July 27, 2006

Honor Your Father and Your Mother

Posted in family, scripture at 8:32 am by Jerry

I’ve been wanting to blog over the last week or two, but have been getting a variety of common illnesses (cold & flu) that have kept my creative juices at a minimum. However, while I was being nursed by my lovely wife, I have had time to daydream.

If you’ve read my wife’s blog, you’d know that I’m gonna be a father in January. It’s an exciting time. I can’t wait to hold the little one in my arms. And, of course, I’ve been daydreaming about what kind of father I’ll be. It’s frustrating because I can explore possibilities, but I can never assume any father style other than my own style of responding to different developing personalities. So, I’m just patiently waiting to discover WHO this little one is.

On a related topic, I’ve also been daydreaming about one of the ten commandments:

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. Exodus 20:13 NASB

What does it mean to ‘honor your father and your mother’? I don’t think this is under the assumption that you don’t honor others, is it? Then, does it mean to honor them MORE? How should our parents be treated different than anyone else?

(One of the reasons I ask this question, is because I will have a little one watching my behavior, learning from how I treat others. This little one will eventually recognize what kind of respect I have for my parents, and possibly mimic that respect for me, and Becky. This little one will be challenging me in so many ways!)

I suppose, to have something to work with, I could say, supporting them at those times when they need it most, might be an example of honoring our parents. But we do that for others as well. Not everyone. But children usually have people other than their parents they are closely tied to, or committed to care about.

And so, I will continue to daydream about this enigma. If any of you reading this have thoughts about what it means to “honor your father and your mother” I’d love to hear from you.

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6 Comments »

  1. Tara said,

    Here are some of my random thoughts…

    I think to honor your parents – and why it’s specified to parents – is give some love back to them, some respect. Afterall, they are the folks that brought us into this world – no matter how good or bad they are. Without them, we would not exsist. Honor to me means more than love. Love is important too… but honor is something deeper, more meaningful. To honor someone you look up to them, respect them, to care about them, to obey… It also leaves some emotion out of it though too. When I think of honoring someone, I don’t necessarily feel all mushy and lovey about them.

    I’ll have to think some more about it and see if I can pound it down into some more concrete thought.

  2. Jerry said,

    Impressive random thoughts, Tara. You’ve certainly given me something to think (or daydream) about.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you tapped into a morality that is inherent in humanity itself. I never thought of a respect that is deeper and more meaningful than love. But maybe you’re talking about a universal experience – when we respect our parents, we’re respecting mother nature’s impersonal, but beautiful work in the bringing about of our existence. It’s acknowledging the bigger (awe-inspiring) picture.

    And maybe love is the smaller picture. Maybe, to love, is a particular, personal experience that involves more of the “mushy” emotions that come with attachments.

  3. Shuana said,

    Congratulations! This new life will definitely cause you to rethink and reconsider many things you thought you were sure about…that is when you get time to daydream. 🙂

  4. Jerry said,

    Thanks Shauna! Even though I’m a little scared, I’m so looking forward to the adventure I’ll have with the little one.

  5. Sharon said,

    Well to give you a background of what I’ve been through, my parents are not making it easy for me to get married to my fiance. Despite the struggles and faults on both sides, it is very difficult for me to honor them, when much of the time, I feel like I had been manipulated to order my fiance around. Now, I do not have much of a relationship with them, and I too am confused as to what God wants me to do in regards to honoring my parents. Now, I know very well that Christ died for me and forgives me constantly, but how awkward for me to try to restore the relationship I have with my parents! I don’t even know where to start, but I know I have to do it if I want to walk on this earth serving God with a clean conscience. Anyways, something I learned is that parents must never let their kids go when they are ready, but when it is evident that their child is ready. Another thing to keep in mind is that all that a parent can do is to advise and pray for their kids, and never push that advice on them. It is ultimately the child’s choice. Never under any circumstances do parents have a right to stop or postpone their child’s wedding if that child is evidently ready to get married.

    I hope you will be your child’s close friend and mentor. Please see his or her views and never assume you know better just because you are the elder. The ignorance of a parent is torture to his child. Ignorance is one of the best ways to provoke a child and destroy your relationship with your baby and your baby’s spouse in the future.

  6. Jerry said,

    “..parents must never let their kids go when they are ready, but when it is evident that their child is ready.”

    “Please see his or her views and never assume you know better just because you are the elder. The ignorance of a parent is torture to his child. Ignorance is one of the best ways to provoke a child and destroy your relationship with your baby and your baby’s spouse in the future.”

    Thanks for the wise words, Sharon.


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