Can't We Please Think About the Parents? (Ten Commandments Redux part 5)

#5 "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

I hope filial piety in our society is not completely outmoded. But what if our parent(s) have in some way let us down? My mom, honestly, wasn't so stellar an example of motherhood. The commandment does say to honor your parents, though. Paul takes it one step further in Ephesians (6:1) where he says to "obey your parents". He qualifies it by saying "in the Lord". If a parent is telling you to do something you know would conflict with God's guidance then you're off the hook, so to speak. Here you see the distinction between obedience and honor. Numerous ways did my mother subtly neglect me and my emotional and spiritual development. Here's the rub: she's the woman who God ordained to bring me (and my baby brother) into this world. This fact is unassailable and irreproachable. And if I'm not willing to forgive her for the mistakes and wounds she carried with her into marriage and then motherhood, then I will make my own version of the same. The Strong's definition for "honor" implies that we carry the burden of their legacy. This is a loose translation but if you try it on, it fits. We're either elevated by their selflessness—as evinced by my dad's influence—or held back and kept down. But my earthly father wasn't perfect either as I found the older I got. The good news is that wherever one or both of your parents let you down, God will be that parent in your life to fulfill whatever the maternal- or paternal-specific qualities that are integral and essential to your life as a man or woman of God.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." (Psalm 27:10)

In closing, the parent/child dynamic is so complex as to warrant an exclusive library. Suffice it to say that I am grateful for whatever gifts I inherited from both parents and I do honor to them as I use those gifts to please God and bless humanity.

And I have forgiven my parents. 

My Gospel

For You, An Abundant Harvest (Fruits of the Spirit Epilogue)