“Honor your father and
mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Exodus 20:12 (NIV)
The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus chapter 20. The first four are between us and God, and the last six are between us and others. Honoring your mother and father is commandment number five, and it’s the only commandment with a promise. It promises us a long life in the land the Lord our God is giving us should we keep this commandment.
I don’t know about you, but I have struggled in this area. It’s hard to say whether my struggles have been a result of my own broken lens, from which I view and respond to the world through, or wrong responses that have been placed upon me by my parents and their broken views of themselves and the world. I have not understood what “honor” might look like and have not been sure how to respond if I feel, for example, that an unrealistic expectation has been placed upon me. I have always felt that, no matter what I do, it is not good enough for my mother and that, no matter how I respond or react, I will not make her happy. So, how then, do I honor her? Is she really placing expectations on me, or am I perceiving expectations that don’t really exist?
One day I got into an argument with my son before school. We got very angry with each other, and he left the house for school with us both still very angry with each other. I took my anger to God, and God showed me a precious nugget of His truth that day. First, He convicted me that my over-reaction to my son’s anger was a perceived rejection by him and why I lashed out so intensely. My prayers then turned to conviction of the broken lens through which I view the world. This lens says I’m not good enough and I’m not worthy. God has told me in His Word that this is a lie. In fact, He states over and over and over again that I’m just a slow learner.
While I was aching over my sinful reaction to my child based on my unmet expectation of his response to me, I recognized the grief I was causing him and cried out to God that my flaws and sins not bleed through to my son. I want my child to know that he is loved and that he has great value to the Kingdom and in this world – despite me. I prayed that my stuff would not mess up my precious child. In that moment in time, God revealed an amazing truth to me, and I understood the word “honor” in a new way, as it referred to my mother and the real or perceived expectations in which I felt I never met. He showed me that the best way to honor my mother was to be true to the calling that God Himself has set before me and become the woman that He has called me to be! I realized in that instant that, if my parents were healthy and whole (which no-one is completely), then that’s exactly what they would want for me. In this moment of my failure, God showed me that, when we have true love and honor for others, our desire is for them to do the will of the Father, even when it might not seem best for us personally.
That simple but profound lesson has taken me leaps and bounds further in both my relationship and learning how to truly honor my mother as well as understanding my own flaws in my communications with my children as I continue to be molded by the Potter walking through this journey we call life.
Facebook - lori.d.kennedy
Twitter - lori_kennedy
I-Tunes - Lori Kennedy