Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
As I scribble this, I sit quietly in my father’s room ~~ in a nursing rehab facility. It is the night before his 87th birthday. I never thought I would see him like this ~~ physically weak and oh so challenged in the routine tasks of daily life. This is the man who read all the labels and ate the right portions of all food groups. This is the man who believed in exercising right up until he became dependent upon his walker less than a year ago.
It’s hard sometimes to see him like this ~~ the strength now gone out of his frail body. The prescription meds causing him to have uncontrollable reactions ~~ and I can clearly see his frustration.
Things were far from Ozzie & Harriet back in the days of my childhood. But I was always taught by “mama” (not my biological mother) to honor and respect my parents ~~ no matter what. As an immature adolescent I disagreed and was very angry for my living situation. As a young adult, I harboured resentment, anger, and unforgiveness.
It wasn’t until these recent years ~~ did I allow The Holy Spirit to melt my heart of stone towards those who had created an environment for me that was slightly less than desirable. I seemed to always hear “mama” say, always honor and respect your parents. I fought and wrestled an internal battle ~~ seemingly defending myself and shouting back how I was the one who suffered wrong. ‘GOD, I was the victim ~~ and yet You want me to WHAT?!’
Let me share with you, Girlfriend, a pivotal moment ~~ a defining moment ~~ in my spiritual walk ~~
God called me to obedience through forgiveness.
In a moment of reflection upon my own Blessings of three wonderful children of my own, The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had a heart of stone that needed to be melted towards those who had ‘wronged me’ through their decisions when I was just an infant. As much as I tried to ‘reason’ with God that I was the victim, the more He impressed upon me that I was the one on whom He was doing the open heart surgery. This ‘revelation’ came over the course of several weeks ~~ and when I finally confessed my hardness, He began to transform me from deep within those hidden recesses of my heart. And the burden began to lift.
My Heavenly Father got through to me ~~ in a way that has allowed me to be softer and compassionate, not only as a parent to my own children, but to my parents and other people with whom I come in contact. I’m understanding more fully the true meaning of parenthood and the sacrifices one makes and the sins along the way. I’m grasping that there are irrevocable mistakes along the journey, but there is grace to ask for forgiveness even from one’s own children. I’m comprehending the meaning of training up a child in the way he should go ~~ far beyond the superficiality of manners and proper etiquette and career choices and educational importance.
As my parents live out these later years of their lives, however many The Lord sees fit to grant them, I continue to honor and respect them to the end ~~ for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
If you have experienced or are presently experiencing a difficult time with your parents ~~ if you’ve not resolved a severed or broken relationship, but The Lord calls you to peace with them, I pray, Girlfriend, that you will allow the God Who Created you and knows you to redeem what is possible for Him to mend. He was there all along and is waiting for you to allow Him to move you. Let Him.
I encourage you to share your experiences here ~~ it is my deepest HOPE that another Sister will be Blessed and possibly find healing for her own situation.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~