Vol.III No.III Pg.4
April 1966

"Dear Mom, I Think Of You-"

Robert F. Turner

A Christian "honors" his parents. This is so obviously "right" that the Apostle Paul appeals to children on an axiomatic basis (Eph.6:1). Would any person in his right mind think to deny the truthfulness of it?

Yet, in every age, men have sinned by ignoring their obligation to their parents. Gentile pagans, not under a codified law as were the Jews, could know "by nature" that "this is right" and were adjudged sinners when they were "disobedient to parents" (Rom.1:30,2:14-). Paul wrote to Timothy, "If any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Tim.5:8).

The "first commandment with promise" was "honor thy father and mother;" (Ex.20:12 Eph.6:2) and while this promise was physical in nature, there can be no doubt that many will miss heaven because their narrow selfish hearts shut out feeble and needy parents. It is a shame compounded by the willingness to lose this precious relationship in the "General welfare" category, and "let the government do it -- after all, we pay taxes".

"Honor" is translated from a word meaning "to make heavy" hence, a valuing, a price paid or received. It signifies "to hold dear" "an object of value" There are times when the word seems to point directly to financial support (1 Tim.5:17) -- and "honorarium" we might say -- and always, the "honoring" of parents includes the exercise of concern, and a willingness to supply their needs. We shelter and protect those we "hold dear". Paul indicates that an infidel does this much for "his own," so we can not say that all who care for their parents are Christians. But how "in the Name of Jesus Christ" (and I write this reverently) can we call a man or woman a Christian, who will not honor his parents?

It hurts me to the core to know of church members who live in good homes, drive fine cars, pulling expensive boats, whose parents are in need of attention they never get. Sometimes I visit these senior citizens. If I ask about the son or daughter a wrinkled, palsied head drops and I am told, "No, John -- or Mary -- haven't been here for some time". And then, ever the parent in defense of the child, "But they are very busy you know. John has such a responsible position -- and he really doesn't have much time -- -!!"

I feel like telling John that his beautiful home needs remodeling. Not air-conditioning, or a new den-room; but an additional bedroom and bath for his aged mother. A place she can call her own -- apart, and yet a part of the family she suffered to start.

True, some aged people need care we may be unable to give in our house; but we can accept the responsibility. We can write something more than the "bills we have to pay" to explain why we will not send them assistance. If "Corban" for God was hypocritical, (MAR.7:6-13) what of "Corban" for the country club, unneeded clothes, etc.?

Aged people are often "difficult"; not unlike your tantrums as a child. Will "our Father" honor your excuses?