There seems to be a trend among people whose lives have taken a sour turn. This trend dictates that current problems in one’s life can be blamed on specific or general events from one’s childhood. For instance, a bank robber or shoplifter can claim lack of responsibility because when he/she was a child, the older brother or sister kept taking money out of their piggy bank. The aforementioned example may sound ridiculous, but there are people who try to justify or excuse their actions based on childhood events. Now I know that many people have had traumatic events in their childhood, with which they have had to cope. However, childhood traumas should not be used as excuses for one’s behavior as an adult. In the cases where people blame their present state of life on their childhood experiences, it has typically been when their present state of life was not to their approval. Once their present life takes a turn in the direction they want, they then cease blaming their childhood.
Consider the perfect example, Jesus Christ. Did Christ revolt against what was godly, using His childhood as an excuse? Of course not. Some may wonder at my insinuation that Christ did not have the perfect childhood. Consider the life of Jesus. He was not born in the comfort of a house or a room at the local inn; He was born in a manger. His mother and father were not married when she discovered she would have a child. His family was not rich. His father was a carpenter. It is possible to say that Jesus did not have much of a childhood. When was the last time you heard a 12 year-old child talking with and answering the questions of knowledgeable Bible teachers? Also, it appears as if Joseph, Jesus’ father, died at some point during the childhood of Jesus, leaving Jesus to provide for His family as was the custom of that time.
There have been a lot of people with better childhood experiences than Jesus who would blame their adult experiences on their childhood. Every person must be willing to accept the consequences of their actions. No one should attempt to blame or excuse their actions based on their childhood. The consequences of this blaming process can hurt many people. Granting that we are not referring to legitimate instances of mental or physical child abuse, there have been people who have said that mom or dad spanked them too often or that dad worked too much and did not play ball with them. Others have accused their parents of not loving them enough or treating one child better than the other. When a person begins to throw around these types of accusations, it does nothing to help their present circumstances.
These accusations do, however, hurt the subjects of the accusations. The past is the past. Nothing that you or I say or do can change it. Neither is the past an excuse for present, stupid behavior. Nothing from one’s childhood can justify murder, adultery, stealing, or down right ungodly behavior. Did you have a traumatic childhood? If so, then learn to cope the best you can, seeking help from God and support from the members. If you had a difficult childhood, then accept that and realize that everyone had problems during that period of their life. If anything, learn from your childhood. If you were treated in ways that were unfair or unjust, remember how you felt when you begin to raise your children. Benefit from your unfortunate childhood by treating your children better. But above all, do not behave in ungodly or unrighteous ways and then excuse yourself by blaming it on your childhood. No matter what the excuse is, you will reap what you sow. Remember the words of the apostle Paul in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”