When I learned Ephesians 6:1 a long time ago, I believed that all I had to do is listen to my parents and if I did so I would be safe. I had not planned on my parents disappointing me. I also had not planned on the hard obstacles that would come with having Cerebral Palsy. I loved my parents but my love for them could not fill the deep chasm that God had placed before me.
“Children, obey your parents in the lord for this is right”. Those simple words are toxic without being rightly divided. I knew nothing contextually, I just deduced: Listen to my parents because the Lord said so.
When either of your parents are not that “in the Lord”, you as a naive child end up submitting to some really weird instructions. Along the way, you get lied to. Before long, Mom and Dad eclipse your love for God. Pleasing your parents towers over pleasing the Lord. That special need to be understood, welcomed, and connected is powerful.
Parents are powerful enough to effect every relationship in a child’s later adulthood.
Adults choose people who they believe will fill the emptiness a hollow relationship with God leaves. See, faith that fails to translate into good decisions is not a piece of cake, either. Sometimes we believe that because the parent didn’t give us X, the way we desired it, something must be wrong with us.
What else explains why our parent causes us to feel such pain, even when we have done what he or she told us? We miss the parent’s damage, because as children we just know that he or she is not happy with us. And that causes us to doubt if the Lord is really present.
But God is Love.
And often parents are inconveniently, people who cannot love their children with the love of God because they have not understood how to love themselves. Not all parents are bad. But some parents mistake their children for gambling tokens.
Love isn’t arrogant, but hopeful, truthful, not evil or malicious.
Parents influenced the split between Cain and Abel. We all know the enmity between Cain and Abel, how Abel died because Cain was consumed with jealousy?
It takes courage to stand in the face of evil? Am I advocating that one should be evil toward parents? No. But honor not absence of truth.
Don’t forget in race to respect your elders, that your elders are people. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Love them as best you can. But don’t believe that just because they are parents that they have never made mistakes.
Don’t let your need for closeness, overpower your need for integrity and honesty.
Love and forgive, and as you obey. Sometimes obey also means to be aware of…
Some parents have personal problems that prevent them from aiding their children. Our jobs is to Love what what we have, and hope for the best even if the best does not come in our lifetime.
I’ve learned that to obey in the Lord does not mean that parents have all the answers. It means that sometimes God must show you answers through the experiences of your parents.