God the Father spoke in The Old Testament Commandments:
These commands are our indictment! He gave us further instruction in The New Testament Commandments and in The Beatitudes. And then, Jesus the Christ provided our pardon!
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Commandments (5) - Helping Hands
"Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Deuteronomy 5:16
For some of us, the thoughts or memories of our father and mother bring joy and loving comfort to our souls. In such a case honoring them is really a pretty easy road to travel. What if the road was rough, rocky or even filled with treacherous terrain? What would God have us do when thoughts or memories are not so fond? Either way, it is a commandment!
Green Pastures or Trodden Ground?
In our childhood, we heard this verse saying, "Obey, do as your told and love your parents." What God is saying really goes much deeper. Pleasing the Lord has much more to do about the character building within us than it does about our parents deserving such honor.
"Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Ephesians
God is all knowing and not surprised if some of our memories are not as pleasant others. Life is not always fair and it is sometimes not so easy to see God in the midst of our circumstances. However, in saying that, a commandment is a commandment. When God says to honor your father and mother, He has added a promise about how things will go for you if you obey His command. The Bible has much to say about what we must do to inherit promised blessings from God. We would do well to pay attention to the "ifs, ands, and buts," God has included with His Christian growth instructions. We must also pay attention to those areas where He does not accept the "ifs, ands, and buts," His children may bring forth in protest. Belonging to Christ and being coheirs to the throne of God came at a huge price. Jesus paid that price, but we must come up out of the trenches and open our eyes and ears to what Almighty God has to say.
"May your father and mother be glad. May the woman who gave birth to you be happy." Proverbs 23:25
I have learned we do not all remember things the same from our past years. There may be many different advantage points from which every experience is seen. It does not matter how many people are involved, each one sees from his own perspective. Actions we remember may not always reflect the intended purpose. Perceived past wrongs are best forgiven, left with God and leaving us with the ability to move forward in a conviction to love others as He has loved us.
"Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him." Psalms 127:3
I was extremely fortunate to be raised in a loving home with really wonderful parents who acknowledged their children as precious gifts from God. When friends have revealed the opposite is true for them, it makes me so sad that their parents did not recognize them in that way. I've actually experienced feelings of guilt in having such a great family life growing up. I really got my "hard knocks" later in life. Truth is, we all experience some.
When we honor our parents and show them love and respect, deserved or undeserved, it can help to make important changes within them. Ideally our parents should be teaching us about God's love. If they cannot, it may be up to us to teach them. Most important in the learning process is our ability to love unconditionally and our desire to seek His wisdom in all things. IN FAITH, HE...knows our pain and how to carry us through difficult times. He also knows what brings us joy and has a wonderful plan for that as well!
"But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear." Matthew 13:16
We may not always be the recipients of those virtues God teaches in His Word. Our senses can become distorted and our resolve weakened. However, His blessings are ours when we seek to see, hear and do things according to His will. Paul exhorts the Philippian church, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ...you all are partakers with me of grace." Philippians 1:6, 7b
Our strength will come from Him when we go forward, trusting with a believing faith that He will finish the good work He has started in us. We cannot know the mind of God, but He can teach us to see and hear with His heart!
Help me to remember at all times, YOU are God and I am not. Thank You for the saving grace and forgiveness of my sins against You and others. Give me strength to extend mercy to those I may not agree are worthy!