Saturday, July 8, 2017
honor mom and dad
St Cyril of Jerusalem talks to us today about honoring our parents in A Year with the Church Fathers. He says that we can never repay the gift of life given to us by our biological parents.
And he hearkens to the ten commandments, which tell us to honor our father and mother. It's the only commandment in the ten that comes with a nice little promise attached. If we honor them, the ten commandments tell us, our "days will be long in the land that God gives us."
As with all of Scripture, we shouldn't take this as some kind of magical enchantment or incantation that produces mystical results. While God DOES bless our obedience, He usually does it through more prosaic methods, not through miracles. If we honor our parents, they will in turn take care of us. And our children will see that we are honoring our parents and will probably follow that example, taking care of US when we are needing assistance in our old age. So there is a very pragmatic way in which "honoring our father and mother" translates to our "days being long".
I know that with some of those reading this, honoring your parents isn't easy. Some of those who are reading right now have parents who are difficult to love, who have even been abusive. And even St Cyril tells us that we should resist our parents' influence if it is contrary to the leading of God. But even as we resist that negative effect, we can still do it in a way that respects their dignity and gives them honor for the things that they HAVE done for us.
And some of you reading this have had really AMAZING parents who have loved you and given you a great example of godliness and family love that you can emulate and pass on to your children. To those parents, remember to be extremely appreciative of what they've given you. Not all children have had that blessing.
God, thank You for giving us the incredible privilege of being sons and daughters and mothers and fathers. Please help us to honor those in our lives.