Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” NKJV
The event that prompted this devotional article was in a store the other day. I had the misfortune of being behind a young woman in the check-out line that had a brat in tow. That child was not only demonstrating incredible unruliness but disrespect to a level that caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up, but I held my tongue. The mother was clearly distraught and struggling with the cost of what she had in her basket. I know that from her appearance, and what she said to the child.
The child was demanding several items that she had not put in the basket and she calmly tried to explain that it was not something that they could afford at this time and since it was near time to have lunch he could have no candy. He threw a fit and said, “You b**** you are just no good.” My face obviously turned red in indignation (righteous or not). I had to restrain myself from speaking but I did and prayed silently for the mother and the child. She had tears well up in her eyes but did not move with anger toward the child. Her approach was to attempt to ignore his ranting which was becoming noticed by people in our line and several lines over and I could tell others were having the same reaction as I.
I will confess that if that had been me with one of mine when we got out of the store if we made it that far he would have experienced the board of correction on his backside. Criticize me if you desire and think less of me if you will but I believe that there is a time for corporal punishment and that was one of those. I cannot imagine ever saying anything like that to either of my parents. It would not have been tolerated and I had enough respect for them to never go there. Oh, there were times they made me angry and I totally disagreed with them but I never failed to “honor them” and “respect them” even if there were times when out of their sight I did not “obey them.”
My maternal grandfather lived to be almost 101 and one of the things that he instilled in me from the earliest memories of him was that you “respected” and “honored” your parents. My parents taught me the same and my dear mother lived well into her 90s, so I have and have had visible examples of people fulfilling this commandment and achieving great longevity. I do believe that God honors those who honor their parents. I realize that some have had parents that are completely dishonorable yet still gave them honor as the parent. I am not suggesting that you blindly obey whatever is said by a person of that ilk but you can give them honor without allowing them to negatively shape your life. But to call your mother a “B****” is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! That mother and child both needed help. The child needed someone to get his attention and explain right and wrong and the mother needed guidance in giving “tough love” and “discipline” to that unruly child. If she and her husband fail to do so that child is being abused in a way that is even worse than some physical abuse and I do not condone or tolerate that. In today’s society parenting is difficult, especially in public because if she did what was needed she would likely have incurred the ire of some governmental agency. But, that child needed some tough love and discipline!
Children – Honor your father and mother. Parents – Teach your children discipline. Family – help the younger parents be able to provide consistent, godly, discipline and in so doing you are LOVING THE CHILD more than you will possibly ever know.
May God be with you as you go through your day!