Since Mother’s Day was recently celebrated and we will celebrate Father’s Day in June, it got me to thinking. Does a mother stop being your mother once you have a family of your own? Or does your father stop being your father once you have a family of your own? It seems today that many young adults think that. They no longer feel that they “need” their parents and so they just start excluding them from their lives. They don’t seem to remember that it was their parents who kissed their bruises when they fell down, worked two, sometimes three, jobs to support the family, sacrificed countless hours of sleep and shed many tears over them. Many parents still shed tears. They feel forgotten, uncared for and generally cast aside.They don’t need it to be all about them, they need to be included iin your lives. They devoted most of their lives to you and your needs. Do you devote any time to them?

What lesson was forgotten in the growing up years to cause this to happen? How many kids just put their parents in nursing homes and fail to visit? What has become wrong in our society that this is ok to anyone? Growing up, I was taught that when your parents start getting older, you show them your love and respect by caring about them. In our technological world there is no excuse for not keeping in contact with your parents, by cell phone, text message, email. I shudder to think what life will be like for parents my age and on into their 60’s and 70’s with children, who in their 30’s and 40’s can’t be bothered to care about their parents. It has been said that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their parents, when no  one is looking or listening. Of course, some don’t even care if someone is looking or listening, they still treat their parents like they mean nothing to them. As a parent myself I can’t begin to understand it. The people who brought you life and did their very best to raise you into a successful adult deserve respect. It doesn’t matter if YOU think they deserve it or not. The fact that you are still a living, breathing adult is why they deserve it.

Sometimes life is hard and children don’t know all that a parent does or how a parent sacrifices for them. Years down the road it can be quite easy to sit on your throne and look back at your life and judge your parents for their failures (in your mind), but, if you haven’t fought those same battles in your life, you have no right to do that.  Some people have blessed lives, their whole lives. Some do not. As a parent, when you are in a dark place that you can’t figure out how to get out of, you just do the best you can with the tools available to you and push on. And pray for your children to have a better life. If you’re lucky enough to have children who grow up to have a better life, then you are blessed. Your children are blessed and they should remember that it is because of your sacrifices and refusal to give up that they are where they are today.

Whether children realize it or not, you have a debt to repay to your parents. A debt of love and respect and an obligation to care for them and more importantly to care about them. If you have unforgiveness in your heart because of your childhood, you must give that to God. It is His place to judge, not yours. He said Honor your Father and Mother. He doesn’t say, if they deserve it or if they were great parents who gave you everything you wanted.

This is what the Bible means when it says “Honor your father and mother”:

The commandment to “honor your father and your mother” appears often in the Bible. (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4;Ephesians 6:2, 3) It involves four key actions.

Appreciate them. You honor your father and mother when you are thankful for all they have done for you. You can show your appreciation by valuing their guidance. (Proverbs 7:1, 2; 23:26) The Bible encourages you to view your parents as your “glory,” that is, to be proud of them.—Proverbs 17:6. Accept their authority. Especially while you are young, you honor your father and mother when you recognize the authority God has given them. Colossians 3:20 tells young ones: “Be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.” Even young Jesus willingly obeyed his parents.—Luke 2:51. Treat them with respect. (Leviticus 19:3; Hebrews 12:9) This often involves what you say and how you say it. True, some parents at times act in ways that make it hard to respect them. Even then, children can honor their parents by avoiding disrespectful speech and actions. (Proverbs 30:17) The Bible teaches that speaking abusively of one’s father or mother is a serious offense.—Matthew 15:4. Provide for them. When your parents get old, they may need practical support. You can honor them by trying your best to make sure that they have what they need. (1 Timothy 5:4, 8) For instance, shortly before he died, Jesus arranged for the care of his mother.—John 19:25-27

Remember too that your parents may not ask for help because they don’t want to bother you. They don’t expect you to read their mind. They just need you to care enough to not only ask if they need anything, but listen to what they may not say or ask. Be kind and be caring. That’s what they need more than anything.  Remember too, that your children are watching how you treat your parents and what you say to them and how you say it. You’re teaching them how to treat you.

Until next time...