Q. My father and I live together. He and I are both disabled, so its hard for both of us to do things. I am in better shape than him but I still have a hard time doing things around the house. He gets demanding sometimes, expecting me to help him do even ordinary things. The doctor told him to go to a rehab place for therapy to strengthen his muscles so he can take better care of himself, but he stopped going and now he’s so weak he can’t do much of anything. I get angry at him and say nasty things, trying to get him to go back to therapy. Then I feel guilty about it. Is it natural for family members to get mad at each other and say nasty things? Can I be forgiven?
A. Yes, it’s natural for family members to become angry with each other from time to time, and the additional frustration caused by your disabilities only makes it more likely. Also, it sounds like your father has given up on trying to take care of himself.
Even so, it grieves the Holy Spirit when you say nasty things to your father (Ephes. 4:29-32). The guilt you feel is most likely Him convicting you to seek the Lord’s forgiveness. Thankfully, Jesus died for all our sins so forgiveness is automatic whenever we ask.
When you feel yourself becoming frustrated with your father, ask the Lord for patience. He’ll help you with that, and you’ll find you won’t be getting upset as often.
And remember, there was a time when your parents had to do everything for you, so try to think of helping your dad now as your way of thanking him for helping you then.
With the gift of extra patience from the Lord and a changed attitude about helping your father, life could become much easier for both of you.