Growing Old

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Exodus 20:12

I remember the days when I was growing up, and I will admit my first thought of the day was not about bringing honor to my parents. I sought my own way, and I wanted to do my own thing. I was headstrong, and more often than not, I was hard-headed. I only obeyed my parents so that I would avoid the spanking stick. The spanking stick and I were quite familiar with one another, and it knew more about my backside than my favorite pair of jeans. When I was young, I didn’t think about my days on the earth as death felt so far away. The older I get, the more I realize the brevity of life, and how precious the promise of this verse is.

I was 23 years old when Rebekah and I decided to get married, and at the time, I felt I was mature enough to do so. I did not realize how foolish I was, and I did not realize how much I still had to learn. My parents came down from Chicago during our engagement period to help us plan our wedding as we did not have an inkling of what needed to be done. My parents found Rebekah a dress, and they helped us work out the details of the reception, and the many other things we needed to do in preparation for the wedding. Rebekah and I were clueless of what to do, and we were grateful for the help.

My parents graciously provided the funds for the wedding and the reception, and helped to arrange the food and the reception hall where we go after the wedding. A caterer was secured and it was decided that we would have Mexican food for our reception. We both loved Mexican food, so we were all on board for that. Rebekah and I were discussing our reception, and she thought it would be a great idea to have champagne glasses with Martinelli’s sparkling cider. I thought this was a great idea, so I decided to pitch this great idea to my parents. I figured we were not having any alcohol, so this would be kind of like it without offending anyone.

No sooner had the words come out of my mouth that my mom responded with a resounding “no!”. The topic was not up for discussion, and she argued that it would give the appearance of us drinking alcohol, which in all honesty was the exact look I was going for. I became angry that she would not even discuss it, and I even reminded her that I was 23 years old. I told her I was old enough to make my own decision, and she sharply responded, “Then you are old enough to pay for your own wedding.” She made a point I could not argue with, and I spent the whole night upset and angry at her refusal to allow me to have champagne glasses with “bubbly” at my reception. I never took into account how this would look to our unsaved family members and what a horrible testimony it would be for those who thought I was truly drinking alcohol at my wedding. I did not consider how this would make my parents look because I cared more about what I wanted than I did about honoring them.

Ephesians 6:2 states, “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;” God has given this clear commandment to honor our parents, and he does not put a timeline when we are to quit honoring them. It has been a long time since I have had a disagreement with my parents or even been angry with them. I look back at all the times I was disobedient and all the times I shamefully brought them dishonor – the arguments I had with them, the phone calls from my teachers, the school suspensions, and even the expulsion from school. I never brought home honor roll stickers, and I seemed to always be into something. I was great about bringing shame and dishonor, but I was not great about bringing them honor as God has commanded me to do. My report cards never made the refrigerator, and I spent more time in the principal’s office than I did doing my homework. I cannot change how I was in the past, but I strive with God’s help to now be a son who honors his father and mother.

Where are you today friend? Do you have the blessing of having your parents still with you? How do you treat your them? Do you honor them or do you bring them dishonor? Are you a joy to be around or do your parents cringe when you come around? Proverbs 23:22,24-25 “Hearken (listen) unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.” May we not despise our parents as they get older, but may we listen to and honor them as God has commanded us. May we live a life that is pleasing to God, and may our life be one that is honoring to the ones God has given us as our parents. It is never too late to honor our parents, and it never too late to please our God.

Stay in the Fight!

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