Saturday, May 08, 2010

The parent reality

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Proverbs 23:17-25

TO CHEW ON: “Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.” Proverbs 23:22

A few days ago I watched the story of Tiger Woods on the Biography channel. The documentary was made before his 2009 accident uncovered his double life and was mostly positive. I could not help but be struck by the close relationship he had with his father. The most meaningful part of each win, each tournament no matter how it ended, was the big bear hug he got from his dad when it was over.

Thus the Nike commercial that played on the eve of his return to golf doesn’t offend me (as it did some, not others). It shows a sober, black-and-white image of Tiger looking into the camera while in the background, the voice of his father (deceased May 2006) says, “I want to find out what your thinking was, what your feelings are. And did you learn something?”

The commercial illustrates the strength of the parental bond talked about in our reading today. Our parents have a whole lot of influence on us. Their voices can follow us past the grave. Our yen to please them can be a positive thing - especially if they gave us wise counsel and steered us onto a good path.

Of course when we become parents it cuts the other way. We find ourselves on the giving end, trying to give our kids good direction, rejoicing with them when things go well, hurting with them when they go through tough times.

Whatever else this parent-child relationship is, it is life-impacting. From the moment of birth, you are someone’s child. From the moment you give birth, you are your child’s parent. There is no wiggling out of or resigning from these things.

This relationship is also a God-thing. The Bible is not silent about it. It tells us that mocking our parents, cursing them and generally treating them with contempt are dangerous things to do. Instead we are to honor them (it’s one of the ten commandments), heed them  and thus do them proud . (In this area Tiger seems to be on the right track, at least if the commercial is true to what’s happening in his mind and heart.)

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for inventing the parent-child relationship. Thank You for my parents and children. Thank You for being my Father, and for Jesus who is our example as an ideal son. Amen.

MORE: Brian Doerksen sings  “Faithful Father

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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