Stephen A. Peterson
“That was Aunt Alice,” said Kimberly’s mother, hanging up the telephone. “We’re going to drive over to Fort Worth tomorrow and stay for a couple of day.”
“Oh,no, we’re not!” said Kimberly.
“Just what do you mean by that young lady?”
“I’m not going,” Kimberly insisted. “There’s nothing for me to do over there with a couple of boys who sit around on their rears playing those dumb video games! Gosh, I just hate their stupid video games,” the 14 year old protested.
“We’re going as a family,” her mother said firmly. “Your father hasn’t had a chance to see his sister for quite a while.”
“You guys can go,” Kimberly said, “but I’m staying home. I hate going to their house! I just hate Texas and I hate Fort Worthless!”
“I told Aunt Alice that we’re coming, “ said her mother as she left the room. “I’m not going to spend anymore time arguing with you.”
Kimberly pulled her pajamas off the closet hook and sat defiantly on her bed. “It isn’t fair,” she thought. “Nobody cares if I suffer the whole darn day. They better not expect much cooperation from me! I’ll make them wish they’d listen to me when I said I didn’t want to go to Fort Worthless!” As she finished dressing, Kimberly heard her father come in from the garage.
With her bedroom door slightly opened, Kimberly could hear her parents’ conversation.
“Honey, this is about the first chance I’ve had to talk to you in several days,” her father said.
“Yes, we’ve both been very busy. But I think we’ve got nearly everything crossed off our list. Car has been serviced. The pies and cakes made. Timers set,” said mother. “I hate to ask you to go out again, but Kimberly doesn’t have any descent pants, blouses or shoes to wear.”
“No problem, honey,” father said. “Will these do?” he asked.
“They’re perfect,” mother said. “Just the color, style and brands she asked for. Gosh, I hope they fit her!”
“It’ll sure be great to relax at Alice and Don’s tomorrow,” Kimberly father said. “You know, it’s been so long since I’ve been to see Alice I’m sure I can find their place. We’ve only been there once since they moved.”
“Oh, oh! Your back is bothering you again, isn’t it?” mother said. “Come on and lie down and I’ll give you a back rub.”
Kimberly felt very guilty by the time she was under the covers. Her parents really did work hard, and most of the hard work was to provide her with food, clothing, a place to live and unconditional love. They never complained about the pain, sacrifices and having to do without for themselves. Kimberly thought to herself, I’ve been selfish. My parents have made it so that I do not have to worry about anything. When I was hungry, they made sure I had plenty to eat. When my friends reject me, there’s dad to comfort me and give me one of his big hugs and encouraging words. When I needed to talk to someone about girl stuff, there’s mom with both ears on for me. Lord, I’ve disobeyed you and your command to give honor to one’s parent. Please, Lord, forgive me! I now know my parents love me and love me unconditionally.”
Kimberly thought back trying to recall the game her parents love playing. She remembered her mother telling her that they played it in college then with their friends when they were first married. “Charades…that’s it!” Kimberly thought. “If we have the chance, I’ll try to get a game started at Aunt Alice and Uncle Don’s place. I’ll tell mom and dad how sorry I am for being a disobedient daughter. I’ll also ask them to forgive me.”
Nearly every child has wondered, at one time or another, why God commands us to honor their fathers and mothers. What does God have against children? Nothing. But ask any child who did not have parents or one parent missing. It then becomes clear why God places adults over children and why Christ is placed over all of humankind.
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From a child with a missing parent and grandparents who died before my birth, I can verify the blessing that God has placed in the lives of children who have both parents. I missed out. Honor them! Honor them! Honor them! They are human. Honor them anyway!