THE PROMISE OF A PROSPEROUS LIFE
Today is Mother’s Day! We celebrate the gift of mothers. We also celebrate God’s gift of Families. The institution of the Family has been the cornerstone of society in all of history. And it still is the basic structure that supports and holds up our society. I firmly believe that families, which are based on the principles of scripture, have a great future in our society.
The Bible puts a lot of emphasis on the family as a connecting link from one generation to the next throughout History, and right back to Creation. How many of you have tried to read a family register in the Bible? You know, those endless lists of who begot whom. The Family is a fundamental structure of society.
When we look at our society, the present state of the family is at a point where it is no longer that which holds us together as a human civilisation. There are many indications of the deterioration of the moral fibre in our society today, as it has been throughout history.
A 1994 article in Christianity Today refers to the decline of the family in our society, and the fact, that in many cases the government has to step in for the safety of children. “In an ideal world, children would be born only to caring and responsible parents who provide for them physically, mentally, and emotionally. But this is not an ideal world. ... stories of children being mistreated by their parents have become standard fare on nightly newscasts nation-wide... ... these distressing reports point toward deep-seated problems in society.”
The article also refers to a treaty signed by 140 countries at the 1989 United Nations treaty on the child. Some of the resolutions have provisions to protect children from “’all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions or beliefs of the child’s parents.’”
Not surprisingly many Christian parents throw up their hands in disgust and frustration, saying, “What is our world coming to?” The Bible's warning about proper relationships between parents and children are considered outdated by our secular society and government agencies. And so, disrespectful attitudes towards parents and family in general prevail all around us. In fact, today we have speak of a "traditional" family, over against many different forms of living arrangements.
In Old Testament times there were harsh consequences for children who showed disrespect for their parents. Here is a sample of verses:
Leviticus 20:9 If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.
Proverbs 19:26 He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace.
Proverbs 20:20 If a man curses his father or mother, his lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.
Proverbs 28:24 He who robs his father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong”—is a partner to him who destroys.
On the other side of the scale, we see great promises for children who respect and honour their parents.
Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
This promise works both ways. Here we have a promise of prosperity and long life for the child that honours his/her God-fearing parents. So children, if you want to have it good in your life, and enjoy a long life of peace and happiness - respect and obey your parents.
Proverbs 1:8 Listen, my child, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.
On the parents’ side of the coin, this promise does not just fall into our laps. We, parents have a responsibility to teach and admonish, guide and protect, love and correct our children. We must never neglect or abuse our children to further our own interests. God has entrusted them to us, to share our journey through life for a short while, to teach them proper codes of conduct, and how to love and respect God and other people.
Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
A question that is asked by many concerned people in our society is this, “Can today’s family not only survive, but also prosper in our society? Absolutely! There may be many road-blocks that we as Christians have to overcome in this age of individualistic rights and political correctness. But with God’s help, and by building on the wisdom of God’s Word, our families can be strong and vibrant.
Mothers’ day is a good day to remind ourselves of the responsibilities within our families. Let us encourage one another to build our families on the word of God. And to respect and honour each other in our families.
Living as a Christian family in today's world is not an easy task. The Promise of a prosperous Life is also yours and mine if we build our family relationships on the word of God. May this Mothers Day serve as a reminder and an inspiration to strengthen our relationships with each other in our families. Let us renew our commitments to be mothers and fathers after the Lord's own heart. May we grow in our love and respect for our parents, children, syblings, grandparents, and also the church family that God has given us.
Mother’s Day Blessing
Proverbs 23:25 May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!