September 8 Reflections

Megan was 15. Her dad never had time for her growing up, he was always gone for work. Then when she was 12 her dad left her mom and her for another woman. Now, three years later he wants to talk with her. She is hurt, angry and confused. What does it mean for Megan to honor her dad?
Freddy had constantly lied for his mom. While growing up he told so many lies for her because she was a drunk and bailed on so many of her commitments. Now as an adult she continually wants him to again lie for her. What does it mean for Freddy to honor his mom?
The secrecy of the physical and sexual abuse in her home as a child had built up for years in Karen. She could not take it any longer. It was eating her up inside. She needed to talk about what her dad had done to her. What does it mean for Karen to honor her dad?
The 5th Commandment, “Honor your father and your mother…” is, too put it mildly, complicated. For many it is not a stretch. Many grew up in homes where mom and dad were not perfect, but the positive strengths outweighed the weaknesses. But what about the many homes where the weaknesses, abuse, neglect, and abandonment were dominant? Where the bad things that happened ought not to have happened; and where the good things that ought to have happened didn’t. Some will say ignore the command. How do we live loved in those situations? How do we honor those who hurt us?
The working definition that I would like to use for honor is this: To honor is a decision to treat parents with dignity and courtesy and to provide long term loyalty to their best interests. Note honor is not affection, love, agreement, obedience or because they are worthy. To honor is not a feeling; it is a decision to treat with dignity and courtesy, which in many cases includes forgiveness. To forgive their weaknesses might set you free to love in a new and unique way. In commandment 5 we move to love for others. And it starts with the family. Loving family is “game on”, everything else can feel like practice. We are going to think about this on Sunday. Some possible passages of Scripture to read and reflect upon: Exodus 20:12; 1 John 4:16-21; Romans 8:14-17; Genesis2:21-25
Grace upon Grace,
Pastor Verlyn