“Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”(Ephesians 6:2-3)
In the Old Testament if anyone was found guilty of cursing or striking their father or mother that person would receive the death penalty. Today, especially in our society this is taken lightly, but God wanted his people to know the importance he placed on one having respect for his parents.
I recently responded to a call for police service at a residence where a mother had been physically attacked by her grown son. The mother who was trembling with fear told me that her son had picked her up and with a great amount of force dropped her to the floor. The son who is in his late twenties did not appear to be remorseful for his actions at all.
When I was growing up, I was taught to render respect not only to my parents, but to all elders. This is something that I still practice to this day. In fact, I remember a time when the young men in the neighborhood would not use profane language if an elderly person was in hearing distance.
Today, I hear young people using vulgar language everywhere, sometimes in the presence of their own parents. Back in the day, if a child male, or female done bodily harm to one of their parents there would surely be repercussions from the other siblings.
I grew up in the late sixties and early seventies. Many of us who grew up during that time period came from homes where there was no father present; but there were men in the neighborhood that felt obligated to be a positive role model not only for their own children but for all the kids in the neighborhood. If any of us young men in the neighborhood were observed to be involved in disorderly behavior, these men without hesitation would intervene and provide corrective instruction. The parents back then did not approach other adults and forbid them to correct their children.
Of course I know that this is a different day and time, but when the men in the neighborhood were allowed to stand up and be men you would not see young people in the neighborhood flagging down cars and selling drugs or sex in front of their parents’ home. The little kids could play outside in a safe environment without becoming a victim of a drive by shooting.
In conclusion, most of the young men that I speak with do not expect to live long enough to see their 25th birthday. However, I have lived long enough to see the promises of God come true. When the parent provides instruction to their children in the ways of God and the children are submissive, these children can expect to experience the divine promise of a long life on the earth.
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