While grocery shopping several years ago, I noticed a cute 4-year-old twirling like a ballerina in a store aisle. The child was so engrossed in her play she was completely unaware of others. Though she was not far from her mother, her mom urgently demanded, “Emily, get back here!”
I do not know what had gone on before that moment, but the mother’s exasperation did not seem to have been caused by Emily misbehaving: perhaps my observation about the mother sounds critical, but I know personally how parenting can be a challenge.
My children currently range from 19 to 35 and there have been numerous times when I fell far short of being the parent I wanted to be. Although I am usually patient, there have been more times than I want to admit when I became frustrated with my children for simply being… well… children.
Last Saturday I entered a new stage in my relationship with my daughter Cassie. She married Tony. I am happy and excited for them. My hope is that they will build a wonderful life together. There are more stages ahead. I hope Cassie and Tony will someday have children. When they do, my relationship with my daughter and son-in-law will enter another new phase.
As I reflected on this, I was reminded of a passage which deals with parents and children. “Honor your father and mother... Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them...” (Ephesians 6:2 and 4, NLT)
Scripture makes the point that no matter our age, we are to honor our parents, not because they are perfect, but because if they did their best to raise us, we owe them a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay.
In short, we are to love one another.
This year, as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day, I am reminded how this day is not just about being grateful for our mothers, it is also about treasuring our relationship with our parents and children.