The 4th Commandment

man with mustache and hat standing by a woman
My Great Grand Parents

Honor Your Mother and Father

I memorized the 4th commandment according to the Holy Christian Apostolic Church along with the other six  in confirmation class. I didn’t give it much thought because when my dad lived with us honoring wasn’t a choice, if you didn’t–well, let’s just say there was pain involved.

After my dad left, it was easy to honor my mom. She found a job for the first time in 16 years, managed to pay the bills and keep us clothed–while she went without.

So why bring it up?

I attended a memorial service this week. The pastor had an another way of looking at the commandment that I’d never heard.

Even  after your parents have died you are still to honor them by the choices you make in your life.

What????

Why???

He said, “God picked those parents for you. They brought you up with morals, values and Christianity. After they are gone, it is your job to continue honoring them by living in a way that reflects those things to the those younger than you.”

Those aren’t his exact words but close enough.

I have trouble honoring my dad or even thinking God gave me him as a parent. And yet if I take the time to sift through those days he was around, there are things I learned. Learned them the hard way but the lessons have stayed with me.

I learned: not to lie, keep rules (he was a policeman) and stick up for those who aren’t as strong. Ironically he also taught me how to pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Guess, I need to honor his memory after all.
I’m still learning about him. I researched my parents on ancestry.com My dad’s family is a mystery beyond my grandparents. It’s possible he didn’t know what a good father was supposed to act like. His father left when he was young and his step-father was an abuser.

My mom will always get my respect and honor.
Her family cared enough to keep records–they date back to 985, which is another blog post someday.

Maybe honor isn’t a natural thing, but something learned and passed on? If that is true that 4th commandment is more important than my 12 year old self could imagine.

If it isn’t difficult for you, tell me in a comment how you feel about honoring your parents.

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