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How to Lose the Script Your Parents Gave You

How to Lose the Script Your Parents Gave You

“You’re so lazy, you’ll never amount to anything!”

Because Carl’s mother had said those words to him so many times, he had long ago accepted them. He lost his incentive to try to please her––or to please anyone for that matter.

Carl’s father was an abusive alcoholic who never offered any words of encouragement. The summer Carl turned 15, he went to work at his uncle’s ranch. Carl admired the gruff old Christian cowboy. He found himself wanting very much to gain his uncle’s approval.

As Carl worked alongside his uncle he found great satisfaction at the end of the day when his uncle, a man of few words, would say the phrase he’d grown to love: “Boy, you done good.”

Boy you done good. Carl would go to sleep at night rehearsing that phrase over and over in his mind. Although Carl’s muscles ached from the labor of the day, his heart was at rest––maybe for the first time in his life.

When Carl had free time he carved on a broken piece of barn wood: Boy, you done good.*

Carl would have been embarrassed if his uncle saw his little plaque, so he tucked it away for safekeeping.

When it was time for Carl to return home, he grew anxious and upset. He knew his parents would not welcome him warmly. He resolved not to tell them about the work he’d done for his uncle. He was certain their response would not be uplifting and he couldn’t bare the sting of it.

Once Carl was home things were different. His circumstances hadn’t change, but he had changed. He was not the same insecure boy who left home that summer. Somehow, having his uncle’s approval was what Carl needed to change the trajectory of his life.

From that summer on, Carl turned over a new leaf. Up to that point he had been insecure and unable to see himself as anything more than a lazy looser according to the script his parents had planted in his head.

But Carl’s experience with his uncle gave him the courage to begin working odd jobs. When he earned enough money to buy himself acceptable clothing. His parents ignored his accomplishment.

Carl went to his room, fighting back feelings of inadequacy. But then, Carl’s courage returned when his gaze fell upon the little plaque he’d engraved. Somehow, reading his uncle’s words flooded courage back into his mind. He thought, Uncle believes I can do good. Then good I will do.

Carl drifted off to sleep anticipating next summer when he would work with his uncle and once again hear him say, “Boy, you done good.”  

The Voice in Your Head

Why is it that the voice in our heads can make or break us?

For some, like Carl, hurtful scripts can be crushing. For others, if their parents spoke words of affirmation there’s a good chance they felt loved and appreciated, maybe too appreciated.

Parents can give their kids an overinflated ego if their compliments aren’t coupled with wisdom.

What About You?

Were your parents absent or neglectful? Like Carl’s parents, did their words beat you down? Or perhaps your parents uplifted you to the point of arrogance while pushing you toward perfection. Here are some common scripts with which people struggle:

  • You’ll never amount to anything
  • You’re smart so you must push to perfection
  • You need a man to make you feel valued
  • You are an independent woman you don’t need to rely on a man

  • Do whatever it takes to win
  • Never trust a woman
  • Getting rich is the key to success
  • Don’t even try because you’ll fail anyway

What’s the voice in your head? What script do you play over and over that influences your worldview and self-perception?

Finding your identity in the voice in your head can be troublesome if it wasn’t grounded in God’s wisdom and love. But, what can you do about it? How can you lose the script your parents gave you and replace it with right thinking? Let’s unpack this shall we?

1. Discover Who You Are

Whether the script in your mind tells you, You’ll never amount to anything or You are exceptional so you must push for perfection, with God’s help you can discern deceptions imprinted from your upbringing and discover who you really are in Christ.

If you have repented of your sins and are wholeheartedly surrendered to Jesus, then you have been made new. Your identity is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says your sufficiency is from God. In Christ alone, God views you as His child, and He adores you. Let this extraordinary concept wash over you. Learn more about knowing Christ.

2. Study Scripture

Whoever you think you are will be distorted without seeing yourself through The Father’s eyes. “You will never see yourself more clearly than through the lens of scripture.”*

This means studying the Bible is the key to realizing your worth. Washing your mind with Truth is the secret to undoing whatever distorted concept you have of yourself. So, if you’re too busy to study the Bible, you are too busy.

This practice is essential to losing the script your parents gave you because God’s word is quick and powerful and will help you discern the thoughts and intents of your heart (Hebrews 4:12).

3. Memorize Scripture

Psalms 119: 11 says, “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God.” Memorizing scripture is essential to redirect self-promoting or self-destructive thinking.

Your own sinful nature and Satan can use your parent’s words to imprint upon you an ungodly sense self-worth. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to un-think the script in your head is not an effective course of action.

You must arm yourself with the sword of the word. It is your defensive weapon for warfare. In my own experience, rehearsing scriptures I’ve memorized always leads to victory over wrong thinking.

I believe this practice will help you too.

4. Seek out Godly Mentors

God has given you the body of Christ to help you grow. Fellowshipping regularly with a church-family of fellow sojourners will uplift you. Attend Bible studies or small groups so you can become involved and transparent with other believers.

Don’t pretend that you have it all together or hide behind your insecurities. This won’t help you create genuine relationships with people who can help you. Ask trusted friends to pray for you. This is vital in your battle against your mind.

Inviting prayer support is not only wise, it is essential as you wrestle against unbiblical thinking.

Whether the script in your head has brought you to arrogance or despair, God doesn’t want you to stay stuck. He saved you for Himself and He has a plan for you life. 

Take the Next Step

The sooner you resolve to renew your mind in truth, the better equipped you’ll be to live out God’s purpose for your life. Discovering who you really are in Christ, while studying and memorizing scripture is key to victory.

And, like the influence Carl’s uncle had upon him, when you invite godly mentors into your life, they can uplift you and help you replace a deceptive script with triumphant truth!

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*Excerpts from Rhonda’s Book: Moms Raising Sons to Be Men (Harvest House Publishers)

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes

Author Rhonda StoppeRhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women build no-regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching and zeal as an evangelist. She’s committed to fulfilling the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching, and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture, and easy to read––like you're visiting with a friend over coffee. 

Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs, including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, & hosts The No Regrets Hour. Her new podcast, Old Ladies Know Stuff, just launched. She’s an evangelist and speaker at women’s events, College Women’s Chapel, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and Homeschool Conventions. Sharing the gospel at her NoRegretsWoman Conference is her sweet spot. Rhonda is a regular contributor for Crosswalk and many other magazines. Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who for 20 years has pastored First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and ten grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching, and book Rhonda for your next event, visit:

Instagram: @RhondaStoppe Twitter: @RhondaStoppe FB Page: Rhonda Stoppe No Regrets Woman YouTube: Rhonda Stoppe No Regrets Woman

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