Most of us have parents or were at least born, right? That is a fact. The Bible tells us in Exodus 20:12 to 'honor our fathers and mothers'. What does that mean to show honor? It means to show respect, primarily, and treat with dignity. You may be an adult with elderly parents but your mom and dad, if still alive, deserve your respect and admiration. Maybe your childhood was not all that good. If that is the case, try to find it in your heart to forgive them if you can. But the ones who did a superb job raising you deserve love and kindness and perhaps an occasional thank you.
Parents who do the right thing teach their children boundaries and discipline and say things like "Play with fire you will get burned' or "don't cross your eyes or they will freeze that way' or 'can't never tried' and a host of other tidbits of wise wisdom we will never forget. Even though many parents have done all the right things there are times children as adults grow up and go their own way and cause heartbreak to many a mom and dad. The parents may 'beat themselves up' so to speak and go through much anguish but each person has a free will. You can make wrong choices or right choices. You can hang out with the wrong friends and be exposed to bad stuff that can get you off course. I think of serial killer Ted Bundy, who was exposed to pornography at age 12 and ended up acting out his fantasies.Scientists tried to explain it away in his DNA but he said it was in huge part as a result of pornography. He accepted Christ and asked forgiveness and requested to be interviewed on tape with Dr James Dobson to share his story before he was executed. Imagine the heartache, guilt and pain of his mom and dad. They did not put porn in his lunchbox. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, and founder of Samaritans Purse was once a wild rebellious young man but look at him now!! Glory be to God!!
Parents who thought they were being honored are hurt when a child goes completely against what they have been taught. They feel very dishonored. But the promise in scripture is there to comfort them and give them hope. Proverbs 22:6 says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." That verse is the hope and comfort of many parents who can not wait til their child 'sees the light' and returns from the enemies camp or their time in the 'wilderness'. These parents need love and hugs, not judgemental stares. No one asks for this stuff to happen so if you look down on folks going through this painful time then look out and watch out as you never know if it could happen to you. We are not to judge but we are to show unconditional love.
Even for those parents who did think they were doing the right thing occasionally have a child who strays off the path to their dismay and breaks their hearts. You continue to pray, like in the story of the prodigal son(See Luke 15:11-32), that they will return and follow the teachings of God's word again. In God's word it says"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." (See John 8:7). 2 Timothy 3:5 says "and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
Some parents are not honored or respected. One of saddest things for parents is when their children turn their back on the faith and way they were raised. If they get in with the wrong crowd, listen to the wrong voices, date the wrong people it is easy to turn their back on family and God. Not all seemingly 'perfect' families raise perfect children either and if something does go wrong you want to beat yourself up over it, but God can restore the years the locust has eaten (See Joel 2:25) and bring your child back. You have to believe and have to hang on. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
Recently I heard of a young lady who was bragging about leaving her faith and following some dictator regime and made a disrespectful comment about her parents on her social networking page. How heart wrenching if they were to see this but I doubt she has 'friended' them. This truly is not honoring to parents who brought you up. Sure we want our children to grow up and think for themselves but part of that thinking is hopefully not taking them away from God and the Bible and believing a delusion spirit and lies of the enemy. We do not want them to be puppets but we want them to love God and follow Him. I think of children who have left their families for cults who have brainwashed them. How painful that must be to endure.
If you are reading this today and know of someone who has gone through this, be their friend and pray for them. Do not judge and condemn as you do not know the whole story and it is not our business anyway. Just know that in 1 Peter 5:8 it says "Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy'. Just cover your children with the blood of Jesus and say out loud "in Jesus Name, you can not have my children devil as they belong to Jesus and they will come back from the land of the enemy!"
For further reading besides reading the Bible which is the ultimate source of comfort I suggest two books by author and mother Carol Kent who I have had the privilege to meet several years ago. She and her husband went through the unspeakable agony with their son Jason who had never done anything wrong and now is in prison for life. Read her first book "When I Lay My Isaac Down" and a followup book entitled "A New Kind of Normal:Hope Filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down".
The verse we use in Moms in Touch which is sort of a theme verse is Lamentations 2:19 which says "Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord; lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your children." Be blessed today and go give your folks a hug if they live in same town and if not why not give them a call.
PRAYER: Oh Lord I reach out to those who may be reading this today who feel guilty over a child who has gone their own way and do not know what to do. Comfort their hearts Lord and surround them with friends who will love them not judge or condemn them. Father we thank you for your saving grace and we thank you that you are there calling out to us and calling out to our children. Soften the hard hearts and help all those reading to remember to show honor and respect to your mom and dad if they are still living. We thank you for Christian parents who did the right thing! In Jesus Name. Amen.
Note: Turn up your speakers and listen to this wonderful song by Christian artists Third Day..Cry out to Jesus!