Over the last month I've been spending lots of time with my parents. We drove nonstop to Florida for Thanksgiving. Then we were making a dress-up closet for my niece's Christmas present. This last two weeks found us with a remodeling project in my kitchen to make a new refrigerator fit where the old one died. Spending time with my parents is typically met with much laughter.... and the occasional grumbling.
Today's quiet time was on Paul's second letter to the Corinthians(12:14-15). Paul's statement about parents being ready to "be spent" for their children made me think of my parents. Everyone should be so fortuanate to have parents like mine!!!!! My dad turned 70 when we were in Florida. He spent the entire time painting interior rooms and putting together furniture that was bought for my sister's house. My mom unpacked boxes, marathon shopped for household items, made a full Thanksgiving meal in a semi-ready kitchen, and put up my sister's new Christmas tree.
Paul's latter statement in verse 14 left me pondering my treatment of my parents. Do I honor them or do I take them for granted? Far too often I have to admit that I took them for granted! Exodus 20:12
commands us to "honor thy father and thy mother". My King James study Bible notes that "honor" means to prize highly(Prov 4:8), care for(Ps 91:15), show respect for(Lev 19:3, 20:9), and obey(Eph 6:1).
While I am not perfect at this honoring thing, I have noticed a change in my attitude towards them over the last few years. I am more giving up my rights, wants, and wishes for theirs. I am realizing just what they gave up for me!
While reading this passage I was also struck by the parallels of my relationship to my parents and my relationship to God....understanding their love/sacrifice and God's love towards us! He sacrificed his son, Jesus Christ, just so I(and you too) may live. I have eternal life because of that and that only!
As well, I am beginning to see the parallel of my "honor" for my parents to my "honor" towards God. As I prize highly, care for, show respect for, and obey my parents I am also doing the same to God. Or is it that as I understand the depths of His love for me and begin to honor God with my life that I become better at honoring my parents? If I had to answer that right now I think is yes because of 1 John 4:19.