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 some time back. 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 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 have rushed out of the store, if we made it that far, and 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 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 he instilled in me from the earliest memories of him was, you “respected” and “honored” your parents.  My parents taught me the same thing.  I have and have had visible examples of people fulfilling this commandment and longevity.  I believe that one of the rewards to be enjoyed is a long life.  No, I am not saying that those who die early did not honor their parents but incorporated in that blessing is the hope of longevity! 

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 need help.  The child needs someone to get his attention and explain right and wrong and the mother needs 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.

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!

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