jesus fish

October 28, 2008

The Generation Gap – Part 2

Filed under: Ten Commandments — Tags: , , , — Karen @ 2:14 pm

“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Deut 5:16 (NKJV)

Since there is a hierarchy to the Ten Commandments, Christians are obligated to obey God’s Law above all else. When it comes to Deut 5:16, Christian teens and young adults sometimes look for a spiritual reason to disregard their parents’ authority.

For example, let’s suppose that you were born into a band of gypsies. Dad wants you to follow the family business as a pickpocket and thief. The first and the eighth commandment give you the right to say “No”. Honoring or respecting your parents doesn’t neccessarily require blind obedience.

Choices in the real world are rarely that simple. When I came to Christ as a teenager, church attendance became a big issue at my house. I was raised in a family that went to church services exactly two times a year, once at Christmas and once at Easter. Mom thought that was enough religion for anybody. After I became a Christian, I was excited about my faith and became very involved in my church. I was the kid who was there everytime that the doors were opened. Mom and I had screaming fights over the amount of time that I spent in church services.

Mom was obviously the bad guy in this situation, right. This woman definitely has issues – she is bi-polar but did not seek treatment til after I had left home. As the oldest child and only daughter, I was the target of paranoid accusations and crazy demands on a daily basis. Number one, my mother was mentally ill. Number two, she wanted me to disobey God’s commands to set aside time for worship, Bible study, Christian fellowship, etc. I was entitled to attend church as much as I wanted.

Looking back, I wish that I had paid more attention to Deut 5:16. In many ways, church activities were my excuse to get out of the house. My church family became a substitute for the hopelessly dysfunctional family in which I was raised. Granted, it was a no-win situation at the time. A 16 year old does not have the maturity to deal with a mentally ill parent (at least, I didn’t).

There are things that could have been done differently. I should have been more respectful towards my mother and, at least, made an effort to spend more time at home. Thirty years later, I still see the consequences of my determination to dis-honor my mother.

There are consequences to every decision. My next blog will talk about living with the fallout.

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