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“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” (Proverbs 17:6 NIV)

Today is the 34th anniversary of my father’s death.  I was 16 years old.  His passing affected my life dramatically.  I have lived twice as long without a father as I did with one.  My mother never remarried.  His influence on my life is irrefutable.  My brothers and I share his mannerisms.  We say his mantras.  We vividly remember his impact on our lives at different moments. 

When my mother passed 6 years ago, it devastated our lives.  She was the center of our family.  She helped us survive Dad’s death, but now we were left on our own to survive hers.  I’m proud of my parents, not because of their perfections, but their imperfections. 

My parents gave me life.  As Madea said in “Madea Goes to Jail”, your parents gave you life, they didn’t have to do that.  But they did:

“Everyone has got a life.  What you do with that life is up to you.”  Madea

Your parents chose life, they chose you.

If you’ve watched any movie or sitcom about expecting parents, you realize quickly the daunting task of raising children.  I never had children, my niece and nephews are the closest I have come.  I do know, parenting isn’t easy.  I heard this phrase long ago, I think it represents parenting well:

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

Elizabeth Stone

Having issues with our parents is a part of life.  No one on this earth has a perfect parent.  My Dad had an explosive temper.  My mother could hold a grudge.  But they tried. They provided a home for us.  They ran the roads taking us to school activities or sporting events.  Only now, as I look back over my life can I truly see how hard they worked at parenting.  Only now does some of the advice they imparted years ago make sense to me.  Seeds of wisdom planted decades ago are taking root.

I realize, not everyone had parents who tried.  Some parents don’t have the capability to raise children, so they give them away.  Some parents’ own issues from their past impact their children’s lives negatively.  Sometimes, the only thing parents do for their child is give them life.  Even if your earthly parents failed you, your Heavenly Father won’t.  His unconditional love can fill the void earthly parents didn’t.  Trusting Him is difficult, especially when you’re coming from a place of deep hurt.  You don’t have to do it all once.  Take baby steps towards Him.  Give Him a little piece of your heart, see what happens.  He’ll do the rest.

Question of the Day:

How can you honor your parents today?

Further Reading: 1 Kings 12:20-13:34 NIV, Acts 9:26-43 NIV, Psalm 132:1-18 NIV, Proverbs 17:6 NIV

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