Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear Kids: Honor your father and mother...

"Honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the land that the Lord your God is giving to you." - Exodus 20:12

College is exciting. But if I'm being honest I was most excited about going to college for two reasons: I wanted to get away from Iowa and I didn't want to live with my parents any longer than necessary. So, I did exactly as I planned and moved 1500 miles from home to start a completely new adventure, one that I didn't think would include my parents in any aspect. Recently, I was able to go home for the first time in over 11 weeks. I will be the first to admit that I have struggled with respecting my parents since I was born. However since college and visiting home I have been able to reflect just how much Jesus is changing me, and how much more I value and respect my parents now.

As I wrote, visiting home has made me appreciate both of my parents so much more. I am finally starting to learn just how much they really do love and care for me. The Lord has been teaching me that in order for me to grow closer with Him I need to do a better job of respecting and loving my parents.
However, not until college did I realize just how selfless both my parents were to me and continue to be to my younger sisters. My dad spends his days traveling and working extremely hard. He shows his love towards me and my sisters by providing for us in more ways than one. My dad is one of the most driven people I know and I am beyond thankful for him and his work ethic. My mom works part time, and is by far the most selfless in my family. She has tended to our every need from infancy. Need something from school? Mom's on it. Feeling sick and need a nurse? Momma is there (plus she is actually a nurse, which makes for an extra special caretaker). Her compassion and love for us is overwhelming and I forever grateful for her.

Most importantly my parents together have helped me in every step of my spiritual walk with the Lord. I would not be the person I am today without them, so I think I need to make it a priority to respect them and their wishes. Now that doesn't mean I see eye to eye with them on everything, but I owe it to my parents and myself to respect and honor the people who mean the most to me. By the Grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, and support from my parents I am continuing to grow into a woman after God's own heart.

When we look at the Bible, God is very clear on what he wants from us. We are called to Honor our father and mother. Honor means to "regard with great respect". I don't know about any of you readers, but according to the Bible and that definition, I have done a pretty cruddy job of respecting my parents with high regard. Now with that in mind, God leaves us a promise at the end of this verse! This part gets so overlooked but I think it is actually very important! God is telling us that when we choose to honor and respect our parents, we will live a long life and a much better one at that! How are we supposed to live the life we are called to live if we can't even respect our parents? I have pondered this for quite some time and have come to the realization that if we don't give our parents the respect and honor they deserve, we cannot and will not grow closer in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Only when we choose to appreciate, value and cherish our parents will our relationship with Jesus grow and we will be blessed!

Let us make it a priority to give our parents the respect they deserve, so that we may live long lives full of blessing and promise!

In Christ,

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