and every one of our families!! As a social worker, I see many families where the grandmother was a single mother, high school drop out with 8 kids. She did not teach her children about healthy relationships or the importance of getting an education, therefore her children dropped out of HS and had babies outside of marriage too. One of her children would become my client and have the same issues going on in her family. It would be up to that parent to make sure her children have a better life. She would need to make sure the children got up every day and off to school, she would need to teach her children about sex and the importance of respecting their bodies. If we don’t teach our children these things, who will????

My parents got saved when they were 19 years old and they decided that they were going to live according to the word of God and abandon ideologies of their past. They both made up in their minds that they would be better parents and better spouses than what they had seen. I say that to say this, we can no longer live in the excuses of “I’m like this because of what my parents did.” When you know better, you must do better. I’m truly sorry that some of us did not get the love, nurturing, affection, support, encouragement etc that we deserved BUT this is a new day and if God woke up you, He has given you all that you need to be successful!

If you are struggling with your past experiences regarding your parents, relationships, self esteem etc, you need to seek godly counsel to get restored, renewed and recharged. Make it a point to do that soon, don’t wait. Read your word, talk to a minister at your church, get with other saints and seek their support. Find out what the word of God says about you. You don’t have to be another statistic. If you are a parent, remember your children are watching the verbal and nonverbal messages you are giving them about relationships, life, men, women, parenting, religion, work ethic, etc.

As yourself, what would you like to have seen growing up regarding healthy relationships and then make sure you give that to your children or future children.

Here is a little more information on Truth Parties. Truth Parties are designed to bring  men and women together to discuss relationships in a candid and respectful manner.  The goal is to heighten awareness and promote longevity in relationships, while also exposing negative thought patterns, through purposeful communication. Truth Parties are not about men vs. women; it’s not about male or female bashing.  Truth Parties encourages individuals to assess where they stand in their relationships, and decide if they need to define or re-define their position.  Truth Parties are intense, educational, fun and sometimes entertaining!

Truth Calender:
May 21, 2010 – What would you do if…..? Part 2 Role Plays/Discussion

June 25, 2010 – Summer Kickoff – Grilling on the Patio (discussion to be determined)

July/August – Break

September – Back to the Truth

Location:
The Fairlane Club
5000 Fairlane Woods Dr.
Dearborn, MI 48126
off hubbard/across from fairlane mall

http://nnekaowens.net/TruthPartiesforRelationships.en.html

Nneka J. Owens, LPC NCC
313-999-9888
2312 Monroe
Dearborn, MI 48124

info@nnekaowens.net