Honor Your Father and Mother

“Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 19:19 (NKJV)

I grew up in the state of Arkansas.  My dad was a farmer turned factory worker. He worked for a garment factory in their warehouse where they picked and shipped the product.

My dad commuted 70 miles (one way) every day and still raised a large garden and I had to help even though my interest was on the ranch that lay behind our house. I did everything from hauling hay to rounding up the cattle for the annual shots and branding.

I guess I blamed the differencing in farming and ranching for my inability to get along with my parents. We fought like cats and dogs. Every time my dad and mom tried to get me to do something for the community or for a family, I rebelled. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the people in the community, it was because I was forced by circumstance to do things I didn’t want to do.

I guess you could say that I never respected or honored my family, although I really didn’t know what respect and honor at that age. All I wanted to do was to work the cattle and ride my horse while doing it.

It was a catch 22. I was trying to live a life I couldn’t have, and I needed to live a life that I didn’t want.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So, the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So, she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”

Exodus 2:9-10 (NKJV)

Moses had a decision to make the same as I did. His was a bit more difficult, because he was deciding whether he wanted to be royalty or lead a people who didn’t consider him worth the time it would take to kill him.

These people were in bondage and needed to get to a land that God had promised their ancestor. They needed to get to the promised land. God had chosen Moses to lead them to their new home, their salvation.

Just as I wanted to do my work from the back of a horse, I’m sure Moses would have rather stayed in Egypt and lived his life as the grandson of the Pharaoh. However, God had other plans for Moses.

When I look at my life, I realize that God also had other plans for me as well. I have heard many other ministers say the same thing. It’s not that being a minister is hard work or pays nothing; it’s that the life God wanted me to live was not what I wanted.

I look back now at my mom and dad and I wonder what they thought. There is one thing I have never doubted. I have never doubted their love for their family. Even though I was hard on them, yelled at them, told them I wanted more than they could offer, and many other things I should be ashamed of; I know they still loved me.

Even though I was unkind and dishonorable toward my parents, I know they were still proud of my accomplishments and were never ashamed of my actions.

I guess you could say that my life is proof positive that God knows more than we do. How many people have been saved and how many people have been helped, because I followed the path God laid out for me and not the one I wanted.

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