Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Ex. 20:12)
When we handle this relationship right, the rest of life has a better opportunity of flowing a bit better. When we learn, as children, to honor authority, and allow God to deal with that authority, we have an opportunity for healthier living. Parents don’t get it “right” all the time. (I came close…) If we can learn to deal with “wrong” decisions by parents, we learn how to walk under authority. We then learn how to walk in authority ourselves when the time comes.
The key to good societal living begins in the home. If we did not have good examples in the home growing up, we have the opportunity to create BETTER examples in our own household.
When the home is strong, the rest of society has an opportunity to be strong as well. There is a reflection on the family that can create wonderful opportunities in the world around us.
I have a picture on my desk of my dad and I walking along the riverfront in Minneapolis. I love that picture. When I glance at that picture I am reminded of the relationship I have with my dad and am grateful for the years I have with him. Even though I am now half a century into life, I still have a sense of wanting to honor my dad.
When we recently went to Alabama to have our family together for Christmas, there was an opportunity to hear what our oldest son had done. We were sitting in a local restaurant having breakfast and our oldest son ran into the director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Mobile. He introduced us to her and then she proceeded to brag on the project our son had done for her organization when he was in college.
Our son is 25. He is now a dad. He has a very successful business. He doesn’t “need” to know how proud that made me, but as a family, he reflected core values that showed off our family and what we believe in.
Family is core. Family is key. If we have done well as parents, we raise kids that bring value to the world around them. They build up. They don’t suck value out of the world around them… they add value to the world around them.
As I reflect on all three of our adult sons and watch them make their way in the world, there is absolutely a sense of pride. They do well. They reflect well on the values we tried to establish. (They turned out so well even in our big mistakes as parents!) The world IS a better place because we worked on family as best we could.
So, when I look at that picture of my dad and I walking, I think of how I work to carry on what he instilled in me. (My dad grew up without a dad, by the way. His father was killed before my dad was born. You can create something new from what you didn’t have yourself.) My dad created value and worth in our home. Value I want to add to our world. Value I wanted to pass along to our boys so THEY can now add value to their world.
We cannot, as believers, lose the core value of family. It makes society better.