Every sacred book contains a truth we need to hear: Honor your parents.
This phrase is illuminated in a true story, set outside Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Hanging on a Roman cross, bearing suffering and shame, Jesus looked down at two people He loved most in all the world. His mother and his friend, John.
Jesus gazed at his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.”
And to John, he said, “Here is your mother.”
History records the Apostle John took Mary to his home, where she lived the rest of her life.
Reading John 19:26-27 for the first time brought tears to my eyes. In the midst of incalculable agony, Jesus thoughts turned away from his pain to providing care for His widowed mother, who in that culture had no financial status. This passage tells us two truths: God cares about our parents. And he cares about us.
In today’s busy world, honoring our aging parents can be daunting. Stretched at both ends, distracted by a multitude of duties, we wonder, what does this honoring look like?
To me, it’s a matter of attitude as well as action. We make our parents a high priority; we bestow high standing to them in the family setting and we give respect, above all else.
Honoring includes asking, “How does this particular course of action sound to you?” “How would you like this to be done?” “What can I do to help?” It celebrates their expertise in baking, or baseball, or missionary work in Africa. Honoring can involve physical touch, and so much more.
Some of us honor our parents by bringing them into our home. That was the Apostle John’s way. But it may not be your way. It wasn’t mine. Depending on circumstances such as time and money, our honoring may take other forms: writing letters and making phone calls, if you live far away; or orchestrating home care, assisted living or nursing care. Don’t forget making visits with the sole purpose of saying, “I love you.”
People of all religions are united in loving their parents.
How have you decided to honor your loved one?