Sunday, June 15, 2014

Exclamation Points

I've been blessed with amazing parents.  Sometimes I take that for granted.  As I get older, I begin to see that my parents are (gasp!) not perfect; sadly, because of my own sin, I am often like a man who leaves a five-star, fifteen-course meal and is only able to remember that the waiter forgot to put lemon in his glass of water.  Because I fail to see with the eyes of honor and of love and of a child who never questions that "my daddy can whoop your daddy," I so often miss opportunities to praise God and admire my parents.

It's not just a matter of imperfection, either.  I've always lived in a Christian home.  I've always been homeschooled.  From Square One, the reality of God and His Word has surrounded me.  I don't know what it's like to be fatherless.  To have parents who yell at each other.  To wake up every morning wondering if Mom will still be there, or if she's finally made good on that threat of leaving.  My parents aren't perfect, but as far as imperfect parents go, they are among the best.  Yet because I have dined at this five-star, fifteen-course meal every day for twenty years, I am too often deadened to the delicious taste and the amazing, deep satisfaction that it offers.

This isn't to say that I don't appreciate it- praise God, I do!- but rather to say that I don't want to be among the number of sons who realizes, as they say goodbye to their father or mother for the last time, that they didn't appreciate it enough.

"Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers." (Pr. 17:6)

"Her children rise up and bless her..." (Pr. 31:28a)

Psalm 71 makes a beautiful and poignant statement about the duty of Christians to praise God for Who He is and for what He has done.  This is a primary way for Christians to glorify our Heavenly Father (also see 2 Cor. 4:15).

Are we not to do the same for our earthly father and mother?  Are we not to thank them and to bless them?  

This is why Mother's Day and Father's Day are so important.  I have been convicted of my failure to put the emphasis on these days that I should.  I have often neglected to buy gifts, make cards, do the sweet nothings, because it just didn't seem like that big of a deal to me.

Yet these are opportunities.  Memorial stones.  Exclamation points on the end of the 5th Commandment.  I don't want to miss them; I don't want them to pass me by like shooting stars in the sky above a text-messaging teenager.  

Praise God for His rich mercy, both in covering over and in sanctifying my weaknesses!

But, O God, give me the grace to take advantage of the opportunities that I do see!  And to see them more and more!  

Every time I write that card or buy that gift, that's another reinforcement of a habit and culture of honor.  A 5th-Commandment culture.  A blessed culture.  May God give us the grace to make that the culture of our homes.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go fill out a Father's Day card.