I had to think long and hard about what I was going to put on this page tonight...........................
long and hard.
You see when I created this blog I swore to myself that I would be honest even raw at times despite how it made me feel. I also swore that I wouldn't make light of things that were important or skirt around issues that needed to be addressed but I also didn't want to make enemies on my own. I wanted my blog to speak truth as lovingly as possible but at the same time spur in every reader a level of self awareness that would drive them to look deeper and critically assess their own position. I can only hope that while this post will most definitely offend a few it will drive many to critically assess their own response to their parents as they age.......
We pulled up in the driveway per the request of an elderly man and his wife........ "give the horn a honk, his truck is here I'm sure he'll come right out!"
So I do as I'm told, knowing full well that the likelihood of that is slim to none.
Who's house are we at? The soft yet commanding voice comes from the back..... "were at our sons house, didn't you want to see him?" Well, yes, that would be nice, we haven't seen him in a while she says. You can hear the desire in her voice the longing to connect with the one she hasn't seen or heard from in "a while" as she puts it.
We sit in the driveway for a bit, I see movement in the house but no need to point it out it will simply cause more sadness. After some time the elder speaks up "I guess we better go". I am very happy to oblige this request because I can't handle the elephant sitting in the car with us it's quite stifling and so very depressing at the same time. As I go to back out a young voice from the back says "he's coming to the door.... the man who owns the house he's there he was at the window". The elder asks me to stop the car and we wait some more........ you can see the sorrow in his eyes as he looks at the door, waiting for it to open but it doesn't. After a few moments I am forced to ask a question I would rather not, "Would you like me to pull back up?" "No, he replies let's go". That moment the moment when you know what is next, the moment when you see on his face the despair and the sadness that goes without saying and then like a bomb the soft yet commanding voice from the back says, "guess he doesn't want to see us".
The level of disappointment in her voice is so evident it is almost
unbearable and even the children in the car are brought to silence.
It is a sad day for this elder man and his wife.
As we pull away he is silent but the burden of the experience is so shattering that he cannot keep it within, the shoulders take on a different shape his head hangs low and it is clear his heart is so heavy with pain that he can barely keep himself composed.
How exceptionally cruel I think to myself that a child would do this to their parent. Will mine do this to me? I should hope not. What would drive a person to be so selfish, so thoughtless, so heartless? All these questions are only helpful if you care about the answer but honestly I haven't found a bible verse that would condone this behavior at all so I am forced to move on to consider that this person is better considered a follower of his own pleasures than that of the Almighty.
In a desperate attempt to understand God's expectations of us I wanted to ensure that I understood the command and the promise.
Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deu 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mat 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mar 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Luk 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
WOW, no really WOW..... God seems to think that honoring our parents is a BIG DEAL...... and so should we! You see He gave us a promise, two actually.
One, if we honor our parents our days on this earth will be long.
Two, if we honor our parents He says the benefit is that it may go well with us on earth.....
Ironically the one thing I really was looking for was an excuse from this commandment, something that could help me rationalize the behaviors of "christians" who don't honor their parents but I didn't find that anywhere in scripture.
You see all of us don't have picture perfect parents. We all disagree on some level about how they did or didn't do something and we probably even swore we'd do it differently when we got children. Some of us are a product of an alcoholic or an abusive parent but God didn't give exceptions to this commandment. He never put a clause on it telling us we got a free pass if we were too offended by our parents behavior or if we disagreed with their parenting approach. As a matter of fact, there are ZERO options to negotiate on giving them the honor God says to give.
Wanna know the craziest thing yet, we don't get a pass on this one and it looks like He had a few things to say about people who failed to honor their parents......
Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.
I'm no different than a lot of people. I have differing opinions about parenting than my parents but it's ok. I'm a unique individual and even the bad times for me were opportunities to grow. I'd rather be a wise son/daughter than to fall into the category of a foolish son/daughter who despises my parents. You see there isn't a way to sweep this fact under the rug.
HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER
It isn't a gentle request, it's a commandment.
It doesn't come with clauses or exceptions. It doesn't say "honor them if your comfortable with how they raised you" or "honor them only after you work out your own feelings" it simply says, Honor your father and mother.
And if for some reason you're confused about how you might honor your parents even if you don't care for them here are a few verses that might simplify the issue.......
Every believer is to live as best they can by following God's examples and commands........ here are a few....
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
And of course we all know the fruits of the spirit. It may be hard but again this isn't a negotiation it's God's command so quite trying to negotiate and do as you have been commanded.