KEYWORDS: parents, christmas, card, christmas card, time, kids

Writing Your Parents

Karen Zerby

11/88Maria #91DO 2513

—By Maria

(Have you ever wondered how to handle unfavorable or antagonistic parents who insist that they hear more from their "little darling," but who are seldom, if ever, happy with what you tell them when you write? Mama recently gave the following talk which contains some helpful guidelines & suggestions that may help you in your communications with your parents & System relatives:)

1. It seems that most of the problems we have with antagonistic parents occur when they suddenly don't hear from their adult offspring any more.—Particularly when they expect to hear from them because the kids have previously written home on a fairly regular basis in the past. Even if it wasn't frequently—sometimes only once every six months or even only once a year—it was fairly regularly.

2. But then they stopped & they don't write at all, & that's what usually causes the trouble! Then the parents usually get all upset & worry, "Something's happened to my darling because he doesn't write me like he used to!"—And that's when they wind up going to the [authorities] & the embassies & who knows what, stirring up all kinds of trouble!

3. It seems to me that the logical thing to do with such parents would simply be to write & tell them something like, "I love you & I appreciate you for being my parents & putting up with me all those years. But obviously, since you don't agree with my beliefs or my lifestyle, my letters upset you & hurt you & grieve you.—And yours do the same to me because I would like you to agree with what I do, but you don't! —And that makes me feel bad & you feel bad.

4. "So maybe it would be better if we just didn't have much communication. So from now on I'll send you a Christmas card once a year. (And a card on your birthdays!)" Of course, if this is what you tell your parents, you'd better be sure to send them that Christmas card once a year or you're really going to be in trouble!

5. You could tell them, "Let's just agree to disagree. There's really not much use in my writing you more than once a year because what good is it going to do? You don't want to hear our message—you've already heard it, I've already given it to you, & you have rejected it. I still love you for being my parents, but why should I waste my time making you feel bad when you've made it clear that you're not going to change your mind or your attitude towards what I'm doing?

6. "And why should you write me when that makes me feel bad? So let's just leave it at once a year. You can send me a Christmas card & a gift (& birthday card & present), & I'll send you a Christmas card (& birthday cards). And your little grandchildren will send you a few little letters or cards if you're not too mean or antagonistic!"

7. This is what I do with my parents. They never say anything really mean, but I know they are very much against what I'm doing. They've said it before, but in a nice way. So even if I write them a very sweet letter about all the things the children are doing & what I'm doing, it hurts them to read it. Of course, at the same time they do want to hear from me & they want to hear from the kids‚ but it just hurts them because they're worried about us & they feel bad about us. So why should I worry them? They're not going to change their mind.

8. Just hearing from us doesn't really help them. Even though, on one hand, they want to hear from us, on the other hand when they do, they feel bad—so why should we do it? Why should we keep rubbing salt in the wound? Why should we keep bringing up the subject before them? … But people are very sentimental‚ Systemites especially are very very sentimental, especially about Christmas. If you don't send them a Christmas card they think they've lost you forever! But as far as I'm concerned, in such cases a Christmas card should be enough.

9. At least that's all I do with my parents, & they have learned to live with it, & I think in a way they feel better about it. It's sort of "out of sight, out of mind." That way they're not worrying about us all the time. Because from their way of thinking, we're really in bad shape, & it's worrisome for them & it's a problem for them because they love us very much. So why worry them any more?

10. And why should we waste our time when we know it's not going to make much difference? Anything we want to say to them‚ we can say at Christmas. If you've got a message to tell them‚ something about the Crash or the Endtime or the Antichrist or the elections or whatever you want to tell them, the end of the year is a good time to tell it to them.—Unless, of course, it's some big emergency.

11. If they haven't listened to you all these years, they're probably not going to listen to you now! But if you feel burdened to tell them something‚ you can tell them in your Christmas card or your one letter that you send them at Christmas. At least that seems to work pretty well with my parents. Of course, I don't know what they really feel about it, but they live with it & they send me a birthday card & a Christmas card & it seems to work all right. Actually, I think it works better than if I were writing them more often!

12. After all, what do you really have to say to them? When you're so busy in the Lord's Work, it's like a waste of time to try to change people whose minds are completely made up & you know they'll never change! I can say that almost certainly about mine because they are evangelical Christians. Now I can't say that for all parents but I'm pretty certain mine are never going to change until they get to Heaven or the Millennium or wherever! Of course, there have been some parents who have changed.

13. But I think there's less and less chance that parents are going to change with the present smear campaign that our enemies are waging against us. With public opinion and pressure mounting against us, I don't think that very many already antagonistic parents are likely to change! There have been a few who've changed when they've come to see their kids and their grandchildren. …

14. On the other hand‚ some of our Family are having to go back to their home countries & to their parents. Let's just hope & pray that their parents may see & be won by their good sample. Let's hope the parents change more than our kids do! Let's hope that the parents see their kids' good example & because of it become friendly, instead of our kids seeing the System's bad example & getting sucked in! So that's one way in which some of our folks may wind up seeing their parents. So PTL!

15. But if your parents have been antagonistic, you certainly have every right to tell them, "Well, sorry, I'm going to slow down on the writing & only write you once in a blue moon or once a year from now on because we just can't seem to agree on things!"

16. (Fam: The question I should have asked my father when I saw him that last time was, "When your parents lived in New York & you moved all the way out to California & had a family of seven kids, did you write home every week or every month? How often did you write your mom & dad?" Because it's pretty hard to believe that he wrote regularly, if ever. I bet my father's parents didn't hassle him about it like he hassles me about it!) Your dad would probably reply, "Well, they knew I was okay.—I don't know about you!"

17. So pray & ask the Lord to guide you & give you wisdom on how—& how often—you should write your parents, amen? GBAKY!—WLY!