Monday, February 23, 2009

Honour

Honour - to show respect; regard well, admire, esteem, give consideration, implying obedience. A tall order. An often difficult task requiring accompanying submission.

In today's passage we read, "Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense." An asterix beside the word "dishonors" further explained: "Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of". Ok...is that speaking to anyone other than me?

I often find that the commandment to "honour your parents" is one of the hardest commandments to follow. It's not that I don't love my parents. I love them deeply and believe they are the best Mom and Dad in the world. I sometimes struggle with drawing the line between honouring them and their wishes when I don't always agree with their choices.

In Exodus 20:12 God wrote, "Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." A commandment with a promise. Again, as in today's reading, honouring parents is connected to length of life. God truly desires for us to honour our parents and rewards us for doing so.

I read recently that we can honour our parents through L.O.V.E. We can Listen to them, "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old", Proverbs 23:22; Obey them, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right, 'Honor your father and mother' - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth" Ephesians 6:1-3; Volunteer to help them; and Enjoy being with them.

It's possible that someone reading this feels justified in ignoring this command because of treatment received, or not received, at the hands of your parents, however, it is still God's desire that we honour Mom and Dad. The Lord will one day deal with any abuse you may have received.

Honouring our parents must go beyond words. The Israelites were continually guilty of honouring God with their lips, while their actions made Him appear worthless, Isaiah 29:13. We can do the same in our relationship with our parents. We need to show them that we honour them in word and deed.

Honouring our parents is not always easy. It can be a daily struggle. A struggle that needs to be surrendered at the foot of the cross, but we can honour our parents as an act of worship to our Savior.

I think we have to remember our parents aren't perfect (neither are we!). We can be thankful for the good we have received while not allowing what they did, or failed to do, dictate our future.

The Lord has blessed me with incredible parents. They continue to shower me with love and I know that they pray for me daily. I live very close to them and see them often. (Dad has a great treadmill that I try to use five times a week.) At 83 years of age they are both experiencing challenges. As some of you know, Dad is scheduled for surgery a week tomorrow, March 3rd. Tonight I am attending a seminar at our church on Caring for Aging Parents. It's funny....I don't dare tell my Mom I'm going to this because, one, she doesn't see herself as "aging" and two, I'm sure they are convinced that they don't need care :o)

Writing this has reminded me of an old Chris Christian song. I couldn't find it on You Tube, but I hope you let these lyrics minister to your heart and love them while you can.

Verse:
They tied our shoes, took us to school, patched our worn-out jeans
They soothed our tears and calmed our fears, and listened to our dreams
Somewhere along their golden years, their hair has lost its sheen
The notes to hymn one hundred ten crackle when they sing
And now they are alone, no children's voices fill their empty homes

Chorus:
We must love them while we can, we must love them while we can
For time just seems to hurry by, and the days slip into years
And the moments that we have will disappear
So love them while we can

Verse:
The folks that taught us our first words, still have much to say
The silver secrets of the world, lie beneath those crowns of gray
As they approach the end, we change our role from children to best friend

Chorus:
We must love them while we can, we must love them while we can
For time just seems to hurry by, and the days slip into years
And the moments that we have will disappear
So love them while we can

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4 comments:

lisasmith said...

Joy--You are a blessing! Thank you for your sweet words this morning...I totally meant to put those verses from Proverbs in my post I just got sidetracked because it was so late last night :) Thanks!

Due to my bout with the stomach bug this weekend, I am a little behind on my reading but hope to catch up today...I'm looking forward to it.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

What a blessing for your parents to live so close and also be close friends to you!
I love the song you posted. Am tempted to send it to my three grown kids! ha

Love ya,
Marilyn

Laura said...

"It's possible that someone reading this feels justified in ignoring this command because of treatment received, or not received, at the hands of your parents, however, it is still God's desire that we honour Mom and Dad. The Lord will one day deal with any abuse you may have received."

I struggle with this,Joy. Thank you for this post. It has encouraged me to use L.O.V.E.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Such a good word for me today, as I am struggling with some thoughts regarding my own parents, Joy. Prayed for you and your parents last night. Will continue to do so as God brings them to mind. My friend Beth is not doing well...back in the hospital for extended swelling and numbness, unable to walk at this point. Something happened with her surgery...just don't know at this point.

peace~elaine