Honor Thy Father and Mother
Notes from the Book: God gave us ten rules to live by. The first four deal with our relationship to Him. The last five deal with our relationship with other people. The fifth rule has been called the centerpiece of God's law. "Honor thy father and mother" involves both our relationship with God and with our fellow men. When God made man He also set up the pattern by which men must live together. First a man and a woman come together in marriage, and out of the union come children...As the child learns to love and respect its parents, so later does it love and respect God.
1) the parents must be honorable.
2) the children should recognize, respect, and love their parents.
3) we must recognize our debt to the past and be thankful for it.
Mother's Notes Written in the Margins: Mother had a lot to write in this portion of the book. Not only did Mother have a lot of respect and honor for her parents (even with their imperfections) she had the honor and respect from her children. My brother and I knew, without a doubt, that our parents loved us. They were far from perfect, but they were the perfect parents for us.
One of the notes Mother made struck me. "Grow up to be like the parents" she penned. This was close to a paragraph that tells of a mother who took her son to the zoo. When he saw some young wildcats in a cage, he asked, "What are those?" The mother answered, "Wildcats."
Like most children, he pondered for a moment and then asked, "Why are they wildcats."
"Because," the mother said, "their parents are wildcats."
My Thoughts and Notes: I understand not everyone is blessed with loving parents who also love Jesus. I know that many who may read these words will say, "My mother never touched me...hugged me...said she loved me..." or "My father's way of showing love was a roof over our heads, a meal in our stomachs and a strap if we misbehaved."
I understand. I just was blessed otherwise. There is not a day that goes by that I don't pray my children will see me with the same love and respect as I had for my parents. If anything, their amazing parenting is one of the things that makes me miss them all the more.
My husband did not have such parents as I had. Yet, he is a marvelous father. But his greatest joy is seeing that his children are better parents than he. His prayer is that, whatever he got right, they will imitate and whatever he got wrong, they'll learn from...grow from...do better from.
If you have good parents, give them a call or go into the next room and say, "Thanks. Even for the things you didn't get right. Thanks."
If you had good parents, give a thanks to God and set your mind on imitating and doing better.
If you didn't, I ask you to look beyond what they were to you and try to see what their parents were to them. Then, with prayer (and therapy if you need it), you be the parents to your children you always wanted your parents to be to you.
Mother and Daddy: I love you. I miss you. You were the best!
(Photo taken of Eva Marie Everson and Van Purvis with Betty Purvis (top), Eva Marie and Van with Preston Purvis (bottom) c. 1962.)