Honoring Your Parents By How You Live
By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 23-24
Key Scripture Verses: Proverbs 23:22-25 –Saying 17 (NIV, Life Application Bible)
“Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it—wisdom, instruction and insight as well. The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!”
As you know, one of the Ten Commandments is to “Honor your mother and father.” Unfortunately, my parents are no longer with us and neither are my husband Paul’s parents still with us. Paul didn’t know my parents and I didn’t know his and that is a sad fact of our lives, because not only are they a part of us that we are not able to share easily with each other, we miss them and would love to have them with us during this part of our journey together. But, such is the fact of life. We share the memories we have and that has to be enough.
And as we remember our parents, we also remember the values they instilled in us which, luckily for us, were the same values instilled in us by our mutual faith. We are struck by how much our parents’ sayings and teachings were similar. This helps us a lot, because when a couple has the same background and expectations and the same character development, it makes it much easier to negotiate the day-to-day life events.
I have always been grateful for the values of my parents and what I have learned from them. As I age, I appreciate them more and more. I lost my father when I was in my mid-20’s and my mother in my late 20’s. And I did a lot of growing up during those years, during their respective, lengthy illnesses. When my mother was in a deep coma and our family had to make some decisions about her life support, I remember seeing her for the last time to say goodbye and to let her know it was o.k. for her to finally let go. Mostly, I remember telling her that I remembered the values she taught me, that she had “taught me well” and I knew how to go on from there.
Since then, I have asked myself at different points in my life—would my parents be proud of how I have lived my life? If they could see me now, would they be pleased with whom I have become? I would like to think so. I would like to think that they would be pleased with most of my life’s choices.
One thing I believe is that through Jesus I am adopted as a child of God and if I live according to his will, I please not only my earthly parents, but also my Heavenly Father.
So today, to honor my mother and father best, I honor my discipleship in Jesus Christ. If I live according to his love and his commandments, living by my faith, I can assure my place in his presence and, I believe, in their presence, too!
“May your father and mother rejoice,” and also your Father in Heaven, in all that you do!