Thursday, October 10, 2019
Proverbs 1:8-9 8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.
9 For they are a garland of grace on your head,
and a pendant around your neck.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (NLT) 18 “Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. 19 In such a case, the father and mother must take the son to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. 20 The parents must say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of his town must stone him to death. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid."
Loving parents would impart instruction to their children so that their children may learn the easy way. Too many times we only learn the hard way. We refuse to listen to our parents and rebel against them and any other authority figure. But we do so to our own detriment. We are hurting ourselves when we don't listen to those who would keep us from harm.
God made one of the Ten Commandments to address this rebellion of children against their parents. He commanded us to honor our parents, to respect them and be receptive to our parents. Nothing can change the fact that we are the product of our Mother and Father. Our parents may not be the best, they may even be the worst, but we should still show them a modicum of respect. I don't mean we have to submit to violence or abuse and I don't mean we should learn how to rob a bank from our father. But we can refrain from bitterness, unforgiveness, hate and we can pray for them. We can respectfully speak to them and walk out the door. We can leave them behind if they are toxic but we must not hate, despise, tear them down, rehearse the horror stories and keep ourselves, and others, in turmoil about it. We must learn to forgive (it is a commandment from Jesus) and to lay it down. Then we must learn to pray for them. It may be the hardest thing you've ever done but forgiveness is a commandment from God and He will assist you by the Holy Spirit living in you. You must be willing to forgive, you must want to forgive. Pray and ask God to help you to forgive. It may take time, but if you desire to forgive and be free, that coincides with God's Will and it will be accomplished! If you want what God wants, there is no stopping it. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting or submitting to abuse again. It means releasing it, accept the healing in forgiveness and use wisdom to move on, even if it means moving away. Removing yourself from a toxic situation may be the wisdom you learned from toxic parents. Be thankful for the lesson learned and move on. Besides, God is your true Father. He is anything BUT toxic. He can be the Father that teaches you wisdom. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers so we have a builtin Helper. One of His jobs is to teach us and remind us of God's Ways.
I love builtins. They come with the house and are a permanent fixture. Builtin furniture does a job and does it well. They will usually outlast regular furniture. A couch has to be replaced as it wears out, so does a mattress, a table, a chair. But a builtin piece of furniture can go as long as the house goes (unless you rip it out). It holds books, dishes, clothing, miscellaneous. Closets are builtins. cabinets are builtins, bookshelves can be builtins, desks can be builtins.
When I became a Christian, I discovered a builtin. The Holy Spirit comes with my salvation. He will outlast all other comforts. He is easy to work with as He knows all my foibles and weaknesses and how to reach me and teach me. He has a job and He does it well. I can never get rid of Him and He will never leave me. I can't even rip Him out. I may ignore Him, which grieves Him as He loves me, but I cannot get rid of Him. It is to my detriment if I ignore Him and He would save me a lot of pain and heartache if I would learn His lessons easily. Sometimes it seems He has so drag me kicking and screaming but not really. The Holy Spirit is always the gentleman and never forces but if He knows I WILL learn the lesson if He drags me kicking and screaming, He will drag. He will plant my face in it and say, "Look, I told you it wouldn't hurt you!" Sort of like my husband, who, for years, refused to try sweet potatoes. He thought they looked funny and no amount of coaxing by me could get him to try them. Then one day, his best friend, Randall, made something with sweet potatoes and Stan was polite, tasted them and found out they were really good! Now he likes them. I tried to drag him kicking and screaming to a little ole sweet potato for 40 years and he refused to even taste them. But I knew he would like them once he tried it. I was correct but it took Randall, not me, to get him there. Randall and I will pretty much try anything but Stan and Randall's wife (and my best friend), Mary, are more hesitant. But they've expanded their tastes being married to us. Stan said his mother never cooked using mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet potatoes, etc. So he had never tasted those things when we married. Boy, howdy, does he know how to cook and enjoy them now. Stan's Mother can cook but it's home cooking, soul food. Biscuits, cornbread, beans and potato kinds of things.
I was blessed to have had wonderful parents who did teach me about God and love. It was easy to love my parents. They certainly did all they could for my sisters and I. When they became elderly and needed help, we helped them and tried to do it with respect and love. We tried to honor our parents.
Even the best parents will have children who will rebel and be disobedient at times. The best children will go through periods of rebellion. I certainly did. It seems inherent in human beings. But if we could only understand that parents want what's best for their children. A good parent has sacrificed a lot for their children and they love them above all others. So why wouldn't you listen to your parents and receive their instruction with gratitude? You might save yourself a whole heap of heartache. Parents are grown adults who have gone through experiences and education. They do know something about what you are going through. They've lived through it! They've burned their hand on a hot stove and lived to warn you about not touching a hot stove. Maybe they went through their own rebellion and they know the misery it brought and they are warning you so you won't have to go through what they went through. Never turn on a parent and say, "Well you did it when you were young!" They may have done it but they learned from it and are trying to keep you from having to learn the hard way! They don't want you to be addicted to drugs, alcohol, smoking. They don't want you to have a baby out of wedlock and struggle to make it. They would save you these things if you would be willing to listen.
I'm proud of my parents and who they were. I was raised right. I hope that my behavior reflects the good parents I had and the good raising they gave me. When I behave well, with dignity and class, my good parents, and their wise raising, is showing in me. When I misbehave I can hear my Mama saying, "I didn't raise you that way".
My behavior should reflect my raising by the Holy Spirit.
For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.
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