The Command

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"1 (Lyrics)

Exodus 20:12 – Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (NIV)

Psalm 139:13-14a – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (NIV)

At the age of 65, I am simply amazed at the number of adults who still blame their parents for so many of their own issues. They harbour both real and imagined mistreatment they received at parental hands many years ago. Even though they now have families of their own, often grown families who are now raising their own families, they continue to dwell upon these unfair happenings. They mentally nurse them day and night, keeping the memories alive and as unhealthy as ever, blaming their mother or their father for their hang-ups and misery. Like a young child with its soother or favourite blanket, they simply refuse to let these things go and move forward into maturity.

As I was contemplating this phenomenon recently, after chatting with a friend who was painfully struggling due to continual blame from one of her adult children for issues within their family, today's verse from Exodus 20:12 came to mind: "Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." This was a verse which God reminded me of many years ago when I was struggling with some of my own childhood memories. Through much prayer and thought, however, it dawned upon me that God did not say honour your father and your mother because they were perfect parents. He simply commands us to honour them, period. They are the parents He gave us. He is the One who allowed us the parents who bore us, so He therefore had purpose in granting us those parents. And no matter who our parents are or were, or what our childhood was like, nothing can negate the fact that through them, God fearfully and wonderfully made us. Nothing can negate the fact either, when it comes to God's ability to take and use our experiences, no matter how awful they might have been, both for our own good as well as for the advancement of His kingdom. For as the apostle Paul wrote, He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20 NIV).

So let's quit complaining about our parents, people! And let's simply begin to take responsibility by honouring them. Let's honour them by choosing to forgive, by choosing to let go of this needless burden that we have carried for so long, and by humbly trusting and thanking God for His ability to heal us and use everything about us for good. By so doing, we are not only honouring our parents as commanded, we are also choosing to take responsibility for our own lives and choices, which is really what being an adult is all about, isn't it?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for our parents. Thank You for the families You set us in. Thank You that we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made and that You are able to use all of our life's experiences for our good and for the furtherance of Your kingdom when we place them in Your hands. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I’m reminded: I’m a product of my past but I don’t have to be a prisoner. Good devotional.

    That’s great advice Lynne. The only way to make progress is to stop blaming others, including our parents, for our own mistakes.

    Well said Lynne.
    For many of us, our parents did the best that they could. I thank God for mine.

    Well said Lynne,
    You hit on a common to a lot of families’ concern. Some in my family need to hear your devotional. Thanks.

    Lovely devotional — yes, many still blame parents — even parents that are no longer with them!!
    God bless.

    This email is long overdue. I have been receiving the daily devotional for about two years and look forward to reading your submissions. They are thought provoking, profound, and more importantly inspirational. You truly are a messenger of God and we thank God for you.

    Lynne – what a powerful message today! I was always taught to honor my parents; Ephesians 6:1-3 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. (NASB)

    Again, among your best. Such a powerful message about, “Grow up”, “Start being mature”.
    I ordered Dr.Wayne Dyer’s I Can See Clearly Now and Change your Thoughts-Change your Life.
    Keep writing.
    Love and blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    Today’s devotional spoke to me in a new way as I have struggled with that commandment. Now I see the reasoning. Thank you for this. May your ministry of writing be blessed, you never know who will be touched by your writing.
    I am a 77 year old who is continuing my journey with Jesus.

    Excellent as always Lynne. Yes, there’s quite an “industry” based on bringing up old memories to find blame in one’s parents, isn’t there. Perhaps God’s greatest gift is the gift of choice… and the most admirable of those who use it, are those who, despite horrific ordeals at the hands of those in whom their lives are placed, are able to get past whatever they endured, accept it forgive and move on.

    Dear Lynne
    Thank you for today’s devotional. It made me think how grateful I am. My childhood was not a happy one because my parent’s marriage was not a good one. They stayed together for many years but as oldest child I was always worried about parents. But I am always grateful for aunts who were there for me. They took the time for me to talk about real love. And I took their examples to heart. I have a loving family and a good and kind husband. And no bitterness against my Parents whom I hope are with Jesus. Thank you again. I always read your devotions. God Bless You.

    Lynne: I really appreciated your post about parents today. My parents were two complete opposites. My Mother was one of God’s special people and my Dad was a terror.
    Before my Dad died, I made my peace with him. I forgave him but did not forget. My brother and I both had extensive counselling and now I remember him as having a very sad life. I really feel very sorry for him and the love that he missed.
    Several years before he died, he almost died and they brought him back. I asked him what it was like and his description was that it was very dark and he was falling. That broke my heart. I hope and pray that when he did die, he went to be with our Lord.
    I have moved on and try to remember the good times.

    Thank you for such a wonderful devotional.
    I was one of those children who nursed an inner hatred and blame toward my father for many years, even after his death, and it was only through much prayer and reflecting on scripture that I was able to come to the truth… that my father’s actions, which I now recognize as a supreme act of selflessness, akin to our Lord Jesus Christ, paved the way for the person I was to become and what I am now. Thank you to both my heavenly Father and my earthly father.
    At my father’s gravesite, in prayer and penitence, I asked for his forgiveness for all my years of bitterness and have had peace and love ever since.
    Thanks again,

    Dear Lynne: I have read those verses of Scripture and have heard them read from pulpits but only now have I realized how fortunate I was during my childhood. I have never placed any blame upon the shoulders of my parents nor do I recall ever honouring them with a few words of appreciation. Shame on me.
    I was blessed and yet I don’t remember ever hugging my parents and saying how great they were. Shame on me. Here I am at 87 with a few tears blurring my computer screen.
    I thank you Lynne for the subject you chose to develop so fully and eloquently which stimulated me to reply to you. Yours has been one of my daily readings that very personally touched me. I simply wanted you know your time spent in composing this day’s Devotional may have pleased you and certainly was worth that span required in hours.
    May God continue to bless you.

    Hi Lynne
    I enjoyed this morning’s devotional very much.
    We humans are a funny group. When we don’t like our current lot in life, we automatically want to blame someone or something!‎ Why so many think playing the blame game is a good idea is beyond me for it accomplishes nothing!
    Better it would be to accept one’s lot in life and ask God’s help us to improve our situation — and HE will. ‎But instead, we want things to change instantly — like adding water and stirring — and when that does not happen, it is obviously somebody else’s fault! Much easier on the nerves/mind (less stressful) to change what we can, accept what few things we cannot, and have the wisdom to know the difference.
    Please continue to write.
    God bless!

    Thank you, Lynne, for a blessing devotional.
    Many of us need it.
    Keep writing.

    I especially like the core message here of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a fundamental scriptural truth. God forgives us our sins; we forgive the sins of others; we even forgive our enemies; we even forgive our parents. Besides, to quote something I remember from somewhere: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Our old resentments don’t hurt the other person, they hurt us. Instead, as today’s writer points out, God has the power to heal us and use everything for good. And, maybe, something your parents did in the past moved you become a person who would sit and read an Internet devotional today.

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