grew up loved

May 19th, 2017 | Posted by

 

Grew up loved. This phrase on the front of a Hallmark card got me thinking. Did I? Yes. Did you?

 

“Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you” Exodus 20:12 MSG.

 

I’ve been thinking more about what this means, beyond finding a card in the aisle at the grocery store. Honor your father and mother. We teach the fifth commandment to small children, but how many adult children need to be reminded that we, too, are commanded to honor our parents? This doesn’t apply only to the “little chicks” still living in the confines of their nest. Some would say this is clearly addressed to adults. Adult children, honor your aging parents whose days have been long upon the land, so that your days might be long as well.

 

At this time of year, we set aside special days for our mothers and fathers. We send cards or take them out for dinner. This year, I am more aware than ever that I am in the final season of having a parent here with me on earth.

 

Last year, when the time came for my last “I love you” to my mom, I could only think how much I will miss her. The empty rooms of my parent’s house remind me that I miss her. I miss her voice, I miss her cards I have saved over the years. All the times she told me, in silent ways, how proud she was of me and that she prayed for me every day. I know she prayed. I see her rocking chair and the little brown leather kneeling pad where she prayed every day, at 4:30 in the morning.

 

I am grateful for the father I have. How he would come into our room on school mornings, whistling a song to wake us and coax us out from under warm blankets as breakfast was waiting. He would sing to me . . . Katrina Van Winkle, I love you much, your eyes are so blue and your name is so Dutch. I would giggle and blush. Never mind that my eyes weren’t blue and there wasn’t a trace of Dutch blood in the family.

 

There is a beautiful, hidden side to my Dad. What some call “still waters run deep.” All these small, seemingly insignificant gestures repeated over time that gave me a foundation of security and love.

 

My mother and father were more than parents in name only. They did their best to teach all five of us kids what really mattered. My father, a strong and gentle man, wasn’t one to take the reins spiritually but he did lead us by steady example. He was a hard worker, the most patient of men, a wonderful and thoughtful listener. He was always supportive of Mom’s passion to ensure we had a strong spiritual foundation.

 

Sooner or later, we all come to see that our dads—however wonderful, are flawed. Our mothers, however wonderful, are flawed. We are flawed children. I am a flawed parent. There are no perfect fathers and mothers. So how would the Lord have us obey this commandment to honor our father and mother?

 

Perhaps your parents are no longer living. Can you honor their memory by speaking of their lives, telling your children about them?

Last year after Mom passed away, my three sisters and I sat around the maple table in the kitchen, drinking coffee and wiping our tears. No one looked at the clock or their cell phones. We stayed with my father, who looked so lonely. We comforted each other, reminding ourselves of the reality of heaven where Mom was now. We took turns sharing memories of her. We honored her.

 

No, our parents didn’t do everything right—so perhaps the way we honor them best is by forgiving them. If you are a parent, you know what it is to fail. We can extend to our parents the grace that we hope our kids will give us one day.

 

Maybe your parents weren’t there for you. Was there a grandparent? A loving step-parent? Perhaps an aunt, a teacher, a youth pastor, a coach? We should honor and express gratitude to those who were there for us.

 

If you were blessed to have parents that the Hallmark card writers had in mind as they wrote mushy, sentimental inscriptions, you can certainly honor your parents by trying to be that kind of parent yourself. Finding a card for such a parent is easy, but is that really all the Lord had in mind? A card for their birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day? These small tokens of affection are not sufficient for all the days and years in between.

 

May we all be reminded of the blessing and privilege we have had in our earthly parents and mentors and do our best to honor them . . . every day.

 

 





  1. Lidia Oatman says:

    I couldn’t read this without crying…a good kind of cry. Thank you for sharing…

  2. Tami says:

    Such wisdom! Thank you so much, Cathe, for sharing your personal story, and great insights. The Lord used you as His tool, to refine me, PTL.

  3. Ramona says:

    What a wonderful word to fill my heart with fond memories of my parents. My Dad passed in July, 2013, my Mother passed in January 2014, 61 years of marriage!!! My Dad sang, ‘It’s howdy doody time’! My honor is in my heart as I remember how I raised my sons and daughters, with my husband (still and deep waters). And now seeing them raising their kids and being parents like the models before them. I thank God for the time of growing under the guide of my parents, and being allowed to make those parent mistakes and give our kids a healthy foundation in life. I also honor by remembering thoughtful words of wisdom from both my parents and mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was a single mother of 6, what a true testament of God’s strength!

  4. Teri Foley says:

    Sweet, sweet CATHI. Thank you for your heart of going deeper into just the words on a card. I love my parents deeply so.I’ve wasn’t always close to my mom especially. A lot alike lol.But God has opened the door to enter in with them to be their caregiver. For the past six years and still growing along side of them both. Many of not, just mother/daughter talks, but listening and learning about one another as woman to woman. Dreams, hopes, disappointments shared from each other’s hearts. Forgiveness and so much grace given on both sides of the fence, so to speak. I love her more,respect her deeply, want to hold her tightly and never let her go. Time is so short here on earth. But Jesus has given back time to us. Forever loved by our God and blessed beyond what I deserve. God is so good. Love my Jesus. Again, thank you. Teri

  5. Gayle Marie says:

    hello Cathe, Thank you for sharing your heart… I was blessed with wise and wonderful parents., and today is a special day it’s our (my husband and I), 38th wedding anniversary, I can’t believe it .. it flew by so fast ..lol three kids too. No grandbabies yet! 38 yrs ago, we where married on my parents 40th wedding anniversary, too. *what a day that was, we had a beautiful day, we even had a special cake for them too. it was Red to mark the Ruby year. It was a wonderful time. They aren’t with us any longer, but they’re missed, one thing is certain though. I know that because of what the Lord did for us on the cross, and that they believed in Him, we’ll be seeing them in heaven one day. I’m very blessed with a wonderful husband and family, and just wanted to share that special memory with you .. and to tell you how much I look forward to reading your loving stories. You’re an encourager, all my love to you and yours, God is so good!

