“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” Exodus 20:12
As a child, I remember that I did not always agree with my parents, especially when it came to things I wanted, and they said I could not have. My response was often to go to my room to sulk and cry. I know my thoughts about their response was often not pleasant especially when a group of us would get together in our little boy pity parties. We would complain about how we hated our parents. I do want to point out that we had discussed the theological implication of such thoughts as one of our group reminded us that we were to honour our parents. However, we had our own little interpreter who assured us that honour and love were two different things and we did not have to love them, so it was OK to think these thoughts. When I think of those times, I recall how Jesus told us that we must be like little children to enter His kingdom, and yet He must have known that even children possessed evil thoughts.
As children we played a dangerous game of interpreting God’s Word to meet our needs; a game that has been perfected by much of the world. Whether it was purposeful or through ignorance, we ignored all the places in the Word where God revealed the honourable responsibility that He gave to parents. He has entrusted them with the role of leading their children to His kingdom. Because God loves the world, He shared His Word with us and revealed some of His nature through scripture. If we view the 10 Commandments as behavioural traits of God vice seeing them as Do’s and Don’ts, then honouring our parents becomes the ultimate act of love. He asks us to honour our parents because He loves them, and He honoured them by blessing them with us.
This Monday I will bury a friend who was certainly loved by her family. As I spent time with the family listening to stories and looking at pictures, it was obvious that they enjoyed spending time together. We know that is not the case in all families. We know that some people reading this article may not have a good relationship with one or both of their parents. We dare not profess to understand the circumstances of your situation nor do we wish to suggest it can be easily fixed. We can only pray that you will be willing to talk with your heavenly Father about it so He can help you honour your parents through reconciliation.
To be the parent or child that God desires, we all need His help. Pray that God our Father help us understand His will. Ask the Holy Spirit to influence our understanding of His will. Pray for parents who love us. Pray for parents who need to wake up to their calling of being obedient, loving teachers of the kingdom. Pray today for military parents and ask God’s grace over them as they raise their children in a unique environment.