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Monday, May 15, 2023
We took a country route on the way home from church and passed this 1800's stone farmhouse south of Mount Joy along Chiques Creek. Not only is the house an attraction but the setting is interesting in the way the retaining wall was built and back-filled to provide a level spot for the house.
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"Fifth Commandment Honor"
Message summary: The honor of our parents serves as a foundational base for all human honor.
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“Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). “Her children arise and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28).
Years ago our pastor, at the time, got everyone’s attention by introducing his sermon with this simple question, “Will everyone who is the son or daughter of a mother, please raise your hand?” Slowly but surely everyone rose their hand as they caught onto the question. I could ask the same question today of each reader, although I can’t see your hands. No matter how much our childhood backgrounds may differ, this is one truth we all have in common.
Yesterday was Mother's Day here in the US and perhaps other countries as well. This Day and Father's Day could also be called "Fifth Commandment Sunday" since on both days we are called to honor our parents. To honor means to regard with great respect.
In order for us to express honor toward another it must come from feelings of deep respect and devotion. It requires appreciation and esteem that we should have toward the individual(s). The honor we show our parents is a microcosm of our spiritual honor toward God. Failing to honor our parents, as He commands, is certainly dishonoring to Him as is any type of disobedience.
On the other hand when we honor our parents it is a tangible demonstration of our honor toward God. Additionally, our children will likely care for us in our golden years in the same way we have cared for our parents.
Of the Ten Commandments the last six deal with our behavior toward one another. The first four deal with our behavior toward God. The first of these “horizontal” commandments is the only one of the six that is worded positively as a command rather than a prohibition. It is the only commandment that includes a promise. It’s fundamental to wholesome human relationships and in God’s design it is an essential building block in the practice of the remaining five commandments. If each generation would truly honor their parents, it would be a powerful deterrent to the breaking of the other commandments!
The breakdown in parental honor in our society is evident everywhere and I believe it will likely worsen as we continue to reap the results of violating God’s holy law regarding the sanctity of life and many other basic life truths. A fundamental aspect in the transmission of truth and order from one generation to another is the honor shown to the older from the younger and the blessing given to the younger from the older. So very often this is not the case. Parents who had no time for their children will increasingly find that their grown children have no time for them.
Are you honoring your parents today, in your conversation, in your actions, in the way your children observe your relationship toward them? Practice visible expressions of love and care toward your parents so that you will experience the blessing that God gives to those who express honor. One day you will not just be giving it but you will likely be the recipient of honor.
God’s command to honor our father and mother, like the command in Hebrews 13:4 to honor marriage, has no exclusionary clause. I’m confident that He will give you the necessary grace to convey that honor, starting with the very fact that God breathed life into you as your mother brought you into this world.
If your parents are living be sure to express your love and appreciation to them, if you haven't already done so in recent days. That is something we both really miss doing but are so glad we did it regularly while they were alive. The honor of our parents serves as a foundational base for all human honor.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Daily prayer: Father, we are particularly thankful today for the gift of motherhood; for the women who greatly desire motherhood but are still waiting and questioning, we pray that you will cover them with peace; for the moms expecting a child that are nervous and anxious, would you calm their hearts; for the single moms who are fulfilling what seems like an impossible job, give them supernatural strength; for the moms in the thick of motherhood today, give them special moments to remember and let time slow down just a bit; for adoptive moms we pray for miraculous bonding and grace; for all who are raising children who are not from their womb; a stepmother, a foster mother, a grandmother or a guardian, bless these women with grace and confidence in their roles.
For some this day is a painful reminder of our children who are only here for a short time; I pray that you would offer those families comfort and peace today. For the women who serve as a mentor or spiritual mother to others we thank You for their nurturing hearts; for all the moms whose children are now adults bless them for their decades of selfless and sacrificial love; for the mothers who have a distant or strained relationship with their child help them to remain steadfast and hopeful; for those who’ve been wounded by their mother offer them healing and restoration by Your Spirit; and for all who miss their mom today may fond memories from their past bring joy into their present. God, for all of these women and all of their stories; the peaks and the valleys we give You thanks. May their legacy bring You honor. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Brooksyne's Note: Our women's director, Liz Rodriguez, shared the above prayer yesterday in our congregation. A friend of hers wrote it and it really touched my heart and thus I share it with you today as well.
Great truths Godly parents transmit to their children:
1. Love for God and need of salvation.
2. Love for family and friends.
3. Love for the church.
4. Love and respect toward others.
5. Godly values based on the Scriptures.
6. Disciplined and responsible living.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
In honor of our mothers
My (Stephen's) mom, Georgia Mae and MaMa (our grandmother), on Mother's Day 1960. I was 5 and my sister Genelle was nearly 3.
This is one of the last photos taken in 2005 of my Mom waiting on the bench beside our house for the van to take her to her beloved Senior Center.
Here's our wedding rehearsal dinner on May 7, 1976. Ruth Sherrell (L) would become my mother-in-law and Georgia Mae Weber(R) would become Brooksyne's mother-in-law.
Brooksyne's reflections of her mother's giftedness: The photo above is my family and extended family way back in 1957 taken in Oklahoma or Arkansas. Mom is holding me with Daddy in top center, my Uncle Bill on the right. I am sucking my left two fingers which became a very hard habit to break for several years (I promise I don't do that anymore). Mom made all of our clothing growing up including the four matching dresses here - we were poor by every standard, but Mom had a way of dressing us up as an excellent seamstress (self-learned). We couldn't afford new furniture so Mom took in used furniture and reupholstered making it look like new. She planted a garden every year (one year a whole acre which was way, way too much work for all of us). We canned all summer long all my years growing up. When we needed more space for our large family she built a room on the back of the garage. If we needed something Mom found a way to make it happen, at a fraction of the cost, with her expertise she honed by reading, asking, and experimenting long before google ever existed. She only had a 7th grade education.
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