    • Lurleen ChivrelI says:

      Thank you for your words of wisdom. I think I just had a confirmation from GOD through your words. I’m 15 hours from my mother, she’s been alone for 7 years and she’s been wanting me to come live with her. She’s in Reno and my kids are 3 hours from her. I moved to Phoenix to care for my father who passed away 1 year ago February. I’m still here and everyone has been wanting me to go be with my mother. My boyfriend of 3 yr 10 months wants me to stay. I’m torn. I’ll keep praying for more confirmation.

      • Lori Campanelli says:

        Lurleen,
        I lived in Florida most of my life, relocated there from NY by my first husband. I was young and willing to move away from my hometown. I didn’t realize how much I would miss being so far away and went home whenever I could to see my 5 siblings and parents. We divorced after 8 years, leaving me with 3 girls to raise. We were saved Christians at the time, but he wasn’t as committed as me. I stayed single for 15 years.
        My second husband was a wonderful man but not saved until he became afflicted with a brain tumor. I lost him after 10 years.

        I then met my fiance so once again I stayed in Florida. I lost my dad and my mom got Alzheimers. My fiance left after 7 years. My mom passed and I’m alone. What I wouldn’t give to have had more time with my parents.

        My point is men come and go but your parents are constant. And children need grandmothers. I wish mine had known their grandmother better. Keep praying, God will give you an answer.

  6. jan says:

    Thank you for your story, it is so true parents are great, flawed or not. I am a sinner but a daughter and a mother and a child of the Lord’s. I only ask for love and respect. I am not saying what my grown children do on Mother’s day or any day but I know I still love them unconditionally no matter what. I know I miss my Mom, I always wanted to be with her because I loved her no matter what. She wasn’t perfect and I wasn’t either but we were Mother and daughter who loved each other unconditionally just like Jesus does. Do the children of this generation have that? That’s a question only God knows. Thank you Lord for all my beautiful blessings of my family and memories.

  7. Sherry says:

    Hi Cathe…..thank you so very much for your post……thought provoking and right on regarding the fact that perfection does not exist in parenthood and that parents and their children (who became adults) are human and make mistakes….both my parents are waiting in eternity and I miss them so much….and as you mentioned, as time progressed and they became elderly, as a caregiver, I was able to see their frailties and humanity…..it was a mixed blessing but through it all, I appreciated them more because I really got to know them as individuals…
    Now I am the matriarch in my family and with that, I witness my own adult children finding fault, at times, with me regardless of how much I do for them….it’s tough to experience first hand, but your post and my own experience gives me the hope that someday, perhaps in eternity, this will be different……thank you and Greg for everything you do and share spiritually with all of us…..you and Harvest have been a huge part of our lives

  8. Jean Stevenson says:

    Thank you Cathe for sharing your heart. The love that you have for your parents comes shining through in your words. I was blessed to have loving parents who were married for 67 years. They are now in heaven but, they taught and brought us up in the ways of the Lord. The love and respect that you have for your parents shine through in your words. May God continue to bless you and continue to be an inspiration to the world and to those around you.

  9. Daniela says:

    Thank you Cathe, again with such comforting words! My Mom too just passed away in December of last year and it has been so hard for me to get along without her. I miss her everyday! I was her caretaker cause I did not want anyone else taking care of her but me. I was her daughter and just as she took care of me and my boys I was going to care for her as long as she needed me. Until God took her home. Yes, I too miss her the minute I walk into their home, not seeing her sitting in her chair. And now, without skipping a beat I am now caring for my Dad. We sit and talk about Mom as if she was in the next room. Yes, honor my parents! I do that and I hear my Mom telling me I am such a good daughter. I would tell her it was because of her! She was such a good Mum! So wise, I miss her. Thank you for sharing this with me.

  10. Carla A Wilson says:

    Thank you so much Cathe, for those wise words about honoring our aging parents. Mine are 84 and 82, and I’m keenly aware of the short time I have remaining with them. I had a great childhood and my parents were devoted and loving to us, but….ever since I became a Christian at age 23, there has existed a relentless tension between us. They are not believers, are very liberal in their values, and have even been hostile toward my faith at times. It was especially difficult trying to raise our daughters according to God’s standards, when they would have preferred them to be a product of our culture. All the holiday gatherings included heavy alcohol consumption, etc. I’ve really struggled through the years – with being called to LOVE them, in spite of their repeated rejection of the gospel and subtle mocking of Christianity. I got a lump in my throat reading your devotional post (and others too). I want to love and honor my parents better til the very end, as Greg did his mom. Thx again.

  11. Linda says:

    Cathe,

    Always so blessed to read your writings. I too, miss my Mom & Dad, they surely were not perfect, but I have such beautiful,loving memories that time cannot steal. It’s so important to cherish your loved ones while we have them, as we never know when the LORD will call them home. I only hope & pray that my children/grandchildren will know and realize these important truths.

    Thank you.

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