My Parents

My Parents

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

While interviewing patients in addiction medicine for the first time, it’s standard practice to ask about childhood trauma. I was asked the same when I was going through treatment. A lot of dysfunction stems from adverse childhood events, but I simply can’t point to any in my life. It will sound like I’m bragging here – and I am a little – I had an idyllic childhood. My parents weren’t perfect, but they were pretty fantastic. They loved me, they provided for me, and they disciplined me, teaching me right from wrong.

My father was a pastor, living an honorable life and instructing me in the Bible. He couldn’t save me from making self-destructive choices later in life, but he taught me a faith that I leaned into when my life fell apart. My mother loved and cared for me. I can remember once complaining about getting the not-brand-name shoes for school. A couple days later though, when I saw her mending a hole in one of her own shoes, it made me cry in shame. We weren’t wealthy, but she sacrificed so that I could at least have new shoes.

So, today’s passage is my opportunity to honor my parents. In the passage, God delivered the fifth of the Ten Commandments to Moses – Honor your father and your mother. Apparently, establishing an appropriate parent-child relationship is of great import to God. This relationship after all, is the earthly basis for our relationship with our heavenly father. As we learn to respect, obey, and honor our parents, we learn to respect, obey, and honor God. It is true that in a fallen world, not all parents are worthy of respect and honor, but the passage addresses how things ought to be, and we ought to honor our parents.

So, I’m using today’s blog entry to honor my parents, saying, Thank you mom and dad. I must proclaim that I’m profoundly grateful for them. Though I’ve been out of the house since age 18, no one has shaped my life as much as they have. So much of who I am is because of them. They taught me faith, love, respect, critical thinking, and hard work, while instilling in me a confidence that I could do whatever I wanted in life. Maybe they didn’t give me much height (the Abrams are a short people) but everything good I’ve done can be traced back to my parents. So, today, I must take the opportunity to say, Thank you mom and dad for being great parents! I love you both!

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