Happy Sunday! How did last week’s challenge go? Did you commit to praying for someone for a week? If so, great. If not, there’s still time. Honestly, it should be a part of our daily practice to intercede on behalf of another. Let that be our goal from now on.
My daughter and I have similar personalities. I often laugh as The Father is giving me a daily dose of my own medicine, and our exchanges are pretty entertaining to my husband. She keeps me on my toes and has me constantly reflecting on my behavior and the example that I’m setting. Out of the blue this weekend, she comes up to her father and me and shows us the b clause of the scripture in Ephesians 6, which I’ll share later. The first part of Ephesians reads as “Children, obey your parents in the Lord [that is, accept their guidance and discipline as His representatives], for this is right [for obedience teaches wisdom and self-discipline]. HONOR [esteem, value as precious] YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER [and be respectful to them]- this is the first commandment with a promise- SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY HAVE A LONG LIFE ON THE EARTH.” The current generation has a lack of respect for themselves, their parents, and others, and as a consequence, many have died and are dying prematurely. It is up to us to train a child in the way they should go so that they won’t depart from it when they get old. Let us pray for the youth, and let us be better examples. Growing up, it was the norm for the elders to echo the following phrase, “you know what the bible says, you better honor your mother and father, or your days will be short!” This constant reminder caused me to reflect on my behavior as I didn’t want to die prematurely. That doesn’t mean I did everything right-it’s so far from the truth, but it kept me aware of the word. We should all want the promise of a long life!
The latter part of the verse that my daughter shared with us commands us as parents not to be provocateurs. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with the demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” We can’t read or quote the first half of the scripture without including the second portion. We are called to love and correct our children, referencing our heavenly Father’s example. As parents, we must take accountability for our actions and be willing to apologize when we are wrong and when we miss it. We must repent for being abusive, humiliating, or unreasonable. Gone are the days when we think that we are constantly right because we are adults. I hate to burst your proverbial bubble; I’m sure we mess up as parents more often than we’d care to admit. Psalms 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord. Even though it may not always feel that way, children are a blessing even when we are at our wit’s end. Let us be reminded and reflect on this verse in our times of frustration. None of us are perfect. We must be willing to remove the false narrative that we know it all as parents and be open to apologizing and learning from our mishaps- we owe it to our children. I’m tasked with reminding myself not to provoke my child, and she is charged with respecting, obeying, and honoring us. We both have parts to play in the relationship.
Challenge-This week reflect on your life and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. Be open if He prompts you to apologize to your child or your parent. Use this as an opportunity for reconciliation and growth. I’m rooting for you! I’m rooting for us!
Father, we thank you for bringing us through another week. We thank you for keeping us in our right minds. We thank you, Father, for consistently providing for us and protecting us. We ask Father to help us walk out Ephesians 6 in our lives. Let us be quick to forgive, apologize, and reconcile. We thank you, Father, for giving us your only begotten Son, and through His death, we are reconciled to you, and you’ve given us the ministry of reconciliation. We thank you for restoring families in Jesus’ name we pray.
Until next week,
Bleeding Heart Ministries (BHM)