by Pastor Terry Gurno
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
I know that when I read this commandment there are some people, and I am one of them, who have struggled to work through this commandment in our life. Some of you right now didn’t even like the way that verse read or sounded because honestly you don’t know why or how or what would be the reason to literally honor your mother and father.
The truth is, they did not do a lot for you. You experienced abandonment, pain, neglect, and you have wrestled with this commandment. Even as a Christian, you have wrestled with it. I understand that. I have walked that mile myself.
What I want to do is this, I want to pray that the Holy Spirit would have access into your heart, that you would say, “God, I am open.” Because if you respond with, “I can’t do it, they don’t deserve it,” it tells me there are some walls in your life that are keeping you from knowing God the way He intended.
There is hurt, there are memories that God wants to heal you from and not have you continue to live in. We serve a real God who can help us deal with real life circumstances. The worst thing we can do as adults is to hang on to bitterness and resentments for our parents because it affects our children — we pass this on to them.
Maybe you are a parent and you feel guilty. You are saying to yourself, “There really is no reason that I deserve my children’s honor.” And I want to pray for you as well. That whatever happened, God would give you the grace to assume your role and your responsibility in what happened. Not to shrink back from it, but to assume it. Ask God for genuine forgiveness.
Lord, in our relationships with our families, there‘s nothing more important, there’s nothing that prepares us to live in society outside of our homes like what happens inside of our family.
God, you see when that is not right, when that is not intact. It effects the way we see ourselves, the way we feel, it effects the feelings and the emotions that we carry with us. It can help us or it can hurt us.
God, I am opening myself up to hear the message and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. If I experience anytime through this study that I am not going to do that, that I have resentment, I am going to recognize it as an area where you need to work in my life.
So God, we lay this message before you. We are so dependent upon your grace, in Jesus name, Amen