Skip to main content

Are you qualified?

Have you caught any shows on TV lately that depict the 'family life'? I have seen one or two, but let me tell you - they aren't the Waltons or Cleavers of days gone by! In fact, I usually don't go back to watch more than one episode because what I see is just too hard to watch! It seems parents are just not held in the same "honor" as they were in times past. Look at an old episode of the Waltons, Leave it to Beaver, or Little House on the Prairie - then compare the "honor" a parent received in the past with how a parent is treated today in one of these newer 'family life' shows! You may be saying, "Yeah, but come on, those shows depicted the ways families should be!" Exactly! the fact remains, we have been instructed to "honor" our parents, something we do well at times, but then we fail miserably at others.

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)

This is what theologians refer to as a command with a promise - one of those "meet this" and "get this" kind of deals promised in scripture! This is our fifth in a series of "rules" given to us - designed to keep us safe from life's pitfalls. In this "rule" of living, God reminds us of the importance of honoring our parents - giving them respect, esteeming their "skill" as a parent (even when it isn't quite perfect), and even overlooking their "lack of skill" (because none of us will be perfect this side of the grave)! The crux of the word "honor" really is to "revere". We are to revere our parents - not the same awe or reverence we give to God - but simply and deeply being in respect of their position as the authority over our lives for our "growing up" days. Even when the "growing up" is officially done because we are out on our own, we still have a whole lot left to do, so the reverence or honor never really stops!

Some are probably thinking, "Yeah, but you have never met MY parents!" They may not be ideal, but they are our parents! Their "skill" as parents may not be great, but the fact remains, they ARE our parents! We are asked to honor them in recognition of their position, not always their "qualities" as our parents. If we were all judged by our "qualities" most of us would fall far short of many standards in life, right? We may have a parent who struggles with life's dominating sins such as alcoholism, drug abuse, or simply any other form of self-defeating behavior we could imagine - even being an "absent" parent. Their "example" may not "measure up", but their position as our parent does not change. In fact, God still asks for us to honor them. He is not asking us to hold them up as perfect examples we should "model". He may only be asking us to not "turn on them" with unkind words, disrespectful attitudes, and anger.

In fact, the "job" of parenting in the natural sense does not come to those who are the best qualified! There is no "pre-test" to ensure only the best and most qualified get the position of "parent"! This being the case, we sometimes don't see the best examples of parents - folks who probably should never have brought a child into this world are doing it all the time! Does God expect their children to honor them? Yes! Not for their sinfulness or selfishness, but for their "position" as parent. We don't hold them up on a pedestal. We don't follow in their footsteps of sinfulness. We simply remember their position as "coverings" over our lives for a period of time. In some cases, the "covering" is a little flawed - filled with all kinds of holes! For those of you with this example of parent - pray for them! Don't become bitter toward them! Learn to turn their self-absorbed behaviors into a matter of prayer, not bitter rehearsal of their faults.

In honoring them, we are actually honoring God. In refusing to become bitter toward them, we are modeling the grace of God. In lifting them up before God we are actually respecting them as God asks. We refuse to give into our desire to abandon them to their own sin - instead, we take them repeatedly before the throne of grace, petitioning God to touch their hearts in some manner. This is not the easiest of commandments - in fact, it may be the most difficult of them! Especially for those with parents who are abusive, anger-filled, manipulative, or given to some life-dominating sin. Yet, it comes with the blessing of God's protection over our lives! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean