Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recipe for Respect?

Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children, and when they pray they are heard. (Sirach 3:5)

Last week I shared this verse from Sirach Ch. 3, and I pointed out its connection to the Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and mother.

We tend to read this verse as a sign that God will bless us if we respectfully obey and care for our parents-- as if God is almost bribing us into good behavior. Since we know that's not the case, I propose a different interpretation.  Verse 5 of the third chapter of Sirach offers insight into the conditions necessary for growing faith-filled kids.  

Instead of looking at the verse as a "blessing," what if we look at it as describing the kind of parents and teachers we must be in order to grow faith-filled, respectful kids?  In other words, if we have learned humility, reverence, and patience-- qualities necessary for honoring our parents-- we'll be prepared to raise our kids to learn these qualities.

We only need to look at the last week of our lives with the eyes of faith to see that our Heavenly Father is constantly giving us opportunities to learn humility, reverence, and patience.  The idea at work that failed . . . humility.  Cradling a sleeping child in our arms . . . reverence.  Another traffic jam on the 5 South . . . patience.  The only real question we have to ask ourselves is: do we allow God to shape us through these experiences?

Heavenly Father, we pray for the humility to allow you to continue to form us into the parents and teachers you want us to be.  Soften our pride, awaken our sense of awe, and strengthen our willingness to endure suffering.  Give us the courage to teach these qualities to our children.

No comments:

Post a Comment