Friday, 28 April 2017
Honour your father and mother
Our children will grow up and move to other places to find jobs and to start a family. Other children will probably fall out with their parents, perhaps as a result of a family argument, and cease to contact their parents. Whilst some other children will just be too busy with the day-to-day stresses of life to maintain contact with their parents.
It is also a fact that some of us, as we grow older, will become cantankerous, argumentative pains in the neck working our way down South. Not everyone can be as pleasant and nice to be with as me. And so it follows, that such old people will make it difficult for their families to visit them as often as they should. In some cases, perhaps for safety's sake, it will be necessary for children and parents to meet no longer.
Then there is another fact. Many years ago, God commanded on a tablet of stone, "Honour your father and mother."
Now I ask myself, how much of a duty is that on every son and daughter, and how serious a sin is it if we ignore it?
Many amongst us can claim that our lives are too busy with the responsibilities of work, raising a family, looking after our own children, and so on and so forth, to be able to visit our parents frequently. Especially if they live too far away.
Others can claim that they fell out with their parents because of a serious family dispute, and indeed it is for their own safety, and that of their children, that they don't visit their parents anymore.
Others will claim that their parents have become the proverbial in-laws; and whenever they visit them, their parents are always criticising and creating a dividing wedge between husband and wife; especially if they never approved of their choice of partners in the first place.
These, and many other supposedly valid reasons have resulted in parents and children no longer seeing each other.
I have known several lonely elderly people in my time. One old lady was so lonely seeing no one from day to day that every week she took the bus to town and back just to be with other people on the journey.
Another left the TV or radio on all day and night just to hear the voice of someone speaking; and she left the lights on all night for fear of being alone in the dark.
Another old lady living alone just talked to her dog just to exercise her vocal chords. She said her throat dries up if she does not speak to anyone all day.
And yet another old man died alone at home and was not discovered until days later when the postman wondered why his mail was piling up behind his door.
Loneliness, especially in old age, is the scourge of a modern society awash with electronic communications devices.
What is the point of having hundreds of "friends and followers" on social media if none visit you when you're old?
So, my message to every son and daughter is: "What will you say to God when you meet Him about the way you honoured your parents"?
And for every parent, old and not so old, "What will you say to God about the way you helped your children obey that commandment?"
I wonder what God would respond.