Straight out of the gate, I must share I never had an earthly father. I, therefore, have no clue or point of reference when it comes to a father-daughter relationship. It is something I ached for, for many many years. I did, however, have a mother. A woman of quiet strength who walked in and with the amazing grace of God. She had a firm and unwavering faith, raised her children to fear the Lord, work hard, and to respect all people.
For most of my life, our relationship was full of tension. There were emotional blockages that kept us both from seeing and responding to one another with desired fondness. I brought shame to her with a pregnancy at sixteen. She stuck by me then, and during another traumatic experience in my life with maternal fierceness. If I have one regret regarding her passing, it is that I never got to tell her I was sorry for bringing her the shame I know she felt when I became pregnant.
Then it all changed. I cannot pinpoint the exact day but know it was 11 years ago. The change did not come with or from a dramatic moment. I cannot explain it with human rationale or say it was because of something either one of us did. I can only share that one day I noticed my thoughts, feelings, and responses—especially the responses— to her were different. They were softer and more loving.
In our new relationship, a dynamic of reciprocity started to take place. I made myself more available to her. I gave her more of my time and in return, she began to bless me. At first, it all just seemed perfunctory. She needed something, I gave or did it and she would say, “Thank you,” followed by a blessing. I was just happy to serve a mother who had no problem in making herself available to feed or care for children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even one great-great-grandchild.
I don’t remember when the awareness came and which came first. The realization that my life was changing or that my mother was heaping tons and tons of blessing over my life with her words. Now please note, the changes that were taking place in my life were not visible with the natural eye. There weren’t any dramatic material or physical gains, in fact, I believe it was the opposite. This was the time of my life when I actually suffered severe loss—I actually lost everything and anything that was important to me including my two daughters. What changed or was gained was a peace, an understanding, an awareness and introduction to God my Father.
The First Commandment With a Blessing At The End
It would take a number of years for the Holy Spirit to help me connect what was happening with the scripture in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment with a promise— that all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.”
I obviously did not learn this on my own and I wish I had the benefit of the wisdom earlier in my life. I don’t know why the Lord chose to give me this particular blessing at that time. I cannot lie and say it was something I actively prayed for; however, He knew the brokenness of my heart, and He knew the pain I endured from all what I had lost. Perhaps this was His way of offering comfort.
Parents Not Ideal, But We Are Still Called To Honor
King David was not the best father, mentor, or leader. Although he had great victories, the Bible also records the tumultuous relationships he had with those around him. David’s son, Absalom was disillusioned with David’s handling of a sensitive matter. Absalom took matters into his own hands and eventually ran to another city only to return with hatred in his heart towards his father. He began sleeping with David’s concubines and developed a strategy to undermine and overthrow his father as king. Things appeared to be going well for Absalom until his plans were halted when he died in a freak accident. 2 Samuel 13-19
Does your relationship with your mother and/or father reflect your honor? Do you find it hard to honor, respect, or even love your parents? Perhaps, in the grand pool of parents, they won’t be picked as the most ideal; however, is there one good thing they did right? Could it be there were two or three, or ten outstanding things (big or small) your parents did that could be attributed to who you are today? My mother did so much good for me, but too much time was lost when I was only focused on what I felt she had done wrong.
A special day to honor mothers is set aside in the month of May and a similar day today for Father’s Day. Do not let these be the only days you show an expression of love to your parents. Let them know as much and as often as you can how much you love them; and if you happen to be one of those, who have no love for their parents, do not think you are better off without them or that you don’t need them. It may appear that you are doing fine, but careful assessment may reveal a troublesome area in your life that you can’t seem to shake.
You may be amazed at how much healing and peace can be experienced from a blessed relationship with parents.
Is it accidental? No, it isn’t, it is Biblical.
Cheryl David is a blogger and publishes inspirational articles through her Brown Bread for the Soul blogs. Cheryl recently published the book Brown Bread for the Soul, a collection of poems and prayers.
Image courtesy of Derek Thomson.