Honour thy father and Mother
“When you hear the words “Thou shalt honor thy Father and Mother” how do you read it as a parent?” I asked my friends this question early in the week and asked permission to use the replies of two of my friends to use as lead in for this topic.
Layi Ademokoya: Notwithstanding that God did not give condition for obedience of this command, a parent should live an honourable life that will encourage their children to obey the command. A man in an incestuous relationship with his daughter does not deserve that honour even if it is given on compliance with God’s command. Afterall, the holy scriptures in Ephesians 6:4 enjoins fathers ” And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord”.
Adebimpe Akindele: No, all elderly people ni o. Gbogbo awon to ba ju ni lo.(Translation, it applies to all elderly people anyone that is deemed as older) Even a times those who are anointed by God even though you may be older than them. There is need to always respect those younger to oneself because no one knows tomorrow, another reason is, respect begat respect. And the respect your parents law has a rider”that your day may be long”. It’s very important, because automatically it becomes a curse when one disrespect an elder and without the elder laying any curse.
So what do you think? Is that commandment actually meant for the children or the parents? Let’s look at a couple of situations.
A father who comes in drunk every night cannot be said to have done anything to honour the concept of fatherhood can he? How will a child honour a father who goes into rages every once in a while and has bad language to boot and belts everyone he can lay his hands on? Could we really ask the child to honour father in that regard?
My friend Adebimpe seems to sense that it meant really that we should honour the elderly. Would the elderly have honoured the age that they are as to make the children honour them?
Let me ask our mothers, how will a child honour mother if she is a slave to any type of fashion whether it suits her person or not? You know the kind of mother who seems to be perpetually competing with her daughter and is always wanting to wear the same clothes as her teenage daughter. The kind of mother who is willing to allow other men paw her skin while her daughter is around and notes it. What is there to honour in such a mother?, I ask.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent and we all know it but we do get guides from higher sources if only we listen.
That commandment is directed more at parents than the child. When we as parents in our activities create an environment of the high qualities we are endowed with we are likely to make children honour father and mother.The conditionality attached becomes possible because in seeing our parents as potential role models we learn how our days may be long
You might think I am preaching but if you give a few thoughts to the idea I am sharing with you, we might see how we are flouting that commandment. There are societies in the world that have evolved a healthy respect for their elderly citizens.
I have come across parents who have encouraged the demoralization of their children because they gave the excuse of being very poor. Poverty does not preclude us from decency. When a mother looks the other way as her daughter brings home all types of men and accepts gifts, from those men twice her daughter’s age. She has precluded herself from all honour and it will be hard to ask the child to honour motherhood .
What we really are looking at is our responsibilities as parents. Fatherhood brought to a level that inspires respect from the child and helps the child to see you as a role model and mentor guiding the child into maturity.
The same applies for motherhood, a womanly chaste nurturing, that ennobles all those who come into her orbit. The woman we have learned determines the spiritual outcome of a nation through her very nature. Let’s look at it this way and think about it.
The world is full of swindlers, thieves, reprobates, bad politicians or any manner of negative people, but they are children to some parents. Do you get my drift?
Where will you place your child? When next you hear the words or the command, “thou shalt honour Father and Mother” please think about it and ask how much of it have you given as a father or mother.
The Creator by whatever name we recognize Him, knows we came imperfect, and must thus make our weal or wealth as human beings. However, when we take on the responsibility to invite another human being into our circle of experiencing, we have the job to make it right. Every child that has come is the right child for us and we learn and grow by the passion and care we put into making ourselves the right parents
We can change the world only if we imbue our children with the right mores and ethics. If we make them look at the world through our lenses and if those lenses portray a decent world to the child.
It is easy to be despondent and cynical and ask ourselves that what is the point?
The point is we all are responsible for the mess the world is in right now because we are the parents.
Next time remember, “Thou shalt honour Father and Mother”. It is an order we should obey.