Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are fast approaching the horizon of our calendars. The only one of the Ten Commandments that contains a promise is the one about honoring father and mother. But how do we honor them? How we would like our children to honor us?
I’ve never been one for ‘blind obedience’ from our children. Of course, rebellion is not what I have in mind, either! But not the finger-pointing, power-hungry, ‘do what I say or else’ kind of parent or grandparent. To cower in fear in my presence never is my idea of being honored.
Honor should be earned as well as given. There are parents who have forfeited their right to be honored because they have violated their godly parental roles. Overstepped bounds that should never have been crossed. Respect and honor–given and earned. You know what I mean.
Here’s a question? How do we honor our parents that are long gone? Like mine. I think of them often. How to honor them? Or would the commandment only apply to living parents? Holidays raise lots of questions. In the church I last served, I was always conscious that these parenting holidays are fraught with emotional pitfalls. Some of our members never had children. Others had children they were alienated from with all the hurt you could imagine. Others faced the terrible burden of outliving their children. A few, too many really, had parents that were in name only. What I would do in worship on Mother’s and Father’s Day was ask for those who wanted to share uplifting blessings about their children, or tell about other’s children that they felt close to like they were their own, or about their parents who were so good to them. I also wanted to leave silent space for those too pained to speak. I wanted to honor them as well.
As these holidays come, be sensitive to fellow believers who have much hurt in their hearts. Maybe a hug, without a spoken word, would be the best gift. As far as honoring our parents, the best honor my children could ever give me would be for them to know, love and serve the Lord. That’s how I feel. Can you think of a better way to honor your parents, alive or not, than to live for Him?
So, my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren, live for Jesus! Know Him. Accept Him into your life. Study Him from the only source of truth, the Bible. From that, and from Him, you’ll know all about respect, love and honor. That’s it. That’s all. Enough said from Dad, Father-in-Law, Step-Dad and Silly Papa!
Prayer: God our Father, thank you for sending your only Son Jesus to die for us who believe in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.