Every morning at 8am, I get a daily bible verse sent to my phone via text message. This morning, I received a text with Ephesians 6:2-3:
“‘Honor your father and mother.’ – That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on Earth.”
Now, I know that God is at play here. He knew that I needed a little extra push.
Last night, at the Bible study I attend weekly, we talked about Jesus coming of age. We talked about when Jesus was twelve years old and his parents accidentally left him behind and he stayed in the temple for three days teaching. We also talked about when Jesus finally came of age and became baptized by John in the river and God spoke to him. Although the stories were about Christ himself coming of age and truly realizing his purpose and potential, we really got onto the subject of parents.
At Christmas time, I sang a song at church called “You’re Here,” by Francesca Battistelli. The song is about the sheer awe Mary must have been feeling holding the Son of God in her arms in the manger that night.
As we pointed out in Bible study, parenting is pressure as it is. There are times where parents fear that they won’t succeed in raising a successful member of society. There is a lot of pressure on all parents everywhere who are raising children to “do it right.” Imagine the pressure Mary and Joseph were under in raising Christ Jesus! Before Mary became pregnant with the Son, the Angel Gabriel came and told her what was going to happen. Mary knew that she was to carry, give birth to, and raise the Son of God. I think that night in the manger as well as the day in temple when he was twelve years old did Mary really say, ro quote my senior pastor, Glenda Ulmer, “what have I gotten myself into?”
I know sometimes during my teenage years, I was a sass master, just like Jesus was that day in the temple (don’t argue with it. He was like, “Mom. Duh. Of course I’ve been in the temple teaching. HELLO?!”) I thought my parents were the worst people on the planet and I thought they “didn’t get me” and were never “on the same page” as I was. I’m sure that as Jesus got older and began to realize his potential, he thought he knew better than they did. That may have been true, of course because He was the Son of God, after all, but my point is that parenting then was just as hard as it is now and teenaged Jesus may have been similar to teenage us to an extent. After all, that is part of what God meant when he gave us Jesus. He wanted Jesus to be just like us, yet a non-sinning man.
Parenting is difficult. Not that I’ve had a chance to do it yet, but I know it’s not easy and I commend my parents. I commend my parents and all other parents over all space and time. No parent feels the pressure that Mary and Joseph felt, but I’m sure it seemed that way sometimes.
Last night, a funny friend said she was thanking her parents after her recent twentieth birthday for raising a child who beat teen pregnancy and stayed out of jail.
Of course, only a small portion of children end up pregnant and/or in jail, but I think what my friend was doing was saying, “Thank you.”
Now that I’m out of the house and I’m on my own, I realize how much my parents have done for me. Not only did they provide for me and keep my financially stable when I couldn’t do that myself, but they loved me, supported me in everything I did and appreciated me as a person. I like most that my parents made me into a respectable individual. I like myself and I owe all of that to my parents.
So Mom and Dad, you didn’t raise the Son of God, but you were parents and that’s amazing in itself.
Thank you for being my Momma and my Daddy. Thank you for loving me, thank you for respecting me, thank you for all the things you have done for me.
I love you.