We have all seen the little rascal in the supermarket trolley defiantly disobeying his mother. Most of us will also recall similar incidents with ourselves in the role of the small culprit! It is intriguing how perceptions of our parents can change so drastically as we mature from children into adulthood. Often it is only when we leave home that we appreciate how much our parents did for us.
I am of course aware that, for some, memories of parents are touched with sadness, or even horror. Some have lost parents. Others wish that certain memories do not exist. I do not want to ignore your pain, and in later articles will deal with the love and comfort we can find in God as a Heavenly Father who will never disappoint us.
The verses above are a quotation from the Ten Commandments, a summary of God’s Law. Among the prohibitions against killing, adultery and theft, we find this vital rule: “Honour your father and mother.” It may seem a trivial matter compared to others mentioned, but the Bible is clear that parents are to be respected and obeyed (Ephesians 6.1). Because they have sacrificed to provide for our physical and emotional needs, we owe them much. Although no mother or father is perfect, God's law states we should seek to treat them with respect.
I can personally recall the embarrassment I felt the day my mum turned up to my secondary school wearing her big woolly hat. I couldn’t wait for her to leave. As we each look back on our lives in light of God’s law, we can no doubt think of times we have similarly disrespected our parents even by the thoughts we have had of them or the way we have spoken to them. We have all been guilty of breaking this commandment from the Living God, and have also broken many of the remaining Ten Commandments. We therefore face the righteous judgment of God upon us (Romans 2.8,9). Romans 3.3 states, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all desperately need His forgiveness for the way we have lived our lives.
The reason God gave us His law was to prick our conscience and prompt us to seek Christ for salvation and forgiveness (Galatians 3.24). God wants to forgive us and has taken action to make this possible. The Lord Jesus came to die for our sins on the cross and today He lives, able to save and transform us. Through trusting in Him alone and repenting of our sin we can receive forgiveness and peace with the God we have offended. We then will know Christ's power in us helping us to live lives of love and grace.